Mini Mission Monday ~ Verbs

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.

My goodness, it’s Monday again. How do they manage to come around so quickly. And since I mentioned the word “do” I think that will be my theme for the week. Decluttering by verbs. I will name an action and you will find something relating to that action to declutter. So lets get started.

Monday – Drinking ~ Declutter something that has anything to do with drinking. Don’t ask me why that was the first thing to pop into my head. 😉

Tuesday – Playing ~ I am sure you can use your imagination and have a little fun coming up with an item to declutter from this category. CDs, toys, games, old records…

Wednesday – Cleaning ~ Declutter something related to cleaning. Be that be to do with cleaning objects, spaces or even yourself.

Thursday – Wearing ~ This could be clothes related, jewellery, accessories, perfume or makeup.

Friday – Cooking ~ Even I managed to found something to declutter under this category this weekend. I am always looking for ways to create space in the kitchen. I decluttered an espresso pot.

Saturday – Looking ~ This one could be a little tricky so I’l give you some clues. Search for an object to declutter that you either look through, look at or watch. Photos, DVD’s, books, magazines, glasses (for vision or sun)…, you get the idea.

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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About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Hum! I think you have hit some good ideas here Colleen. I have a few things I can do in most of these catagories now that the major move is over. More things Mom has decided she doesn’t want.

    • Hi Deb, you must be run off your feel trying to get rid of all the stuff your mom keeps getting rid of lately. Has there been any “I told you so” remarks yet? Even if they are said I bet you are thinking it at times. Never mind, better late than never.

      • Colleen, I’m not run off my feet right now because I just wait until she has a box of stuff then when I am over there anyway I pick it up. I bring it home and give it to the lady who cleans the house so she can take it home and put it in the church trailer where they are gathering stuff for the church yard sale. Easy peasy. Grin.

  2. I have Monday & Thursday covered, will have to do some search & seek for the other days.
    Drinking…I have cut down from a cola daily to just 2 a week. My goal is just to have one occasionally. I won’t ask what prompted this category Colleen. Lol
    Something to wear, found a jacket that I put on & always end up taking off. I think I’ve kept it because it cost a lot.
    Another great post!

    • “…what prompted this category.” I think I was having a wine at the time and thought “Wine is like my craft supplies. Just when I manage to declutter some I acquire more and I have to use it up again.” Fortunately there is a bottle shop right across the street from out apartment so the wine generally only comes in two bottles at a time. And they disappear pretty quickly too. The craft supplies, well that is a whole other story. Especially at the moment as I just haven’t got my mojo back yet when it comes to being creative. I might just end up decluttering some supplies to the thrift shop soon as there are some that have just been lingering for too long.

  3. I am on a bit of a roll with my decluttering at the moment, my friends are a bit baffled that there can still be stuff coming out of my house but time moves on and things move past their ‘useful’ date.
    When I get home from work tonight I will begin my ‘verb hunting’

  4. Hi Colleen,

    I’m going to claim one for Saturday – LOOKING: Our younger daughter got married today. There were beautiful candle thingies in glasses being offered to the guests. I did not take one!!! I took a program, which can be stored flat (It’s only a single sheet of paper) and a bouquet from the table.

    Thursday – I finally got rid of those slippery slippers (they wouldn’t stay on!)

    Friday – Before the wedding, I asked my best friend if she would like our old retro sugar bowl and she accepted! She also took several empty prescription containers for the seeds her sister collects. Yippee!

    This is a fun set of missions. I will try to find something for the other days 🙂

    • Congratulation on the marriage in the family. They are always a fun yet stressful occasion. And well done you only keep a couple of keepsakes.
      Those slippers sound like they belong under last week’s category. Well done giving them the heave ho.
      And listen to how excited you are about getting rid of a couple of little things. Good for you. It doesn’t matter how small the decluttering, it always feels good.

  5. Idgy of the North

    Fun missions, Colleen. The weather is turning a bit warmer and it was above 0C today. Really felt in the mood to sort through things.

    Drinking – 50 weeks ago, I cleaned our glass wear cupboard Mentioned to spouse that we had way too many wine, champagne and appertif glasses given how little we entertain and that I very rarely drink. He felt we had enough as “someday” we may need them. Reminded him we can rent glass wear for a party place if needed. We made a deal – I would put the glasses that I though we actually use/need on the main shelf of the cupboard. The extras would occupy the upper shelf. If we ever needed a glass other than the 4 white/4 red wine glasses, it was to moved down to the main shelf. Whatever was left over after a year could go. With 2 weeks to go, not a single glass has been moved to the main shelf. Am looking forward to donating 1-2 boxes of fragile stuff.

    Playing – the youngest just grew out of his ice skates. The skates and helmets are going to used sporting good store.

    Cleaning – old pumice stone. Just too old and I wonder what’s growing in it after all those years.

    Wearing – due to growth spurts with both kids, we have a lot of outgrown and worn out clothing on its way way out

    Cooking. – strainer, tea ball and tool to help drain pots (that didn’t really work) are going out.

    Looking – helped eldest clean out school bag. A nice pile of paper for recycling came out.

    • Well done with the glassware Idgy, I did the same with a big pile of plastics today. Stuck them up in the top kitchen pantry shelf. Don’t expect I will retrieve any but we’ll soon see. I actually didn’t look like much once I stacked it all together but it sure took up a lot space in the more shallow self it was all spread out in.
      And well done with all your other missions.

  6. Verb missions – excellent!
    I called in at my parents old house early this morning and removed another car load of stuff from the “sewing room” (actually the “room for shoving stuff in”) to go through. For such a tiny room, there sure is a lot of stuff in there. While I was there, my son and I added several more bags of things to the garbage and recycling bins.

    Drinking – trashed a lot of of chipped old glassware. Set aside some bottles of old sparkling wine for my son and his mates to dispose of (open one and see if drinkable, use for drain cleaner if not LOL) Repeat until wine is gone.

    Playing – trashed some really old toys and games, which had they been cared for properly might have been valuable once. (They weren’t – broken, parts missing, just junk really)

    Cleaning – nothing in that category yet, although there is a cupboard in their laundry full of probably dangerous old cleaners. My son will look into correct disposal of all of those and take care of them.

    Wearing – trashed my mothers box of “mending”, which was mostly full of old underwear with perished elastic (ewww!) and a “new” package of elastic with them, the wrong sort for underwear anyway, also perished.

    Cooking – a pile of glossy cookbooks was boxed and put aside for the Save the Children guy to come pick up for their regular sale. We haven’t called him yet, as there is a massive stack of old sheet music to sort through, and he will pick that up at the same time.

    Looking – several pairs of old glasses were found, frame styles dating back to the 1950s. I brought these home to give to the local optometrist for recycling. Also, kind of in the looking category, I found an old “box brownie” camera, made of Bakelite, which I will give to my history loving work colleague. He will adore it.

    For the rest of the week I will gradually take care of the car load of bags I brought home to go through, mostly paperwork and photos, craft stuff, embroidered linens etc.

  7. Another nice one, Colleen. I especially like today’s. Do I get brownie points – for decluttering and doing a good deed – if I rescue some wine trapped in a bottle?

    • Nicole V – Freedom Fighters unite!

    • Colleen Madsen

      You are too funny Nicole. You only get those brownie points if you have no intentions of acquiring more captured wine.

      • No can do, Colleen. I happen to agree with Julia Child who said: “I enjoy cooking with wine, sometimes I even put it in the food I’m cooking.”

  8. Hi Colleen,

    I can’t make these items fit any of the categories, no matter how ridiculously creative I try to be… We will be liberating ourselves from the broken bottom of a storage container (the lid disappeared), the broken lid to a separate storage container (we use the bottom part to store our paper products), and an offcut piece of carpet that always gets in the way (how are these items still in our home???) xo

    • Colleen Madsen

      Sounds like they could fit with last week’s missions Peggy. Well done getting rid of next to useless items and making your space better.

  9. Hi again,

    I washed up a bunch of dishes that my daughter didn’t want, dried, & packed them, dropped them at Goodwill. I kept a few things (a platter, a couple bowls) to decide about later because I always liked the dish pattern. They do have an expiration date though 🙂

  10. Hi! I’m still here, still reading! And still in Wellington. I wound up getting a job, actually. I love the city. (I am planning to travel round more of New Zealand, make no mistake, just not right now.)

    And another thing I’m still doing is decluttering. I really thought I’d finished when I left England! Actually, I think I have something for most of these categories.
    Drinking – I don’t drink alcohol or soda; aside from water all I have is tea, and I’ll fight to the death before I give that up 😀 Also hot chocolate, but I’ll “declutter” that by drinking it… Only other thing I have is coffee I’ll never drink, but I’m keeping it for a good friend who’s coming back in a few weeks. So nothing to declutter here.
    Playing – CD I’m never going to listen to.
    Cleaning – Hmmm… I actually just acquired *more* cleaning stuff in the form of reusable rags, which at least will stop me buying as many disposables? Nothing really going out the door though.
    Wearing – One pair of uncomfortable walking boots, one pair of “nice” boots that are so cheap they fell apart in a month, and one worn-out pair of work shoes, replaced by one expensive pair of boots that’ll last forever, and one new pair of work shoes. Total: One pair of shoes less.
    Cooking – One sieve and one measuring cup, as I’m now living in a hostel with a kitchen that is actually well-stocked.
    Looking – hmmmm… I guess a guidebook that turned out useless for me, so I donated it to the free books shelf?

    • Colleen Madsen

      Well done Niriel, I am surprised you have anything to declutter but then I let go of some things when I was in Germany too. Things I brought knowing I may not bring them back but it all counts. And I am glad to here you are buying reusable cleaning cloths rather than using disposable ones. So much better for the environment.

  11. Hi Colleen,
    I don’t usually do the missions but I’m going to have a go this week:
    Monday – The one insulated coffee mug that went in the garage sale box has been replaced by two new ones that fit in my car better (the others went long ago). I did finish up a box of tea I used to like but won’t buy again. I’m going to attack the rest of my less-than-favorite teas and drink, toss or give away.
    Saturday – I am giving myself bonus points for 7 glass sliding doors that we have hauled around and stored for years. We had planned to turn them into a greenhouse but we used only one and built a cold frame instead. A nice man has just come and taken them away. Happy happy day.

    • Colleen Madsen

      Wow Wendy I can only imagine how good you must feel about getting rid of those glass doors. That is one big declutter. Good for you!

  12. Hi Colleen – DRINKING – I have 3 partial boxes of tea that are less than favorite. They will be hitching a ride to work with me 🙂

    • Colleen Madsen

      Hi Peggy, while doing some rearranging to facilitate a trial separation from some plasticware I also found some green tea in the cupboard that I didn’t even know was there. I have already began using it up. I wish I’d known about it a week or so ago when I bought some more green tea for a concoction that I encountered recently that I wanted to recreate for myself at home. Never mind it will get used up now and I had almost used up the new stuff I had purchased anyway. The bonus was the I also found a protein mix that I had been wanting to declutter for ages but “wasn’t allowed”. As it turned out it had passed its used by date over a year ago. Not sure why I hadn’t noticed that. However it is finally gone.

  13. Hello. It’s been quite a long time I haven’t left a comment. I was wondering if anyone knew where/how I could recycle old/broken power cords (I now live in the UK).

    • Hi Cindy I.,

      I don’t know the answer but maybe you could call an electrician and ask? 🙂

      • Colleen Madsen

        Metal merchants love them in Australia. When the local councils have kerbside pick up day the metal merchants go around before the council truck and cut all the cords of broken electrical appliance out for pick up. Must be something in it for them or they wouldn’t do it.

  14. Another set of fun missions Colleen! You made me laugh with your drinking comment 🙂

    So far this week I have:
    Drinking – I got given a heap of mini boxes of tea, and I am making a real effort to start using these up before they become some strange sort of ornament. Some I like, some not so much – I am experimenting with brewing times, temperatures, even considering whether I can use some in cooking!
    Playing – I have been trying my game collection (PC etc) as I can only play one at a time of course, so having a collection of them irks me a bit. Well, so far… at least half a dozen hours have disappeared during my ‘assessments’… 😀 (Well if I end up enjoying them all I guess I can definitely say they’re not clutter!)
    Cleaning – one of the multitude bottles of cleaning fluids I inherited with this apartment is almost used up! It won’t need to be replaced as there are many more varieties still to get used up over time.
    Wearing – I sorted through my collection of all the buttons I get with new clothes (I do mend as required so keeping some buttons is ok!) – 20 buttons now gone as I can’t match them to any item I still have.
    Looking – I went on a blitz of any stray pieces of paper, and found a few old ID cards as well.

    Still Cooking to find! 🙂

    Also I didn’t quite get all my unpacking done as planned yet. I still have one box of items left to unpack and assess. I am feeling a little better today after nearly two weeks of having a nasty virus. So that delayed my end of month ‘unpack it or it’s out’ plan. But by managing to do a little bit at a time I have collected up another bag of donations. That makes three! 🙂

    • Hi, Amelia. Sorry to hear that you haven’t been well, I hope you recover fully real soon – I’m amazed you were still able to declutter! Regarding the tea, could you use some as potpourri or make drawer sachets or eye pillows? Do you have any plants in your new place? Tea leaves are full of nutrients for acid-loving plants. If you have any jasmine tea (green tea would work as well), you could poach fish with it – it’s light, healthy and easy to digest, especially when you’re feeling under the weather. Tea can also be used to deodorise the fridge. 🙂

      • Thank you Nicole. Well I get quite a buzz from decluttering, so being stuck in the house for over a week, there wasn’t a lot to look forward to beyond watching the midday movie (lol) and clearing out some more pesky items! And they were all little or sedentary-friendly projects, good to get a sense of achievement from but not by over-taxing myself.

        Those are some fantastic ideas for using tea!!! I almost slapped myself for not thinking of pot pourri – they are all herbal teas and one of them is just rosebuds! Beautiful to look at. I will definitely put some of your ideas to use! Also I saw that my work has a little area in the kitchen ‘Free please help yourself’ – an ongoing rotation so far of mismatched coffee filters, bags of lemons, partly tried perfumes – am thinking I could make someone’s day (or multiple someones!) and leave some unopened teas there. I am also considering making preserves, and whether some of these teas would play well with those.

        • I took two teas to work… Within an hour someone had pounced on them! Hooray! 😀

          Also I identified two games that can be donated. And the remaining ones have reminded me that I don’t need to go buy any entertainment items for quite a while! Very happy all round.

        • LOL, Amelia! Yup, that ‘Free, please help yourself’ spot in the office pantry is of great help when you want to give stuff away … someone almost always wants something you don’t.

  15. I’ve been emptying the freezer.
    It’s been several weeks now… I have not gone grocery shopping, just gone by for basics.
    Over a month ago I realised that we had SO MUCH food in the freezer that I could no longer fit anything else.
    Every other day I pick one of the many frozen zip lock bags or containers and put a meal or snack together.
    Last night it was a papaya smoothie. Little did I know I had frozen papaya, cashew fruit, bananas, soursop…

    • Colleen Madsen

      Hi Lorena, this is a smart move. And in future, if I were you, I would not store so much. For the simple reason that should you loose power for significant amount of time or your freezer should break down you will lost all the food that you have spent your hard earned money on. I keep very little in my freezer ever and I have never gone hungry.

  16. Hi Colleen,

    I don’t know why, but I’m fired up for decluttering today!!! I poured out several dated items from the pantry, found more saucers to wash & donate, found a used mailer that I was saving in case I didn’t like the item that came in it (I do like), routed some stuff that might belong to my married daughter to ask her about, tossed pantyhose from attic (they used to be used for Christmas stockings in my bad old cluttery days), tossed Easter “grass” because I keep thinking about how much I hate finding it everywhere. Got rid of some honey that refused to come out of its container. Emptied a small amount of “therapeutic” shampoo & recycled the container.

    I retrieved the box for my beloved Christmas string of lights… and inside was a replacement light for the one that wasn’t working! It really didn’t look like it could be fixed because the light looks like a flat plug. The replacement isn’t the right color but at least it lights up now 🙂

    I had to buy a new washer recently and I am so loving it! It doesn’t have a big agitator in the middle like my old one. I just realized that I used to wrestle with that thing! So I am getting all my laundry done today, even the stuff (rugs) that I’ve been putting off washing. Yippee!!!

    We have a nice warm day finally, so I’m opening windows and decluttering the stale winters’ air 🙂

  17. Colleen, these were interesting mini missions and fit right in with my projects. Thought I’d better comment now because the week is almost over!

    DRINKING — have put 2 sets of glasses into my yard sale collection in the garage. Also am donating a valuable teacup, saucer, and dessert plate to my friends charity this weekend.

    PLAYING —-the last of my old VHS tapes going to the thrift store. I still have a player and occasionally find something at the thrift store I think I’d like to watch. I never have time, though.
    Only have about 5 but they are leaving.

    CLEANING—-I have removed three pieces of antiques I won’t have to dust anymore. They will be going into my antique yard sale. There’s more to come, too.

    WEARING —–will be returning one pr of pants to the thrift store that I bought there and didn’t fit hubby.

    COOKING—not per se, but removed several items from the kitchen!

    LOOKING—donating antique watches to same friend this weekend for her charity, and today am taking a beautiful set of Encyclopedia Britannicas to the recycle dumpsters because no one wants to LOOK at those books anymore, and no thrift store wants them. The Internet has won out!

    Have a great upcoming weekend everyone!

  18. Ok think I have most of missions for the week
    Tue-playing. Ok, this is a stretch, 4 Melanie plates & 4 bowls. Either they could count for playing with food on plate or being used on patio. Lol
    Wed-cleaning. Box of packaged stain removal sheets
    Fri-cooking. A stock pot & lid, sauce pan & lid
    Sat-looking. Small stack of magazines that I received from neighbor & finished reading.
    Another great week, still surprising that I keep finding stuff to get rid of. Guess it’s an ongoing process.