Mini Mission Monday ~ What…

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.

This comment from Kimberley last week inspired this week’s mini missions. You will have to use your imagination with these missions though. Just read the questions ~ they are more like exclamations really ~ and see what you can find to match them in your home. Even after all this time I am sure I will still be able to find some matches. Have fun with it. I am looking forward to hearing about your finds and the funny stories behind them.

Monday -  “What was I thinking when I purchased this?”

Tuesday - What was the person thinking when they gifted me this?

Wednesday – At what point in my live did this fit/suit me?

ThursdayThis drawer is going to explode if I don’t get rid of some of what is in here.

Friday – At what point did I find this attractive? (Spouses are exempt from this mission)

SaturdayWhat makes me think I need so many of these?

SundayWhat is this thing even used for?

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

I know what I was thinking when I purchased this. I was thinking “Wouldn’t this be handy to take lasagne or something to a pot luck dinner and it is at a clearance price so why not buy it?” I’ll tell you why I shouldn’t have, because I have never used it in 5+ years. I did consider ditching one of my old well seasoned pans and keeping this one but the lid is useless to me and takes up so much space and just throwing it in the garbage seemed such a waste. I decided that my old pans work perfectly well and someone might find this one (in tact) more useful than I did. It didn’t even make it to the shelf at the thrift store before one of the staff purchased it.

Covered Baking Dish

Something I Am Grateful For Today

Just feeling content. Contentment is highly underrated. It is kind of the lesser relation of excitement, achievement or success but I happen to think that you don’t need those other things to be content and I am happy with that.

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. I really enjoy seeing the photos and hearing the stories of these items that are decluttered one by one. It feels surprising to me that there are still so many items after all the time the blog has been up & you’ve been decluttering–yet I know exactly the same thing would be true in my home! I have been thinking this week about how much easier it is to (want to) declutter someone else’s possessions, which don’t have the same emotional tug. My new goal for myself is not even to mention items belonging to my family before I can honestly say I’ve gone as far as I can with my own journey right now (but who knows, maybe they will be inspired in the process!). That leaves me with clothing, books, jewelry and knick-knacks as the next declutter categories. Well, papers may be an exception to the self-only rule–family file cabinets fit in the weekly mini-mission category of drawers that don’t want to close.

    • I am constantly surprised with the fact that I still have stuff to declutter too Mama Minou. The manager at the thrift store where I volunteer and donate says I was a hoarder before I started decluttering. She would be forgiven for thinking so but it is just amazing how much stuff one can hide inside the storage spaces of one’s home. And I don’t even have a very big home, not by Australian standards anyway. I am glad to say those storage spaces are only sparsely populated these days nevertheless there is still plenty of scope for decluttering yet.

      • I think we are moving along in our pace now and we may get to a point where my mom may wonder what to do with one closet in her bedroom. Wouldn’t that be a nice dilemma? I think I will suggest we put shelves in there and bring the Christmas stuff in from the shed, decluttering as we bring it in. Then the shed can be gone through and used little. Since it is attached we can’t get rid of it but we can certainly have little in there. If the Christmas stuff is in the house it will be “on her mind” and thus maybe that will shrink a good bit too. HehHeh!!

        • smart way. having things on display really does make you want to throw them out already.
          I actually like to have everything I own at hand. I think I mentioned already the “one hand technique”. I feel absolutely and the most comfortable if I can open, grab, and close with one hand, and nothing is falling around me anymore. That implies that I need to make everything super accessible and enough space to push something “out of the way” in order to be flexible enough. and while my bedroom and the wardrobe are actually already one hand accessible, I have a little storage space behind a curtain that really needs a proper rearrangement, because everytime I grab something I have to catch something else. drives me crazy.

  2. I too enjoy seeing the pictures and reading the explanations. I had one of these that I never used. It was a gift from one of my bridal showers for the wedding that never happened (Thank God). The giver wouldn’t take it back. When Mom and I became housemates she was all excited for the same reason–potlucks. But she never used it. It got decluttered when we were preparing to move here. Still hadn’t been used after 16 years.

  3. I have a similar covered dish (two actually, Pyrex with plastic lids) They are great, seeing I don’t have cling wrap, I just make a meal, and the leftovers go in the fridge with the lid. I can also fit a whole batch of brownies for work in their too, so it goes to work. But when I was buying the nested set of two, I did worry if I’d use them, thankfully I have!

    Thanks for your inspiration, I my early morning shoe putting on haze, I sat their thinking, what else can I think of to declutter – and by some strange miracle, it struck me – the extra pair of wet weather pants in the work car. This is astounding seeing I would hardly be what you call ‘functional’ at this point in my day!

    • If I am not mistaken those Pyrex lids are flat though, this lid took up an inordinate amount of room.

      Clever thinking on a hazy head Snosie. Just imagine how many more things you could come up with on your way to work.

  4. Hmmm…..I always have a read of the daily posting while I eat my breakfast but don’t comment until I get to work, just too busy hauling kids out of bed. Usually I know straight away what my week’s mini missions will be, but these are a bit more challenging………

    A lot of these sort of things were the first to go, but there must be something still lurking around……

    Two of the days I knew right away – watch this space for Tuesday – I have a beaut! (Or for Dizzy: bonza!)

    • I am glad my blog is so high on your priority list Moni even if you don’t comment until you get to work. I am looking forward to your item for tomorrow it sound intriguing and perhaps a little amusing I am guessing.

      • Hi Colleen – even my hubby says ‘what does Colleen want us to get rid of today?’ and usually follows it up with something funny like “a few kids perhaps?”

        Tomorrow – oh yes, it was a “What the….??!!” right from the get go.

  5. I have to share my story , definately first world problems! Friday the 18th I was heading to the Tafe to pick up my youngest son. I had a couple of bags of stuff to donate, but got to the store too late, so I headed on to the Tafe. As I crossed the last intersection I noticed a small black car speeding through, it was too late to stop and he hit me side on. I was so glad that neither of us required medical attention! His car required towing, mine had dent in it, but all I needed was a change of tyre to keep driving. The smash repairers believe my car will be written off as repairs exceed insurance value. I have considered not having a car as the ultimate declutter item! Would be very liberating! I eventually got to donate the goods, some of them were my daughters clothing as well. (Finally she is decluttering in her own way!) There was a pair of black platform style shoes in the car, the only thought I had when I saw them, was I wonder why she does not wear these any more? Oh well, out they went. I have since discovered they were not my daughters, but they belonged to my son’s girlfriend , who wanted to wear them on Saturday night! No, they are not at the thrift shop, I checked. I am so hoping that a new pair are on sale somewhere.
    Yes Colleen , i love being content. Such a delightful state of mind. Cheers

    • Hi Wendy,
      I am so sorry to hear about your accident. Any accident can be very nerve shattering no matter how minor the damage. I hope you are ok. It is a wonder panel beaters have any business these days with the amount of cars that just get written off after a relatively minor ding.
      What day did you make it to the thrift store. I remember some platform black shoes coming in on Wednesday last week. There were other shoes, all in boxes including a green pair, but this pair was not boxed and I did notice they were in very good condition. That wasn’t you was it? I wish you had introduced yourself if it was I would love to meet you. I sincerely hope I have the wrong person though because I sent one of the boys out to help this lady bring in her stuff which he did but then I turned around and noticed the lady back at the counter having lugged in two more heavy bags of stuff. My first thoughts were why wasn’t she being helped. If it was you I am sorry and we will do better next time.

      • I think it could have been Wednesday , memory is not my strong point at the moment. I dropped them off out the back. Somehow I had it in my mind you worked Tuesdays so did not come in and say Hi, plus they have a sign that says Staff Only, so I respect that. Maybe they need a door bell that I could press to alert staff that some one is dropping stuff off out the back? Will definately come and say Hello to you when I get some wheels! Might kidnap you for a coffee at Suspension Expresso! Do you get a break? Cheers

        • Hi Wendy,
          I am always up for a coffee so come in the front next time and ask for the crazy redhead chick if I’m not at the counter I am sure everyone will know who you mean. I am usually there between 11am and 2pm. I will be having a month off from the 21 of June though so come in before then.

    • Hi Wendy – am glad to hear you and your son ok. Major awkward about your son’s girlfriend’s shoes. But on the upside she’ll never leave things lying around again I bet.

      • Thanks Moni! Fortunately she is a good sport and will only guilt trip me for a short while about it. ;). Actually have some shoes my daughter did decide to declutter, I wonder if she would be interested in those……..cheers

    • Hey Wendy,
      Oh Man where’s a Golf Ball when you need one, could of flung it at the dingbat, & yell that’s from Dizzy and Don’t Speed! So glad you’re both ok, blows about your car and as for the shoes, if she’s leaving them around maybe she has too many!!! 🙂 I wish you a healthy, Happy week 🙂 🙂 🙂

    • oh how bad. I really hope you survived this with no major shock. I witnessed one yesterday as a man crashed with his bycicle into a car, because he went through standing cars and could be seen. Thank god nothing happend to him, but I could see his shock. and his broken wheel.

      I laughed at the shoe story though. for the future you will probably make sure that all other people that dont necessarily belong to your household are also considered, when you declutter another bag off to the thrift store.

  6. Monday – “What was I thinking when I purchased this?” –> polka dot bikini in brown and white. makes me look fat, but its the only one I have. Thanks for giving me the little push, as I wont need it in the near future, I can get rid of it, and I will keep my eyes open for replacement.

    Tuesday – What was the person thinking when they gifted me this? –> first thing that came to mind – the raclette thing I got from my family for christmas. I dont know how to tell them that I would love to sell it though. maybe I find a solution for this item until christmas again 😉
    second thing: ex boyfriend bought scents for those water/oil lamps for me. Really. What was he thinking?!? I am never using those, and we even had a conversation that I didnt like it. pah. men. Out they go.

    Wednesday – At what point in my live did this fit/suit me? –> maybe the bikini should have gone here. But I think I still have a hat at my mums place that I got for the graduation party. will research this when I visit her again.
    others that came to mind: jewellery. I will have a look into that on wednesday.

    Thursday -This drawer is going to explode if I don’t get rid of some of what is in here. –> To-do-drawer of uni related paperwork.

    Friday – At what point did I find this attractive? (Spouses are exempt from this mission) –> white nail polish. really. that could also fall under: what was I thinking?

    Saturday – What makes me think I need so many of these? –> I am currently cutting down on knickers, socks, tupperware, CDs, DVDs, and books. this mini mission will be covered by one of those items this week for sure.

    Sunday – What is this thing even used for? –> I will check out my electronics department, there must be something that is not clearly identificable. if that doesnt work, I check out the poor toolbox.

    • Hi Lena – my daughter will cry when she hears you are throwing out white nail polish. So hard to get here. My daughters paint their nails and then draw pictures on with a contrasting colour(s) and have become quite clever with it. Personally I can’t paint on nail polish without getting it everywhere. Anyway, white is one of the key colours they use and its so hard to get a good one that covers well.

      Thank you for reminding about aromotherapy thingees. I currently use mine to store my rings and watch at the end of the day and the little box of oils is sitting up in my wardrobe. Have been meaning to put on trademe or give away but it has been a lower priority in the War Against Clutter.

      • War against Clutter! Love it!

      • Hey Moni,
        Get your girls to buy a French Manicure White, brilliant for what they are doing and you seal the artwork with the smash-proof top coat. That’s what I used when I used to paint my nails, now I de-clutter them regularly by snapping them off when doing the laundry!!!
        Also check out the cheap bins in Priceline, always have white in an obscure brand, and black and green!!!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • your daughter couldnt use that. I check yesterday evening. the thing is so old. If I remember correctly it was a freebie on a women magazine once. Now I cant recall AT ALL, when I bought the last women magazine. must have been 7 years or more… I shake my head in disbelief, my personal war on clutter is sometimes turning into amusement about my choices so far. HOW COULD I – read this magazine – be happy about freebies – collect greasy nail polish for more than 7 years – think it was pretty – etc. its endless.

    • Sounds like you have this week’s mission all wrapped up Lena. Well done. I had to look up raclette in the dictionary and that does sound like an interesting choice of Christmas gift. It is the sort of thing you would think someone would have to express in interest in before buying them one as a gift but apparently that didn’t happen in your case. I think I would be inclined to sell it if there is no way you are going to use it. If anyone asks after it just tell them you found didn’t have a use for it and sold it. Perhaps they will be wiser with their gift giving next time. I am sure my family would understand if I did that.

      • I’m so glad I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know what a raclette was! Ironically I have a friend who is Swiss and a chef and he has never mentioned such a food idea. I imagine it is a bit more classy that cheese on toast that I specialise in……

      • I have to say, I really had a shock last christmas. my brother called me before christmas and asked me, if it was ok to not gift at all between us, and I sad yes, great way to not concern about this. I gave them nothing for christmas, just as they asked for… And they gave me this thing in return. What the hell were they thinking?!? I mean really, they ask me to not get presents, and although I had already a list of items I wished for – like every year, so that I actually get what I need, they got me a raclette. I still dont get it. well. Next time we gather, I will ask them, if they might like it themself, because maybe they gave me this thing, because they liked it too. This time I will make sure to be heard. If they say no presents, they get no presents. And if they give me something, that I didnt ask for, I have to be strong, tell them that I dont want it, and shrug it off, because I know there will be accusations of me being not be appreciative enough…

        I didnt know that raclette is something european. its only used when socially gathered, just like Ideealistin described. Now what they gave me is a smaller version for max of 4 people. so it is quite cute and not too big, but still, I just dont use it, and I really dont plan to use it…
        I dont know who of my friends would like such a thing as well. I am with Ideealistin on the lending and borrowing items. I do that with neighbours (like borrowing big tools) and friends. Just last week, I invited people over to eat the first asparagus this season and I realized 20 minutes before, that my biggest pot was too small. so I called my friend who is just living 3 minutes by bike, got his huge pot, had the dinner, made jam the next day and brought it back with a glass of my super great home made marmelade. he was were happy and I didnt have to store this monster. yay.

        • Hi Lena,

          I hope your brother has a sense of humour, because I have a suggestion. This Christmas make sure he agrees with the no present thing, for real….then, you give HIM the ‘raclette’ all wrapped up in pretty Christmas paper. That would be hilarious (to me). I do have a rather different sense of humour, though!!! 🙂
          I still don’t know what a ‘raclette’ is.

          • lol. I was considering that. but I really think they would take it as an offence. I think. maybe they actually wouldnt. I will definitely think about this a bit more. you know its a bit complicated: All of what they understand of my decluttering is that “all of a sudden she is so picky about stuff and space”. I think I should say the word minimalism more often. they might take the hint then. They often made fun of me because I have such a different lifestyle, but I am so naive in the end, if I really think that this would make a difference. so at one point I just stopped talking about sustainability and environmental issues, about our economy and my understanding of it… it got a sensible topic for me. So I dont know if I can just return this specific item to them, without further explanation. Because as soon as I start explaining I need to defend myself. and thats not worth the hassle.
            A raclette is a something like a mini grill. While you can put little pans underneath, filled with all sorts of stuff, like potatoes or veggies, on top is a hot stone that you can grill meat or seafood or fish on. its placed in the middle of the table and everybody uses it, just like a fondue. its very common to have raclette at new years eve or other social gatherings… just google it and you get pictures. 😉

          • false friends: the sensible topic should say sensitive topic. why do we have the same words if they mean the opposite?

          • Ha ha Sue D, I like this idea. Your brother doesn’t need to know that it is the exact same raclette that he gave you. Let him think that you liked the one he gave you so much that you are giving him one in return. Goodness knows you have been left guessing why they gave you one, so fair is fair.

        • Be brave Lena and do as you say, offer it back to them. Who cares if they make a few judgements as to your appreciation. Family are usually forgiving in the end and perhaps they will also think more carefully the next time gift giving comes around.

          I love that you borrow between friends it is a great way for everyone to get use out of an object without it becoming clutter for anyone. I do this with my neighbour two doors down and with a good friend of mine. Perhaps some people think I am a freeloader but I don’t care because sometimes I think they own and buy too much. So we are even.

          • oh you bet I will make sure that this year I get what I want… With my brirthday coming up I will send out an invitation with clear instructions of gift giving. like if you really have to give me something, make it a cake or drinks, or flowers, or a voucher for a massage, or a bottle of expensive rum, or a nice invitation for dinner, or whatever. just no items for my home.
            I will offer the raclette back. talking about this today with you guys made me realize how afraid I am, although I really dont know how they might take it. so the only way to find out if my fear is right, is to find out how they react.

    • Raclette! It’s a great group food (or group feed ;-)) but otherwise never used. I casually mentioned that mine has only been used once and was only gathering dust (boxed up though) in the attic. My sister was delighted to take it! (I am happy that I bought it second hand, practically unused, so it was not much of a waste of money). I think this would work with friends, too. Thus you could even borrow it back if the occasion arose. We do that with big pots or other special, seldomly used items, too, that we lend and/or borrow – though I would love to do it even more. Wouldn’t it be great if whole neighbourhoods could get themselves arranged so that not everyone would have to store stuff like extra chairs/dishes for occasional parties, lawnmowers etc. …?!

      • haha, dont do that with lawnmowers. My mum used to lend out hers to her neighbours. and they killed it more than 3 times, and then were not even quick in getting it fixed. it drove her mad. I dont get it, when you borrow something from someone and you break it, you make sure the person is getting the item back in good shape as soon as possible, right? I dont want people to think I am rude and reckless with their stuff.

      • I love that idea of a neighbourhood that shares stuff. One of my readers once said that the apartment complex they lived in had a community storage room to which they all had access when items were stored that they could share. There was a register that they filled out when the borrowed things so the group would know at all times where the items were. What a wonderful idea that was.

  7. A set of red chargers for our dinner plates. Seemed like a good idea at the time since we use lauhala and bamboo chargers daily in lieu of a tablecloth or placemats. I imagined how festive they would look during Christmas, Valentines Day & 4th of July. Silly me. What was I thinking?
    We live in Hawaii. Tropical works here everyday of the year. They have been in my “serving tray” cabinet for two years. Off they are going to our donation station that serves the “Big Brothers, Big Sister’s” organization.