Mini Mission Monday ~ This and that

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.

Monday – Declutter an unfinished project, either by finishing it or letting it go. These are a mental burden. Once done they can either be passed on or enjoyed, but either way they are no longer weighing you down with aspiration.

Tuesday – Declutter an unwise purchase.

Wednesday – Declutter your junk drawer if you have one. If not some other drawer that holds a little clutter.

Thursday – Declutter some paperwork.

Friday – Declutter something that was really useful in the past but hasn’t been used in a long time. Maybe its time in done for you.

Saturday – Start a use it up challenge on something.

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

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  • Mini Mission Monday Mini 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 […]
  • Mini Mission Monday ~ This and that Mini 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 […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. I don’t have a lot that fits for this week’s mini challenge but my daughter’s Art Board has its deadline today, we we’ll get back the dining room table and can move the computer back to the garage. She has a basket full of paper from her research and drafts that I’m sure she’ll be happy to see the back of.

    Otherwise a lot happening this week, a wedding to attend later in the week plus our boarder packing to freight her stuff, so she can fly home early next week. I’ll probably be involved on the freighting side of things as we’ll get some of her stuff away in advance.

    • Hi Moni, it sounds like you have plenty to keep you busy as usual.
      I have already achieved one mini mission. I finished upcycling a spice rack into a card rack for my art space. It looks pretty good even if I say so myself.

  2. We had three junk drawers across the bottom of the bookcase in the last house. One had flashlights, nightlights, extension cords, etc. One had glasses and binoculars, straps and cases. The third was the typical junk drawer for all the loose bits and pieces. We designed a similar bookcase for this house but without the drawers so all that stuff has to be re-homed. I don’t think we removed anything from the electrical drawer but we did consolidate batteries and power cords and that will help keep us from buying what we already have. Got rid of broken glasses and extra cases and have a pair of bifocals to drop off for charity. The real junk drawer junk will be tackled tomorrow.

    • So are you mostly settled in now Wendy. You will have to send me some new photos of your new home with all your beloved belongings in it. I am so excited for you. Moving house is hard work but so exciting.

      • Photos will be a while yet. We still have piles of boxes hanging about as we wait for the basement and the garage to be finished.
        I started a new de-cluttering count as we unpack and organize. Up to 74 so far. Ian is getting into the game as well. People who have helped us move have gone away with work pants, climbing spurs, a rocking chair and stool and a large bookcase.

  3. I was reading about Sonny Bill Williams giving his World Cup Rugby Medal away to a young fan yesterday. Then today I read they will give him a replacement one for the one he gave away! I just rolled my eyes. What if SBW gave that one away as well? What if SBW was an avid reader of this Blog and realised that all those medals and stuff he wins are clutter?
    Is replacing stuff necessary?

    • Wendyf – I think even 365 Less Things could make an exception for Olympic Medals, World Cup awards and Miss Universe Crowns.

    • Ha Wendy, he might be rolling his eyes too thinking ‘I don’t want a replacement. I gave it away because I have too much of this crap already.’ Lets face it New Zealand wins so many of these things their players must be inundated with medals.

      • Funny how we look at things as de-clutterers. I recently received an award for volunteer work. I was hoping it would be a wood plaque which could be stripped of the engraved bit and used as a trivet. Better yet, they gave me a framed certificate. Someone will be able to make use of the nice frame (after a suitable interval has passed). The people who got the etched glass statue thingies are stuck with etched glass statue thingies that can’t be used for anything.

        • Wendy B – LOL – yes we decide within seconds whether we’re going to keep it or not, and if we’re not going to keep it how we are going to dispose of it.

  4. MON – I have been thinking about the calendars under my bed, but not ready to decide yet.

    TUE – extra box of staples. I use one staple maybe twice a year. I already have a small box that may be passed from generation to generation at this rate LOL

    THU – I had a 3″ pile of catalogs, mail, filing… Took care of that tonight.

    FRI – My daughters and I used to use mechanical pencils on a daily basis, for school and work. I like the daintiness of the .5 writing. Now that I no longer work in an office, I don’t need to puzzle things out on paper so much. An unused set of mechanical pencils & leads went into the Goodwill box.

    SAT – Got out an unused (lightly) scented lotion to use up. Now that it’s getting cooler in my neck of the woods, my pants get dry static. Lotioning the legs helps.

    A couple of these mini missions allowed me to better organize my gift stash, which got it down to one container (a small cooler) under my night table. I was able to get rid of the used mailer which held a few items. Great missions! 🙂

  5. Tue-unwise purchase, extra wooden dish rack
    Ordered too many
    Thursday-paper work
    Cleaned out receipts
    Fri- used to be useful
    A cloth hanging shoe rack
    Sat-use up challenge
    Body butter

    Still need to think about what to do for Monday & go thru a junk drawer for Wednesday.
    Thanks Colleen & the 365 Community, I just realized how much easier my house is to clean than it used to be!

    • I think I can speak for both myself and my great community when saying it is our pleasure to serve you with our wonderful encouragement and advice. Keep up the good work.

  6. Love these missions! I’ve been working on paperwork and a use-it-up challenge lately, and I’ve made great progress in both areas.

    Good luck this week, everyone!

  7. Today’s finish a project is craft papers etc. I’ve made about 30 gift tags and still have a lot of little bits and pieces to go.
    I’ve been on a use it up mission for some time now. I want to start early and use up the many bananas in the freezer. It won’t be hard as they are a base for smoothies and “ice cream”, will make banana bread, muffins etc and then take them into work and the neighbours.

    • My husband is in charge of using up the bananas in the freezer, and he is quite good at it. Smoothies are his decluttering method of choice when it comes to frozen bananas.

  8. Monday – unfinished project.
    I have a signature quilt top made from blocks I exchanged at my first retreat with internet buddies in 2006. I changed my mind so many times on what I want to use for the backing, and kept stalling. Well, today I decided to use something nice and soft from my stash and start work on it tomorrow.
    Tuesday – an unwise purchase.
    Did this one today, was the last tee in the shop in a wonderful colour. It was too big when I bought it last year, and still is. I kept trying to love wearing it, but didn’t.
    Into the donation bag it went.

    • I am glad to hear you are moving on getting that quilt finished. There is so much work that goes into the piecing together of a quilt it is a shame if it does’t get finished. So well done you! And yay for getting rid of the t-shirt. Clothes that don’t make you feel good are a drain, best to let them go.

  9. I actually think this week I may have some time to get something done.
    Mon–more scrapbook decluttering (the last of the cut paper)
    Tues–A blouse I don’t like
    Wed–We have an odds & ends drawer in the kitchen I think I have Mom convinced we can declutter.
    Thurs–I’m trying to work out a way to get all the insurance and tax papers either decluttered totally or put in an efile on Dropbox
    Fri–a lace tablecloth Mom has had since she got married at 19.
    Sat–I’ve already been working on this one with a toothpaste we want rid of

  10. I am Kondo-ising my paperwork this week. So that should cover most of the mini-missions I think. Have made good progress so far, 100 items already gone, from old uni assignments to recipe clippings to random notes to self etc etc. In the process I have unearthed a total of 16 notebooks/pads, most of which are half-used. I do go through quite a bit of notepaper so I am confident that by targeting the partly-used ones I will be able to use up a decent number before the move. Still, 16 notebooks is definitely too many. Nearly all of them I received as gifts, including two just two months ago – I groaned internally when I saw what I’d been given! Ah well. I will get through them eventually.

    • Hi Amelia, what is Kondo’s original advice on paperwork. I have read her book and don’t recall seeing anything there regarding paperwork that I or any other declutter advice giver hasn’t been saying for years. I do recall her saying how many Japanese women do courses these days and keep the papers involved in that to the point of having files full of them. I did find that kind of odd.

      • Well mostly my Kondo strategy is just following through with the apparent ‘only’ order to declutter – clothes, then books, then paper, komono, sentimental stuff. A lot of what she says has been said by others over the years anyway. But maybe it is just the way she has phrased it that has clicked with me.
        First, collect all papers in one place. Then, work from the basis that you will keep zero papers as none will bring you joy. Keep the absolute essential papers (eg tax, contracts) and any that need immediate attention. Once you’ve finished ditching, then put the kept papers in just a few folders, no over-categorising.
        This is working for me for a few reasons: at first, seeing all my papers in one place was confronting, but then when I realised that that was all of them, it seemed like something I could conquer, rather than having unknown papers skulking around in the shadows. Also, the focus on keep/ditch first, sort later is a good reminder, as every other time I get caught up in filing as I go and I never get through it all.
        Yes, I also found the many files from courses part a little unusual. But then, I guess my equivalent is having several display folders of magazine clippings collected over the years, organised by topic. But, I do review these regularly and find joy in using them as if they were reference books, so I think that is okay.

        • Hi Amelia, you are right about phrasing, I have found that myself when writing my own blog. I have said the same thing in so many different ways and suddenly it will click with readers that I know have read it before. It is all in the way you phrase it and gels with different people.

          And yes, getting all the like object together can put a defined size to the mission. This was something I deliberately avoided with my method of decluttering because I never wanted to make a mess larger than I could deal with in one sitting. Also my stuff was aways fairly well organised so I knew the extent of it without needing to unhouse it.

  11. I’m going to tackle the junk drawer a day early – a while ago I reduced it from a whole set of drawers to just half a drawer, but now I feel inspired to eradicate it entirely.

  12. My husband got rid of 2 almost never used lids to old trash bins… almost never used because they didn’t fit right… for years… Huh??? Why did I think we needed to keep trying them???

  13. I’m still thinking about Tuesday’s mission. Pretty sure all the unwise purchases are out of the house now.

    I was up early this morning and have already tidied up a drawer in the study. It took less than 10 minutes to recycle some magazines and do a bit of filing. While filing I got a jump start on tomorrows mission and shredded some receipts and other paperwork that is no longer needed.

    Have reread the comments for inspiration on an unwise purchase and nothing comes to mind which is a good thing. Will keep plodding along on the use it up mission. Pantry items, hand cream and body wash.

  14. I purchased four swivel kitchen chairs off Gumtree before Christmas last year. They were going to be extra chairs for the dining table. I packed two in the car yesterday afternoon to drop at the thrift shop, but they were all closed due to the Melbourne Cup. I mention them as I suppose they can be considered an unwise purchase.

    • I purchase cutlery from second hand stores when we have a party. It’s cheap as chips and usually good quality as it is retro or older. Give it a good soak in boiling water and then donate it back so I don’t have to store it. Works well as usually it is at least the same price as disposable or less and much easier to eat with than plastic cutlery. If catering for a large crowd, I get dinner plates and bowls as well. I can usually get white so although not matching, doesn’t look too mismatched either.

  15. Well we’ve been digging deep this week, and I’m thrilled to say it’s my husband who has initiated the work! (After many months of occasional gentle requests, see it is worth it!)

    In the garage he found a box file of very old financial papers for a club I belong to… I checked with the committee and it was agreed I could recycle them.

    Then he’s been tackling a nasty pile of boxes, some empty and recycled the empty ones. This morning I rehoused our artificial Christmas tree in the spare room cupboard, we tossed quite a lot of miscellaneous rubbish and we have a box of new light bulbs we don’t use any more that I will take to the Hospice garage sale tomorrow, and a roll of unused weed matting he’s going to offer to a friend tommorow who’s starting a new garden. And best of all he’s agreed we can dispose of the BBQ as we never use it, this has been bugging me for years as it’s under the drying rack I have in the garage. However he wants to sell it and I don’t think we have a hope. Anyway I’ll try!

    This all gives me such joy!

  16. I don’t have an actual “junk” drawer.
    What I do have is over 100 drawers of different types and sizes (furniture and non-furniture) in my house. I am willing to bet there is at least one piece of junk in every one of them LOL
    I just picked a random one to start with for today, the top drawer of my giant buffet.
    After decluttering, it now only contains 9 nice French glass plates. One large, and 8 small. Everything else is gone.

  17. Monday – unfinished project – I found some more old greeting cards to go through. I’m working on these along with our photos…a few at a time

    Tuesday – unwise purchase – George Foreman grill…bought many years ago, used once

    Wednesday – junk drawer if you have one – I decluttered a large kitchen cabinet over my ovens instead.

    Thursday – paperwork – I’ll plan to work on this at tax time…when I’ll be working in my files anyway. I decluttered a large kitchen cabinet over my frig instead

    Friday – something that was really useful in the past but hasn’t been used in a long time – 2 Le Creuset pots. I used to make French onion soup in these individual containers, but now we don’t eat bread.

    Saturday – Start a use it up challenge on something – 2 tubes of makeup; I’m also using up some laundry detergent (don’t like the smell) for cleaning inside of toilets, and using shampoo that I don’t like for cleaning inside of toilet

  18. I have so many hand creams etc to use up that I will donate the majority of unopened opened ones to a nursing home.
    I looked in the cupboard and decided I won’t be able to use them up in a decent time frame. Once I decide something is going, I want it gone quickly.

  19. Thats the way I am too Mich. I don’t like the use it up missions even though I know it saves.

  20. My apartment building has an area on each floor where people offer up household items they no longer want/need. Last night I put out my breadmaker, it works perfectly fine but I have rarely used it. It was gone within an hour 🙂