Category: Declutter

Back in the groove of things!

It’s been a while… I know, one of these days you’ll get sick of hearing me say this, I’m sure.

With my head playing up like it’s been doing the last few months, I’ve learned that I have to pace myself when doing things.

Even though you haven’t heard from me in a while, it doesn’t mean that B and I haven’t been up to anything 😉

We have been a little busy actually! Mostly doing other people’s stuff.

This is a quick recap of what we have been up to since you heard from me last:

  • I’ve been dealing with insurance stuff for my step-mum, after a young man hit her car and ran away without leaving a note (thankfully there was a witness).
  • We have been flexing our handyman skills at a friends place, installing a couple of ceiling lamps, changing door handles and oiling up a couple of doors and swapping out some reeeaaaallly rusted outdoor ventilation covers.
  • We have helped my neighbor with moving some clothing cabinets, installing a couple of bunk-beds and a desk. Mostly just helped her set up her daughters room so it’s easier for them to share a room and still have a private corner.
  • My stepmom wants heated floor in her condominium. This task has turned out to be a bit more work than we though.. and deserves a blog-post of it’s own 😉
  • I’ve been dealing with a lot of admin stuff related to the row of townhouses I belong to (which is still an ongoing task, not quite settled, yet)

Have we done anything for us?

Well yes, as a matter of fact… we have.

You might remember from earlier this spring that we built a patio at a friends house? From that job there was some leftover decking material.

I’ve had a couple of plans for those leftovers, among them I wanted to build a “big” planter/storage box. So about a week ago, we kinda finished that box 🙂 It’s on wheels so it’s easy to move around (it would be impossible without wheels, as it’s large enough that you would need three super strong men to move it, if it is ever filled with soil and plants).  I will be using it as a combination planting table and storage box for material, like pots, mulch, sand etc.

As I’m planning on using it as a storage box and as a planting table, I need to add a lid at some stage. A lid with not only keep everything inside dry, but also give me a surface to use as a table. I haven’t quite figured out what I want make the lid from yet. I’m thinking either treated plywood, or maybe try to make a lid with the leftover decking. When it’s done I’ll show you, but for now you can see how the box looks today. I’m really happy with how it turned out  😉

So what about decluttering?

You would think that with all the stuff going on for everyone else, that I took a declutter break! And in a way you would be right 😉

My decluttering has been a little on and off since you last heard from me. A little here, a little there….

Some of it has made it out of the house.. I’ve got pictures 😉

But some are still hanging around in my catch-all room (guestroom) – gotta take pictures for the blog and all, you know 😉

So what has actually made it out of the house?

1 concrete side-table – sold today
I box filled with decking cutoffs
49 old no longer usable decking boards
(the rest  of the stuff in the car is old flooring from step mums place.. so that’s not mine to count 😉 )
21 books

Out-the-door = 72 items

Which brings my grand total for 2017 to 1017 🙂 

 

Guess this is it, for now! You should be all caught up.. kinda 😉 So hang tight.. and I’ll see you soon!

21:19-21 – The end… finally!

Well, I’m finally here, at the end of my 21 day declutter challenge. Yeah I know, a shocker isn’t it!

How on earth could I have known, when I started my 21 day challenge in January, that it would take me 8 months to kick this “challenge” out of the park.  It’s quite ridiculously, how this has gone on and on and on… 😉

But happily.. it’s all over, finally!!! And since I’m sticking to my current 3 day write-ups, you get all the dirt in one go!

 

As I have mentioned a few times before, I tend to use my guest room as my catch all when I declutter.
This is just a small portion to show how crazy it can get.A mess, I know, why don’t I clean it up for you, a little 😉

 

Day 19 – Stuff,

I used to have an tiny apartment/condominium in town before I moved out to where I am now, and in my bedroom I had a wall decorated with odd items from around the world.

Since I moved to my current home, I haven’t kept up my wall of weird. And today I’m sending off among other things, two of the last reminiscences of that wall, my wooden masks.

2 wooden masks (I’ve kept my favorite one.. you never know, I might start another wall 😉 )
1 humidifier – it kept spitting water all over my floor 😦
1 wine bottle cooler
1 bathroom rug
1 green golf mat (for indoor practice)
3 candles
1 silver plate

= 10 items 

 

Day 20 – stuff,

It’s funny what pops up when you go through your stuff, this all… serves no purpose anymore.

A couple of things like the cards and the dog show medals, are sentimental items. But it’s time.  I took a picture of the medals and I have cards that means more to me from the same people.

The rest? That’s just junk… now!

Some cards, count as 5
1 toiletry bag
1 box of letters and numbers for crafts
1 green box
3 dog show medals
1 clipboard
Bunch of random junk, count as 20
8 sets of post-it notes
Bunch of random papers, count as 5
1 bag of shower curtain holders
3 plastic bottles
1 box of clothing wax
3 packs of hooks
1 Vin’in bag (when you want to travel with bottles)
1 pouch of rocks
1 bottle of hairspray
1 alarm clock
1 pump
Bunch of plastic, count as 3
Medical and sport items, count as 7
2 storage nets

= 70 items

 

Day 21 – and more stuff 😉

And as we weren’t’ done with random stuff… here is some more for you 😉

 


20 hangers
2  – 3D puzzles (really cool puzzles that I have done several times over the last 25 years)
3 chargers (2 broken, one with UK plug)
1 lantern for candles
1 blue box
1 very worn out kitchen aid blender (I had to get a new one)
2 pictures with frame

= 30 items

I’m sure there were stuff I missed counting in the chaos, and the numbers should really be more, but I’m sticking with this for my last three days!

Day 19, 20 and 21 = 110 items

Which brings my new grand total for 2017 to 945 🙂 

 

PS… there are actually more that has gone out the house, but (in the spirit of keeping it short and sweet) that will have to wait for another day.

Oh, yeah.. and one of my TV channels are having a Star Trek movie run every night this week, and today’s is starting in a few minutes… I’m sure you all understand…  😉

 

21:16-18 We are moving on!

I’m rolling up the last few days of my 21 day declutter challenge, I kinda liked the three day write-up so here is part two 😉

 

Day 16 – Flower decoration

I used to have a habit of buying single flowers like a single rose or a tulip or two, and I would take that single flower and put it in a vase with a little bit of decoration. To bling it up, so to speak.

Over the years I’ve gotten out of this habit for all sorts of reasons, and I’ve been working on downsizing my flower decorating box since I started this blog. There really isn’t a good reason why I should hold on to it all.

As with everything else, a little here a little there, and eventually I’ll get there and today another handful is ready to leave the house.

Flower decoration pieces
Bunch of ribbons of silver tread – count as 3 as there are three different types of threads
2 rolls of pink and green tread
I bag of small rock
5 small pink/purple bulbs??

= 11 items 

 

Day 17 – Golf and…

I haven’t been on the golf course (to play) for almost 8 years now. I didn’t play much when I was in the US and within a year from coming home from Houston my health issues started.  You might say I have kinda quit the whole thing. Even so… I’m not quite ready to get rid of my golf clubs (it’s a mental thing.. I’m not ready to give up the idea I one day will be able to get back to swinging some clubs) but hoarding a bunch off goofballs .. well that’s just silly now.

These last few years, I have given away a lot of golf balls to friends (I had a drawer full). But I think it’s time to use that drawer for something else. A week ago, I packed a few balls away in my golf bag, the rest, I took down to my local golf course and offered them to the first person I saw. And yep, you’ve guessed it, she took them all 🙂

20 packs + 5 single (65 golf balls) – count as 25
1 glove
1 golf cap

= 27 items

Day 18 – More sports items

In addition to the golf stuff, I went ahead and cleared that drawer all together of sport items (with the exception of my diving mask and snorkel) and here is the rest of the stuff from the picture above.

2 zumba whatchamacallit
1 bottle of diving glass defogger
1 rock climber talcum bag
1 tube lotion to be used on cycling shorts/pants (no chafing)

= 5  items

 

In the spirit of keeping this short and simple, this is it for today!

Before I go… here is my yearly tally!

Day 16, 17 and 18 = 43 items, which brings my new grand total for 2017 to 835

 

21:13-15 Let’s get on with it, shall we?

We are back to my 21 day declutter challenge…. about time you will say.. and I do agree 😉 Every time I have found a bit of energy the last week or so, I have gone on very tiny declutter sprees around the house. As usual I have been piling the stuff in my guestroom, to be arranged and photoed at some future date.

Well today is as good a day as any, it’s time to get on with it!

 

 

DAY 13 – Outdoor storage room attached to house.. (not a garage because I don’t have one)

Since I don’t have a garage, everything goes into my tiny storage room. It’s the place I store my car tires, paint, bike, roller-blades, garden tools, plant tools, some outdoor furniture, all my electrical and hand tools and all the other nuts and bolts you need when you have a home and are essentially a “guy” when it comes to tools 😉

And like any other “garage”, my storage/shed gets full.. and I have to clear a little out, so I at least can get into the space without tripping over buckets (which I do a lot) 😉

Here’s the dirt on whats leaving this time!

2 tanks – for my old  gas grill that I don’t have anymore – I gave these to a friend – sorry no picture
1 kitchen cabinet door (cut into three pieces – recycle plant swap house wouldn’t take it, and it only fit the bins in pieces)
2 foam boxes
1 battery drill (more or less broken, thankfully I have more 😉 )
10 tins of paint and paint related items
1 empty fertilizer bucket
8 pieces of steel from my old kitchen counter edge

= 25  items

 

Day 14 – Bathroom

I have never been one to spend a lot of time in the bathroom, as I’m pretty much a no frills person regarding products I use. The last couple of years I mostly blend my own oils, use makeup only once or twice a year, and don’t use much in the name of soaps, shampoos and conditioners. I’ve been downsizing my bathroom stuff quite a bit, but still there are things that linger (for some reason or another)…

28 items of stuff – not pictured
4 bottles with various lotions
1  small perfume bottle
2 tins of lip and hair balm
1 box of pure moist contact lens solution
1 lip balm
1 nail clipper
1 tube cleanser
1 tube moisturizer
1 box of makeup
3 random items

= 44 items

 

Day 15 – Kitchen

So here we re again with the kitchen!  I don’t know what it is about kitchens, but items seem to accumulate, regardless of how often you declutter the space. I have no number for how many times I’ve gone through this place, and there are still more stuff that pops out of the woodwork! Strange that, lol

3 bottles
5 glass containers
1 knife
2 pray ops… spray bottles
Random stuff – count as 5

= 16 items

 

I think this concludes today’s post!

I’m trying to keep it short and sweet, and hopefully I’ll get the 21 days over and done with within the week 😉

But first before I go… gotta do the yearly tally!

Day 13, 14 and 15 = 85 items, which brings my grand total for 2017 to 792

🙂 

 

 

A wet summer, a trip to escape it all and some realizations!

It’s been one of those summers here on the west-coast of Norway…

I tend to wake up really really early in the morning, from the sun streaming in, and there is a moment I think “hey, this looks like it will be a gorgeous day”, before I doze of again for a while longer… and guess what.. when I wake up for real.. it’s pouring down 😦 or if it’s not raining the sun is nowhere to be found again for the rest of the day. There are parts of the west coast where I’m sure people are starting to develop fins between their toes it’s been that bad.

To escape it all, B and I took of for a few days of R&R, to the east coast of Norway, hoping the weather would be a notch better at that end of the “world”. And guess what! Turns out not only did we have a great trip, but the weather ended up waaaay better than the weathermen had predicted (so much so that I regretted not bringing shorts) 😉

It was a great little trip, we had a few days at a wellness center, visited my brother in Oslo, hung out with some friends we hadn’t seen for years in Holmestrand, took a detour to Tønsberg on our way back to Oslo. Where we stayed a couple of days, “touring” some travel shops we were curious about, and hung out with friends.

We have been back for a few days now, and I have to admit it’s tempting to get back on the road, as it’s still raining over here 😦

I’ve had a personal goal the last year or so of managing to travel with a 25 liter backpack only, and we are definitely getting there. On this trip we had one 25 liter backpack each + I had a personal item where we typically would put stuff like water, fruit, my iPad mini, a book and my journal.

The good thing… I could have managed without my personal item, if it wasn’t for the fact, that on this trip, I was bringing a bit of food, as I’m on a special diet at the moment, and I didn’t know if the places I was going would be able to accommodate that.

The bad thing.. my bag is still a bit on the heavy side 8-9 kg, but I’m working on that 😉

Big living – small luggage 🙂

One of the aspects of being on the road that I really like (now that we have managed to get down to a small bag each), is that we don’t have a lot of stuff with us. It’s easy to find everything (it’s not like there is a big bag for the stuff to hide in), and there is not a lot of stuff floating around. Turns out we don’t need much to have a good trip!

So why do we “need” so much when we are at home?

I understand that there are things we need at home that we don’t need when we travel, I get that. But even removing the essentials from the scenario, most of the time there are so much more in a persons home. Even if we account for all the “little” things we just want to keep around us because they bring us tremendous joy, more often that not there are a lot, a lot of items left that has absolutely no purpose at all.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this since we got home, as I find that my house feels kinda “cramped”. There is no reason why I  should feel this way, as my house isn’t really cramped at all.

I believe the feeling comes from how easy and light it felt when all I had to “worry” about was what I carried with me, and that the stuff in the house isn’t quite as easy to pack up, should I want to.

This is what weights heavy on me right now, wanting to have it all decluttered down to a point where I could easily pack my stuff and relocate (not that I have any plans whatsoever to relocate anytime soon… then again.. we never know what’s around the next corner now, do we.. )

I’m not sure how to address this. I wonder if I would feel better about it, if I can just get some of my heaviest “tasks” out of the way?

My three nemesis’s… documents/papers, photos and computer files, are the ones that I’m struggling the most to ever get on top of.

The biggest reason is that, in my mind, I want quite a bit of the physical paper/photos etc all scanned to my computer, in addition I have oodles of files on several hard-drives that needs sorting, so I can get down to one hard-drive and one only.

Easy, peasy you say!! Well yes, except that the computer is the one thing I really should be staying away from, as it doesn’t take a lot of computer time before my headaches gets bad 😦 And herein lies my problem! The computer issue stops me in my track, and I get super frustrated because these three tasks is what needs to be done for me to feel like I’m where I like to be delutter wise.

There are times I wish a fairy would just magically take care of this for me… you know, poof, all sorted, scanned and neatly organized on my computer.

I lieu of a fairy..  anyone out there that has any ideas for how I can (once and for all) get on top of this? Anybody???

Yes? No?

Guess, I’ll just have to eat this particular elephant one tiny bit at a time.. even if I need a couple of years to get it done.

Unless any of you want to come visit and help me out, that is… I have wine 😉

 

 

 

 

 

21:12 – Oh, my lovelies!

It’s been a few days since my barbecue party. We had a great time, hanging out and catching up. Now, I don’t know what’s going on every time I decide to throw a barbecue party…  this is the third party in as many years, and two out of three times it’s been raining. And we are not talking a small drizzle either!

The first time (on my 50th birthday) the heavens opened and there wasn’t a dry anything within miles of my house, seriously it was not pouring down, it was crashing down.

Then last year, it was actually somewhat decent, a bit cold, but at least not much rain. Which brings us to this year, and we’re back to rain again 😦 Happily we did get to grill most of the food before it all started, but we had no choice but to stay indoors most of the evening.

Now, if I was to be a betting woman (and I could be 😉 ), logic says that next years party will be outdoor (well a girl can hope can’t she? ) and I’m so looking forward to that.. and if I’m really gonna be optimistic, I’m hoping for shorts and flip flops 😉

Speaking of party and footwear!

A few years back, for my younger brothers big 40th birthday bash, I got my hands on some really pretty shoes. I saw them, fell in “love” and they not only worked perfectly with my outfit, they looked good on me 😉

Fast forward too today… the lovelies (I did mentioned I really really think they are pretty, yes?) have been sitting in my closet unused for some time. They are still just a lovely, I still kinda “love” them.. but… I just don’t use them.

I rarely use high heeled shoes to begin with, and the last few years (since I got sick) I’ve used high heels even less than before. High heels hurt my foot and I have found a really cute low heeled pair in almost the same color, that I now use instead, on those few occasions where pretty shoes are needed.

So I have decided that (regardless of how I much I like them and think they are pretty) that it is time for them to leave the premises. I could off course keep them for the sole purpose of admiring them, but that’s just silly now, isn’t it?

So here I am, on day 12 – sending a pair of shoes of to the salvation army, for someone else to use.. hopefully more than I have done!

One cute pair of shoes going out-the-door! 

Which brings my grand total for 2017 to 707

 

 

21:11 – A little bit of this, a little bit of that! 

It looks like the consensus was for me to forge ahead with my 21 day declutter challenge, so here we are at day 11 🙂

Thursday I’m kicking off my now yearly barbecue party (this is the second year), so guess where my time is going these days?

Yep! I’m knee deep in making my garden look good, cleaning and clearing it up. I’m also borrowing an extra table, some chairs and an extra grill from a friend, so I’ve picked that up. Today I’ve been trying to make the house look decent, just in case it’s raining and we have to stay inside. And tomorrow agenda is to get all the food shopping out of the way.

So you can see, why, there is not a lot of decluttering going on right at this moment…

Even so.. I had a small break from my party focus earlier today, and spent it pulling some random junk out of a couple of drawers.

Rather than leave the stuff in my guestroom (which is what I would normally do, until I had a bigger pile to write about on my blog) I’m just gonna do a quick write-up and then get the junk out of here…

Can’t have any of my guest trip over these huge (super, super) tiny piles, now.. can I?

So here we are.. three tiny piles… of items going out-the-door! 

Bunch of Christmas wrapping items
Sets of Sheets, ribbons, tags, more tags, wrapping paper,gift bag +++
28 items

Flower decoration pieces
2 packs of beeds, 3 – not sure what they are called, but they fasten decorations to a plate,
12 ribbons of silver tread, gold tread, beeds on a string, more strings of stuff…
17 items

Other random stuff
2 pens, 3 sets of secret soles for high heel shoes, 1 small box, 1 reflex
6 items

Today’s total = 51 itsy bitsy items! 

 

My grand total before the hiatus, was 655. Today’s number brings it all to 706 for the year!

 

OK! So it’s not really a lot of stuff, I get that! And it’s not really anything that shows up, decluttered storage wise… I get that too.  But! It is a tiny start on getting back into the declutter mode… and everyone needs to start somewhere! 😉

21 Day Challenge – Now what?

I have a tiny dilemma.

When I started my 21 day challenge in January, my plan was to get it done in a couple of months or so. You might remember I had my own progress plan, of counting only the days I actually decluttered, rather than doing it in 21 calendar days.

Never in my wildest dream did I imagine that I would only be at day 10 in early March, and then wham… nothing…. absolutely nothing!!!

Why did it all stop up? Well, between rushing to UK when mum got ill (March/April) and building a 540 square feet deck at a friends place (April/May) decluttering fell to the wayside 😦

However, I think it’s time to get back on the declutter train again.  And this is what my issue is.

  1. Do I start up my 21 day declutter challenge again, and continue on with day 11 as my next installment?
  2. Or do I just say I’m done with the challenge, lay it dead so to speak, and start “afresh” not following any plan?

A few considerations…

  • During the first 10 days of the challenge, I did exceed my goal of 231 items out the door, as I shed 655 items. So technically I did succeed and you might say I’m done!
  • And then there is this: It might look weird (to others) me continuing the “challenge”. After all, it’s not much of a challenge now, is it.. being at it for months 😳 (even though I did say I would go at my own pace)
  • On the other hand, if I quit the challenge, it feels like I’ve “thrown in the towel”… and that is not sitting right with me either!

And therein lies my problem…

To continue – Yea or Nay – that IS the question!

Any suggestions out there? Would you shake you head and find it weird if I continue on my “challenge”?

21:10 – Slides from heaven?

It’s day ten of this years first 21 day declutter challenge.

When my dad passed away almost 4 years ago, he left behind a few things, among them a couple of boxes with slides, photos, letters, videos and audio tapes.

When he was a young man, my dad used to work on a ship. I was only a little girl, but I remembered he would travel to all sorts of “strange” places like Africa, Australia, Asia…  I think he told me once it was easier for him to count the countries he had not been to than it was to count the places he had been.

When he was out and about, he would take pictures, video and even send messages home by reel-to-reel audio tape.

Quite a few of the pictures he took, seems to have been taken in the 60’s, especially around the time, he worked on, what I think was, a survey ship.

I’ve been looking trough these boxes now and then, even gotten rid of a piece here or there… but… it’s time to actually hit these boxes and do something with what’s in them.

Quite a while back, I went through all of the slides, and picked out the ones I thought was worth keeping. I’ll be scanning the keepers, so that I have them as files, should anyone ever want any of them. After the scanning I will most likely discard the originals as I have to borrow equipment to be able to look at them. If the result of the scans are OK, I might make a mini album of the best ones later on.

When I looked through them, I sorted them into discard and keep, but… I decided that my brother should really have a look at them, before the non keepers are thrown away.

You see, I loved looking back at the slides my dad took, and I thought my brother would love it too.  Even though some of them were almost beyond recognition as they where pretty ruined, it still gave us a look into a life my dad had had. A life that we know very little about, as I was just a toddler, and my brother wasn’t even on the horizon at that time.

Last time my brother visited, we had a little stroll through history, and decided together which ones we want to keep for us to scan 🙂

I will bring them in for scanning or do the scanning myself sometime this year, but for now at least… I can get rid of the ones that are not worth keeping.

It was never a big collection (actually it was pretty small) even so, there are 373 slides going out the doors today (we are keeping about 220).

There was a bit of a debate on how I should count these as items out-the-door, 1 slide as 1 item? 5 slides as 1 item? or 10 slides as 1 item.

I’ll be doing regular photos soon, and to me it seems like 10 photos = 1 items is a ratio I’ll be happy with, and as slides are photos, it makes sense to me that 10 slides = 1 item 😉

Throw in 5 empty slide boxes (not counting the boxes the slides are in) and we have 5 boxes + 37 items (373 slides) =

42 items going out-the-door! 

 

Which brings my new grand total to 655 🙂 

21:09 – Another closet purge!

2017-21-day-9It’s day nine of this years first 21 day declutter challenge.

Over the last three or four years I’ve been chipping away at my closet.. and I’m finally making some headway (according to where I want my closet to be).

Now, mind you! My closet have never been particular huge. How can I say this? Well, every time I have found myself looking at what my friends have in their closets, mine has been positively “minimal” (sort off).

Even so, ever since I returned from Houston (where I had amassed a brand new wardrobe in addition to the one I had in Norway) I’ve felt the need to downsize my closet.

I’ve been reducing clothing and shoes as I’ve moved along this minimalist journey, and I am slowly getting to where I think I will be happy to leave my closet alone.. the only “problem”… my level of minimalism seem to change as I move further along on my minimalist path 😉

I think this is something a lot of you are familiar with, as we declutter the spaces around us (physically and mentally), we seem to shift the levels of where we would like to get to.

Now, I do not aspire to become a minimalist with less than a 100 things (well secretly I might be 😉 ), but I do aspire to get to a level, where there is a good flow of energy around me, where I could easily move house without getting totally stressed, where I could just pack a bag and never look back, because I would have the most important things with me and the things that didn’t fit in a bag, could easily be taken care off by someone else.

But I digress, lets get back to my latest wardrobe purge, a purge that have now brought my wardrobe down to a total of 263 items, which includes everything clothing and shoe related (even things like flip-flops, caps, buffs, bike and golf gloves, garden attire, etc).

I know.. still quite a bit, and I can see another purge in the horizon.. but for right now… hey I’m below 300 pieces, and that was a goal in itself 😉

And what’s leaving the house? Let’s see now… 

closet-purge

1 Dress
8 t-shirts
2 long sleeved t-shirts
2 pants
1 top
3 bras
1 scarf
1 belt
1 pair of flip-flops
1 pair of gym shorts
1 buff
3 pairs of socks
1 bikini top
1 bikini bottom
5 stockings
3 leggings
1 robe
3 long armed shirts

1 pair of dress pants
1 cardigan
1 blazer
1 outdoor jacket
=

That’s 43 items out-the-door! 

Which brings me to the grand total of = 613 so far this year.

PS. I just tallied up all the clothing and shoes I have gotten rid off since I started my “official” deluttering in 2015, and guess what, including this purge, I have more than halved my wardrobe (all of 315 items of clothing and 19 pairs of shoes, have left these premises) 🙂