Mini Mission Monday ~ Temptation

mini-logoMini Mission Monday is about finding ten minutes a day to declutter. To make it easy for you, each Monday I set seven declutter missions, one for each day of the week for you to follow. It takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

This weeks mini missions are all about bringing your attention to items that have a tendency to unnecessarily build up, be decluttered and build up again. I made that sound like this happens without our being responsible for it but we all know that we are. We succumb to the temptation to replace perfectly serviceable items with something new whether we need it or not. Lets see how many of these items you can find to declutter in your home. But more than that, become aware that you are doing this and consider a change in this behaviour from here on.

I am not going to mention clothing or shoes in this list because that would be the most obvious choice for this category. However give some thought to your habits in this area and consider what you might do to improve on your initial choices that might help help avert this happening in the future.

Monday – Declutter a decor item that has been stashed away out of sight. ~ Do you find yourself refreshing your decor with an endless parade of decorator items. I would suggest displaying meaningful/sentimental items rather than hiding them away in a closet somewhere. You will be less inclined to dismiss and replace them so easily.

Tuesday – Declutter any pet toys that are overabundant in your home.  ~ Do you buy a new toy to amuse you pet with on a regular basis when their old toys are still in reasonable condition. Slowly they build up and then you find yourself throwing away the oldest or less loved items whether they are worn out or not. Think of the money you could save.

Wednesday – Declutter excess bath towels and in future only replace them when they wear out ~ Judging from many of the linen closets I encounter, during visiting friends and relatives, I would say the people generally replace towels on a far too regular basis. Not because they are no longer capable of the task of drying but simply because they are considered decor items that are to be replaced when tired of.

Thursday – Declutter any kitchen utensils or gadgets that you don’t use often enough to warrant keeping. ~ Who isn’t on the lookout for something that can make our workload lighter. When it comes to the home the kitchen is a major source of this focus. The problem is that many of the gadgets on the market don’t live up to their promise to lighten that load. The utensils drawer ends up with three different styles of peelers, can openers, potato mashers etc and the shelves are packed with all manner of electric gadgets. I must say that some credit has to be given to anyone who still believes on home cooking rather than caving into buying, not always healthy, prepared meals, but be sceptical about the usefulness or such gadgets.

Friday – Declutter any stationery items that are overstocked in your home. Especially if they were purchased for their novelty factor. Cute pens, pencils, erasers, notebooks, thumb tacks, paperclips etc. ~ You may think this is an odd thing to suggest but you might be surprised at how often inexpensive items such as these are purchased when they aren’t needed.

Saturday – Declutter any children’s toys that are neglected, broken or perhaps never were enjoyed.~ Children don’t need more and more toys they need to be left to use their imaginations with a smaller selection. And they aren’t a substitute for quality time spent with parents and friends. If you find it necessary to allocate a room in your home just to store toys then you most likely have too many.

Sunday - Sunday is reserved for contemplating one particular item, of your choice that is proving difficult for you to declutter. Whether that be for sentimental reasons, practical reasons, because the task is laborious or simply unpleasant, or because the items removal requires the cooperation of another person. That last category may mean that the item belongs to someone else who has to give their approval, it could also mean there is a joint decision to be made or it could mean that the task of removing it requires assistance from someone else. There is no need to act on this contemplation immediately, it is more about formulating a plan to act upon or simply making a decision one way or another.

Good luck and happy decluttering


It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow

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About Colleen Madsen

Colleen is the founder of 365 Less Things and lives in Newcastle, Australia.


  1. Colleen, these are good. As I read through them I was thinking of how much things have changed over the years. I used to buy lots of stationary because I had many pen pals and wrote to them. Now we email. We used to keep games around the house for when kids came. Now they want to play their hand held games. I remember when everyone changed their indoor decor according to the season. Many no longer do that. Others decorate for every little holiday. While in some ways we consume more in other ways we no longer even use some things. It helps to have these mini-missions because it makes us step back and think.

    • Deb J – I’m fascinated – how did people change their indoor decor for the season?

      I agree on toys. I have nieces and nephews much younger than my kids and I don’t bother to keep toys for them as they prefer to watch our ‘vintage’ Disney DVD’s these days. If I think of it, I’ll grab a couple of cheap colouring books and crayons that they can take home with them but I realised last visit that I didn’t even have any plastic cups left for them to use. So I just grabbed some party cups and let them decorate them with a felt pen.

      • Moni,
        Deb J. may have a different take on changing the indoor décor for the season, however, I do remember in my childhood, that women would slip cover their furniture and change out throw pillows, bath and kitchen towels, tablecloths, bedding, chatchkes, dinnerware etc. to correlate with the four seasons, winter, spring, summer and fall/autumn. Horrors, if you ate on a dinner plate with flowers on it in the middle of winter, haha! Seems rather ridiculous now, however, it was a big deal decades ago.

      • Moni, My sister sews, quilts, crochets and does cross-stitching. Her house is autumn-/Halloween–ready now. She changes out her valances, has lots of seasonal wall quilts and pictures, and often has afghans in seasonal colors – oh, and sometimes a seasonal throw pillow or two. She doesn’t do the bedrooms – just the downstairs of her house. She loves doing it, and it’s always fun to see new things.

        You should see her house at Christmas! She and I both have Christmas plates and love using something different for a month. I admit to having a lot of Christmas items, and I enjoy decorating. Our father loved Christmas decorations, and we inherited that from him.

    • Deb J,
      I still decorate for most holidays, but with a less is more style. A few well placed decorations that evoke the spirit of the holiday or season without the overkill that I believe you are referring to like hohoho toilet paper, haha!

  2. I have a piece of art that is leaning up against my desk that I like but doesn’t really suit the house as it has evolved to in the last year or so. And I put a cat toy in the out box before I went away last week.
    Towels – I have been fighting the temptation to begin replacing our towels especially when the ones I want are on 50% off. In the last six months our towels have had stitching start to come undone, tears and worn patches appearing etc, suddenly marks aren’t coming out. Fortunately we have plenty of towels so its not like we’re running low on towels and my work is delighted to use them for rags as I do retire them.
    Kitchen and stationery are under control.
    Toys – not really an issue but I will check in with the kids if there are any of their Disney DVD’s they’d be happy to pass on instead.