Category: Journey

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.

Woohoo! A Liebster Award!!!

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Last week I was nominated for the Liebster blog award! How cool is that! Just three months into this blogging world 😉

The whole thing caught me completely by surprise. This is kind of random, and unexpected, and totally flattering… and it has taken me a few days to get it together. Thank you, Sandra at It’s Tidy Time for this wonderful gift.

Receiving the nomination, I got a little curious, what on earth is The Liebster Blog Award?

As far as I can see, nobody really know for sure, how or when this award started. But what I’ve gathered, is that it started as an idea, to recognize new bloggers. It’s given to bloggers by other bloggers, in order to create new connections, welcome them and bring attention to their wonderful blogs. COOL 🙂 As I find out more, I’ll put it together on a separate page

A short summary for now:

  • It’s on the internet only, as a virtual award.
  • It is given to bloggers by other bloggers.
  • “Liebster” is a German word, meaning dearest or beloved, but it can also mean favourite.
  • It follows the principles of a “chain letter”, in the sense that it should be passed forward to a certain number of people.
  • Each of us choose if we want to; accept it, and continue paying it forward or refuse it.
  • The “rules” have changed over time, so now several sets of rules exist.
  • It seems to have been started in Germany, late 2010.
  • Earliest reference I’ve found so far, is to a post on a German site December 19th, 2010.

Now back to my nomination 🙂

Thank you, Sandra over at It’s Tidy Time for nominating me for my first award, ever 🙂

Here are the RULES received from Sandra – not the original ones from back in 2010 – but a different set:

  • Thank the rockin’ blogger that nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions you were given
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 500 followers
  • Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer
  • Tag your nominees and post a comment in their blog so they know they’ve been nominated!

ANSWERS to the questions I was given:

1. Where do you like to blog? Since it’s been winter since I started my blog, I blog at home, mostly curled up in my sofa with my laptop/ipad.
2. Who is your main inspiration in life? I don’t’ think I have a main inspiration, there are so many to be inspired by. A few:
– my friends Lisa and Mia for following their dreams, love you girls!
– Ed, for being the best dad ever (and my best friend), love you sweetheart 🙂  (and no, we’re not dating 😉 )
– my dad, who sadly passed away less than a year ago
– my step-mum for putting her “best foot forward” after loosing dad, after 30 odd years
– and there are so many more, way to many to count, so I won’t…
3. How do you feel about winter? Living on the west coast of Norway, winters tend to be wet and grey! So I gotta admit I love the season of sun and warmth! But if you give me a couple of cold, sunny snow filled days? Then we’re talking…
4. What was the happiest day of your life? Happiest day, oh gosh, there are so many, how to choose? So I won’t, and leave at it that 😉
5. Which movie makes you laugh out loud, literally? It’s Complicated, with Meryl Streep, Steve Martin and Alex Baldwin
– the Skype scene in it, just about had me fall out of my movie theatre seat, I was laughing so hard.
6. What’s your favourite candy? Why! Chocolate, off course 😉
7. If you could be any animal, what would it be and why? TIGER. They are confident, strong, independent, both solitary and social animals. I don’t know if it is because I would want to be like them, or because I am like them, that they appeal to me. I actually think it’s both! I can be both strong, independent, solitary and social. I think it’s the confidence the tiger has, that I wish I had little bit more off.
8. Android or iPhone? Both
9. What would be your favourite country to visit?
Counties I’ve already been to – US – I have so many friends there
Countries I’ve never been to – Africa – I’ve always wanted to go there
10. Coffee or tea?  Hmmm, Cafe Mocha – does that count?
11. What would your dream retirement scenario look like? Dream retirement! Living in a warmer climate, close to the beach, hanging out with friends, sipping margaritas 😉 and having the financial freedom to travel as much as I want.

MY NOMINEES
Okay, this is going to be difficult. Hmmm, let’s see… Voila! I pass The Liebster Award to – in no apparent order 😉

The Next 50 Years
Living not Wanting
365 minus 1
Musings from a Tangled Mind
Journey thru L
Me Woman You Man
Life Decluttered
newbieminimalist
quarteracrelifestyle
For the Love of Loving Things
Moving forward

There are a couple of blogs I would have loved to nominate – but they have more than 500 followers – so I’ll call them honorary mentions 😉

Simply Save – just squeaking by the 500 mark – already a Liebster – but absolutely worth a check
Life Out of the Box – I love how they use their time giving back to world by supporting school kids in less fortunate countries
Turquoise Compass – makes me want to buy a backpack – I wish I was 20 again…

QUESTIONS to my nominees
1. What is the one thing you are proud of?
2. If you won the lottery, by a substantial amount (so money was no longer a factor), what would you do?
3. Your absolute favourite dessert?
4. What three words do you think your closest friends would use to describe you and what three words would you use to describe yourself?
6. Your favourite quote?
7. Mountains or beach?
8. Can you sing?
9. What is number one on your bucket list?
10. Holy smokes! The apocalypse is here! Your family and pets are safe. You’re at home and can only take what you can carry. What do you save?
11. If you could have a teleportation device that connects your current location to one specific location, what would that location be and why?
12. You get a letter in the mail from 90-year-old you. She/He tells you 3 amazing things you’ve accomplished. What are those 3 things?

My final task, is to let the above bloggers know that I’ve tagged them.

I’m working on it. But you know what, I’ve been working on this for a while and I am anxious to get the post out of the “draft” folder, so I’m gonna go ahead and publish it and the individual notifications will show up eventually 😉

Auf Wiedersehen, mein Liebster’s 😉

Judging others!

We judge

This quote found it’s way to my mailbox, and the statement is so true..

And I’m guilty!

I’m guilty of having judged myself by my original intent; on what I was planning to do (even if I didn’t actually do that) while I’ve judged others by what they actually did.

I’m guilty of my behaviour not always reflecting my intentions.

I’m guilty of having given myself more “leeway”, while I have given others less or even none.

I’m guilty of having given people a hard time or even brushed them off because of their behaviour. Not having given them the benefit of the doubt.

Then again!

I’m also guilty of having given people to much benefit off doubt, having looked for good intentions, that might not have been there in the first place.

I’m also guilty of being too hard on myself for not having the right intentions or behaviour

How do I “judge” people?
By several things actually. How they act in public, how they speak to others, how they look, how they dress, what they say and how they say it. In a way it’s about morals, values, and ethics. There is a difference though, between people that I just pass during the day, and people that are in my life for more than a day.

For people I just pass in day, yes I judge them by their actions and I don’t always go out of my way to understand their intentions. They do say that “Actions speak louder than words”, and there are a truth to that. When it comes to people that are in my life for a longer time or even “permanently”, I try harder to find the intentions behind their behaviour. But then again, there is no doubt, I can do better…

So what does this mean?
I believe this means we should take a look at ourselves. It’s easier to to point the finger at someone else than it is to own up to our own flaws. Don’t be quick to judge anyone. Find a good median line, not to tough nor too lenient. Make sure we judge others how we expect them to judge us. Give others the same leeway we give ourselves, and give others the same benefit of doubt that we expect from them.  I believe we should strive towards having our intentions and behaviour aligned – to make sure the inside and outside convey the same message.

And when in doubt! Talk to people. Communication is the best way to avoid misunderstandings, don’t just assume we know their intentions from their behaviour. Give them a quick question about their intention, or what’s going on with them. We never know what day a person have, or what’s going on in their lives, that might affect their behaviour. Check it out… so at least you are clear about what’s going on, before you pass judgement. Make sure the “penalty fits the crime” so to speak 😉 And that goes for ourselves as well, that we are hard enough, but not too hard on how we judge ourselves.

And me? There is definitely times when my behaviour is out-of-whack, and I need to do a better job, at explaining my intention, or even say I’m sorry, when I see my behaviour is not the best (we all have bad days). I also need to get better at clarifying other peoples intention, before I let their behaviour affect too much how I feel (they might have a bad day too). There is obviously work to be done!

What about you…do your “inner and outer” send the same message?

One small positive thought…

One small - ordtak

I’ve been battling a bit of a headache the last few days and it’s not exactly been doing any wonders for my mood 😉 I was sorting through some documents at my office and I came across this quote, and it hit me right in the face, and completely shifted my attitude 🙂

You know the saying “starting the day off on the right foot”. I think “starting your day with the right thought“, is the essences off that saying. One small thought, either positive or negative, has the potential to influence your whole day, or even days.

Your thoughts can colour your day. Now off course things happen and we can’t always control everything that happens around us, but what we can control is how we react to what happens.

Your thoughts and mood can influence how you are with your family, how well you perform at work and how you relate to friends, colleagues and strangers. Fortunately we have the power to to choose. You can choose positive thoughts and gratefulness, or you can choose negative thoughts and pessimism.

I choose to start on a positive note. How do you choose to start your day?

A change of course…

I’ve come to realise, that, this… “one thing a day” might not work for me.

“Aha.. giving up already? Isn’t this a little early to throw in the towel?”  Yepp. I can hear you already!

But, you could be wrong 😉

I didn’t say I would stop my decluttering. What I’m saying is that there is this odd chance that I might not have the patience for getting rid of only one item a day. I kind of forgot for a minute, that I’m not really the most patience type 😉 I sort off want to get rid of stuff now, I mean right now… I don’t really want to wait around.

At the same time, I also know that to declutter some stuff, I need to do other stuff first, something which will take time.

To give you one example. One of the declutter tasks I’m planning, is to get rid of most of my papers files. But first I have to scan important papers, to digital form. And that not a job done in a few minutes. And this is not my only digitizing project (I’ll tell you all about them as I move along).  So you see, some declutter items are bigger “projects” on their own.

So what am I saying?  

I’m letting you know I will get rid of at least 365 items as promised, but I might get rid of them in bulks 😉

The key thing is: I will be working on the clutter in my life, through the year. And I will be telling you all about it as I go along.

When I started this, I didn’t have a clear picture about where I wanted to go with this blog, other than posting my daily declutter item.

Now that I’m getting a little into this, I’m coming up with more and more ideas about what I’d like to write about. So stay with me, we are going to have fun with this… 🙂

Loosing a loved one…

Today I got some sad news from a friend of mine. His mum had passed away quite suddenly. Losing a loved one is hard and my heart goes out to him.

It brought back memories from times I’ve spent together with both him and his mum, and I just want to give him the biggest hug.

Writing this makes me think of all the people that have been part of my life. They have been in my life for a lifetime or a moment (and everything in between). And one way or another they have all been important.

Some have come quickly and left just as quickly, but even so, they’ve made an impression. Some have stayed awhile and left footprints all over my heart, and some have changed my life forever.

Some I’ve tolerated and some I have liked. Some I have loved lightly and some I have loved deeply. And in the midst of all this we have all been in each other life’s for a reason. To teach, challenge or love each other.

What happened today, reminds me that life is short. And we should all embrace the people that comes into our life. If they are here for a reason, a season or a lifetime!

RIP.

Heart modified

Surfing the net all day….

Today I’ve not been doing much de-cluttering 😦

I’ve been spending my time online instead.  You know how you sometimes are “just going to” look up something on the internet, and before you know it you’ve been roaming around for hours out the in the world wide web. That’s where my evening have gone.

It all started because I wanted to find out how I can connect a domain I already have, to this blog, so that I get a “proper” web address. I think I have figured it out.. now I just have to set it up, and hopefully without completely crashing my site 😉

I’m waiting for the company that I have my domain with, to update some stuff (which they said could take up to 24 hours) – so hopefully tomorrow?

Wish me luck will you 🙂

A perfect day

It’s been raining and raining for weeks, and today I woke up to the the most beautiful, clear and sunny day. One of those zero degrees, chilly, clear days with a hint of white powder on the ground.

And for the first time in a while I could go outside and “smell the roses” so to speak.

I know, not much roses growing this time a year, but if you check out the white plant below, it’s actually called Christmas rose here in Norway (just don’t smell much though) 😉

Being outside on this clear, chilly day, cleared the “cobwebs” out of my mind and cheered me up no ends.

You might say, it was just what the doctored ordered 🙂

You see, sometimes it doesn’t take a lot, for us to lower our stress hormones, making ourselves a little happier and look at the bright side of life. Sometimes all it takes, is waking up to a beautiful day 🙂

And today reminded me of an daily exercise I used to do, but that somewhere along the way got forgotten.

My daily routine
It’s the first thing you should do when you wake up in the morning, and the last thing you should do before you go to bed.

Open a window, balcony or entrance door (anything that opens up to the outside) stick your head out,close your eyes and take a deep breath of fresh air, hold it and exhale slowly. Open your eyes and take another “how many breath you want” 😉 and just be, be in the now, even if it’s just for a second.

I’m not kidding… It’s such a stress buster… and I think it’s a good routine for everyone to have. We are so busy with everything, that sometime we just forget to stop up and “smell the roses”. I’ve found that this small routine is the greatest way to start and end the day. I’m in the moment, even if it’s only for that second or two…

So I will bring back this routine, to declutter my mind 🙂

I’ll take a deep breath tonight. Why don’t you give it a try 😉

My Christmas roses
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Just couldn’t resist, just had to show you a couple of more from my entrance 🙂
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I want, I want – I want it now!!!!

I think it’s time to move out of this consumerism mindset. First of all it’s expensive, and second it tends to generate stuff… and since my goal for this year is to reduce stuff…out the door the shopping sprees goes 😉

Today I’m taking a stab at decluttering my life in 2014 with a promise – to make an effort to buy only necessities. You know, needs rather than wants.

Now, this doesn’t mean I’m going to live on oats, walk around with my toe sticking out my socks, only shower once a week, never use the car, use next to no electricity and so on…. you get the picture 😉

Nope, I have every intention of still living good. In my world, I believe necessities are what you need to survive, and live a happy life.

This definition, might include items in addition to the basics of food, clothing, and shelters. But the key is; what do you really need? And even more so, do you need it all the time? or can it be an occasional treat?

Since we are all have different life’s and interests, needs will differ from person to person. Have you ever thought about what your absolute needs are?

I know, this might not be for everybody, but if you have been thinking about the same lately. You know: buying less, saving money, less impact on the environment and so forth. And if you like me, just starting out, why don’t you make a list of your own, like I’m doing below 🙂

My overall general rules

Only buy necessities. Replace an item that is broken/ used up only if I really, really need to.
I will use up the stuff I have before I consider replacing.
I will try to find creative ways to meet my needs, and make do with the things I already have before I consider buying more.

Some of my allowances

Yes, allowances, I gotta live a little 😉

Books – I can buy up to 10 books/magazines for the whole year – you might say this is not a necessity, but I love books, and house/garden magazine and believe me a total of 10 books or magazine is quite a limit for me. And I will preferable get them as e-books since I don’t want to add to my already overflowing bookshelves.

Eating out – I eat out a lot, and the goal for 2014 is to cut down to at least half the amount of times I eat out. Yes I know, eating out is not an necessity either, but it’s an enjoyment I’m not quite willing to let go of yet.

Flowers and plants – I love my garden, I might even be a little bit obsessive about it – just ask anybody that know me 🙂 And I love having plants and flowers in my house, so I will allow myself to get some summer plant for the garden and the occasional orchid or cut flowers for indoors. But I do promises to not go totally overboard like I have a tendency to do. The goal for 2014 it to cut down to procuring less than half of what I normally would.

None negational items

I have several projects inside and outside the house, that have been in the making for quite some time and are planned for this year. These I will have to spend a little money on. And even thought doing the projects might not be strictly necessities (well, some of them are starting to be), I am still sticking to my my original plan 🙂 So what are these projects you may ask? Well… I’ll let you know as I move along with them…

That is it, so far!

If I think of something else for the list I can always add it later.

But if I can do this, I’ll say it’s a good start on living with less.