Category: Challenge

Double 7 – Monday!

Yesterday I mentioned I would do one more run at getting some of my junk out of the house, before Christmas.

As I meander through my days, there are times I come across items I no longer need or want, as I’m sure we all do. I have gotten into a habit of putting these items into my guestroom, until I get around to actually get the stuff out of the house.

Well my guestroom is “piling” up (well not really.. I could hide it away if I wanted it to… but… ) and it’s time to see some of these items actually leaving the house.

Gotta get ready for Christmas, you know 😉

So here we are – Day 1!

I changed my diet about a year ago (for health reasons), and there are things I no longer eat or use as part of my food preparations. So the other day I went through my food “pantry” (well, just a regular kitchen cabinet, really) and sorted out the stuff I no longer plan to use anytime soon.

I picked this time a year to do this particular declutter task, as one of the organisations I follow, “Hjelp oss å hjelpe, Rogaland” (help us to help, Rogaland) are gathering food to help people out, especially over Christmas. B took a look at his place as well and found a couple of things.

In addition to our own stuff, we did a miniature shopping “spree”, and got some Christmas cookies, candy and other more Christmas’y dry goods from the store. We wanted to add a little extra to the mix. We will get them some more a little closer to Christmas, stuff like meat and other perishables.

In addition to food, they have also asked for things like small gifts and wrapping paper. So I did a quick rummaging through the house and found a couple of unopened rolls of Christmas wrapping paper.

We just delivered it all at one of the collecting point in my neighborhood.

I love it when there is a win, win, win situation like this.

I get stuff out of the house, we get to contribute, and someone out there might get a little of the help they need.

Todays tally!

15 food related items (the extras were B’s so they aren’t really mine to count 😉 )

14 gift wrapping items; paper, gift bag, tags. Christmas cards and some string to tie it all together with.

I’ll get them some more, including some gifts to hand out, I just need a trip to Ikea first 😉

29 items out the door!

 

SO – I know this isn’t the expected 49 items. But hang in there, I’ll be catching up tomorrow 😉 It’s the total of 343 that counts, you know 😉

See ya tomorrow!

 

 

Double 7 – before the year is over!

I can’t believe how fast this year has gone, November is behind us and we are already a few days into December.

This is the time where the holiday celebrations are soon upon us, and we are busy preparing for them. And most likely the last thing on our minds are working on our declutter endeavors (beside the stuff we need to do to prepare the house for the holidays).

Well not this girl! I’ve decided I need to have one more go at it before Christmas 😉 I need to get some stuff outa here!

So I’m committing to a 7 day declutter run!

Over the next 7 days (starting tomorrow) I will declutter 343 items!

Why 343 you ask?

Well I need a goal, and I started thinking  – 7 items pr day for 7 days, but hey, that would only amount to 49 items out the door… So I though 49 items “a day” would be a much better goal 😉

Which brings us to the 343, as 7 x 7 x 7 = 343 items out the door!

Oh yeah, and just to up the ante, I’ll be throwing one extra task into the mix!

As most of you know, I’ve been really bad at keeping up on the blog this year. And I figured – since I’m committing to 7 days of decluttering, why not commit to do a daily write up of the items leaving the house as well? Then maybe I can get back into the groove of things!

So there you have it – a double goal!

7 days – 343 items out the door – 7 articles on the blog!

Let’s see how I do!

Wish me luck!

21 day challenge update!

You’ve been wondering how I did with my 21 day challenge?

Guess it’s about time I give you an update 🙂

I did really well.. in the beginning! But then my Houston trip caught up with me.

I guess I should have known better! Doing a 21 day challenge at the same time as I was in Houston… Talk about setting myself up!

Even though, this time around, I didn’t make a lot of plans for my trip.

I didn’t make a lot of appointments up front.

I didn’t fill my schedule like crazy like I normally do.

But even so… all I needed to do was show up in town, and the next thing I knew, was that my calendar was filled with lunches, movies, dinners and trips down the coast.. You name it, it got on my calendar 😎 and I loved it!

I love hanging out with my friends, who wouldn’t? I’ve got great friends.

So there we have it! My 21 day challenge pretty much went down the drain, in favour of me hanging out with my friends 😘.

And here you have it… how I really did:

21 calendar final

 

21 Day Challenge!

Hi there!

Since I’m doing this 21 Day “blog” challenge that I mentioned yesterday. I thought I would try creating a challenge calendar. I surfed the net and got a inspired by a few others, so guess who played around in powerpoint yesterday and today to make her own? Yepp, that would be me 🙂

I’ll be filling in things as I go along.. but a couple of days activities are already sorted, as you can see:

21 calendar 3

So there you have it, an accountability calendar 🙂 Dang it.. did I just commit myself?

See you tomorrow!

On again, off again, on again?

21 day 1 smallI’ve been having a bit of a turbulent relationship with my blog for a while. I’ve been on again, off again, on again, off again!

It’s not that I don’t spend time thinking about articles to write, I do… Almost every night when I go to bed, my brains runneth off with stuff I would like to write about. But what often happens, when I wake up in the morning, is that I realize, that once again.. I’m not going to get it done. Either because I have to rush off to early treatment appointments (and treatment days are a bust) or I’m waking up with a blistering headache which sadly means no “life” that day. Enough of these days in a row, and you kinda “give up” on the blog stuff.

I’ve come to realize that I need to do something “drastic” if I’m going to have a chance to get back on again. It’s either that or shutting it down all together! And just thinking of shutting it down, make me cringe, so that not really an options now is it 🙂

It’s time to put my pen to the paper.. or rather my fingers to the keyboard.

It’s amazing how quickly you fall out of the habit of writing, and I was thinking (well hoping actually) that maybe it’s just as “easy” to get back into the writing again? Throw a little elbow grease into it, and maybe it will come back?

There is a “myth” out there that says: It takes 21 days to form a habit! 

Now, research has shown that it could just as easily take 30 days, 66 days or even close to a year to form a lasting habit. It all depends on the people themselves and what type of habit they want to form. Me? I’m bargaining on the 21 day rule 🙂

To get back into my blogging world, I’ve decided to give myself a 21 day challenge!

So here goes! For the next 21 days I will be spending at least 1 hour every day on blog related tasks.

That would be writing blog posts (yes several), catching up with other bloggers, making and answering comments, checking out new blogs. In general the things that I need to do, to get back into a good blogging rhythm. One hour every day, for 21 days.

I know this doesn’t sound too challenging.. but come Wednesday, I’m leaving for Houston to hang out with friends I haven’t seen for a long time. A trip filled with, visiting, hanging out, going to shows and movies, sleepovers, dining out, and off course, “copious” amount of frozen margarita 🙂 If can successfully keep up with my 21 day challenge through all that, well that just have to change my non blogging habit somewhat!

I wouldn’t expect a lot of deep and profound blog posts during my challenge if I were you. Actually… thinking about it, I can pretty sure guarantee there won’t be any deep and profound! Seriously it’s me and my scrambled brain we are talking about… with or without the margaritas 😉

What you will see, is most likely short posts (unless my brain runs off with me), some maybe even just a picture or a quote. The key thing here people, is to get back into the habit of writing and blogging in general, not to write “The great Gatsby” (which as already been done bytheway) 😉

As this is a spur of the moment challenge on my part, and I have not prepared at all (I figured I should just jump right in, as planning would probably stop me in my tracks… again) I would love any help you would like to give me on the way 🙂 Suggestions on how I should organize my time, blogs I should catch up on, things to write… any and all suggestions are highly appreciated.

So let’s get to it 🙂 The challenge starts NOW!

~Anne Lene

May (and April) in a nutshell!

I’m thinking it’s time I get back on the bandwagon, and what better way, than to give you my monthly sum up of April and May – hopefully before it turns out to be April, May and JUNE… 😉

We have had a glimpse of spring on and off during April and May, nothing to really shout about, but at least it’s given us the Norwegians the occasional chance to be outside (unless one really wanted to bundle up in all ones winter clothes). The poor plants have had a hard time figuring out if they really wanted to bloom or not, so everything have been kinda late this year.

April and May in a nutshell!

Declutter
During late March, April and May I did my pseudo packing party, that wielded 194 items out-the-door

Not quite the number I originally was hoping for, but anything is better than nothing.. right? 😉

Activity and exercise
Let me see:

April – averaged 3,75 times a week on activities and about 5 of them was what I would consider a proper workout – even though they were garden and walk related

May – brought out the Skikes and Rollerblades, and had a few trips to see if my body could handle it. Did go better than I expected – that was until I fell and sprained my thumb/hand badly 😦 Oh well.. it was worth a try..  My average on activities in May was the same as April, 3,75 with 5 of them as proper workouts. I am progressing towards my goal for the year… slowly, very slowly.

Only buying necessities
I’m almost on schedule. Mostly food, but as you can see from my allowances below, I splurged a little!

  • Books – still none (I think I’m doing pretty good so far this year)
  • Eating out – Since we have been doing poorly the other months, I decided to be ruthless and the deal was that we were only going to eat out once during the month of April. Now, we didn’t quite managed that (why would I even think so?) We ate out 3 times. For us, this is actually not bad at all.. but I still think we flunked! May is typically a eating out month, as we have our independence day, and there are a lot of other official holiday days. So we are back to bad again.. 8 times this month.. hmmm
  • Flowers and plants – a couple of purchases – it is after all supposed to be spring/summer, even though the weather don’t agree
  • Buying non essentials – yes:
    I bought a picture frame at IKEA, for a poster I bought a long time ago, I have just never gotten it on the wall. I thought it was time.
    And I bought myself a set of bright green Omaggio vases. I know.. not very prudent of me (me decluttering and all), but I really wanted a splash of colour in my house, and I have drooled over these for the longest time.. so I splurged 😉

Other financial goals
Mortgage: No changes, I’m staying put on my current level and only pay interest every month. Good thing is, I just received a note about a 0,20% interest reduction, that will apply from August, which will lower my monthly interest payment even more…

Other activities/projects this year
No specific projects during April and May. I’m sure it won’t be long before one or two pops up though 🙂

Well, that is it, until next time… sometime in July 🙂

Packing party – a sum up!

I never knew, when I planed out doing a packing party, that it would turn out to be as hard as it was.

It sounded so easy, this idea about doing one room at a time, for just a few days. And I had this notion that it would go by in a flash, and would reap large rewards in decluttered items.

Well, that’s not quite what happened, as you probably have gathered from how long it actually took me to do this!

I started out real good, and then somewhere half way, I ran into a bump, mostly due to the fact that I really didn’t have enough boxes to pack things in. And I did not like how cluttered my guest room was becoming, from all the discarded items from my other rooms. My own fault, as I couldn’t seem to get the items out the door, because I was fumbling around, never taking the time to actually take the pictures and sit down and write the post about them. Yeah, my bad, I know!

I’m telling you, it will be a long time before I try something like this again… if ever 😉

I did learn a thing or two though during my declutter party!

I learned that I obviously have short staying power… the first days out, I wanted to do my whole house all in one, but as I had said I would do one room at a time, I had to pace myself… Yeah! I’m not good at that. I’m more of the the get it done now kinda person, rather than the slow haul kinda person… guess I should keep that in mind for my next project 😉

I also learned that as much as I had decluttered, there are still “mountains” of stuff left that could probably go out-the-door, but I have also learned that sometimes we need time, before we are “ready” to let it out of our lives.

The things that have left my building during this packing party, are things that have survived several culling before, and I can see there are a few items, that made it through this round, that will most likely go out the door, next time around (after I’ve had a minute to think about it).

I guess this is just the way it is, slow and steady getting there, on our path towards minimalism!

Even though I never quite got rid of as much as I hoped I would, there was a few rooms that surprised me in the “loots” they provided.

I expected to find most of my stuff in the living room and guest room, this is not quite how it turned out, even though these rooms wielded the bigger items. It was the kitchen and my bedroom that surprised me most, as these where the rooms I was sure I had already gotten down to the “bare bones”. Guess it just goes to show, that we change our level of needs and wants as we move along minimising our possessions.

Since I have called this post packing party – a sum up, I guess it’s only fair to let you in on what my packing party amounted to in out-the-door items.

So here it is a total of 194 items out-the-door! 

Not quite the number I was hoping for, but chipping away at it will get me there in the end 🙂 Fortunately this time around there was a few “big” ticket items, leaving me with a bit more “empty” space as a result!

As with a lot of things in life, it’s easier when you get a little help along the way. I could not have done this without some of my fellow bloggers, who have either decluttered alongside with me or cheered me on. There are to many to mention, but you all know who you are 😉 All I can say is, Thank you!

Packing party – guest room and living room results!

It’s raining outside, and it’s time to let you inn on how the last part of my packing party went!

As you might remember from a few weeks back, I told you my guest room was next on the list.

Weeeell… it didn’t go quite according to plan… The guest room is a horrible room to do the pretend packing party on, as I think I probably have almost as much stuff in this one room, as I have it the rest of the house put together!

As I mentioned before, the room have a few big huge IKEA wardrobe cabinets. And since I don’t really have any indoor storage rooms, I use these cabinets to store all my linens, towels, guest bedding, sport items, computer peripherals, office stuff, Christmas decorations, photo collections and I could go on 😉

As good as my intention was to pull everything out, pack it up and leave it for a few days, I lost heart somewhere in the middle and just couldn’t do it..

You see, I have gone through and decluttered this room several times over the last few years. And there have been soo much stuff that have gone out-the-door, specifically from this one room, that I’m now having a really hard time.

But, even though I didn’t pack it up, I still found a few things, that needed to go out-the-door, which after all, was the idea behind the packing party 😉

When I did my living room, most of the stuff that I found that needed to go out-the-door, got “stored” in my guest room, so below you will find the result from both the guest room and living room.

So why don’t we just get to it! Here it is, the results from my living room and guest room – 56 items out-the-door! I have to admit, it’s not as much as I would have wanted, but this time around, there are a few bigger items, so storage wise, I have actually cleared out a bit…

Guest room – 30 items out-the-door

  • 2 long wood candle holders
  • 1 flower pot
  • 1 travel iron
  • 3 books
  • 2 very large vases
  • 1 spatula
  • 1 travel headset
  • 1 makeup bag
  • 1 platter
  • 1 leather foot rest
  • 1 tennis ball
  • 3 puzzles
  • 1 battery run toothbrush
  • 2 charger “stations”
  • 1 wool carpet
  • 1 smartcard reader + misc cables/plugs
  • 1 cable tube
  • 6 practice golf balls

Living room – 26 items out-the-door

  • 1 small “vase”
  • 1 VHS tape
  • 1 glass bowl
  • 2 DVD Cases
  • 4 table place mats
  • 1 table runner
  • 2 fruit/decorative bowls
  • 1 large glass decorative bowl/vase
  • 4 glass candle holders
  • 1 large headset
  • 2 tall vases
  • 1 gamegear
  • 9 games to the gamegear + 1 box to keep them in
  • 1 glass vase
  • 1 glass decorative bowl/vase
  • 3 small glass vases

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Saving a tree or two…?

After my February plastic trash challenge, I got inspired and started to look more closely at everything else I toss.

Now that I have some sort of control over my plastic trash, and gotten into a good routine of using the plastic recycle bag, I have found that most of my other trash is paper (advertising/junk mail) and food scraps.

Let’s talk about the junk mail. I tend to look through all the advertising from grocery stores, as I try to save a little when possible. I bulk up on some of my everyday products, when there is a good sale. All these adverts ends up in the paper recycle bin, so the paper is recycled, but I would have loved not contributing so much to paper waste.

I discussed this with a friend of mine that I do a bit of grocery shopping with, and we decided that, since I am the one who pays attention to when there are good deals to be had, he would be the one to put the “No junk” sticker on his mailbox. This way we can at least reduce one household of paper! And hopefully over time, I can figure out what advertising I “need” and see if I can find it online instead, to ultimate reduce two households!

But for now, the sticker is on his mailbox, there is one less household filled with paper junk and he think this is the best idea we (I’ve) have had since… ever!

I know it’s not much in the big picture of things, but a bit here, and a bit there… ads up eventually 😉

Packing party – Kitchen! And results!

I knew I would run into trouble with my kitchen packing party, and I was right.. I sure ran into a bump in the road with this one. And I have to confess, I did not pack it up like I should.

I’ve decluttered my kitchen, so many times, that every time I opened a cabinet or drawer to empty it, I took one look and realised that there wasn’t really any reason to pack it, as I would just put all the stuff right back where it belonged… So I didn’t, pack it that is!

My bad!

But even though I did not follow my own rules on this one, I did however manage to shed a few things after all 🙂

And here it is, my kitchen shed;

  • 4 measure cups
  • 2 knives
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 set of tiny glad bowls to store food in
  • 1 metal water bottle
  • 2 serving bowls
  • 1 swiffer duster handle
  • 4 cleaning cloths
  • 2 dinner plates
  • 1 trash bin
  • 1 food scrap trash bin
  • 2 cereal bowls
  • 1 frying pan
  • Bunch of small river rock, sand and shells for decorations – count as 5
  • 1 terracotta plant watering “tube”
  • 2 ice cube trays
  • 1 pair of chop sticks
  • 1 thong to grab hot bowls
  • 1 broken soup bowl – that obviously didn’t want to hang around it’s siblings any longer…
  • Bunch of decorate stuff for flower arrangements – 17 items

I can’t believe it, that actually turned into 51 items out-the-door, that’s kinda cool! (small happy dance going on here 😉 )

So what room is next?

As I mentioned in my last post, doing the hallway would just be a joke (or a very easy pass) as my hallway is the size of a stamp, and the only thing in it, is the entrance door and a closet. And not to mention that this closet I have already gone through several times, and there is nothing left to get rid off. If I take a seriously good look, I might find a pair of shoes that could need new shoelaces, but other than that, only a few dust bunnies are to be had 🙂

Then there is the guest room. That’s a whole other ballgame! There is no doubt it needs to be done… but right now it looks like an overstuffed piñata, filled up with; boxes from other rooms that are not quite emptied yet, some of the stuff that is going out-the-door that I’m hoping I will find takers for, piles of out-the-door items I have not written about yet ++ It’s been literally treated as an overflow area during my packing party, and it’s a hot mess.

The guest room is NOT going to be fun, as I have a few big huge IKEA wardrobe cabinets, filled with stuff. Since I don’t have much storage rooms, I use these cabinets to store my Christmas decorations, photo collections, electrical stuff, towels, bed linen, guest pillows and covers, golf stuff, other smaller sports stuff, speakers, printer, cables… you get my drift, yes? It is where I store everything!!!

So this is how this is going to go!

This coming weekend, I will clear the room of all the “junk”, unpack the items that belong elsewhere, and prepare myself…

For the following weekend, which will be crunch time for the guest room 😉

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