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 takes the guess work out of decluttering and makes it easy and “fun” for you to achieve some quick decluttering.

There is no theme behind the mini missions this week just some random ideas I am throwing out there. Enjoy the search.

Monday – Declutter a container of any sort. For example I am decluttering a basket today.

Tuesday – Declutter something you keep because it seems so useful yet you don’t really have a use for it.

Wednesday – Declutter something you have kept for sentimental reasons.

Thursday – Declutter something you have been considering decluttering for a long time but just haven’t. Until now!

Friday – Declutter something you didn’t use much. This item could represent guilt clutter or at best a waste of money.

Saturday – Declutter a totally personal item

Sunday – Suggest an item for someone else in your household to let go of. I am sure you can identify such an unused item. You may not succeed in convincing them to let go but the interaction is good practice.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This basket was given to me when I was first married if I remember correctly. I believe my daughter used it for Easter Bunny to put her first easter eggs in. I’ve carried it places and used it to store things in but nevertheless I have no real need for it now. Perhaps someone else will. It sure is sturdy.

A basket I have owned for 25 years

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Items that stand the test of time.

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

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  • Mini Mission Monday ~ Memorabilia Items 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 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. Colleen, I’m going to work on Sundays mission all week long. I can think of a million things to suggest people in my family get rid of. But, they probably won’t. It’s kind of discouraging when no one is as minimalist as me. In my husbands defense, he’s pretty minimal by nature, but where I actively look for things to get rid of, he doesn’t. The kids don’t have tons of stuff either but they could sure get rid of a lot more. Anyway, I’ll try!

    • Good for you Jennifer. You just never know, it’s like you said they aren’t as enthusiastic about it as you. If you ask though I am sure they will say they don’t want things they just don’t care enough o get rid of them. I generally don’t care if I have to do the physical side of the decluttering myself, I am just happy when the other members of the family are willing to let go. Good luck, I hope you enjoy success.

  2. I did tuesdays yesterday night. I am currently printing a huge amount of articles for research (I am a paper-pen-colours-person), and I ran out of paper yesterday night, because I forgot I was planning to print so much. So I sat there thinking: ok, saturday night, it takes until monday to buy paper. I can easily find something else to do. but then again, I can also find a huge amount of used paper in my stash that I could re use on the back. So I took out all my neatly sorted folders of my educational science study from 7 years ago. I found around 1000 pages to re print again, took the lined paper for scribbling aside and threw out all the rest. took me 20 minutes in total.

    While I always thought, I might “need” it one day for research, I was actually thinking about the value of the content, not so much the paper… But hey, here I am, having a lot of printing paper, 4 empty folders and a corner of my shelf that I didnt plan to declutter… I am very very very happy. Saving money, saving time (to go and buy), getting rid of all this precious science documents/already outdated research methods of a field I am not planning on getting into again… Feels amazing…

    • Hi Lena – for about 6 weeks now I have been meaning to go thru our 2 drawer filing cabinet as I’m sure there is a lot of useless stuff in there that can get dumped. What’s the bet that I end up not needing a filing cabinet after all!

      And good thinking re-using paper!

      • do it already. folders and papers are one of the easiest to declutter I find. because you either need the paper or you dont. so. decision making is easy… and it doesnt take time whatsoever.

    • Good for you Lena. You have not only got the printing done you needed doing, you have recycled, decluttered and saved yourself time and a few dollars as well. How good is that!! Suddenly what was on the paper wasn’t as valuable to the paper itself. That’s as good a reason as any to reuse it.

      • Everytime I declutter like this, I end up happier about the sudden space than about the fulfilled task that I managed.

        I found myself decluttering without thinking the other day. I found a old flower for my hair that was way beyond pretty. I trashed it without second thoughts. and just when I looked into the bin again, I wondered for a sec what the flower was doing in the trash… Dont worry, I left it there, but it shows that I am getting this into a normal habit. One day I will wake up and live in a place that is empty and easy and I wonder how all the stuff went out. 😉

  3. For Tuesday, perhaps I’ll lighten my collection of specific occasion/age/gender gift bags, wrapping paper and decorative tissue that have been sitting around forever waiting to be used. Then I’ll replace it all with one roll of colorful, gender neutral paper for children’s birthday party gifts. My kids always bring books as gifts anyhow (Yeah, yeah, the poor darlings have a teacher for a mom) which is easier to wrap in paper, unlike the odd-shapes toys that fit better in bags.

    Thanks for the motivation. 🙂

    • Great idea Melissa. You know, when I was a child I didn’t much like reading. Being one of four children (to begin with the 5th came a little later) we only had a birthday party with friends once every four years. Of the gifts I received at those parties I only remember two. One was a walking doll called Jenny that my friend Jenny gave me and the other was an Enid Blyton book ~ The Adventures Of Mr Pink-Whistle ~ which I read many times. So clearly books are a great gift even if the child isn’t much of a reader. I later had the joy of reading the same stories to my kids when they were young. I so loved reading to my kids so about the only material gift I am ever likely to give these days is a collection of Dr Seuss books when someone has their first baby.

      I wrote a blog post once about using up wrapping supplies since I don’t give gifts anymore. I used most of it inside out to wrap ebay sales and I donated a lot of the gift bags I had to the thrift shop.

  4. Well I have just down done all your mini-missions in one! I am a quilter and knitter and crocheter and over the years have made many bags. I use a lot of them but had plenty over. I was inspired by an article on Miss Minimalist where a lady gave away 26 quilts to her friends. So I took 15 bags to my knitting group and gave most of them away! I let them just help themselves and I also gave one to our waitress and one to a complete stranger and one to our local wool shop. It felt fantastic and I am getting a real thrill when my friends tell me what they are using them for.

  5. Ooh, I inadvertantly did most of these this afternoon – I got the urge to do small micro de-cluttering. I went radical on my spice shelf – I just chucked 90% of them away – I only use at most 5 and the others just sit there taking up space and going well out of date. So they’ve all gone. Washed containers in recycle bin. Felt great.
    Then I decided I wanted to declutter a set of 6 little drawers from our bedroom/our house so my challenge was could I rehome or chuck all of the contents. Yup. Either all rehomed (plasters etc in bathroom with ‘first aid kit’, old make up chucked etc). Definte proof for me that cute extra storages leads to keeping (uncute) clutter. That stuff was in the drawers and the drawers rarely got opened. Drawers in charity shop pile.
    I then tackled my earing ‘collection’ and all but 2 pairs are now in the charity shop bag. I will by one or two new pairs over the summer, but I have got rid of 14 pairs that I never wear anymore.
    Sigh…I love downsizing 🙂

    • Hi Katherine – thanks for the reminder that I have a spice collection somewhere up in the top of my pantry! All housed in one tupperware container. It was given to me as a wedding gift 19 years ago – I don’t bake (and when I do it is really poorly) but because it was all boxed up neatly and sitting up on the high shelf I had completely forgotten it was there. I’m sure 19 years on it is past its best by date. Yay! Another thing down.

      • Spices loose their aroma as time goes on. I buy spices in bulk if I need one for a recipe that I don’t use much. I may pay more per pound, but I like being able to just buy a teaspoon of something or whatever amount I need and not waste the money on a spice I don’t use regularly and it saves on space too. I try to rotate my spices every 6 months to keep them fresh.

        • That is a really good idea, thank you.

        • Oh how I wish we had a store that sold in bulk like that where I live! Instead I usually borrow from the neighbours anything I don’t use often. This doesn’t happen too frequently because I am a bit set in my ways when it comes to cooking.

    • Good job Katharine,
      decluttering jewellery keeps popping up, I think I should take that as a hint. I used to make jewellery a lot at one stage and I still do but much less. Now that I don’t go out to work I don’t wear the jewellery that often these days. I think it is time a let some of it go.

      You are so right about keeping storage containers. It is too easy to fill them back up again if they are still in the house. Best to get them out of there. It certainly is my motivation.

      • I keep a couple of storage containers on hand that I don’t need or want to put a meal in when we give a meal to someone we know in need. That way I can just tell them that they don’t need to return the containers and that way I don’t give up the dishes I use in the kitchen regularly and they aren’t subject to being lost.

        The only other thing I see as a plus with extra containers is if they keep you from using plastic storage bags. For example, we put extra garden produce in the containers and put them in the freezer instead of using Ziploc bags. We use them over and over each year and save the money and waste of plastic bags. I only keep a reasonable amount that we will use. I know that using plastic is a controversial subject right now, but I am not ready to move to all glass at this point.

        • Hi Spendwidemon, when I was talking about storage containers in this instance I was referring to large ones for storing big or numerous items in not containers for storing meals. I have several of those which I use all the time. Ones I have owned for years and in some cases have seen better days and can only be used at home because they are no longer leakproof. I also use them for storing meat scraps in the freezer until garbage day. I have reduced my garbage bag usage to 1 bag a week doing this rather than 2-3 like it once did.

    • Haha, I love your equation:
      Cute storage = uncute extra clutter!

  6. After 6 months of refusing to take part in my decluttering campaign yesterday my son brought out a laundry basket full of worn thru skate shoes to be got rid of and then he went thru his drawers and made a big pile of everything he doesn’t fit – which unfortunately was 97% of what he has……..

    One of his sister’s grabbed a couple of cool t-shirts to use as sleepwear, and I grabbed a worn twice sweatshirt to be my ‘blob-wear’, as just last Thursday I decided I really didn’t like what I had used for blob-wear for the last couple of years and got rid of it, and I really like the sweatshirt, in fact my daughter and I were having a bit of a tug of war over it. The rest will go to charity.

    This morning I notice that his soft drink can collection has been boxed up and moved to beside his door. I think it was last weekend or maybe during the week before that I was talking in general about the 100 things goal some people have taken up, and that caught his attention, so maybe he is taking that on board. He’s not materialistic to begin with, but not keen on change which I think has been the main obstacle.

    • “Blob wear”…I love it! Very well put.

    • Well good for him and good for you. If you mention decluttering often enough it soon catches on. Maybe not instantly with some but anytime is better than never. I pity you having a skateboarding son, those shoes and very expensive and last about four weeks before they wear them through the next pair. Not to mention the socks with the matching holes. My son is also a skateboarder. I will be getting him new shoes in Seattle of course because they are about half the price. I wish they would make them with Kevlar on the sides so they last longer. But oh no the manufacturers wouldn’t want that happening.

      • Yep they go thru a lot of shoes! Fortunately he has an arrangement whereby he does the filming for a sponsored team in return for shoes. Yes Kevlar would be a brilliant idea.

        • Your son and mine must be twins. Except that mine is more into still photography these days. It is what he is majoring in for his fine arts degree at uni. How old is your son, mine is 20.

  7. I discovered a new trick for getting someone else in the house to declutter something. My husband is great at decluttering, but yesterday when I was putting the clean laundry away, I could barely get his undershirts and underwear back in the drawer because it was so full. So I put the freshly laundered things on the bottom of the drawer and pulled out the older items and put them on top. When he was getting dressed, he pulled out an older pair of underwear and looked at me like “what the heck is this?” He threw them in the trash. Score one for me!

    • Well done Anita, he had obviously been happily avoiding those. Nothing like bringing it to their attention by putting in a place where it isn’t so easily ignored. And once it is in their hot little hand they might as well deal with it right there and then. I dare say there will be a little decluttering going on everyday this week at your house. 😉

    • That is a brilliant idea.

  8. My MIL kept my husband’s Easter basket from when he was a kid. It’s now our son’s Easter basket, which is pretty neat.

    I would like that sort of basket for my daughter! Too bad you’re in Australia. 🙁

    • It was a great basket. I remember when my daughter was about 4 years old. We put the shredded paper in the basket and put it on a tray-mobile in her room before bed. I read her the nightly bedtime stories and kissed her goodnight. Later i went back to check on her and found she had wheeled the tray-mobile out into the hall. I guess she didn’t want some giant bunny invading her bedroom in the middle of the night. 😆

  9. Thankyou for the new mini missions! Today, I’m getting rid of a plastic container for food.
    I’m slowly trying to get rid of most of the plastic around the house, especially in the kitchen. (I’m not really shovelling it all out, but if there is excess or near-duplicates, I’ll keep the non-plastic items and get rid of the plastic.)

    • Hi Sanna, I like that idea. I really ought to think about doing that too. I have got to a stage again now where I think there are things in the kitchen that can go. Some bowls, some plastic, some glasses etc.

  10. Colleen, I love the story about your daughter and the Easter bunny. My son did the same thing with the tooth fairy his first time, he put his tooth and a note out on the kitchen table instead on under his pillow! Kids are funny!

    • Years ago I was visiting family in Oz with my two daughters, and Dayna had a tooth fall out. She got very upset because the toothfairy wouldn’t find her (ie wouldn’t leave money), step-granddad tried to convince her that the tooth fairy would find her anywhere in the world, but she wasn’t fooled because Daddy is the toothfairy. That night, every adult in the house sneaked into the room and left money from the toothfairy as they didn’t want her to miss out, she netted about $12 for one tooth. Was very disappointed a month or so later when back at home and she was back to normal tooth fairy rates.

      • Ha ha Moni, that is always the risk one takes when the relatives step in. It is even worse if one child gets more than another. When my son’s first tooth fell out he said to me “There is no tooth fairly is there Mum and there’s no Santa either. I could have died on the spot he couldn’t have been older than eight. So much for his childhood. Of course I said, don’t you be saying such things to your sister. So what was the first thing the little rat did…

    • I agree kids are funny. My kids still love hearing stories about the funny things they got up to when they were little. I should write them down somewhere before I get too old to remember.

      • Colleen,

        You’ll have to write down all your quips on scratch paper because I do believe you de-cluttered the childhood journals! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        Of course you could buy a small blue and a pink notebook and write it all in there, give to the kids and voila! No clutter and you don’t have to worry about forgetting! 🙂 🙂 🙂

        • Hi Dizzy,
          I think it best if I do it digitally on the computer then I can just email updates to them as I remember things before I go completely senile. Serve them right if I didn’t though seeing as they are the ones sending me that way. Little cherubs! 😉

        • haha. someone is keeping track… amazing thinking dizzy 🙂


  1. […] 365 Less Things mini-mission for today is something totally personal.  What is more personal than an undergarment.  I cannot make myself […]