Category: Projects

A “little” bit of help…

When you last heard from me, I mentioned that we had been working a bit at my stepmoms place as she wanted underfloor heating installed.

My plan was to make a blog-post about it as soon as we were done, but something came up and B and I had to jump on a plane to England to help out my mum (nothing serious.. she just needed a little help). We came home a couple of weeks ago, with a little gift… the flu 😦

Not only had we been infected by someone on the plane… but unfortunately we managed to give it to my mum as well, which she really didn’t need.. poor girl 😦

It’s taken a while, and I’m still sniffling like crazy.. but at last.. I’m back on the computer, so I thought it was time for that blog post about the work we have been doing 😉

My stepmom lives in a building with several condominiums, it’s an older building and when it was built, it was not common to install heating cables in the floors. Today however, underfloor heating is pretty much the norm here in Norway (it gets cold you know 😉 )

As my stepmom was getting tired of freezing here little feet off, she decided she wanted to have underfloor heating installed.

She figured the smart way to handle that project, was to give the task to me, and then jump on a plane to Spain for the fall season 😉

It wasn’t really a difficult project as it mostly meant organizing people to come over to do the work. But even so, it turns out B and I spent a lot of hours on this.

So lets get on with it shall we?

As the main part of the house was being “torn up”, we had to pack everything away into one bedroom. I feel sooooo sorry for that bedroom, we filled it to the brink, and you could hardly get in the door, by the time we had emptied the living room/dining room/kitchen area. It took us two days to empty it all (yeah.. we (read: me) wear out easy).

 

As the engineered wood floors she had before was only about three years old, our plan was to reuse the flooring if possible.

When we had it all cleared and ready, the hardwood floor people came over to remove the old flooring. To make sure we kept the budged, B and I helped as much as we could. It was kinda cool, because I learned a thing or two about removing old flooring your want to keep. And, guess what.. we managed to salvage all of the floor.

Turned out the were old linoleum underneath, which B and I tore out on our own…. and oh boy… was it dusty… but sooooo much fun 😉

When it was all torn up, we found that the concrete floor underneath it all, wasn’t all that even 😦  After a bit of discussion with the electrician and the floor people, we concluded that the only way the end result would be half decent, was to have the floor leveled. Which happily was something the floorers could help us do.

They took of to get their floor leveling gear, while B and I got rid of the old linoleum at the recycle plant. And then met back up a couple of hours later.

I helped with priming the floor while B helped carry all the bags of self leveling compound/concrete (yeah.. heavy work.. which I was staying well away from 😉 )

Day four was dedicated to mixing and leveling the floor. We helped with the mixing of concrete, but left the leveling to the experts.

Day five was a follow up day to level off the last bits and pieces.. and then all we could do for a few days was to leave it all to dry.

 

I am so impressed with the products they have today.  They give you the opportunity to add heating to the floors without having to put down heavy cables.

The electricians needed only one day, first they put down some underfloor mats (0,6mm) that keeps the heat from going into the concrete below (the green you see). Then they added the super thin underfloor heating film which is only a few millimeters thick. On top they put a thin layer of plastic, and then it was time to put the wooden floors back in.

After the floor was all done, the electrician came back to test that all was OK with the floor, and to finish the rest of his work. (yeah we had a little list for him 😉 )

And then it was time.. to clean it all up and put the house back together again!

Funny thing.. it almost took us longer to put it back together again, that it took to take it apart..  strange how that is 😉

So now it’s back as good as we can get it… I’m sure my stepmom has to rearrange a book or two… but hey… we gotta leave a little for her to do.. wouldn’t you say?

Now the kicker… when you walk in today it looks exactly the way it did a few months back.. the only difference is an tiny thermostat on the wall.  Good thing I’m adding some pictures here, it’s the only proof we’ve been up to anything at all, lol 🙂

 

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

🙂 

 

 

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! 😉

Spring project – One big wooden deck!

B and I have been a couple of busy bees lately (actually, since we came home from England, helping mum out). We’ve been working away at building a 540 square feet (about 50 square meter) wooden deck.

Yep, you heard right.. a itzy bitzy 540 square feet deck… just kidding, in our world this is a big deck!

Last fall, we visited a former colleague of mine, and she happened to mention she’s been wanting (for quite a while now) to extend her current deck, with about 150 – 170 square feet.

We thought that sounded like a fun little spring project, so we kinda threw it out there – “Hey.. we can help you with that!” 🙂

Little did we know at that time, that this tiny little project would take on a life of it own (which I guess things have a habit to do), and morph into a 540 square feet project instead.

That’s a heck of a change, you say, and you would be right 😉

As the story goes, there was a good reason though. There was a bit of discussion on how to add the extension to the old deck, and make it look half decent (the old part was close to 40 years old). So we all decided that, for the deck to look it’s best, we would remove the old deck boards and put down brand new ones. And presto, now we are talking 540.

Turns out it was a good decision, as a few of the old deck boards were in bad shape (some even rotten). It also gave us the opportunity to strengthen the old wooden frame (which had some flaws from earlier builds), and replace areas that had had a little to much wear and tear.

So there you have it… This is where our time has been going the last few weeks (which is why you haven’t seen me on the bloggosphere much).

The project has taken a little while, but thankfully my friend haven’t minded this at all, she’s been happy with any progress we had… I’m super thankful for this, as there was never any pressure on us, and it worked perfectly with me and my need to pace myself (due to my health issues). I wish everyone was as patient as this.  🙂

But slow going or no. Guess what? We are now officially done, new deck, new stairs and everything. And boy does it look good if I say so myself 🙂

Why don’t you take a look for yourself 😉

OLD DECK 

ALL TORN UP

BUILDING THE FRAME ADDITION

DECK BOARDS GOING IN

WOOHOO! ALL DONE 🙂

 

What do you think…? Approved?

Can’t wait to see some flowers on it later this summer… I’m sure we can sneak a visit to check it out, when she has it all decked out (see what I did there 😉 ) with furniture and plants.

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) 🙂

21:08 – The colors of a rainbow!

2017-21-day-8It’s day eight of this years first 21 day declutter challenge.

It’s been a while (again) since my last post and there is a reason, why I’ve been on the quiet side.

My bestie from Houston (well US altogether) had to come over to Stavanger for a few days for work/meetings/seminar. He added a couple of days to his trip, to hang out with me 🙂

It turned out that there was quite a few people from our Houston office who was going to the same arrangement, so last week was filled with loads of fun, not only hanging out with my best friend but also hanging out with some of my former colleagues from my Houston days.

To clear up the house for the visit, I tucked all my small declutter projects back into cabinets and drawers, and now that I have the house for myself.. it’s time to bring them all back out in the open 😉

I decided to start with one easy task, hoping to get my total past the 500 mark.

Today it’s all about pens and paper!

I collected all my pens and coloring pencils in one “big” pile, and I found out I had a lot. A lot I no longer use, a lot of duplicates and some that was just broken… all in all.. I had way more than I could possible need.

Not only did I have loads of pens and pencils. Turns out I might be a tiny bit of a journal, post it note, paper pad and notebook hoarder as well!

So guess what? I decided to say bye, bye to a few on them.

Where are they going? Let’s just say, I have an awesome neighbor with two kids who will happily take them off my hand 😉

Here we are – 59 pens/pencils

pencils-small

and 24 notebook/post-it pads/journals

notebooks-small

That’s 83 items leaving the house! 

Which brings me to the grand total of = 570 (so far 😉 )

I know I’m taking my own sweet time on this challenge, and at this rate it might be summer before I’m done. But.. you know what? As long as the result is stuff leaving the premises, never to be seen again… I’m good with it taking a while 😉

And hey, you never know.. before I’m done with this challenge, I might be hitting a 1000 (a girl can wish, right) 😉