Yesterday I mentioned I was going to start a new 21 day declutter challenge, to kick start another declutter year. Guess what.. that makes this day ONE 🙂
And what better to start, but with the most difficult thing in the world to declutter… books!
Hold on.. did you say books?
Yepp.. your heard right.. I’m starting with books.
You have most likely all heard about KonMari and how you should keep only the things that brings you JOY!
Well.. if I’m am going to follow KonMari on this, I will be in big trouble, as ALL my books brings me joy. So I figured I will have to go about it differently.
LET’S BACKTRACK A LITTLE
Back in 2014, I started reading myself through my bookshelves, and called it my “Read a book program“. The idea was to read one of my books, grade it, and depending on the grade it got, either keep it or get rid of it.
When I started my “read a book program” I would sort the books into the following categories:
Books I love
Only books I love are keepers and deserve a place in my bookshelves. These are the ones that I will read over and over again, or they are part of a special collection, they have sentimental value, are an absolute keep for reference/work/hobby reasons or I just absolutely have to keep for one reason or another.
Books I like
Books I like, but which are not quite in the “I love” category, gets donated/tossed or sold. I did/do however check if they can be bought as Kindle e-books first.
Books that didn’t excite me
Out the door – either as donate/toss or sell.
HOW DID THIS GO?
I did really good during 2014 and 2015, getting rid of quite a few books (about 1/3 of my collection). 2016 however, I hardly read a book 😦
So I really think it’s time to start up my “Read a book program” again.
I have an overall goal when comes to my books.
My goal (sometime into the future) is to have most of my books as e-books (kindles)
There are two reasons for this,
1. My books will use less space in the house
2. It will be easy to bring my books with me when I travel the world (which is another dream of mine)
BACK TO DAY ONE AGAIN
To kick start the whole BOOK thing, I figured an initial run through my books might be a good idea. I’ve just taken a serious look at them, and lo and behold.. I DID find a few that I’m quite sure I wont be reading again anytime soon (if ever) 😉 I checked, and they are all on kindle, so here we are..
One run through my bookshelves = 22 books leaving the house
Since I’m picking up on my reading program again, with the intention of “emptying my shelves”, I’m sure you will see a few more books leaving this house in 2017 (at least I hope so).
I will keep some of my absolute LOVES (and some that I like and can’t get as e-books, yep, I have a few of those too), and in general follow my old rules.
What I do for all the books I handle is; I write down the title and author, the grade I have given them, can they be bought as kindle books? I do this regardless of if they are loved, liked or discarded. I’m thinking it will help me get rid of more books, and the grades will tell me if they are worth getting as kindles later.
Also, this time I will try to be a bit more ruthless than I have been in the past. Hopefully this will help me reach my 2017 goal, of 100 books out-the-door!
I know this is not a lot of books, but I told you the books brings me JOY, right? And since I have culled my bookshelves several times before (I mean.. seriously culled them over and over and over again), my bookshelves consists of pretty much only books that I love/like!
For now though – as a start – and on day one – 22 books out-the-door 🙂
We’re at day 15 of my 21 day declutter challenge.
Going through a bunch of drawers today, I came across a lot of those little things, the ones that seemed like a good idea to hold on to, for one reason or another… but who has turned out to just be space fillers instead.
So why not let my drawers breathe a little!
As it’s my birthday today, I decided to make my decluttering a bit more challenging, Why not try to match number of items with my years?
How old am I? You’re asking…
Well stay tuned and find out…
And here we are… xx pieces going out-the-door!
2 travel toothbrushes
2 hand sanitizing sprays
2 eye masks
3 luggage tags
1 travel “foot sofa”
1 box with contact lens holder and parts (cool thing with eyes)
1 travel body wash
1 travel hand cream
1 shampoo bottle
1 toiletry bag
1 ironing cloth
14 orchid support sticks (count as 1)
1 sun glass protector case
1 happy birthday mini music box
2 pairs of socks
old wet wipes (count as 1)
1 heel insert for shoes
2 air buds
1 homemade wallet
bunch of string (count as 1)
1 old hard drive
1 piece of pool lining
1 belt phone holder/protector
2 small dolls
1 metal box
1 Norwegian flag
random small pieces of cloth (count a 1)
1 expired roll of airborn
2 bags/makeup bags
1 tiny snuggly bear
1 postcard with a description of my name
1 metal water bottle
YEPP – that would be 52 🙂
I’m being joined in this challenge by:
– Barb, at Decluttering The Stuff, joined for 14 days. Her total count? 146 (so far) 🙂
– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, check out her declutterathon, day two, three and four
– Grace, at The CFO MOM Blog, getting her groove on, decluttering a few more bags.
– Jen, at The Hidden Hoarder, is on day 14, and are now at the grant total of 516!!! (I’m only at 216, so we do have that 16 number in common 😉 )
It’s ridiculous how long I’ve been working on this post… I started it weeks and weeks ago.. and then I completely forgot all about it lurking around in the drafts folder… until I suddenly went.. oh crap.. didn’t I..??? Yeah you guessed it, I suddenly remembered that I had not posted it after all. How the heck could I forget?
And here we are, almost done with February. And I still haven’t given you the update on how I did with my 2015 goals! 😳
How can I make it up to you? Well I guess I could just go ahead and give you that update!
Before I do, I have a teensy-weensy disclaimer!
2015 turned out quite differently than I had anticipated. As some of you know, I had to throw in the towel at work, June 2015 for health reasons. Following that particular decision, a few things happened during the fall, things that was completely outside of my control, which unfortunately, took a toll on my health.
I know, I know.. it’s a poor excuse… But excuse or not, it is an explanation for why I completely flunked on some of my goals, as you will see below.
I did have quite few goals, and even though I flunked a lot, I did accomplish one or two…
So here it is, my (ahem) “quick” update, starting with one of the ones I actually passed 🙂
My overall goal when it comes to my house mortgage, is to pay it down as quick as possible. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage (a quick explanation of my mortgage). My goal for 2015 was to to save up NOK 60 000,- for my lump sum in January 2016. And I did it. Actually I was a ahead of schedule and had saved my yearly down payment by October. With a little extra savings in November.
I did debate paying down more than my 60 000 this January, but I decided I’d rather invest that extra money in mutual funds, as the interest rate on my mortgage is really low.
With this last payment, I’m down to 1/4th left on my mortgage, only 9 years in 🙂 Do I get a woot, woot?
I had a bunch of declutter goals. Just as in 2014 I wanted to shed an item a day. In addition to that, I had a few other “projects” like reading myself out of my bookshelf, watching myself out of my movie collection, and (the big mother of projects) photos!
My declutter goals for 2015:
- 😀 365 items – 561 items out the door – the big purges are mentioned here, here and here…
- 100 Movies – 68 movies
- 😦 Cut physical DVD series collection by 30% – I’ve only gotten rid of one series which probably amounts to all of 1%
- 34 books – 27 (I ran into too many I wanted to keep)
- 😦 Photo collection – I never had a proper goal on this as I have thousands of photos, and the idea was to – keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. – All I can say…. it IS on the list for 2016 (and 2017… and 2018… and…)
ONLY BUYING NECESSITIES
2014 was a year I focused a lot on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!), and it served me so well that I continued in 2015. I had some non necessities allowances though;
- 😀 Books – buy only 10 books/magazines – I bought 6 books (4 of them e-books), no magazines
- 😀 Flowers and plants – same level of 2014 – I cut about 60% on 2014 results
- 😦 Eating out – reduce 25% on 2014 results – we have already established that this item is something we struggle with. So it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that we flunked this one completely. Here are the statistic:
- we ate out 39% more times than 2014
- average cost per meal was reduced 9,5% – resulting in
- total cost for 2015 was increased with “only” 25,9%
Even though the results are pretty bismol (with the exception of average cost per meal) there is one upside in it all.
You see, both B (my eating out partner in crime) and me stopped working early/mid 2015. B took out an early retirement + was hit by company downsizing, leaving the workforce early spring. And I, well I started the year working only 20% until I left completely in June, when I went out on 100% sick leave.
We have found out in the past, during holidays and such, that we eat out more when we are not working. In lieu of the fact that most of the year have been non working days, for us both, I’m actually surprised that we did not increase our cost by more than 25,9%. So yeah, we gotta look at the bright side of this 😉
- ❓ I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year – Hmm lets see, I bought:
- 2 lamps at an antique fair – the lamps are going over my dining table (been looking the last 5 years – finally found some I think might be cool.. as soon as I change the wiring 😉 )
- 1 pair of shoes (needed a pair that can work as my one pair only for minimalist travel)
- a few Lush products to test out deodorants and shampoos in solid form (travel)
- a couple of eagle creek super light travel pouches (travel)
- 6 pieces of clothing – 4 replacing worn out items, 1 item filling a hole in my wardrobe, and 1 just because I wanted it…
- 1 frame for a poster (picture finally on the wall after years and years in a roll)
- a set of omaggio vases
Depending on how you want to count these non essentials, it’s either a flunk or pass scenario. If you look at it from a “if every single item counts separately” then, yes I bought more that 10 items. But if “each purchase count as one” (eg lush, lamps, vases..) then I guess I kinda passed? You know what? I’m leaving it to you to decide 😉
ACTIVITY AND EXERCISE
The goal for 2015 was to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.
Yeah, that didn’t happen (re my disclaimer) – I did pretty good during summer with an average of 6 times a week, but I took a crashing nosedive end of August, resulting in this goal going straight out the window for the rest of the year. So yeah.. a big, big fail 😦
As always, I enjoyed my garden as much as possible. In addition I had a few other projects.. mostly helping out family and friends with little things in the house.
I did however have a bit of a larger task, helping a friend who got a new house in 2015. Picture this, a house built in 2000 with interiour like the 1970s! Yeah, non painted pine, red, orange and yucky cream/brown/puke coloured wall… and thats for starters. For her it became quite a renovation project.. so B and me tried to help out as much as my health would allow. You know things like; painting, drawing up the new kitchen, delivering doors to be spray painted, changing door handles, cutting moldings to fit new wardrobes, more painting, installing the wifi, hanging curtain rods, “create” (rather adjust) a couple of ikea kitchen units to fit the space… you know.. all the little things that comes up during move in and renovation 😉 It turned out to be a fun and very social summer as she had lot and lots of friends helping.. oh yeah.. and there was lots and lots of great food, do I need to say more 😉
All in all, it was a great summer season!
This concludes my “How did I do on my 2015 goals”!
About time, you might say! All I can say is.. Yeah, I know 😳
Christmas this year was a quiet affair, just mum, B and me. For some reason we ended up with a casual approach to it all, not the typical dress up versions we normally have. I have to admit, I like the casual approach much better. Had I known in advance, I could have packed half of what I brought, clothing wise that is 😉
I’ve been home for about a day from my UK trip, and I’m all unpacked, the washing is done, I’ve finished the book I got for Christmas, and it’s time to get back into the declutter game 😉
You might remember, my plan was to shed 210 items this month. I didn’t quite get there before I left on my trip. I did have a few things that was all ready to go, but since I never got around to writing about them….
So I figured, this is as good a time as any to catch up on those items, and while I’m at it, why don’t’ I just throw a couple of more items into the mix to see if I actually might make it to my 210?
Here we go – 80 items out-the-door:
- 28 DVD’s (18 movies and 1 DVD series) – part of my “Watch a movie program“
- 7 books – part of my “Read myself out of a book shelf” program
- 1 worn out CD case
- 4 flower pots
- 3 flower pot trays
- 1 T-shirt
- 1 long sleeved top
- 1 pair of socks
- 21 items of miscellaneous stuff
- 13 used notebooks and user guides
I believe this will be my last purge for 2015, considering new years is just around the corner 😉
Did I manage my 210 for the month of December? Well, why don’t you check this out;
I’d call that a PASS, wouldn’t you?
coming out of my ears!
As most of you know, I’ve been on this quest to read myself out of my bookshelves the last year. And my plans are to continue to do so this year. That’s all good and well, until I spent weeks trying to get through one book! OK, so the book had 900 pages, and yes it is the size of 2,5 regular books.. but still… I spent pretty much all of January on this one book… (that’s how it is when you only have 30 minutes here, and 30 minutes there)
How on earth am I going to get rid of 34 books this year if I need a month on each?
Well, thankfully book reading have gone a little smoother this month, and I found a bunch I can’t bother to read again. So I have managed to rack up a number for my first book instalment this year after all 🙂
Here it is, 17 books going out-the-door!
Hey! That means I’m halfway there already! Woohoo! I didn’t realize how many it was until 3 seconds ago when I counted them up…
That’s really cool, because as soon as spring hits us! We all know I’ll be spending most of my time in the yard, and my books will yet again be collecting dust 😉
We are halfway into January, and you’re wondering, do I have any plans for 2015?
Yes, off course 🙂
I have plans within the areas of decluttering, finance, exercise and life in general! Why don’t you let me tell you all about it 😉
In 2014, the focus was mostly on decluttering, and I’m afraid I still have ways to go 😦 Seems like decluttering and getting less stuff, inspires me to want less and less. So I will continue this in 2015. Last years goal was to declutter one item a day (365 items) and I far succeeded that, so I thought maybe I should try that one, one more time.. I think it will be harder this year to find the 365 items, but I’m sure gonna try 😉
I don’t know if you remember! Just like I’m reading myself out of my bookshelf, I’ve decided to watch myself out of my movie collection, and I also have this big, actually huge, photo project which I mentioned for you guys in November, that I will be spending time on this year.
My declutter goals for 2015;
- 365 items
- 100 Movies – that’s half of my collection
- Cut my physical DVD series collection by 30% (yeah, that’s a lot, I have a lot, a lot of series)
- 34 books – I did 82 or something like that, out-the-door last year, but now I’m getting into more of the books I love…
- Photo collection – oh lord… I can’t even tell you what my goal is for this year! Half maybe?
My overall goal is to keep key photos as physical photos, scan the other ones I’d like to have access to, and get rid of the rest. Now having several thousand photos, this is a task that will take time, and most likely spill over into 2016…
Only buying necessities
My focus last year on only buying necessities ( I want, I want – I want it now!!!) served me very well, as I had to spend quite a bit on medical treatments instead. It served me so well, I think I’d like to continue the focus this year. But with a small change compared to last years – I will add an allowance;
- Books – I can still buy up to 10 books/magazines – preferable as e-books
- Eating out – We did pretty good last year – we will try to squeeze even more this year, by reducing another 25% on last years results.
- Flowers and plants – stay at the same level of last years result
- New allowance: I can buy up to 10 non essentials throughout the year 🙂
Other financial goals
Last year I managed to pay off my car (a few months early) and I’m pretty happy with that 🙂 My ultimate goal on the other hand, is to have my house mortgage paid off, in 16 years or less, compared to the 25 it was originally. I’m 7 years in and have almost halved the mortgage so far, which is phenomenal! But it’s getting harder now that I’m on a severely reduced pay due to not working so much. Every January I pay a lump sum towards the mortgage, so my goal for 2015 is to save up 60 000 NOK for my lump sum in January 2016. If I manage that on my reduced pay, I’m doing very well.
Activity and exercise
Due to illness I have not been the most active person the last few years, every time I think I’m ready to start exercising, I’ve managed to screw that up somehow, and I’ve gotten worse again. Now on the other hand, I’m feeling better than ever and I think it’s time to give it another shot. But this time around I’m going to be careful about it and take my time!!!
The goal for this year is to build up to, by the end of the year: 7 days of activity a week, with 3 of these as real workouts.
- By activity I mean something that gets me up and going and preferable out of the house, like a walk in the neighbour hood, work in the yard, run around playing with kids… just about anything that gets me out of that couch, gives me some fresh air, and brings me into a moving state 😉
- With real workout I mean an activity like for example going to the gym, yoga, biking, running, Rollerblade … you get the drift.
Other activities/projects this year
I have a few other things on my agenda 🙂 Like; travel, projects in my yard, other projects, throw a garden party, ++
But these, I think I’ll tell you more about, as we move into the year 😉
So that’s it for my 2015 goals… enough don’t you think?
I can’t believe it’s almost the end of the month already. As we all know, December is the month of Christmas. With all the preparation and celebration, that entails, it doesn’t really leave much time for any other activities.
Since tomorrow is new years eve, I kinda figured I won’t be decluttering any significant stuff these last to days. So I decided to post Decembers tally early 😉
And here it is. DECEMBERS TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 108 items!
6 items – during My Christmas shed
- 2 shirts
- 1 cardigan
- 1 sweater
- 1 vest
- 1 painting
90 items – that I had been holding on for my neighbour to check first – In finally out of here
- 2 magazine holders
- 3 microwave items
- 1 ice cube tray
- 3 plastic boxes to store food in + a box of ziploc bags
- 1 serving tray
- 3 candle holders
- 1 pack of plastic spoons
- 1 pack of plastic straws (should be a hit with her kids)
- 2 wine openers
- 3 wine stoppers
- 1 huge sport drink reusable bottle
- 1 reusable lunch bag
- 1 small porcelain bowl
- 4 long stemmed wine glasses
- 1 tea box full of different teas
- 1 plastic box (the one with an X I’m keeping for now.. I have an idea and if it works I’ll post about it 🙂 )
- 1 cut board
- 1 decorative glass bowl
- 1 tiny shots glass
- Bunch of rubber band (bracelets) – count as 1
- 7 watches (she took a couple for her kids)
- 18 Christmas decoration items
- 1 box of decorative tiny apples (Christmas stuff)
- 3 bean babies
- 1 head light
- 1 big storage box (all the stuff she took with her fit in the box – it’s that big 🙂 )
- 1 pair of running shoes (another friend took earlier)
- 2 medium size storage boxes (perfect for her kids toys)
- 1 pair of jeans
- 6 bras
- 7 pantyhose
- 3 pairs of socks
- 2 short sleeved bicycle tops
- 1 pair of shorts
- 1 pair of dress pants
- 1 t-shirt
- 1 sleep shorts
So there you have it – 108 items out-the-door for the month of December!
So does this bring me to the goal I set at the start of this year? Stay tuned and find out 😉
Have I stayed within my allotted 1 hour a day? Hmm, probably not quite. Have I stopped hanging in front of the TV all day, absolutely!
Remember about three weeks ago, I decided I needed to do something about my TV time? And I did! The first couple of weeks I did really well, I more or less stayed within my allotted hour, some days the TV never came on, and sometimes I watched a couple of programs rather than just one. But on average, probably no more than 1 hour a day. Which was my goal!
This last week though, there’s been a slight change, and mostly because I have added another small declutter project to the mix 🙂
As you probably know, I started this year with an intention to read myself out of my bookshelves, and this have so far been a pretty successful endeavour. I though I could take a cue from this, and try a similar thing with my DVD/Blu-Ray collection.
I’ve decided to watch myself out of my movie collection. This means, I will go through my movies one after another, watch it one more time, then decide which one of these categories it falls into:
- keep – great movie will watch it again – worth being kept as a physical disk
- copy – good movie will/might watch it again – worth copying it to a PC hard drive
- toss – good to crap movie probably won’t watch it again (or know I won’t) – get rid of it
Now, I know this will play a little havoc with my TV time. But since I’m doing this with a friend, it will mostly be weekend watching, not a day to day thing 😉
Sounds like a fun project, yes?
Counting them, I probably have around 200 movies, which are movies and not series. Some of them are really old, and some are really crappy – you will probably have a laugh when you see pictures of them – so hopefully it won’t be to hard to cut down a little on my movie collection.
My biggest challenge when it comes to cutting down the amount of DVD/Blu-Rays are my series collection. Not sure how to handle those yet. You see, I have collected a few series over the years, especially sci-fi series, that I kinda would like to keep. Most of them are in CD/DVD albums, so they don’t eat all that much space. Hopefully when I get good a getting rid of movies, I can start chipping away at the series as well. We will have to get back to that…
But we were talking about movies! So far we have watched 4 movies, or rather watched 3 movies, one was so bad we couldn’t stand to watch more than the first 5 minutes 😉
Result? 3 out-the-door and 1 maaaaybe copy (probably not).
I have to admit, July was an appalling month when it comes to decluttering, which you probably have noticed, since I haven’t written about a single thing I shed.
So what have I been doing with myself in the month of July? Well as I wrote in the beginning of July, I was taking an hiatus to focus on my health.
So July month have been filled with trips to the osteopath, loads of rest, beautiful days in the garden and not to forget…
Loads and loads of time occupied with Molly, my furry friend 🙂 With her around I seemed to get “nothing” done. When I sat down to read, she wanted to play. When I worked outside in the yard, she hated being on a leash so I made “borders” so she could go loose, but I still needed to keep an eye on her whereabouts, just in case… When I ate, she wanted food. When I watched TV or had friends over, she wanted to “play” or go out for a walk, or was hungry or something.
So you can see why I got nothing done… right? 😉
Even so, when I think about it, there are actually a few things that have gone out-the-door in July… Not only have I not written about them, but mostly I have even forgotten to take pictures of them 😦
But let’s see if I can’t manage a small recap anyhow!
JULY TALLY of things “out-the-door” = 22 items
- 2 reasonable sized Boxwood plants in planters – 1 given to a neighbour, 1 given to my step-mum for her new cabin
- 8 plastic planters/pots – given to my neighbour
- 6 books – I’ve actually read 12 as part of my read a book program – but, I’m getting into some of my favourites and they are harder to part with… maybe next month 😉
- 1 roll of plastic flex pipe
- a bunch of small plastic plant pots – counted as 1 (no photo)
- 2 terracotta pots (no photo)
- bunch of plastic pipes leftover from earlier garden constructions – counted as 1 (no photo)
- bunch of wood bits and pieces leftover from earlier garden constructions – counted as 1 (no photo)
Let’s see… I think that was it.. I can’t believe I ended up with the same amount of items as in June! And NO it’s not a copy/paste error – it just turned out that way!
Hmm.. if I could part with one extra book, I could beat June tally… Nope, I don’t think so.. not quite yet, gotta think about it first 😉
So her we are – 22 items – just like June!