Mini Mission Monday ~ Too many of a good thing

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.

Some clutter items are just odd things we have no need for anymore while others we just have far too many of a similar thing. This week we will attempt to reduce clutter that we have too many of. See if you can declutter more than one of each of the following categories.

Monday – Books

Tuesday – Shoes

Wednesday – Dishes

Thursday – Handbags

Friday – Tools

Saturday – Knick-knacks

Sunday – Toys

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This guitar tab book was sold on ebay for my son. That is one more thing gone and a little extra cash in his pocket.

AC/DC Guitar Tabs Book

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Great service at a local Thai restaurant, I have never had the waitress spoon the rice in my plate before and not only that she returned to do it again when she noticed my plate was empty. Now that is service.

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. Yay, I’m ahead on this week then; we did a table top sale yesterday, mainly of books and sold maybe 6 (very disappointing) but then took 3 boxes full straight to the charity shop!

    • Hey Sarah,
      if you still have books left perhaps you can declutter a couple more. I declutter craft items every week and I still keep finding more I am willing to let go of.

      • I’m doing another sale next week and still have about 6 boxes earmarked for decluttering. Am going to try Amazon Trade in and if not, there is a new community library about to open nearby so am going to donate to them. There’re probably about 200 items at least that need to go! I put a few more in the pile today though!

        • Good for you Sarah. You must just about physically feel the weight lifting from your surroundings. I do like the idea of donating them to the new local library. It feels good to help your community.

  2. Was worried about Sunday for a bit as it is DD’s birthday so not a day I’d normally expect to *reduce* the toy level, but she is mainly getting money to pay for a swim with dolphins on holiday 🙂

  3. Wow – I actually have at least 1 of every suggested items for this weeks mini mission! Perfect!
    The husband & I were just discussing how we feel stuck in a holding pattern of sorts in obtaining a dream of ours & even though we have been declutering & lightening our load should we get the go ahead to relocate – we still have a lot of stuff we’d rather not drag along with us. So we decided to ramp up our decluttering efforts in order to have 1 less thing (literally & figuratively) standing in our way!
    Unfortunately for me that means more listing on eBay. Bleh

    • Good for you Jane, on all counts. I hope by the time the opportunity arrives to relocate you will be down to just the items you use or love. My husband is looking down the barrel of a possible relocation too at the moment but it is a good opportunity at a bad time so missing out or getting it will both be disappointing in one way or the other. We will leave this one in the lap of the Gods.

  4. I’m ahead of the game with these categories. I’m an avid reader but I only own one book, my Bible, which I’m keeping. The rest of my books I’ve gotten rid of years ago. I just use the library all the time now. I’ve also only got one handbag and three pair of shoes. I sound really extreme don’t I?! I’m still decluttering knick knacks though, I think I can do better. I have a pottery collection of about 50 pieces but it used to be around 300! So, I’ve come along way from that. It’s just like the onion, layer after layer. It’s exciting now that so much is gone when I finally find something else to get rid of. Anyway, day by day and thing by thing, I guess!

    • That’s right Jennifer L, day by day and thing by thing. I have more shoes and one extra handbag than you but I personally have no knick knacks at all. So we are all at different levels in different areas. That being said, if you love your knick knacks keep them. Decluttering doesn’t have to be about minimalism it is just about removing the unused and unloved items.

  5. ohhh, you got me right for tomorrow. I have two books I can easily let go of, this post was the last kick to do it. colleen, you can pat yourself on the shoulder for bringing me to declutter books. thanks.
    I already sorted out 3 pair of shoes last week, that counts for the next too 😉

    have a good week everyone!

    • Hi Lena,
      I might even have a look at our half shelf of books and see if there are any that I really don’t care about. I think most of them are hubbies so I may be wasting my time but I will look anyway.

      I am glad my blog has made you comfortable with the idea of letting go of excess books. Excess anything is just a burden taking up precious space.

      • you know, just as I read your post I realized that I do really have more space now. I dont cram my books together with force anymore, I dont have to pull out items in order to get out others, etc. I enjoy it so much, its really really nice. I am very very curious about the development of my decluttering.

        • Congratulations Lena, you understand the beauty of being decluttered. You are building your future on a solid foundation of early learned wisdom. Good for you!

  6. The Thai rice spooning is common in Sydney, glad it made it your way too!!

    I have a friend who is a unclutterer (she let it slip in front of us all that she’s aiming on the 100 things path!! which even I didn’t know about). Anyhow, dinner for 10 last night was a mish mash of glasses (red wine out of champagne glasses, but then at Congac time, there were proper glasses, crazy!), and speedy washing up to have bowls for dessert used for starters. There weren’t even enough chairs! We’re starting to joke they need a house warming (they’ve been there at least 6 months), so we can gift them just so we can come around!! But my friend is so ruthless at tossing, it might all be in vain!!

    • Hi Snosie,
      perhaps your friend is happy with the mish mash. She probably rarely has so many people over at once and enjoyed the game of miss matched stuff and mad scramble to retrieve enough bowls for the next course. Don’t go buying her anything or you will likely spoil her fun. It sounds like you enjoyed yourselves and were amused by the situation and that seems like more fun than if everything ran smoothly.

      Oh, and next time she invites you around just check to see if you need to bring your own chair. 😉

    • I have three particular families that we are very close to and are very comfortable together with, going back to our childhoods. Unless we feel like REALLY pushing out the boat and doing the full dinner routine, we have this thing just amongst ourselves so that we can maximise the time spent together (1 of the families live in another town). I found these paper plates (I can hear the gasps from here) that are not paper they are made from sugar cane and can go into the compost bin if you so wish. We eat, and then we gather the paper plates into the brazier (fancy fire holder that you have outside) and we use them to build the fire. No one is stuck in the kitchen. We all sit around the fire toasting marshmellows, its been a tradition going back to when all the kids were little, the paper plates started when my dishwasher broke down 2 years ago and we had already planned an evening, and it is amazing the conversations we can have the teens during this time.

      I think with the dark and fire and the marshies they feel safe to say whatever it is on their minds, have great teen/adult bonding. The joke amongst us at the end of the meal is “Right, (name) you’re on dishes duty” and that teen gets to build and light the fire.
      Yeah we could just use newspaper but I have a No Junk Mail letter box, and the mums enjoy the break from kitchen duty or supervising the kitchen duty. Oh BTW the dads cook on the BBQ, the teens supervise the little children and babies and the mums supervise the wine!

      • What a great story Moni. And anything that helps you bond with teenagers is a good thing they aren’t often open about what is going on in their lives or how they feel. And since the plates are made of sugar cane pulp that is only a byproduct of the refining process and the plates are biodegradable that isn’t so bad. I grew up in sugar cane country in Queensland by the way.

    • Another uncluttered dinner idea for company – very informal though – is to have a hamburger evening. One or two families supply the meat patties, someone else is down for the burger buns, someone else brings the lettuce, tomato, cucumber etc, someone is assigned the sliced cheese. I’m told Oz and NZ burgers are a bit different to the rest of the world, so bare with me – items such as beetroot slices, pineapple, eggs, avocado, bacon – also get divvied up. It is a very cheap way of entertaining a younger crowd, you don’t end up with tonnes of food left over, everyone knows exactly what to bring and for what numbers and minimal preparation. Eat off paper napkins or if you are recreating a Kiwiana event 🙂 out of a brown paper lunch bag.

    • Snosie this sounds like a perfect night out, maybe next time you all take your own bowls,plates, cutlery and chairs or cushion, she may just throw out the dining table! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  7. You must be psychic! I had a big campaign on the garage over the weekend, it isn’t complete by my standards but looking better than it did on Friday night.

    Anyway, have this pile in the corner that I couldn’t think of what to do with, and so told my hubby, we would leave them for now. There is a box of books that missed the last cull but unfortunately my favourite 2nd hand book sale charity fundraiser isn’t taking again until Aug. There is a pair of almost brand new sandels that my daughter doesn’t want (apparently they make her feet look big ???) and therefore she doesn’t want them in her newly decluttered wardrobe (too good to send to charity, too late in the season to put on Trademe). A box with a dinner set in that I’d forgotten about but wouldn’t want back in my kitchen (too chipped to give away).

    I discovered at the bottom of the storage cabinet a box of the girls ornaments (unicorns and the like) that I didn’t know what to do with at the time and still don’t know what to do with. A school bag that is perfectly fine but too immature for my girls. Plus an assortment of allan keys that belong to goodness knows what!?!

    It is obviously a sign that I am supposed to deal with these items and not just leave them there.

    • I think you are quite right Moni. It is time you dealt with that stuff. Decluttering isn’t decluttering unless you get the stuff out of there. And nothing is ever too good for charity what I think you meant was you would like to recoup your losses on those sandals because they got so little use.

      • Hi Colleen, well turns out a friend works with another charity that is seeking books for a yard sale and she wants them, and have found a friend who wants the sandles, dinnerset going to a young work mate who is leaving home, school bag going to the recycling for charity bins, the alan keys into the metal recycling bin here at work (he thinks most of them came with flat pack furniture for assembling) and as a reward I’m going to buy him a set that are on an O Ring so he won’t lose them.

        • Well done Moni, you have been busy. We have allen keys in a little flick knife kind of set up. They came in very handy yesterday when I replaced the brake light bulb in my car.

  8. My hubby is constantly losing tools all over the house, don’t know what happens to them as they don’t re-surface but every time he goes to get a screw driver or ???? we have to listen to him rant. I suspect they have made their way to my son’s car.

    I read once that the problem with tools in the house is that they get taken from (usually the garage) to where ever it is in the house that the job needs doing, and then they get seperated from the set. The idea is to keep it all in a toolkit or a bag and the whole darn lot gets taken to where he needs to work (ironically exactly how my hubby would do things when working Mon-Fri) so the tools go straight back in the tool kit and then returned to the garage.

    My husband and I looked for something that would fill this description for home – ironically most of such sets are marketed towards women and were pink! So now he is thinking of getting a toolbox or caddy and is working out exactly would he need in it, and is considering multi-use items, or hinged sets for small items so that he doesn’t lose one. It will probably take him some time to figure it out and will no doubt be a thing of DIY beauty by time he is finished.

    • Or perhaps a family discussion should take place concerning the problem with not putting these tools back after use. Sometimes the family members don’t realise the havoc they are causing by their laziness. Once brought to there attention in a calm and rational manner it can sometimes sink in better than ranting and raving when things are missing. What I am saying is, before resorting to buying more tool you don’t really need try to retrain everyone to put things back after use.

      • If I said these tools (or what is left of them) don’t actually have an official home, just wherever hubby leaves them……would that clue you in?

  9. Hi Colleen,

    Just finished up sorting the boxes into moveable bags after my clean through on the weekend for our ‘House Open’ day. I’m pleased to say yet again I am ahead of you, although I still think you sneak into my house for your posting ideas! 🙂

    Here’s what is leaving today:

    21 books (Library donation)
    3prs shoes (knackered and in the bin)
    3 odd plates, 2 bowls, 1 odd glass (charity shop)
    1 broken handbag, died on the weekend handle broke (bin)
    6 red Spotlight recycle bags weird size not really suitable for carrying anything (donated to charity shop)
    assorted allen keys 2 screwdrivers and a paint scraper (we have more than enough of these tools)
    small posy vase
    2 pictures (escaped the last cull but not this one!)
    1 bowl for whatever’s !!!???? (still can’t fathom why I have it)
    1 tealight holder (it’s mates have already gone this one missed the last cull but it’s off today!!)
    1 stuffed Stitches Bear
    1 Stitches Bear Ball
    2 Teddies (stuffed kind not the I’m made of the smallest amount of fabric kind hahaha although their day is iminent!!!)
    1 Scooby Doo bobble head
    1 Paddington Bear
    3 complete board games (no longer age appropriate) but loads of fun
    All of the toys donated to Charity Shop

    I feel so glad I was able to get rid of these ‘Few Items’ and only had to consign a few to landfill.

    Hope everyone else is ‘Keeping Up’ the de-cluttering 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Well done again Dizzy. Do you ever ask yourself are you ever going to be done. I do wonder about it at times but don’t concern myself over it. I just figure so long as no other potential clutter is taking its place I am on the right track and one day I will be done. I just enjoy the feeling that my house is slowing emptying.

      • Hi Colleen,

        I fear I may never be done LOL!! I just keep coming across things and thinking ‘WHAT THE!!’ I daresay one day I’ll be finished.

        I have a horrible feeling that I could find 100 things per day for 7 days and still find more 🙁 🙁 🙁 One thing that has kept me going is the fact that I am not dragging any crap to my new home! What goes with us will be what we really, need, love and want in that order. 🙂

  10. Hi All,

    Above Snosie mentioned a friend who is on the 100 things, has anyone else been this extreme? I personally think it is beyond me at the moment but I love the idea and anyone who can embrace it, way to go!

    I think I have 100 things just in a drawer hahahaha!! Is anyone out there thinking maybe they could do this? Could be a good post for 365!

    Have a lovely day I’m off to the Charity Shop to drop off my goodies 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • Is it throwing out 100 things a day or to just own 100 things?

      • It was a challenge DAave Bruno set for himself to reduce his personal possessions (not shared household items) to 100 things. I have included the link where I wrote a revue on the book.

        • Hi Colleen – it is strange but my brain for some reason would rather throw out 100 things a day than set a limit of 100. No good reason. I think 100 is probably a reasonable amount, but obviously I haven’t evolved yet to the next stage. I will get there. This is why I love this site! Keeps me moving forward.

          Last night my son reckoned he could live with 50 things including clothes. This morning he came out and said he could make it 30 things including clothes IF number 1 could be a big screen tv for his room……..wishful thinking! Anyway, as the only non-declutterer in the family this is a step forward.

          • My son would have 30 camera items given half the chance so no chance I am going to make a minimalist out of him. He isn’t bad at decluttering though and I often wake up to find a pile of stuff he has weeding out late at night.

    • for the far future I dream about my own camping van. I own a few clothes, a few tools, a few kitchen things and a few maps of the world. And then I go and live a functional and reduced life in terms of material, but I will be rich with experiences, adventures and wisdom (I believe that with age and minimalism you can only become a very smart person 😉 ) My daily decluttering is for sure helping there.

      And Moni, its reducing your stuff to a 100 things.

      • Does that include like kitchenware, table, chairs, or is just the items that are mine and mine alone in the house?

    • I think I have been down to 100 things I took with me two times in my life, when I first moved with only one suitcase. It was only for a limited amount of time though. (at the most 3 months)

      However, I think I can be down to 100 things quite easily (Just have to sell a few more books and get rid of a few clothes) if you don’t count kitchenware and other stuff that is needed in a household (many of the 100 things challengers don’t count things that are used by the whole family but only their exclusively personal belongings), however as I’m a bit of a sucker in exactly these household items (kitchenware, dishes, throw pillows etc.) I’m not sure whether that would be the right challenge for me.
      Maybe I should just try it for my own personal belongings, as I already think that it wouldn’t be so hard. It would be interesting to count all those things once…

      • I told this to my family about the 100 things, my son reckons he could 50 things easy including clothes.

    • Hi Dizzy,
      I think 100 things is a little extreme for me at least. I did write a book review on Dave Bruno’s book ~ The 100 thing challenge..

    • Given that he includes some ‘collections’ (socks, undies, books) as one item I definitely think I could do this, especially because shared items (such as kitchen tools and furniture) don’t count. I might be there already actually – I did count awhile ago out of curiosity and came out with like 120, about 10-15 of which are pure decoration and could easily go. I’m pretty good at culling the excess and am not very sentimental. Most of those would be wardrobe items to be honest.

      If that’s a viable idea for a guest post I’d be happy to do it.

  11. Colleen, those missions hit right home with me as well.
    Got rid of 4 books so far today.

  12. Hi all,

    I dropped off my goodies at the charity shop and I think I have burn marks on my hands. the lady took the stuff so fast I felt the scorch. Guess where I’m going again and again and again!

    As for the 100 Things, I looked around the Web and there are people out there with 100 things total! It has inspired me to go count my personal stuff, I’m intrigued to know what I have, not the boys (not yet) just me I’m going to make the time to go through and see exactly what I have! I reckon I have have at least another ‘What The’. Check out the Minimalists, Joshua (from memory) has 288 things!

    • Wow that blows me away. Is that 100 things in the house? Or per person? Does it include things like kitchen utensils?

      Wow, I really need to take this up a gear!

    • I think, counting would be a good idea. It made me pause when I first counted my clothes, as I took up the project333 challenge. I have a small wardrobe (the furniture is small, compared to other people), but still had 150 pieces (not including undies and socks) in there. I mean: 150! Even if you wear three combined every day, you will wear each item only 7 days a year! What a waste!

      • P.S.: it’s considerably less now…

      • I recently counted my wardrobe, that I had to reduce eventually with a significant lesser weight now. I own around 50 items. not very much, it all fits easily into the wardrobe and I dont have the big question of choice so often anymore. I LOVE it. I thought I would get rid of half and then replace it, but I only had to replace two bras. I am not a person who is interested in fashion, so I never really took the project 333 seriously, because I thought you have to have a sense for it, to choose what to wear. turns out, I can live less easily without a sense of fashion 😉

        • I found out when counting, that I own a ridiculous amount of tops. And that’s when all I wear is dresses, really. I wear knit dresses in winter and light summer dresses in summer. I don’t like trousers and I don’t like to think about which top matches which bottom.
          So, I really made a list of how many items of each category I need and try to reach that goal over time. It’s 56 (including shoes and formal wear, but excluding underwear, pajamas and socks).

        • Alleluia to that Lena. Living without a sense of fashion sure does same room and money.

          • I know. I am so happy I dont have to think about that stuff. But I pay for this lifestyle with unavoidable comments from others once in a while. “you are such a beautiful girl, you should really show it more often” (what they mean is make up, fancy dresses and uncomfortable things in general). my boyfriend started commenting on my (maybe not chic but very comfy) shoes lately. I told him, if he wants me to wear different things, he has to do the shopping and I can only try them on and say yes or no. I am open to any suggestions as long as I dont have to make the effort to it 😉

      • I’m really intrigued about this project 333 – how did you decide on which items to include in your 33? I know the answer is probably classics and mix and match items but its like my head doesn’t know where to begin. Maybe I need to pull everything out onto the bed and start from there.

        I have a number of clothes I want to put on trademe so could be a good opportunity. I’m down to about a quarter of what I used to have and I know I’m only using about a 1/3 of that. But wow, I never actually thought about just how few I could/should actually get down to.

        • Hi Moni! I just tried to “pack a suitcase” for a two weeks’ holiday in my hometown. Then I counted and went through it again, culling items that I already had near-duplicates in my selection. Actually, when I really started wearing only those 33 items, I realized that I still had packed far too many tops and could have included more different earrings instead (which I missed). For your first go you might also just do it for one month, you will notice that you won’t feel so baffled by the thought to stick to little clothing for a long time, when you have “been there done that” for one month already.

          • I pack for seven days not matter whether I am going for a week or two months. We find out where the closest laundering facilities are to where we are staying and make sure we wash about every four or five days. We find a couple of hours at the laundromat relaxing.

        • moni, why dont you go and read the website of the project 333, or something similar and then let us know if you managed to follow the rules, I always found it hard to really pick and choose, instead I want to declutter the stuff that I am honestly not wearing anymore. but I love the idea though.

          there is also a website somewhere with the “one dress protest” or so. a woman wore ONE dress for a year…

          • Hi Lena – I’m going to do it but won’t start until 1 April so I’ve got time to do a sort out. We’re on (probably) the last week of blue sky here, so a couple of outfits I want to trot out one last time, and then they’ll get packed away until December. There are also several items of clothing that I know I’m not going to wear again, so I’m going to put them on trademe at the same time. So who knows I make it down to 33 items without even trying!

          • please let us know how you are doing with it!

  13. Thanks for the push. It convinced me to send 4 more books out into the world. I’m already thinking about shoes as I have been buying some this month and letting some go. I’m thinking the snow boots that rarely get used in Atlanta LOL.

  14. Auch, I am embarrased to say that I don’t think I will be able to pair my stuff down to a hundred things. We hope to be moving soon though and I hope to be down to 100 moving boxes for a two person (soon to be three) household. might have to check on the items on the mini mission list though, I think there must be a pair of boots hiding somewhere that I was supposed to sell on the internet.

    I’m really supprised by the fact that some of you can donate books to a library. I don’t think they want anything but the latest titles in librarys where I live.