Category: Journey

Life is like a roller coaster – dealing with chronic pain!

Here I am, once again, trying to catch up on my blog! My excuse? I’ve been ill (and maybe a teenzy weenzy lazy, in between).

I should really be used to this by now, I shouldn’t really let it throw me for a loop like it does. But guess what? I’m not 😦

I’m into my 7th year of this 24/7 chronic migraine and tension headache roller-coaster, and you would think I would be able to rise above it and not let it stop me in my tracks… but you know what? You can have as many intentions as you wish, but when your body rules your life, there isn’t always that much you can do about it.. other than hang on for the ride.

I know it’s sounding like I’m using this as an excuse for not keeping up with my decluttering, my blog and keeping up with you all, and yeah.. I kinda am. It’s just..  it’s a darn good excuse, because it’s a reality I live in on a daily basis.

Having an chronic illness, kinda beats the crap out of you sometimes, and makes it’s hard to stay on track with your plans.

It’s kinda like when you’re good, you’re good 🙂 , when you’re bad… oh boy…

I have this base headache that is just there all the time, 24/7. Thankfully the base headache is currently on a level, where I most of the time manage to go through my day without to much trouble. On top of my base headache I get migraines. On a good run my migraines only hit me maybe a couple of times a week, other times though – its a daily occurrence.

As with most headaches/migraines there are level of pain (that might or might not need to be treated with medication). Sometimes medication help and I can go about my day but now and then the migraines are completely debilitating. Debilitating to the point where no medication seem to help and your brain seem to want to burst out of your scull. And those are the bad days!

Those days where you are hurting so much you just want to cry, but you can’t really do that as crying makes your head hurt even more, but then you can’t help yourself and you cry anyway. Those are the days where you can no longer muster up a smile to the people around you because if you look up, it hurts you head. Those are the days you hide at home, because there is no way you can possibly fake having a “good day” in public, cause your look is a dead giveaway.. that is, if you made it out of bed. Those are the days that you kinda wish someone would just chop your head off, but that would kinda render you dead, so that’s not really a good idea now is it? (it would surely take care of that headache though 😉 ).

And then you have the really, really bad days. The days where you are seriously contemplating going to the hospital.. but you’ve tried that a few times already… and they can’t seem to help you there either.

Lately, I’ve had a bit of a bad run. Not only with the regular migraines, but a run that has included a couple of the really, really bad days. The ones that completely knock you for a loop, where you want to cry, go to the hospital and have you head chopped off.. all at once.

Over these last 7 years, I have had all of 12 seconds being totally pain free (boy, did I enjoy  the heck out of those 12 seconds 😉 ). I have however not given up hope, that I – one day…  will be pain free – or rather headache free… I am (after all) getting older, and my right hip and shoulder isn’t always all that.. but that’s age for you 😉

As bad as my head gets at times, I’m so thankful it’s not something more serious I struggle with, I do after all have it pretty easy, compared to a lot of other people.

There are many out there that have really serious problems, debilitating diseases and illnesses that might end up taking their lives. My heart goes out to them all! Compared to them, I have an exceptional good life.

There are times it’s hard for the people that sees me to understand how my day is, as most of the time I don’t look sick at all. Not only do I “fake” it good, when I’m not feeling too god, but migraines/headaches is often an invisible disease, one that is hard to explain to someone whose never ever had one.

A few years ago, I came across “The Spoon Theory”, a personal story and a simple analogy by Christine Miserandino’s of what it is like to live with a chronic illness or disability. Christine herself has lupus.

Even though I’m a complete lightweight compared to people with that kind of disability, it still struck a chord, because it explains so well (to a healthy person) how it is to live with chronic pain.

If there are any of you that struggles with chronic pain, or have people in your life that struggles with this. If you haven’t already, I would recommend that you read the “The spoon theory”, at But You Don’t Look Sick, It helps put things into perspective.

I’m not writing this for sympathy, cause I know you have my back! I’m writing this to explain why my posting is (and has been for quite some time) so intermittently, why you don’t see me much on your own blogs. And why, when I do find your blog, I “spam” you with likes instead of taking the time to write comments, as I’m trying to “catch up”.

I’m working my way through this spell, and I’m sure you’ll see me soon here at the blog. But if you don’t, I just want to let you know, I’m not gone, I’m just pacing myself.. and I’ll be popping by every chance I get, hanging out with you all here at the blogoshere 🙂

I kinda miss you, you know 😉

 

📌PS. This was not really what I was thinking of  writing today, as my plan involved a declutter post… but sometimes my mind has a mind of its own…  and all I can do is hang a left and follow along! 🙂

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 😉

 

 

 

 

 

Being “lazy” can be a good thing!

The last few months, I’ve had quite a few time-out moments.

You’ve probably noticed it, from the lack of consistency on this blog.

You might even go so far as to say I’ve been a bit lazy 🙂

Not the slouching on the sofa eating nothing but chips and pizza lazy (well, actually I’ve done a little of this too), but more the haven’t had the energy to sit down and write on my blog, clean my house, answer e-mail, exercise, kinda lazy.

With all the stuff that has been going on centered around my health, work and disability issues, I’ve had a need for an extended time-out. There are times in life where you need to listen to the body and follow it’s lead.

Just take the last week of January for example, which turned into quite a few busy days as it was the last week at my company. I think the air went out of me a bit after I officially said goodbye to my workplace. And I decided to just relax and do nothing.

So instead of rushing around doing all the things on my todo list (and there are a few things on it), I spent my time reading, watching movies, watching minimalist packing videos on youtube, hanging out with friends, booking a trip to Italy this summer (woohoo – and yes, I will write about it), being visited by my neighbor’s cats (soooo cute), sleeping in… you know! All those little things that makes life worth living 😉

The world around us is moving at a pretty fast pace and we as people are trying to keep up. We rush through life, with never ending to-do lists and commitment. Often never really stopping to “smell the roses” so to speak.

We stuff as much as possible into our days, rarely present, too focused on getting things done and racing against the clock. If you ask me, I would say that too much of this is exhausting and draining.

Yeah, I know, there is nothing really wrong with rushing – a little – but it’s difficult to rush and be present at the same time. I would go so far as to say it’s almost impossible to do so.

So why do we do it? Well, there are a lot of reasons for why. Some of them are because of; habit, avoidance, self-importance, guilt, competition, control, too much on our plate, pressure, false perceptions and sometimes even laziness (yeah, go figure)…

Let me explain!

For a lot of us rushing has become a habit, we are so used to it we don’t even notice we are doing it. It has become a state of mind, unconscious and addictive.

We fill our day with constant movement for a lot of reasons, one is we might actually have a lot to do :-). But often it is because one or more of these reasons; we don’t want to deal with our own feelings or stuff, we fear judgment, we want and need to feel needed, we feel guilty or even unworthy when we slow down, we feel like we “need to do stuff” to “be loved”, and sometimes might we feel like we have to do everything or life will fall apart.

Other times we stress because we feel a pressure to perform – from others and ourselves, we are afraid of missing opportunities and we don’t want to be bypassed. You might say we stress to impress.

Our society and us ourselves, tend to value doing over being. Sometimes it is easier to rush through life than to slow down. Rushing allows us to live on the surface, while being present takes energy and intention, as we will have to look deeper into ourselves.

So what is a person to do?

I have definitely been rushing through life at times, and I know I’ve been guilty of more than one of the reasons above for doing so.

I have however noticed that several of these reasons no longer are the same stress factors as they used to be. Maybe it’s age or maybe it’s because of this minimalist path I’ve been on. I believe it’s both.

With age comes wisdom they say 😉 I believe that as you move along in life, you’re priorities changes, and what used to be important to you might no longer matter as much.

I also know that my path towards minimalism, bundled with my health issues the last 5 years, have really had a big impact on me. Because of health, I have had to learn to slow down, and reduce the stress in my life. Because of minimalism, I no longer care as much about what everybody else thinks. There is no reason to “keep up with the Joneses” (not that I ever really did, but now even less so), there is no need to compete (because I’m good enough as I am), I definately don’t “need to do stuff” to “be loved” (if you don’t love me for who I am already.. well that just tough 😉 ) And I could go on…

I think it’s beneficial for everyone to slow down a little. Slowing down and being present can benefit your health, relationships and self being.

So how do we stop rushing through life?

Well for starters, we need to learn to take a break now and then. We need to listen to our body.

If you are tired, take a break. If you are stressed, do something for you that makes you happy. Go for a walk, play with your dog, open a window and look at the sunset and inhale, go for a run, read a book, work in the yard.. whatever that gives you a moment of happiness.

Yeah, but that’s not always easy to do.. you say.. I’ve got so much on my plate!

I know it’s not an easy thing to do, but try this one on for size: Stop and ask ourselves why.  “Why do I need to rush right now?” and “What is the rush?” Knowing why often reduces the pressure, and if you can’t even figure out why you are rushing through that particular task, why not just go ahead and stop altogether! Stop and take a breath. Take a moment to slow down, to allow yourself to be present.

Slowing down and letting go, allows you to be happier, you’ll make better decisions, you’ll inspire others, and it could change the way you look at yourself and everyone around you.

Too much stress on the other hand, and it can have a detrimental affect on your relationships and health. Just look at me 😦 It’s high stress over years and years, not listening to my bodys signal, that has ultimately resulted in me now being on disability. So please don’t be my kind of stupid, ok?

Let me tell you a little story!

A few years back, my boyfriend at the time, asked me a question while I was on the phone with him, telling him how I had done absolutely nothing that day. His question stopped me cold…  He asked Did you do it well?

I didn’t really understand what he meant at first.. What do you mean, did I do it well?

He answered back.. You’ve said you’ve done nothing all day… but did you DO it WELL? Did you do nothing well?

I had to stop and think, and realised that no I had not done nothing well.. Quite the opposite! I had jumped from one thing to another all day, not really accomplishing anything (hence the done nothing part)

I learned a valuable lesson that day! I learned that if you are going to have a “lazy/happy/fun” day, make sure to really have a lazy/happy/fun day. No “running around” working on things, no guilty trip over things that don’t get done. Instead, make sure you totally relax into that day 😉

So here is to taking a moment, a timeout so to speak, and doing it well!

I’m taking a cue from these guys, why not join me in a moment of your own 🙂

A lazy day

The end of an era!

Today is a bit of a milestone for me.

Almost 33 years ago (well 32 years, 7 months to be exact), on June 29th 1983, I started my career at my company. Today, on January 31st, I’m leaving it all behind.

Some of you might remember last summer, that I had to throw in the towel at work because of health reasons, when I had to go back to 100% sick leave, and apply for disability pension.

I’m happy to report I’ve been granted the pension 🙂  Sadly that means I will have to say goodbye to my company and my colleagues.

I started as wee little girl right out of high school, and work has been an integral part of my life, as I’ve lived for it. I love my job, and I love hanging out with my colleagues, so it’s sad having to leave.

During my time there, I have done a lot of interesting things and I’ve met a lot of great people. It’s been challenging, fun, some tears, more hugs 🙂 ups and downs, calm days and crazy days, but most of all – there has been loads and loads of laughter 🙂 I’ve made lots of friends, some who have turned into “family”.

As great as the work itself has been, there is one thing I am absolutely sure of, and that is – that it’s my colleagues, former colleagues, “family” and friends, who will always be the reason why it was as a great place to be. And the people are the reason why it’s hard to leave. It has been a pleasure working with them all, for all the inspiration and wonderful memories they have given me.

I know that often – out of sight is out of mind – and I’m sure I’ll fall out of touch with some, but happily I have good friends there, that I know I will keep in my life for a long time to come 🙂

As I leave the company, all I can say is a big – Thank you!

Thank you, all my colleagues, who have enriched my life! I will keep you close.

And now… what will my future bring? I have no idea, but I’m sure I’ll manage to fill this next chapter somehow 😉

 

Things that matter….

I just got back after a few days in Oslo, the capital of Norway, hanging out with some friends who was visiting from US, and it’s time to get serious with my decluttering again. During this summer anyone that have been reading my blog, knows my items out-the-door have pretty much been non existent.

I’m not sure why I have this persistent thought that I need to declutter some more… my house is pretty much under control, I have gotten rid of tons of stuff the last few years, and in most peoples mind I never owned that much in the first place.

I think it’s part of this minimalist journey, wanting to shed more, I see it with a lot of the other “minimalists in making” that I follow as well, that as you declutter and get rid of things, it spills over in other aspects of your life.

As we declutter we become more aware of the things that matter, of what is important to us, either in the items we own, the people we are with, or the things we choose to spend time on. So we continue to declutter our; physical items, digital stuff, mental clutter, social interactions and work stuff, in hope that we will reach the right balance. The right balance between health, family, friends, work and you!

For most of us, it’s a work in progress, a continuous path we are on, one that might never end, as we slowly evolve into the people we want to be.

And this is why I think I still feel compelled to declutter, I’m not yet where I want to be, as I still have loads of “stuff” I want and need to sort through.

Sometimes it takes an event or a major issue to wake you up! An event or issue so big, that it compels you to change your ways.

Me getting sick a few years back, have surely been an eye opener! It has put a lot of things into perspective, and made me realise a few things. I also lost my dad to an illness about 2,5 years ago, which really brought home a few truths, about how I had some of my priorities wrong.

I know I never really write much about the inner changes, this blog has mostly been about decluttering the physical stuff. I guess it’s because the physical stuff is more tangible, it is something you can show the results of.

The inner stuff is harder to put down on paper, especially since the change often is so subtle, you hardly even notice that it happens, until your are way down the line. Then all of a sudden you realize that you have changed, changed the way you view a few things, changed what is important, changed some of your priorities…

It’s this change that made me realise that there are certain things in life that is no longer worth the cost of having it in my life. It’s this change that resulted in me finally deciding to throw in the towel with work and prioritize health. Without this inner change, I would still be at it, working away, ignoring my health, slowly working my way down in a ditch I might never have gotten out of, while at the same time do irreparable damage to myself.

It’s this inner change that might one day make us realise, that the things we used to live and breath for, no longer is the center of our universes.

We might suddenly realize that, “Hey, I don’t care all that much about this thing anymore, this thing that used to be the most important part of my life, this thing I prioritized over everything else, to very often, the exclusion of everything else… whoah!”

I don’t write about my inner changes much, because I don’t know what to say, I can’t quite formulate it all. The only thing I can say, is.. that the changes I experience on my minimalist path, makes me more centered, calmer, more aware of what’s important, less materialistic, more aware of where my energy goes and more in tune with whom I want to be.

It’s a slow process, and I’m on my way.. not quite there yet, but on my way!

And the strangest thing, that every time I shed some physical stuff, it seems to help me along my path to shed some mental stuff. It’s probably because I have to seriously think about if the item is important to me and why. It might also be because I’m getting into the harder stuff, the family stuff, the photos that bring back all sorts of memories, the stuff after my dad, the stuff that carries with them their own ghosts.. some of them my ghosts…

So this is why I declutter, so that I one day might get it all cleared out!

I must be a “fraud”!

I think, I must be a fraud! There is no way I’m a minimalist!!

I just got back from visiting a new friend, a neighbour that moved in about two months ago.

I met her because she stopped over at my place to ask some questions about a couple of plants she had just bought (and just about killed already).

So what do I do? Well I just took it upon myself to get her a new healthy plant, and at the same time repotted her half dead ones in some pots I had at home! Her entrance area looks much more friendly now.

But let’s get back to the fact I’m a minimalist fraud…

As I delivered the plants, I got invited in. And yes, I know she had just moved inn after a newly divorce, so yes, I get that she might not have had all that much to start out with…  But her place was soooo minimalistic when it came to amount of furniture (some might say it was totally empty and bare), and soooo maximalistic when it came to empty space, and I loved it.

Upon entering my own place, I suddenly realised… I have a long way to go, before I’m a true minimalist…

Compared to most people, I’m doing pretty good on the minimalistic path. Comparing myself to my neighbour, I’m not sure I’m even a minimalist in training 😦

Thankfully, I don’t have to compare myself to anyone, this is not a competition 🙂  I know I have ways to go yet, before I’m where I want to be.

What I’m taking away from my visit to new friend, is the inspiration to continue to get rid off stuff, so that I might one day, end up with a place that gives me the same airy feeling, as I got when I stepped into her house.

So, it’s time to get cracking… again 😉

 

Out of commission – but still here!

I know, I’ve been out of commission for a while (again). And I am sorry (again)!

I seem to do a lot of apologizing lately, for not being able to keep up. I’m not doing to good at keeping up with family and friends, I’m definitely not keeping up with my house and garden (if you saw my house, you could attest to that. My garden on the other hand seem to enjoy the heck out of being left alone 😉 ) and I’m absolutely not been keeping up on my blog and my blog community.

I’m not sure why I feel compelled to keep apologizing all the time, I guess it’s just me feeling really bad about not being up to speed. I suppose life is like that sometimes, not always smooth sailing, now and then the sea is a little rough, and sometimes there are major storms, that keep you hanging on for dear life.

I’ve run into a bit of that rough sea lately (as you might have figured out from my extremely sporadic posts), and I’ve had to keep my focus super tight, and as a result my “life” and my blog, has, yet again, been put on the back burner.

This is not going to be one of these “let me get you up to speed with what’s going on” kinda post.

No, What I would like to convey, today, is that, I’m still here 🙂

I’m still here! And I’m working my way back! I don’t doubt I’ll be a bit, off again, on again, for a little bit longer, but I’m sure things will sort themselves out, and I will be back, stronger than ever!

I’m kinda figuring the best way to start back up is… just to, start! So I’m giving you notice, that my next few blog post might show some signs of me catching up, as I suspect they might be in a bit of a topic jumble 😉

Oh, yeah! There is one tiny thing I would like to let you in on. If you suddenly see a flurry of activity on your blogs coming from me, it is just me getting back up to speed on what my favourite bloggers have been up to. No, I won’t be spamming you with “thousands” of likes, but I will use the like button on the articles I do enjoy! So if you get a bundle of likes.. hey.. don’t blame me, it’s not my fault 😉 Oh.. and if I don’t leave a comment, it could be because someone before me have said it all.

So, please, if you can be so kind as to put up with my quirkiness for a little while longer, I’m sure I’ll be back to normal in no time… Yeah! Right! Like there is such a thing 😉

My 100th…

I can’t believe this is my 100th post!

Little did I know when I started out, how much having a blog would mean to me, and I never thought about all the milestones I would go through having a blog.

My first post – The start of my journey!

Suddenly I had my first like and my first follower, woohoo… But how on earth did they find me?

And thank you Jen over at Me woman you man for making the first comment on my blog – oh my I was excited. The cool thing! She is still with me 🙂

Soon followed the 10th post Taking a stab at my bookshelves, my 10th like, the 10th comment and my 10th follower – Ed my dearest friend 🙂

Fast forward and I’m hitting my 100 likes, my 100 comments and after a while my 100th follow by My botanical garden.

And not to forget! My first award, a Liebster award, quickly followed by a second Liebster award I sadly never wrote about, which was given to me by My Light Bag who got it from Laura at The next 50 years who got it from me 🙂  My third award was a Sunshine award and I believe I have a fourth award waiting for me (from Heather at Simply Save) whenever I get my act together to write about it 😉

And here I am; 170 followers, 3956 views, 735 comments (I believe the stats are counting mine as well, so half maybe?), 63 countries later, doing my 100th post!

It never dawn on me, starting out, that I would find kindred spirits, make blog friends, and feel like I belong to a community. Or how I would miss people when they stopped blogging (hopefully only for a while). Or how bad I would feel when I don’t have the time or energy to keep up with my community (I guess it’s just like with regular friends).

I never thought about how much pleasure I would get out of having a blog. How my mind is forever making post in my head, even though sometimes they never make it down on “paper”.

Or how I would be changing during the course of blogging and moving along my minimalistic path. How other bloggers have made me think about all sorts of things from taking better care of the environment, become more thrifty, eat healthier, travel more, single living (nice to know I’m not alone) and take better care of my health. I even believe the blogging community helped with my decision of taking a time-out!

I just want to thank you, my faithful followers, commentators, bloggers, for making my days more cheerful, mindful, reflective and sometime just plain happy 😉

Thank you!

Who the hell am I keeping it for?

I had a pretty interesting conversation recently, about what we keep. Why we keep it. Who we are keeping it for. And what interests will they have in what we leave behind!

As a woman with no kids and husband, there are not that much family left to give my family heirlooms to. The only ones left of my blood relatives are my mum, brother, half sister and some second cousins…

I have a large step-family (trough dad), but I’m assuming that whenever I’m not around any more, they might only be interested in some of my personal things. I can’t see that they would be much interested in things from my blood relatives, with maybe the exception of some of my dad’s stuff.

Thinking about this conversation have made me realize, that I’m keeping some thing from my past and my family’s past, that most likely nobody after me, will care one iota about! So who am I keeping it for? Well it turns out I’m obviously keeping it for me, and me alone! And that’s a pretty enlightening thought!

This morning I suddenly realized that keeping in mind, that I’m pretty much keeping things for me, and me alone, is going to make an big impact on my decluttering process.

I have a few bigger projects/tasks in mind for this fall. And I think the conclusion above is going to make these projects a whole lot easier to accomplish.

As an example I’ll tell you about – My huge photo collection. Tons and tons of albums, loose films, loose photos (not yet put into albums) and boxes of old inherited photos of people I barely know (or don’t know as it is). My intention have been to put the photos into albums (been working on it, on again, off again, the last few years) and the rule was, that what doesn’t go into albums will be tossed!

Somewhere along the way, I also decided I want to scan them all, so that I can have them as digital photos. Then I could clean up my albums. Since we are talking thousands of photos, this have seemed like such an undertaking, that I haven’t gotten it started yet.

Well this morning it dawned on me that, since I have no kids that will be interested. My half sister and my brother have no kids of their own (yeah we are really hopeless at producing kids). The family line is pretty much dying out with us (which is kinda sad when you think about it). So who am I keeping all these photographs for? Obviously no one! I can’t imagine my step family being interested in photos from my mums line of family, grandparents, their siblings and so on. Most likely they would just toss away the lot of it.

So what am I saying? Well for this instance, I’m saying my task of scanning suddenly got waaay less complicated. Conclusion is to keep a few key pictures as real photos (but only of people I know), scan a few more and then get rid of the rest. I mean seriously, I hardly ever look at those old photos, mum don’t ask for them and she is the only one left, who might know who they are. Dad have passed away, my brother wouldn’t care less, so why should I be so darned compelled to be the photos keeper?

So I just decided, I’m only going to keep the photos that are important to me! And me alone! So there 😉

Phew, I think I just went from several thousand of potential scans down to a third, hopefully less! But we will see how it goes when I start the job this fall 😉

But for now, I’m pretty happy with my conclusion.

I mentally decluttered a lot of things today! Especially since this doesn’t only apply to the photos…

What about you, have you ever thought seriously about what you are leaving behind, why and for whom? It might be pretty enlightening… and you never know, it might just shift a few priorities around!

Thriftiness getting in the way of decluttering?

I’m having a hard time…

Being that I have decided to only buy necessities this year, I’m trying to use up stuff I already have in my house.

As an example, let talk about… say…. toiletries!

I have all sorts of creams, hair products, facial stuff, make-up and so on. And it makes perfect sense to use up the items I have before I buy new!

Now, anybody that knows me, knows that, I have the shortest hair ever (by choice). I’d be hard pressed to use up one bottle of shampoo a year. I don’t really use hair products much. And I think I have a bottle of hairspray I’d be lucky to use up within the next 10 years.

If I manage to slap on some moisturiser in the morning, I’ve been good. Never mind facial cleanser, night cream, eye cream and other stuff.

I never really use make-up. If you see me dolled up in make-up even once a year, that’s a stretch 😉

But, and that’s the kicker, being a girl and all 😉 I do like pretty make-up and cool bottles of creams that smell nice, and my hairdresser always manage to convince me I need some products 😉

I have gotten really good the last couple years, only buying the creams/shampoo I actually use. BUT I still have cabinets full of things given to me, and items bought and not used up (or ever used). I’m not kidding you, when I tell you, that I use so little of everything, that it’s going to take years to use it all up.

So what’s the problem you might ask!

Well the challenge is that, while it makes perfect sense to use up the stuff, I really, and I mean really want to declutter my place, I just want the “crap” out of here!

In a way I’m letting my “thriftiness” get in the way of my decluttering . There are times I just want to let a “tornado” (yes, that would be me) loose and get the stuff out of my house.

But then my sensible (or we could argue, not so sensible) mind takes over.
“I should use this up, it makes perfect sense, since I’m not really buying much this year”
“I should give this away or sell this stuff, rather than recycle/toss is”
“I need to put it away, so that my sister, mother, friend, neighbour…(please feel free to add any others..)  gets a look at it, before I give to charity/recycle/toss”

All these arguments makes perfect sense – but they are getting in my way of getting the stuff out of here, and achieving the uncluttered space I’m working hard to get to. And it’s starting to frustrate the heck out of me.

Well, why don’t you just “toss” it all?

I don’t know, it’s what I want to do, but is feels sacrilegious to just “toss” things that are worth something to other people, and that might even generate some money for me. But right now holding on to stuff, just so that I can give it away, to family or friends, or make half a dollar on it, are starting to become a hassle, that just seem to stop me cold in my progress.

So what is a girl to do?

When I sat down to write today, I wasn’t really planing on writing this. I suppose this post took a turn of its own;-) It seems my frustration is bigger that I realised.  But, while writing this, I’ve come to realise what I need to do, to get a little closer, to achieving my goal of a somewhat more decluttered space.

I will keep stuff that I know I will manage to use up within a year.
Just take the toiletries mentioned above, I will keep hair products that I actually will use, but that darn hairspray is going. I’ll keep items I use, but (even if its a gift) I will get rid of things that I don’t see I will ever really get around to using or even start using within a year.

I will, when I declutter, ask friends and family if they want it (when it makes sense to ask) but, I won’t hold on to it longer than a few days, before they go out-the-door.

I will try to sell stuff that has enough value to make sense to sell (furniture or expensive items), everything else I won’t stress with. I understand that I might be able to make a buck or two, and total by the time this is all said and done I might have lost out on a 100-200 dollars or so, but that’s OK! I’d rather not having all the frustration and stress. And I think my bank account will survive 😉

But I will no longer, let the “rules” above get in my way. I’d rather just; not ask, not sell, not give away, if that makes my declutter process less frustrating and easier.

There is such a thing as, peace of mind, and right now, I think a decluttered space takes precedence over trying to be so darn “sensible”!

What about you?
How do you handle the balance between being sensible and “thrifty” and the need for a less cluttered space?  I would love any advice you might have, on finding a good balance.