Mini Mission Monday ~ Tiny stuff decluttering

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.

Sometimes we overlook the tiny stuff when decluttering because it isn’t going to have a big and immediate impact on reclaiming space, but every little thing counts. So this week we are going to declutter some tiny stuff.

Monday – Do you have more stationery than you are likely to need in a lifetime. I did once, until I saw sense and whittled it down. Today declutter excess pens, paperclips, drawing pins, staples or the like. Donate them to a local school, everything they don’t have to pay for is a bonus to them.

Tuesday – I have a lot of pairs of earrings because I can make them myself. I am going to sort through them today and find some I don’t really wear and donate them to charity. Why don’t you do the same.

Wednesday – Nuts, bolts, screws and other small hardware items tend to build up around our house so we declutter them periodically. Why not check your supplies today and declutter the excess.

Thursday – Hair clips and hairbands have a habit of wearing out but then just get picked past instead of discarded. How about going through your hair grooming items today and sort the wheat from the chaff.

Friday – The children’s toy box often has tiny bits and pieces left behind when bigger items have been declutter or broken little toys that are overlooked. Declutter those today.

Saturday – Do you have a place where you amass recipe clippings that you quite often never get around to using. Purge them to the recycling bin today. Scan them first if it makes you feel better. There is an endless supply of this type of aspirational clutter out there so if what you collect hasn’t been used in a couple of months just declutter it.

Sunday – There is often a drawer or basket in homes that accumulate tiny misplaced items that belong elsewhere in the house. Hairbands, lego parts, rubberbands, twist ties, displaced buttons and pretty much anything mentioned above. If you have such a collection point now would be a good day to relocate and declutter the contents.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

Now here is an example of little clutter that has a tendency to build up over time. We keep them “just in case” but really how many of the same thing does one need, even just in case. Hubby has purged these after reading that article about $20 or 20 minutes from The Minimalist blog last week. Even though I don’t believe in purging stuff with the intent to replace it if necessary I also see no point in being over cautious with supplies. Especially since I see lots of these particular items coming through he thrift store all the time.

Small Clutter

Something I Am Grateful For Today

We had a nice night out last night with friends. What could be better than spending time with people whose company you enjoy combined with a meal you didn’t have to cook or clean up after.

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. Justin Case? Lovely bloke, hangs round our flat a bit too much. Well, his stuff does. 🙂

  2. Do you have a short aerial cable? :p I decluttered our short ones, keeping the mammoth one (which is useful), just not from the wall to the TV in it’s current position. It’ll do for you.

    I have a hair bow that I love, but it’s out thanks to your reminder (and lack of use)

  3. I totally agree with your “Something I am grateful for today” statement, in so many ways!
    A commercial area becomes vibrant and alive with street Cafes and great restaurants. I don’t have a beach or harbour view at my place , so if the guests are from out of town , they get to see the beautiful town I live in. Employment is created and generated when we utilize eateries. There are many social benefits in meeting up for coffee or a meal . For me it has been a relearning experience. I used to consider the cost and feelings of guilt by purchasing coffee or eating out. Oh how things have changed! I enjoy my daily trip to the coffee shop which has some amazing simple meals which have re-educated my taste buds and seeing the familiar faces of fellow coffee addicts. I would finally like to share this statement I found on Pinterest.
    – It is not the happy people that are thankful, it is the thankful people that are happy.

    • Hi Wendy,
      we don’t buy much that clutters up our home but we sure do like a good coffee or a nice meal out. I deliberately don’t buy one of those great coffee machines for home because then I would have no reason to go out. It is my way of keeping the economy afloat without adding clutter to my home. I have an entertainment book, don’t know if you have heard of them. It is full of coupons for buy one get one free and other discounts at local eateries and amusement places and accommodation. It costs $60 a year but we have used approx $210 worth of coupons out of ours in the last six months.

      I like that thankful saying. I have heard it somewhere else just recently.

      • I too love that thankful saying. I only feel guilt now about the coffee when I get the disposable cup! I have a plastic “Keep Cup” which is just like the take away ones, and when I used my downstairs cafe, I use it. When I go elsewhere, I feel so sinful!

      • Wow Colleen. Our Entertainment Book cost $25 for the first one, and just $20 for the second. Although US and AUS dollars seem to trade for at about the same rate, things seem to cost a lot more in AUS.

        • So are so right about that Cindy. Because coupons aren’t the norm over here like they are in the US I suppose they can get away with charging more for the book. Also your 300,000,000 v our 25,000,000 population makes competition much fiercer over there so your companies have to stay competitive. Do you use your book a lot.

  4. Yes, even the tiny things can give me a feeling of freedom
    and space. In other words, if they’re not being used & loved,
    they, too, are clutter.

    I was looking through my jewelry box just by chance today & then I
    see your mini mission for Tuesday involves just this area. I have a
    question. Having discovered several pair of earrings I no longer am
    interested in keeping, and which I would like to pass along — is there
    a way to polish or untarnish the metals? Some are probably silver,
    others not too sure of.

    • I used to use Steradent Denture powder to clean my gold and silver jewellery. I believe you can use baking soda and boinling water in an aluminium foil lined dish to clean silver. There are also silver cleaning clothes. I think those Mr Muscle Magic erasers would work too then buff with a dry microfibre cloth. Try googling for some information and pick what sound the best for you. Be very careful around pearls though.

  5. This weekly missions are very helpful, I just joined your website starting today. How liberating 🙂

    • Hi Sandra, thanking you for dropping in to introduce yourself and may I extend to you a very warm welcome to 365 Less Things. I hope you find all the inspiration you need here to get your clutter under control. All it takes is one thing a day and to stop the inflow and you will be on your way to the freedom of an uncluttered home.

  6. Had to smile at the stationery job for today – yesterday I took down the Christmas tree, “lost” a very few more ornaments, then went through the Christmas cards I hadn’t used – some have been in the box for years – and put aside quite a number, with envelopes, that I’ll never use (just “not us”), for the hospice shop. Then I went through a number of Christmas letters from over many years, from friends/family who have died, or lost contact (guilt clutter and nostalgia clutter), read them one last time (or several not), and put them out for shredding. The Christmas box is quite a bit lighter, and so are my “shoulders” (guilt load).

    • Thank you Ann. Why is it that I could work out what you were quietly trying to tell me here and yet I couldn’t see the mistake when I wrote it. The sad part is that I sold stationery for years and yet I spell it wrong every time I write it.

      Nice bit of Christmas/nostalgia/guilt/kept it too long decluttering there. Well done Ann!

      • No Colleen,
        I wasn’t trying to correct your spelling; that is simply a part of you, and I enjoy you as you are! But I couldn’t misspell it in my own use – that would be insulting.
        A clue on its spelling: stationAry is “stAnding”, but
        stationEry is lEtters.

        • And here is was thinking I was so clever reading your hidden message. I actually do appreciate people pointing out my mistakes so I can go back in and fix them. I appreciate your little spelling tip though. The problem is most of my mistakes aren’t because I can’t spell something correctly it is just the I am in such a hurry to churn out my posts that something gets lost between my brain and my fingers and then once it’s written I just don’t see the mistake. I keep promising I will get ahead so I have more time to think about what I am writing but I get about a week ahead and then erode my lead away trying to get other stuff done. Oh well, life is busy and interesting, and fun and my readers are forgiving so c’est la vie. 😉

  7. It is good to clean up the little stuff because you are aware of what you have and won’t buy more even if it is on sale because you know you have enough. I read an article that talked about how the gap between going out and making dinner yourself is narrowing. When we go out, a lot of times our leftovers are enough for another meal. Depending on where you go and how much you spend, it really is nice just get ditch the dishes and cooking to spend uninterrupted time with those you care about and it isn’t too much more. Sometimes we will split a meal, or go somewhere that is having a special. We don’t do it too often, but enjoy it when we do.

    • Hi Spendwisemom, I often split meals even with friends. There is usually too much for one anyway. My kids used to get annoyed with me when they were younger because I would let them order what they wanted and I would just eat their leftovers. They have always been small eaters and I was happy to eat what they had ordered. I think they thought I was missing out. Now my daughter is 22 and a little wiser she sometimes offers to share if we eat out when she is visiting because she knows she won’t get through it all and if we still feel like we have room when we are done we will share dessert.

  8. Hello! “Tiny stuff de-cluttering” is just what I needed. I am very organized and reduce clutter all the time, but “tiny” things elude me! All my tiny things are labeled and in containers (lol) I would love it if you could focus on this a while…name all the tiny things and what do you ask/tell yourself to reduce “the stash.” Help me know how many is too many and why not keep and store them if I have the space? I think my view definitely comes from raised in scarcity—but things aren’t scarce now. Thanks for your blog.

    • Hi Coonie and a warm warm welcome to 365 Less Things. Thank you for introducing yourself by leaving a comment. Read this post from The Minimalists if you didn’t catch it on my Friday Favourites last week. Even though I am not one for decluttering only to replace stuff later I have found that this rarely ever happens (the replacing that is) and is worth the risk for the space you liberate. However I will write the idea that you have mentioned in a post draft and see if I come up with something.