Mini Mission Monday ~ Ten minutes a day

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.

It seems to have been a while since I focused on the philosophy behind the 365 Less Things approach. I tend to take it for granted that we all know what that is, and we just get on with it. However this week that is going to be the theme for my posts. Even though my home contents are greatly reduced I can still benefit from taking that ten minutes a day to assess if there is anything still lingering that I could happily do without. After all, my home size was also greatly reduced, giving me less room to store those less than necessary items I may have kept just because I once had the space. It is aways nice to have a little empty space which leaves room for the next phase of life to arrive. So lets focus and six tasks this week that we can easily achieve in those ten minutes.

Monday – Think for a minute which drawer in your home is the messiest or most difficult to use due to how much stuff is crammed into it. Take ten minutes now to focus on finding and decluttering some things in that drawer that you don’t need. Things that, once removed, will make that drawer far more functional.

Tuesday – Take ten minutes to go through the most cluttered shelf in your kitchen cabinetry and declutter a few things that you rarely if ever use.

Wednesday – While you are preparing yourself for the day take ten minutes to go through your toiletries cabinet in you bathroom. Declutter anything that you don’t use or is past its used by date.

Thursday – Take ten minutes today to sort through your socks or underwear drawer. Ten minutes is all it will take to sort and identify those items that you avoid wearing until you are desperate. Declutter anything that you aren’t comfortable wearing.

Friday – Take a look on and in a desk or work space today. Give yourself ten minutes to find and declutter something that is not used and wasting space in this area.

Saturday – Take a look in an old photo album and take ten minutes to choose and toss some photos that don’t do much to record your life history. Duplicates, fuzzy shots, meaningless plants or animals (not pets), people you don’t recognise or who flitted through your life without giving much meaning to it.

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

Eco Tip for the Day

Consider doing some things by hand rather than using an electrical appliance. Mix that cake by hand, tighten that screw with an old fashioned screw driver rather than and electric drill, sweep the floor rather than vacuum…

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, I”m looking forwar toheaing what everyone has to say about these great mini-missions.

  2. What a happy coincidence, I have been more or less doing these mini missions over the last week, just finding random items to hiff them in the ‘out box’ so I will continue on that path.

    It was my second ‘big’ weekend in a row – the kind where two events fell on the same weekend and travel involved, so am glad our Mini Missions are going to be straight forward.

    My oldest moved out (again) on the weekend, but he simply took what he wanted and left a fair bit of stuff behind. This morning I loaded up a laundry basket of shoes and stuff from his room and took them to him at work. After going thru them most have holes or missing one shoe and he wanted them thrown out. Done. I shall continue along these lines until I have cleared his room and wardrobe.

    • Hi Moni, lets hope he stays out this time. My daughter is moving on again too, back to Brisbane. We thought she would ask to move in here for a little while but she is keen to be independent. I hope it works out for her. Meanwhile I will work harder toward decluttering and reorganising some areas in my house just in case there ever is a need to temporary house someone under our roof. There is simply no space in the spare room closet because it is quite full of my craft supplies. In a pinch something could be arranged but I would prefer that if that pinch happened it would be a lot simpler a task than it would be it this moment in time.

  3. Loving this week’s theme 🙂 Thanks Colleen.

  4. I found myself puttering around the house yesterday, looking for something to accomplish and not quite feeling motivated to do a lot. So I ended up going through drawers and junk bins looking for stuff to get rid of, rummaging around on overstuffed shelves and finally forcing myself to go through my son’s end of school year papers. I wasn’t trying to be perfect, I was just trying to pull out whatever I didn’t need anymore. Needless to say I ended up with two bags of straight trash, a pile of recycling, and another two bags of items to donate. It was ugly! However in all my work, I was able to find items that I did need and had been looking for. Some things I was about to go and buy because I thought I was completely out. I think I’ll try and continue this trend this week and see what happens 🙂

  5. I substituted “drawer” for my coffee table which is a dumping ground and rarely available for putting coffee cups on. I got rid of some Christmas cards (!!) which I’d been keeping to remind me to write/phone/email various people and some nail polishes which have solidified in the bottles, so guess how long they have been there! I also found various magazines which I will never read. I can’t cancel the delivery as they come as apart of membership to museums and art galleries where I do visit and it’s part of their promotion activities. I always intend to read them as part of my fantasy of being well informed but truthfully, I flick through them usually long after I’ve seen the exhibition and then chuck them in the recycling. I think in future when they arrive I’ll put them straight in the recycling and save my self the hassle. I’m still laughing at the Christmas Cards. I mean really, if I want to get in touch with somebody just do it or wait until next Christmas!

    • Hi Salley, I loved this statement by you~
      “I always intend to read them as part of my fantasy of being well informed but truthfully…”
      I can so relate to that. I’d call it aspirational information clutter. I do things like this on a regular basis. The difference is that I leave the items somewhere hard to ignore and annoyingly messy if I do. Nothing lingers there long because I soon get sick of seeing it there and know that I am never going to get around to it.

  6. Poured 3 stale spices into the compost & recycled the containers plus an empty one I was saving to use… but never used. Tossed the cord to a non-working electric blanket… keeping the blanket (with expiration date) to see if we need it for the kids in cooler weather. My husband mixed kitty litter with 20 cans of old paint so we can get rid of them… then be able to use the high paint shelf for window wash, car wash, etc to keep out of grandkid reach. He also froze our very ripe bananas so we can use them for smoothies instead of having to chuck them into the compost.

  7. On Sunday I looked for a dental mirror in the drawer with cosmetics and found that needed straightening so I had done Monday’s by the time the 365 email came. I also found some forgotten concealer which came in handy to cover bruises from bumping my sunglasses on my face–didn’t hurt the sunglasses a bit–or me either really, just bruise easy. After a very rainy winter, we are now having a very rainy summer, which somehow slows down my housekeeping/decluttering urge. Or maybe I just hate going through paperwork. I also need to gather up more books, since I now have a kindle (which is great during stormy weather). BookBub has a good variety of free books to download each week, so the kindle saves me trips to the library, and since you own the downloads, there is not the urgency to read them before the library erases them. I think I have managed to read a lot more books than before, since if we are watching the news, etc., I read during commercials. I also sometimes read them on my computer.

    • Hi Ruth, don’t use dreary weather as an excuse to declutter. Being stuck inside is the best time to get to those tasks you might otherwise avoid when you can get out and about in the sunshine. The weather here in Newcastle has been dreary at best most of the time of late too and I am decluttering and organising more than ever. Take ten minutes out of your reading time to do those little declutter jobs that you have been avoiding.

  8. Grace from Brazil

    This philosophy is so ingrained in my brain that even though I am living out of a suitcase for the next few months I am still de-cluttering and keeping vigilant. I have a little carry-on suitcase where all my clothes fit. I only have a few outfits but I love all of them. This morning my sister made a comment that she liked my outfit so I said she will probably see it again as I only have so many outfits. She promptly suggested that we go to the thrift store to get more. I said that I didn’t need any more and that I had plenty. Then SHE said, “Well I have too many clothes maybe you can help me de-clutter some.” She won’t have to ask me twice. I enjoy the ongoing process of letting go of non-essentials especially since my space is really limited and getting others on board. I have mentioned this website to quite a few friends along the way and will continue to do so.

    • Good for you Grace. I will also be living out of a small case for three months at the end of the year. We will also only be living in a studio apartment with minimal everything. I am looking forward to all of that. Less stuff and less effort required to keep everything ship shape.
      And thank you for recommending 365 to others. I hope it has been helpful to them.