Mini Mission Monday – Too much of a good thing

I am sure we all have multiples of certain items cluttering up our home. Items that a certain number of would suffice but we have several more than necessary. It occurred to me last week that I have a set of everyday glasses in my kitchen cabinet. This set has four sizes one of which never gets used. So why am I keeping them? What amazed me also was – that they have been staring me in the face for the last 14 months and I hadn’t even noticed this excess. That got me thinking about what else is lurking around my home that has escaped my notice. I am sure you also have items like this and my mission this week is to help you find them. So lets get started.

Monday – Take a look in a kitchen cabinet and see what you can find. The kitchen is a classic place where we stock more than we need of many items, like my glasses.
Tuesday -Do you have more pairs of reading glasses and Sunglasses than you need or even wear. Perhaps you still have reading glasses that are not even strong enough for your eyes and more.
Wednesday – We all know the bathroom cabinet is a collection point for excess toiletry products. Pick one product that you have too many varieties of and concentrate on using up one bottle/jar at a time until you reduce the quantity. These products do deteriorate over time so best not to let them sit there going off.
Thursday – Do you have any recipe books that you haven’t looked in for some time. With the endless availability of recipes on the Internet there is no need to have these cluttering up your kitchen cupboards or bookcases.
Friday – One of the first places I decluttered was my utensils drawer. How often do we buy a new utensil because the old one really isn’t performing optimally any more. We keep the old one “just in case” but only ever use the new one. It’s time to get rid of that old one. Let’s face it we can manage without any so we really don’t need a back up.
Saturday – The linen closet is another place where we tend to have more of some items that we could possibly need. I remember a time when I had about fifty facecloths (the result of my grandma-in-law being an avid crocheter). Personally I prefer to approach this from a natural declutter angle because things wear out and these items will get used eventually. However you may have a linen closet bulging at the seem and really need to free up some space.
Sunday – We can’t do a “too much of a good thing” mini mission without out including the Tupperware collection. I know I have sent you to this area over and over again but I know I keep finding more and more of these to declutter and I imagine you can too. So have another look, you may be surprised.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

This mini skateboard park was a toy once enjoyed by my son.

Things that made me happy, made me laugh, made me feel grateful, fascinated me or I thought were just plain awesome.

  • Sitting writing my blog while my foot is resting against my husbands foot in a silent natural embrace.
  • Swinging open the doors in the morning and letting the fresh air into the house.
  • Shutting the doors and turning on the air-con when the temperature passes 35ºC – What can I say I’m adaptable.
  • Having a BBQ at the neighbours – I love socialising and I love it when someone else cooks for me. Win Win!
  • The new Club chocolate with cashews and cherries.

It was very remiss of me to forget to put a link the The Cat’s Meow blog on Saturday. I have since rectified that but because it was a bit after the event I would like to add it here again today. I hope you will go and check out her blog. Just click on the banner below.

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. Great mini missions! I have been working on my kitchen this week and I discovered that just by shuffling things around a little I was able to free up a lot of space. I realised that I had never really thought about the way I had organized my stuff in the kitchen. When I moved in years ago, I just put things randomly in the drawers and never questioned whether the system really worked. It didn’t and I’m amazed at how long it took me to realise that.

    I rarely buy magazines anymore, but for some reason I decided to buy a decorating magazine on Friday. One of the articles had this sentence: “Keep open shelves looking neat by storing clutter in baskets and boxes.” What?!?! It made me want to write to the editor and ask if by any chance they meant to write: “Keep open shelves looking nice by getting rid of the clutter.” 😀

    • Hi Anne,
      we certainly keep a lot of stuff in our kitchens and I must have reorganised mine about a dozen times over the last few years. The less things I have in it the more efficient the organising is becoming.
      “Store your clutter in baskets and boxes” advice like that is why I don’t talk much about organisation. Although there is always going to things that need to be stored one would hope that they are useful things.

  2. Hmmm. Since my decluttering, I already having used up 16 full size items I’m so proud of it! Also, decluttering has gone good this week, was a lot home this week so I could get rid of a lot of things.

    • Hi Nurchamiel,
      I am glad you had a good declutter week. There is something very satisfying about using things up aside from just the freeing up of space.

  3. You are so spot on Colleen. I am training myself to look at every ‘thing’ I own with fresh eyes. It’s amazing how much I have never thought to question. I’m almost frightening myself with how ruthless I am becoming,lol.
    I am making a major kitchen gaget purchase this week which will take up a lot of counter space so I am yet again, reassessing what I am using in the kitchen, or rather not using, so it can go. And I definitely have a spare pair of old specs that need to go to the donation box in our local opticians. And I have just got rid of 5 spare pillow cases, so we have exactly one set of bedding on and one in the wash. Ditto towels.
    I love logging in here:O)

    • Hi Katharine,
      I was also surprised at how quickly I became ruthless with my stuff especially the “sentimental” things. As is often the case there was more obligation involved than sentiment so it wasn’t that hard once i recognised the difference.
      I was forced to buy a new kitchen item last week myself after my stick blender died of old age. I agonised far too much over making the right decision on which one to buy but that is OK. I can see me decluttering half of the attachments that came with it though.

  4. I found a sample-size bottle of years-old French toner in my bathroom cabinet. I don’t actually use toner, but I found that it is GREAT for cleaning the shelves in the cabinet of all the makeup marks!

    • Hi Loretta,
      now that is thinking outside the box. Well done. I wonder if the cologne sample I just put in the donation box would do the same thing. ❓

  5. Thanks for the great ideas! I have been doing something similar to Wednesday’s mission for a few weeks now. It is so easy to end up with more lotions and gels than you realized you had. Like Loretta, I’ve also been using some shower gels that I have grown tired of (or didn’t like as much when I got them home) to clean the bathroom. They work well and I was happier putting them to use then just throwing them away.

    • Hi Melissa,
      you can also use those shower gels as liquid hand soap. I have just been using up bubble bath this way. I am getting a little tired of waiting for all the excess bottles of lotion to run out though.

  6. You’ve hit a nerve: my kitchen cupboard is overflowing! I’m a novice potter, so I have bowls of every size and shape, some slightly wonky, some nice, some carved, some handmade by potters whose work I admire, etc. I’ve adopted out many to friends, but I still have more, and am still in the process of learning and improving. Unfortunately (in this case), hubby is not clumsy enough to break them at the same rate at which I make them. I’d love to get your thoughts on this.

    As for your excess lotion, could you donate it to a women’s or homeless shelter? I’m sure they’d be happy to have it. Or you could share with a local pottery studio. Lots of dry hands there!

    • Hi jennifer,
      Ah, crafters clutter, that one comes up quite often. We take up crafts without any outlet as to how to get rid of the excess items we make that we can’t possible sensibly accomodate ourselves. Like your suggestion for my lotions I would consider donating your excess pots. While you are still refining your skills it might pay to put holes into the bottom of every other pot and make them into planter pots the you can put plants in them and give them as gifts.
      I think I will take your advice though and give away some of my lotions even though there is only three bottle I am just tired of them cluttering up my bathroom cabinet.

      • I think I’ve found an outlet for my handmade bowls! I decided to offer one as a giveaway on my blog for a 100 post celebration, and people have been interested enough that I could probably give away a lot more.

  7. I just donated all but two sets of yarn. The other is actually a WPI.
    And then all of a sudden I got the urge to knit since for a long time! And the morale of the story is that I think I freed up some creative energy by releasing that last box of my yarn stash (it was all my best yarn)- knowing it went to immigrant women to knit for their kids at the receiving center felt like a good reason to give them up. And then yesterday I started knitting a set of a hat, cardigan and pants out of blue alpaca yarn for DD.. And from now on I will only buy for a specific project, and not buy more until the previous project is finished, AND donate all the leftovers. I now understand that I don’t like to have a “stash” at all.

    • Hi Cat’s Meow,
      I didn’t even mention craft supply excess when I wrote this weeks mini missions but it seems to be the first thing on peoples’ minds when it come to a title like “Too much of a good thing.” I am not sure why I didn’t think of this because craft supplies are my biggest clutter issue which I am working on but only on a “use it up” basis. I am starting to think though that I may want to speed things up a little bit. I am glad though that you have your knitting supplies under control and your future plans in this area are sensible. I like that you donated your excess to charity, I think that makes it easier to part with.

  8. Soap and bath gel – We’re still working on using it up since the LAST Use It Up Challenge. I poured the left-over Mr. Bubble into the kitchen soap dispenser, but I shouldn’t have told Dan; he complains that it doesn’t cut grease. Since we don’t wash dishes by hand, and he rarely (never) cooks, I’m not sure why he’s complaining, but he is. A lesson learned: no more Mr. Bubble in the kitchen sink dispenser. (Since there won’t be any more Mr. Bubble in the house, I’m not sure how valuable this lesson is.)

    • Hi Cindy,
      I don’t know if you have ever heard the expression “What he doesn’t know won’t hurt him” well I would go with that in the future and not tell him. I would almost guarantee he won’t notice if he doesn’t know in advance that there was a change. I am actually going to have to buy some liquid soap soon as I am starting to run out and have no substitutes left. Yay!

  9. Still “using up” from the last challenge too. I used the dregs from 4 laundry detergent bottles and 2 bottles of hand lotion, and recycled all the containers. I get so frustrated at pump bottles whose intake tube thingeys don’t reach far enough down into the bottle. There must have been a good inch of lotion in the bottoms of those things that wouldn’t pump. Oh my . . . if that’s my worst problem I’m very lucky . . . (she said, suddenly thinking of those in Japan and Haiti and Africa and . . .)


  1. […] De-cluttering One Day At a Time – Colleen of is all about getting rid of clutter. She recently posted a “Mini Mission” giving ideas on where to look to find items you have multiples of.  Parting with unique tings can be tough at first but getting rid of redundant items is a great way to start assessing the clutter in your life. […]