Mini Mission Monday

Welcome to the first Mini Mission Monday at 365lessthings. Since I have already given you a list of mini missions to work on this week I have decided to give you one mission to think about while you are carrying our you those other tasks.

Your mission is to find something in your house that you no longer really want/use but something is holding you back from getting rid of it. I am sure you all have something that will come to mind immediately. There are several reasons that cause us to keep avoiding these items…

  1. Something that you want to sell rather than give away but you haven’t done anything about it.
  2. An item that you aren’t too sure about how to dispose of responsibly.
  3. Items that requires a series of tasks in order for you to part with them happily like digitising papers for instance. This will require sorting, copying, saving and shredding.
  4. Someone else’s sentimental value.
  5. A family heirloom that is more of a looming object.
  6. Perhaps something that is big and cumbersome that you need to have collected rather than drop off.
  7. It might be one of those “I may need it some day” items that you know you really don’t want taking up space but can’t bring yourself to part with it.
  8. Maybe your troubling item is a set of tools required for a hobby that you no longer do but the old “I spent good money on this” monster keeps making you cling to them.
  9. Maybe it is something from your childhood that you are clinging to for all the wrong reasons.

I want you to give some serious thought to this item and come up with an action plan. This might require some soul searching if this item has some psychological attachment for you. You may need to weigh up what is more important to you, the item itself or being free of its grasp on you. You may not be ready to part with this item yet but if it came to mind there must be something about it that troubles you to have it around.

Write down your thoughts about the item and ask a friend or family member to give you guidance about it. A third party can sometimes be more rational about things because of the history attached to us.

My item is going to be my trophy collection. My intention is to photograph them, remove the plaques and put it all together in a scrapbook page or two. I also intend to go to the trophy shop not far from my home and see if they have a suggestion as to how to dispose of them. I would like to think that they may be able to use the parts or know of some organisation like a drama society who might be able to use them as props. I have put this off for months now but the day of reckoning is nigh. As you can see this involves both the #2 and #3 degrees of difficulty mentioned above.

Well good luck and don’t forget you can always ask the community here at 365lessthings for our opinion, we are always happy to help.

Today’s Declutter Item

Another pair of shoes, mine this time. Every time I wear them I feel a rather uncomfortable lump under my right foot. Like yesterday’s pair I will donate them to charity and hope they are more suited to someone else. They are a cute pair of shoes after all.


Things I am grateful for today

  • A lovely long walk at the beach – The weather was closing in but that just made it more interesting.
  • Crafting – I have been doing quite a bit of that lately and I am enjoying it.
  • The weather being a little cooler today and now there is a thunder storm rumbling in the not to o far away. I love thunder storms.
  • Getting some good post ideas from some comments I received today.
  • Taking time to stop and smell the roses – and having a neighbour who doesn’t mind you stealing them while he is away.

It matters not how fast I go, I hurry faster when I’m slow.

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Continue reading with these posts:

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  • Positive attitude to decluttering Here is a great comment from Kimberley that I didn't want anyone to miss... "Selling vs. Donating….. When we acquire an item, there was an obvious need for us to do so, real or […]
  • On the subject of craft again As anyone who has been reading here for a while knows, I have decluttered a lot of craft stuff over the last four years. My goodness, it actually has been more than four years now that I […]
About Colleen Madsen

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


  1. Do you have Special Olympics in your area? We donated my husband’s trophies to them. They happily reuse them!

    Does eating all the chocolates in the box and then recycling the box count? I’m not sure if consuming them in one day is disposing of them responsibly, but let’s overlook that little fact.

    • Hi Willow,
      I will check out that Special Olympics idea, thank you for the tip.

      And no I think those chocolates were just an indulgence and not worthy of credit in the use it up portion of your mini mission challenge. 😆 I think that just falls into the gluttony category but you redeemed yourself by recycling the box so I will let you off especially since you already passed that section of the challenge with your hotel shampoos. 😉 Cheeky wench!

    • No, no, I think Willow is correct that eating all the chocolates and hiding the box, I mean, recycling it, is definitely decluttering 🙂

  2. You call that a mini mission??!! That’s a MAJOR mission! Ok, I have the perfect one – DD’s artwork. We have trees worth of paper with her marvellous creations on and we just can’t store it all. We created a website for her where, once a year, (or so the idea goes) we scan and upload her drawings then we can get rid of the ‘pieces of paper’.
    The reality is we scan the drawings then my hubby puts the real drawings into boxes in the attic! So we’re going to see if we can get past this one and actually get rid of the paper while keeping the art. Wish me luck!

    • Hi Mrs Green,
      yes I know it does sound like a major challenge but it is just one thing. 😉 My daughter said to me the other day – “I procrastinate over things for so long thinking they are a big task but then when I actually just do the thing it really isn’t that hard. Most of the agony comes from over-thinking it.” And that is what I am trying to save you from. I am so good to you and you don’t even know it! 😆 Actually I am a sadist and I spend most of my day thinking up ways to torment my readers. 👿

  3. I have a clarinet that I played when I was in high school a whole lot of years ago. I recently sent it out to the music man for an estimate to restore it for one of cousin’s kids to play. The estimate was $295 for a restoration. Need a plan B as I was not prepared to pay that much to restore it. I’m thinking of somehow “framing” it to hang up in my home office. I just can’t seem to part with it. If anyone has some ideas for framing it, I’d welcome those as I’m not ready to let go of it.

    • Hi Suddenly Susan,
      If you take it to a professional framer it will probably cost the $200 to get it framed. I think maybe you need to questions why are you not prepared to let it go. Sometimes we hang on to things that only serve to remind us of unfulfilled dreams, grandiose plans that we really never had what it took to pull of or just to remind us of happy days gone by. There is nothing wrong with that so long as the item only brings back fond thoughts and not thoughts of disappointment and regret. Explore that side of this situation before making any decisions.
      If you do decided to frame it and you live near a Joann fabric and craft store they often have coupons for 50% of framing which would make that option a lot more affordable.

    • Susan, if you could find a shadow box (or know someone who could build you one), you might be able to frame the clarinet yourself at a much lower price.

  4. If you find somewhere that will take old trophies, please share! Mine are my last challenge and I’ve tried and tried to find somewhere to take them with no luck *sob* I have netball and Physical Culture trophies and even the local clubs aren’t interested. They’ve sat in a box for a year now (I’ve photographed them already) and have become my “nemesis clutter”!

    • Hi Lyndal,
      I meant to go to the trophy shop while I was out this morning oh well I’ll have to do it tomorrow. Willow suggested checking out if they have a Special Olympics competition in the area you live because they can use old trophies. All sports start at a local level so there is bound to be something of the sort.
      I can’t find evidence of you commenting before so I would like to say welcome to 365lessthings comments section. I think you have coined a new phrase “nemesis clutter” I like that. Which is what contributing through comments is all about, we all have something to add to the conversation like cool titles for our clutter. I hope to here from you again soon and I promise I will update you on my trophy decluttering.

      • Thanks Colleen, I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for a while now and love having another inspiration to keep me motivated on my decluttering pathway! Ahhh, we all have a piece of nemesis clutter don’t we? Sometimes is the littlest things that we can’t let go of, that travels with us from home to home, and we just can’t work out how to get rid of it! My main challenge is getting young Master (8) to clear his clutter, but I respect his choices…. unless it escapes his room, in which case it’s far game!

  5. Regarding the trophies, if your local trophy store doesn’t recycle them, try a local school, day care, after-school program, or nursing home.

    My dad’s nursing home gives small trophies for some of their weekly activities (eg., in-home bowling) – it can mean a lot to an elderly person who is trying to find new activities after old ones are no longer possible.

    Whether a group will take them or not would partly depend on whether the trophy depicts the actual activity or if it’s more of a generic one; of course a trophy showing a rugby player wouldn’t work for a resident of a nursing home! But a “#1” or olympic figurine type of trophy would work for a variety of uses.

    • I meant to say that my dad’s nursing home gives small trophies for weekly activities — at the end of the year (not every week!!).

    • Hi Jo,
      I like your ideas about trophies. Unfortunately mine are distinctly women’s softball and indoor cricket trophies which adds a degree of difficulty.

  6. I know what my item is . . . will update if I can successfully get husband on board.

  7. An idea for the trophies: donate them back to the local youth sporting club that the trophy depicts. My husband has a load of old cricket and tennis trophies and I have removed any engraved plaques (most of them are blank anyway) cleaned them up and will be taking them to appropriate sports club as soon as them open after the holiday break.
    Better Homes and Gardens TV show had a idea to mount the old trophies on a piece of wood and use them to hang things up but I thinks thats just keeping junk!

    • Hi Bronwyn,
      I may do just as you say. Sometimes we think these organisations won’t want them but you never know if you never ask. I will not be using the Better Homes and Garden tip thought.

  8. I have no idea what my item will be. I have been taking pictures of things I know I don’t need to hang on to but can’t bear to part with.

    My son is only 19 months, but he makes copious amounts of “art” at his school. He is usually the last one there at the end of the day and his teacher lets him color with markers. He fills the whole page (huge paper) both sides with his multi-colored scribbles. I have been photographing them and then working out how to use them in crafts, thank you notes, or other useful projects. I already used a finger painting (mostly handprints) to make a vase (large smudge of paint) and hand print flowers for his great gramma’s nursing home door.

    • Hi Lady in a Smalltown,
      Children’s art work is often one of those things we feel reluctant to part with but it sounds like you have found some good uses for it.

  9. I love the mini missions, so please keep them coming!
    This week, and, I hope, well into January, I am focusing on the pantry. I’ll try to just cook from my pantry instead of buying new foodstuffs when I have already have full shelves. It’s silly to stockpile food, even the type that is not perishable. I should let the grocery store do that for me!

    • Hi Eve,
      there was something on television once about emptying the pantry on a regular basis and my husband said ours is always empty. I thought he was having a go at me and got all indignant. But he set me in my place by saying that it was supposed to be a compliment because I do a good job of keeping it decluttered and not wasting money on food we won’t eat. Needless to say I gave him a kiss and all was right with the world because we all know that when Mum is happy everyone is happy. Don’t poke the dragon.
      There are plenty of shelves at the supermarket for all the non perishable food and goodness knows there are so many supermarkets these days that we never have to go far to find one.
      I am glad you are enjoying the mini missions.

  10. Happy New Year. It’s just morning where I am (Europe). I’m tossing items into the washing machine and then diving into the mini-mission for Monday….you really challenge me!!! 🙂

    • Hi Annabelle,
      happy New Year to you in Europe. I am glad you are enjoying the Mini Missions even if they are a challenge. The bright side is that they are an easy prompt so you don’t have to come up with your own ideas.

  11. I had a huge problem with letting go of things especially a music system which I bought in 1985, served me so well up to 2005 when I replaced it, but still couldn’t get rid of the old one (which did not function at all apart from the radio!) because of the 20 years of memories it had been privy to!

    I found a fabulous academic research paper on the internet called “Mortuary rites for inanimate objects” – not sure if you accept links but if you google it and look down the results for one that links to a file called 585.pdf, it’s fascinating.

    It is a study of Japanese rites – they have ceremonies for disposing of objects which have given good service but whose time has come – eg needles, spectacles, transistors, and so on. I think it is great because it acknowledges that to some of us we invest (consciously or not!) some kind of sentience in things or they embody memories for us.

    One object I found incredibly difficult to get rid of was a sewing machine my grandmother had given me. She was a seamstress by trade, but I never got the hang of sewing (hand me the stapler and double-sided sticky tape anytime!) and it sat there, big and heavy, for 15 years, in my home.

    I was using freecycle to get rid of a lot of clutter, but for this one, I posted it on a local flylady site saying that it was an incredibly sentimental object to me and I didn’t want to burden anyone else with that, but would happily give it away free to someone who could really use it (it was a robust electric machine, not one of the modern flimsy things).

  12. Do you watch Talkin’ ‘Bout Your Generation? They give out trophies each that people have “donated” to the show – the more kitch, the better. Perhaps worth looking into.

    • Hi Isabella,
      I didn’t know the trophies on that show were donated. I think after it is won on that show it will definitely end up in the garbage though so I would be no better of. Thanks for the thought though.

  13. Mini-mission Monday, should be renamed Major-mission Monday! I had this bin of scrapbooking stuff, a small case of tools and a medium basket of card making stuff. I haven’t done any scrapbooking for about 5 years. However, I do enjoy making cards occasionally and indeed made a few the other day.

    I put everything out on our kitchen bench and put aside about one quarter for me to keep for making cards, some papers, tools, a few rubber stamps and a few stencils and all the rest I packed up for my DIL who does scrapbooking. I phoned her first to ask if she wanted it and she is delighted. I put her stuff into three hand-made fabric bags, so that is three more items to go!

    I now have about half a bin full of my favourite stuff and plan to make regular times to make cards.

    When I was digging in the cupboard I found a medium sized cardbox of packets of photos going back to before pa fell off the bus! On my list to do is to go through these and cull them right down, mark on the backs dates and names, then maybe get a couple of acid- free boxes and store them. As far as the guilt involved with being behind with scrapbooks, I have decided to let it go. My descendants can have at it if they feel like it!

    Thanks Colleen for the push to tackle the monster, I now feel much better.

    • Hi Janetta,
      good for you what a wonderful decluttering effort. The good feeling you got when it was all over was worth it I bet. I am sure your DIL as happy to have your hand-offs too.
      Just so you don’t think that I set you a mammoth task while I sat back doing nothing all week I can tell you I have done some serious decluttering with my son Liam. He got a new computer and we started out just making room on his desk and then that spread to a set of drawers and the next thing you know he is into the closet and I am thinking “enough already” but once he was started there was no stopping him. Now I have a pile of stuff to list on ebay and a trunk load of things to go to the thrift store. Like you I feel pretty good about it.


  1. […] need.  My stuff I don’t use.  My stuff I don’t even remember I have.  She has listed mini missions and weekly missions.  I am not entirely sure how it is all going to work, but I am going to try to […]