Monday Mini Missions ~ Tasks we sometimes avoid

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.

There are always those declutter items that are a little trickier to move along than others. Sometimes we might need someone else’s cooperation for this, sometimes we aren’t sure how to declutter items responsibly, while other times we are just avoiding the selling process, and the reasons go on. This week we will work on dealing with some of these avoided tasks. Perhaps there will be a task or two that won’t be so mini but just appreciate the nudge to do something about them. I am sure you will feel better for finally acting upon your desire to rid yourself of these items.

Monday – Put something into use this week that you don’t utilise much. If you don’t find the item all that appealing maybe it’s time to declutter it. This could be anything from an item of clothing to a kitchen item.

Tuesday - Declutter something you have been considering for removal for some time.

Wednesday – Take action on something that you want to declutter but aren’t sure how best to rehouse it. Maybe it’s time you investigated this situation.

Thursday – Gather up a group of similar items, decide which ones you really do need and declutter the excess. Kitchen items are usually a good target for this type of decluttering.

Friday – Do a small section of a larger decluttering task that you’d rather avoid~ like my photo decluttering task. If you attack this task in small doses it will be eventually be completed without being such a drag.

Saturday – If you have offered something to a friend but they haven’t dropped by to pick it up, take it to them yourself. Better to just have it out of there.

Sunday - Ask another household member if you can declutter something that belongs to them. You may have no luck but I guarantee you won’t know the answer if you don’t ask the question.

Good luck and happy decluttering

Today’s Declutter Item

One way to cut back on spending so much time watching television is to limit the possibilities of where and when you can watch it. This was one step towards that goal in our home.

TV Connection for PC

Eco Tip for the Day

Carpool with friends when attending social events. Consider the possibility that you could compromise on when you need to arrive and/or depart. Sometimes we are a little too spoiled when it come to having things completely our way.

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. Got a jump start on the mini missions this weekend. Moved some serving platters/bowls from the top shelf of a cupboard to the china cabinet. Maybe if I see them, I’ll use them (Monday). Went through the music CDs and eliminated about 20 of them (Thursday). Decluttered some photos and cards from our wedding (Friday). Why do we keep every photo, even the out-of-focus ones? My husband voluntarily offered to declutter a fossil fish I bought him many years ago (Sunday). I have been wanting to get rid of it, and it turns out he’s not attached to it either.

    • Hi Anita,
      Well done with the previous decluttering but what has been done before doesn’t count as this weeks mini mission. I often get people telling me they have already accomplished this weeks missions ahead of time but I am sure they could still find items that fit the missions still lurking in the house somewhere. Although your Mondays mission does surely count. 😉

      Your husband deciding for himself to declutter the fossil fish isn’t the point of Sunday’s mission. The point of that mission is in the asking. So often people feel frustrated about clutter that belongs to someone else in the house but feel inhibited about asking. The object of this exercise is to practice communicating over clutter. Having conversations about why you would like something gone so the owner can consider the idea. Nine times out of ten they don’t even care about the item while we have been sitting back stewing over it instead of just asking.

  2. My non-food buying month is continuing. I went to my parents house, and helped my mom get rid of some things. I made up a small box to donate, and helped her clean out her freezer. I brought some frozen fruit down (she had about 10 pounds of blackberries) so I could make smoothies, and some other food that I’ll eat. While I’ve bought a little food that regularly gets used up, I’ve only spent about $10 on food this month, and there’s STILL more food at the house. Garden surpluses have led to a LOT of fruit and veggies, more than we can eat 😛

    “My” room at my parents house is so full of stuff, that I can’t even hardly get to my things in it. Over Thanksgiving weekend, I plan on taking care of at least a bit of it though – mostly old schoolwork.

    • Hi Amanda,
      nice effort helping your mom declutter. It sounds like you were nicely rewarded with some frozen berries so that worked out well for both of you.

      I don’t think there is any way I could have a non-food buying month at my house. I don’t keep enough food in it for that exercise. Although after visitors coming and going, my son eating out a lot lately and neighbours going away and giving their stuff, my grocery bill was pretty minimal this week. I made a quiche for lunch yesterday with the last of several vegetables leftover in the fridge ~ onion, asparagus, red bell pepper, carrot and zucchini ~ that helped clear the veggie crisper out quite nicely and the quiche was rather yummy. And there is leftovers for my lunch today, that will be something to look forward to.

      • Colleen – I too couldn’t manage a non-food buying month but I did do a stocktake on both freezers late last week and as suspected we have a lot of double ups, so the inventory is propped up in the kitchen. I’ve put like-with-like for starters.

        • Hi Moni, you’ve got the right idea compiling an inventory of what is in those freezers. Now plan you weeks dinner menu around it and at least avoid buying anything except items like, bread, milk and fresh fruit and veggies until the freezers are under control.

          I am going to do that this week even though I don’t have all that much in little freezer. I want to give the fridge and freezer a good clean out this week and they emptier it is the better.

      • I want to get to that point. I’m used to having a stockpile of food (I grew up with a massive one, and kind of like it), but I’d prefer the stockpile to be of non-perishable foods. There’s no point in having 8 or 9 pounds of ground beef/turkey/sausage in the freezer, if only one pound of it gets cooked every month. So I am slowly using up food, and it’s been nice on our waists and nice on our wallets.

        On the stockpile – I know it’s not strictly necessary, but I grew up with one, and I’m ok with having a shelf or two dedicated to canned foods – I do eat them semi-regularly, so they don’t go bad. Last winter we actually had a snowstorm and flood back to back, coupled with sporadic power losses. It was nice just shutting ourselves in for the week, and knowing that we had enough food and water (as soon as power went out, we filled the tub). I had friends who were posting to Facebook in the interim about how they FLOATED their car on the way to the grocery store, or slipped and fell. It may be a what-if stockpile, but my peace of mind is worth that hard-to-reach shelf of chili, soup, granola bars, and tuna. I do realize that canned is better than frozen, so that’s why we’re cleaning out the freezer. I realized we had a months worth of food in the freezer, and only a weeks worth of non-perishables… bad ratio 😛 I don’t plan on adding to the non-perishable stock until all the perishable food is under control.

        • I feel that it’s very wise to keep a pantry/stockpile, whatever you want to call it.

          So many things can go wrong–keep us from getting to the store, or even the store shutting down.

          I’d never want to have a bare fridge/freezer or shelves.

        • Amanda – I am glad that you are sensible and stay indoors when there is a bad weather warning. I am always gobsmacked that the weather is closing in and they’ve left it that late. Of course, I don’t know their circumstances, someone might have had to commute home first or wait for a partner to get home to take over care of the children before venturing out – but it doesn’t account for the numbers you see nor why the supermarket staff should be delayed heading for home.

          There is sensible stocking and there is overstocking and I overstocked filling my pantry with items which I didn’t really use but looked lovely lined up on my shelves, and then ironically many weeks I’d end up understocked on items I used regularly.

          I have been thru a few natural disasters plus a flu epidemic a few years back where the Ministry of Health simply quarantined everyone to home who had a sniffle (or above) – so I know what you mean about remaining self-sufficient until the danger is past.

          What I have also noticed, as I have 3 hungry teens, is that they eat loquest style and then two days out from shopping complain there is nothing left in the house to eat. So I point out that they could make some pasta or bake some scones or google whatever ingredients they have left, that they can reduce their protein intake for a day or two without dire calamity if they had to in an emergency.

          A relative of mine (family of 4) was in the Christchurch earthquake, no power or water for almost a week, plus she had to take in two other families whose houses were destroyed and they all brought what hadn’t been destroyed in the shake. She had no idea how she was going to make it stretch, especially without perishables like milk and butter. She said she decided generations of women survived without electricity and if a few meals were a bit bland or a bit unusual so be it. On the last day before they got utilities back she was on a roll by then and making scones (using cocounut oil instead of butter) on the bbq, heating water above a fire pit made of the neighbours laundry tub and fueled by debris from the area, she was quite cool, calm and collected about it all – it was her entire day but she was quite proud that they didn’t have to depend on emergency services/red cross etc.

          Thank you for reminding me – my coconut oil has expired, I shall replace tomorrow – coconut oil can replace butter in recipies.

  3. Colleen – we talked about scanning xrays a while back – was it you that told me about this? Did you have to send them to a special place to be scanned or was it just at the local copy shop?

    • I don’t see why you couldn’t do it on a home scanner unless they are big ones and them you would have to go somewhere that has a large format machine. That is just my uneducated opinion.

  4. Thanks for the new mini missions! They’re a little tricky. Obviously, what I put off I also tend to “forget”. So, I’ll try to go through my home with “a new set of eyes” to find those lurking items… 🙂

    • Yeah I thought this week’s mini missions were a bit tricky. I read them out to Adrian, he looked a bit puzzled and asked was he allowed to get rid of the rusted bbq cooking dish or not?
      I told him that I’m sure it would fit the description of one of them.

      • Today, I’m taking “before” pictures around. For the first time ever. Looking forward to the experience of seeing differences…

        • Sanna, that’s great, I really regret not doing that or keeping a register of outgoing stuff or (I would have loved this one) weighed things as they left just to see if I could get up to a tonne!

          I still have one friend who opens my hall cupboard and still jumps back and covers her head expecting the avalanche. She thinks it is almost disappointing that it is half empty these days……

          • I regret not having taken photos in the first place, too. Most of my cupboards are still “full” now, but there is a remarkable difference to the “crammed” they were before. We don’t have that much storage space anyway and it always was and still is a rather slow progress around here. Still, I’m quite sure there will be a remarkable difference from the momentary state to the “after” in a couple of months.

        • Good for you Sanna,
          I hope you might send me the before and after shots to post on the blog. Or better still include them in a post for me with your feeling on the changes.

      • Adrian is so right. He has now achieved Sunday’s mission for you.

        Are they tricky in so much as you don’t understand them or that you are finding it hard to find something to suit them.
        Monday is anything that you don’t use much. You choose a similar item but not this one. Use it this week or for however long it takes to determine whether you really like, need, want it or not.
        Tuesday is something that you have been thinking about declutter for a while but haven’t done anything about it.
        Wednesday is something that you have put aside to declutter but have not been able to figure out where to declutter it to. Whether you want to donate it, sell it, offer it to a friend or perhaps none of these seem appropriate and you need to come up with another idea.
        Thursday ~ You night have three potato peelers in various corners of your utensils drawer for example, or a half dozen handbags in different places all over the house, or several pie dishes. Gather them all together and figure out if you really need them all and if not which ones you would like to declutter.
        Friday ~ You might have several photo albums to declutter bad photos from pick one album to do on Friday and leave the others for another day. This could be your craft area that need decluttering, pick one drawer today instead of trying to do the whole task at one.
        Saturday ~ I have a set of shelves in my garage that a friend is interested in taking off my hands. She knows about them but they have been sitting there for a couple of months now. This Saturday I might check if she actually wants them and offer to drop them off so that I can finally get them out of here.
        Sunday ~ is about communicating your desire to others about getting rid of their stuff. If there is something that you feel you would like decluttered but isn’t yours don’t just stay mute a wish on the inside that you could get rid of it, ask the person. This may seem like a no-brainer but you would be surprised how lack of communication can cause unnecessary angst.