Category: Someone else’s house

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 🙂

 

Back in the groove of things!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have we done anything for us?

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

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

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

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

So what about decluttering?

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

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

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

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

So what has actually made it out of the house?

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

Out-the-door = 72 items

Which brings my grand total for 2017 to 1017 🙂 

 

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

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.

2015 – Goals! Oh nooo!

Oh boy!

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 🙂

FINANCIAL GOALS
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?

DECLUTTER
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 bookshelfwatching 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 yearHmm 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 😦

OTHER ACTIVITIES/PROJECTS
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 😳

September in a nutshell!

It seems I keep dropping the ball on my monthly sum ups, here we are already more than half way into the month of October before you get an update from me 😦

But you know what they say, better late than never… right? So here goes!

Activities and exercise
Having been ill for a long time, and me now being on a 100% sick leave from my company, I ran into a major bump late august (company related), that unfortunately have taken a toll on my health.  

So my happy average of 6 times a week (that I had during summer) took a crashing nosedive during the month of September, to where I think I just about squeaked by to an average of about 1,5 a week 😦 

Declutter
My decluttering is slowly… sloooooowly picking up again, not quite as much as I hoped, but still, there are a few things that have gone out the door.

I cleaned up some of my medication, and said goodbye to my old vacuum machine. In addition there are a couple of other things that went out the door, that I completely forgot to take take pictures of or even write about. Not really anything big, just some junk, a flowerpot or two, some pieces of clothing ++

Together with the medication and vacuum cleaner, it racked up to about 23 items out-the-door.

Not a lot, but hey.. I’m on my way again 😉

Only buying necessities

I think I’ll change this up a little. Earlier I used to list all my allowance categories, regardless if I bought anything or not. The next months I’m changing that to just mention the categories I’ve spend money in.

Eating out – As most of you know, we seem to struggle with this category month in and month out, so I’m sure it will come as a big surprise (it sure surprised me) that we did “fairly” well during the month of September. we “only” ate out 5 times 🙂 Big shocker, I know!

Now if we can only keep this up for October, we might still have a shot at the overall yearly goal (when it comes to money spent, not the amount of times eaten out.. because that one, we have already failed miserably at).

Buying non essentials – as most years, Christmas sure came early this year too! I think it’s crazy how the businesses start Christmas three months before the real thing. I mean, no wonder people are sick of christmas by the time Christmas actually rolls by.

IKEA tends to be one of the first ones out, and they started to roll out their wrapping papers, ribbons and tree decorations late September. All their good stuff seems to disappear in no time, so if you actually want some, you have to hustle. So guess what 😉

Yep, I got some. I got wrapping paper, ribbons, and a couple of really cool tags (picture below). This time around I went for paper that wasn’t all that typical christmassy. Which means I can use most of it, all year round, for anything that needs to be wrapped. How very “frugal” of me 😉

Financial goals
Interest rates are going down like crazy, which is wonderful for my mortgage, but suck even worse for any money I have in the bank.

I’m thinking, that it’s probably time to “do something”, as the money I have in the bank, won’t be generating much interest after they reduce the rate again, December 1’st.

I haven’t decided yet, between making another extra down payment (like I did in March), or maybe stocks or mutual funds. Hmm, maybe a little of both is the smart way to go. I’ll let you know, when I figure it out 😉

Projects
Well… projects, just like activity, kinda went out the window, except as always I did get to enjoy my garden a little.

Oh yeah, and my stepmom got a small Cinderella Classic Incineration toilet for her allotment cabin. If I ever make or buy an tiny house, this is the system for me, as they have an RV version that doesn’t take a lot of space. Now to the exciting part! Guess who had to install it? Yep, you’ve guessed it 😉

B and me spent a few hours one afternoon. It involved a hole in the roof, some pipes and a few new composite shingles, and then we were done.

There are still a few of bits and bobs left to do at my friends house (the one that recently moved), but we had to put some of that on hold in September. But hey, there are still a few days left of October, so we might have a shot at getting it done this month 😉

Well, I guess that’s it, not much else to tell ya. Better get this out, while there is still a few days left of this month, because before you know it, it will be time for the October update… which, by the way, I promise to be a bit more timely with 🙂

2015-10-19 20.50.04

 

August (and July) in a nutshell!

I’ve done it again! I fumbled the month of July, and here we are, at August’s sum-up. So, once again you will get two months in one post 😉

We’ve had some great days here lately, and as always I’ve been enjoying the heck out of my garden. I’ve also been spending a few days here and there helping a couple of friends with a few things.

So let’s get to it, how am I doing with my goals!

Activities and exercise
My focus is still just being out and about, more than exercise on it’s own. And between picking currants, and other berries. Spending time on my step-mums allotment, planting some plants, tinkering around in my own garden, helping a friend in her new house, walking the streets of London and the streets of my own town, I’m sticking to my average of 6 days a week. 

I’m sure I’ll get into some proper workouts at some stage, it’s just not my focus right now as I’m having enough on my plate with me leaving work, and I’ve had a need to do fun things to keep my mind off it all.

Declutter
I’m still pretty much doing nothing about my declutter tasks. As far as I remember, nothing went out during July, and August only wielded 3 pots leaving the house, when I potted my neighbor’s plants.  Items out-the-door = 3

So what will September bring? It looks like things might be picking up, I’m slowly but surely getting into decluttering again. Not a lot yet.. but I think I might finally be on the roll again (maybe) 😉

Only buying necessities

  • Books – nope, none – which is great for my wallet, and I’m not filling my bookshelves either.
  • Eating out – July we had our trip to England, so we did a bit of eating out during the trip. The rest of that month we didn’t do to bad as we spent a bit of time with a friend of mine, grilling and cooking at her place. The later part of August we are back to really bad, but I’m hoping September will be a better month, as we need to get back into cocking for ourselves.
  • Flowers and plants – 6,  3 tiny small orchids, 3 outdoor plants, two for me and one for my neighbour
  • Buying non essentials – I have to admit I did spend a few pounds in London. So what damage did I do?
    – 1 pair of ecco shoes, 2 bra’s and a couple of Eagle creek packing cubes.
    So why are they non essentials? Well.. I do have plenty of shoes, but I wanted a pair that are good travel shoes and at the same time looks good enough, with nice clothing, so that when I travel, I can get away with this one pair only. My old travel pair, are so worn out that they no longer look good. The bra’s I get at Victoria Secret, and since they don’t have a shop in Norway, and since I’m not traveling to US this year, I figured I should grab a couple, even though I strictly don’t need them… yet! And the packing cubes? I definitely didn’t’ need as I have a bunch from before. It’s just that the new ones are the super, super light type and use next to no space in my luggage.. so I went ahead and got some…

Financial goals
Nothing new really, except, I have been able to save a little extra towards my next mortgage down payment, as I received some stock dividends in August. The money went straight to my saving account 😉  And my interest reduction finally came into play, saving me another few dollars a month on my monthly interest payments… Every little thing counts towards getting that mortgage paid off, and interest saved, is just more money towards that yearly lump sum. How am I doing on that particular goal? Pretty Ok I must say, as I’m a couple of months ahead of schedule 🙂

Projects
As I mention at the top, I’ve been enjoying the garden (as always)!

And I have been working on fixing a couple of areas on my outer garden wall, that had some loose stone. It’s a fiddly process, removing the loose stone, removing the gravel behind, put concrete in the hole and stuff the stone back in. It’s not big stone, so it’s not heavy work, but I have to sit wrapped up as a pretzel doing it (it’s a low garden wall) and my hip only want’s to sit in this position for a very short time. So.. you might say it’s a project in progress… I’m hoping I will get it done this year, but if it spills over to next summer, that’s ok.. the garden wall isn’t going anywhere 😉

What else… hmmm..  I have a friend that moved into a new house a few weeks back, and we (B and me) have been helping her out with a few things, like hanging up stuff on the wall, changing handles on the doors, cutting a piece of molding to fit a cabinet she wanted put in, putting new feet on a piece of furniture.. you know the drill.. all the little things, that is part of moving to a new place 🙂

Guess that is it for August and June!

PS. Tonight is my friends move in party… so if you don’t hear from me for a couple of days.. you know why 😉

March in a nutshell!

Here we go again! Another month just flew by!

I thought February was a busy month, but it was nothing compared to March…  I sure hope April will bring a little more relaxation… well I can hope, can’t I? 🙂

My step-mums move is finally over, and I believe that the things she needs me for is mostly done. Pictures are hung, office is installed, machines are connected, curtain rods are up, furniture in place, TV and internet – check.. the only thing I know I have left to do is to fix up her entrance door, but that has to wait for warmer weather as it involves paint and oil.

Spring seems to finally be on it’s way, I think.. maybe! Plants are thinking about popping out of the ground, but there are still the occasional waking up to a bit of white outside, so I’m not quite sure 😉 The weather right now is beautiful Easter weather and I’m hoping this is a sign of how the spring season will go, as that would mean a lot of days outside.

But, let’s get back to how I’m doing with some of my goals.

March in a nutshell!

Declutter
As most of you know, I’m in the middle of a pseudo packing party, so far I’ve done my bathroom and bedroom, and I’m currently working on my living-room. I’m sure you all wonder if this little project it’s wielding anything out-the-door! Well, yes it is, a black bag full of stuff went out-the-door yesterday, and I will tell you all about what the stuff was. I just need to sit my butt down, sort through all the pictures I took and actually write the post 😉 

But as you all gathered by now, unfortunately it’s not counting as March out-the-door, as yesterday was April 🙂

Activity and exercise
Hmm, sport wise I did pretty shitty during March, but I sure was active… between cutting and trimming fruit trees in my step-mums allotment garden, hanging curtain-rods and pictures, lifting heavy boxes, moving furniture, working in my own garden and actually getting the occupational walk in, I averaged 3 times a week. Still not quite according to plan, I’ve gotta do better, hopefully now that the weather is perking up…

Only buying necessities
I’m on schedule. But what about my allowances?

  • Books – none
  • Eating out – we are still doing pretty poorly, like I mentioned before, with all this “working for someone else” it’s hard.  Now that this moving business is out of the way, hopefully we can do better…
  • Flowers and plants – no purchases
  • Buying a non essentials – yes, one purchase, I got myself a new casual top, a thin cotton hoddie, to replace a couple of ragged tops I had

Other financial goals
Mortgage: After my one time lump sum payment, I won’t be doing anything on my mortgage other than pay the monthly interest. But, on a happy note, with my extra payments the last few months (I had a lump sum payment last year as well) my monthly interest payment is now half of what it was 7 months ago 🙂

Other activities/projects this year
Hmmm, now that the move is over…  I have nothing 🙂 But I’m sure that won’t last long.. so stay tuned 😉

Well, that it for now, see you around in April!

Packing it all up! The number of stuff….

Only a few more things to do, and then my step-mums move is finally over. Monday was the day the movers came, and boy did it turn out to be a long, loooong day 😉

The last few days have been crazy with packing, disconnecting electrical items, cleaning up the new place after all the workers (who incidentally are still not done.. according to the grapevine. I believe they are putting the finishing touches on the bathroom today), the move itself, unpacking, reconnecting electrical items +++

All I’m going to say is this… moving is a pain in the… 😉 and I’m glad it wasn’t my house this time around!

I would like to think that, now that I have cleared away quite a bit of stuff, it would be reasonable easy for me to move (if I ever were so inclined) but having witnessed the chaos of the last few days, I’m not so sure any more.

I knew my step-mum had quite a few things, but I didn’t realise how much, until stuff came crawling out of the woodwork. And I’m starting to think that even as much as I have decluttered, there are way more, than I realise, hidden away in my nooks and crannies.

Maybe it’s time I take another look at all the little things that are hiding in “plain sight” in my closets, drawers and shelves. See if there isn’t a way to reduce even more. I should probably implement the moving test going forward with my decluttering task. A moving test, huh?

To me, this is to implement questions like;

  • If I was to move to a different country or a smaller house, would this item be worth paying good money to have it moved, or would it fit in a smaller lifestyle?
  • Would I keep this item if I myself had to physical carry/haul this over to the new place, with no help from anyone…

Hmm, I can think of a few things that would not survive the “hauling it myself” test 😉  I mean, even if thing are small and don’t take up a lot of space, I’m telling you, when you pack all that stuff in a box, it quickly becomes a heavy load of stuff… and even the smallest box becomes heavy after you have lugged around 50 of them!

I don’t think I’m quite at the packing party level, like The Minimalists did, especially after the last few days (if I don’t see another moving box again, I would be really happy), but I can still “pretend in my mind” I’m packing up, right?

So that is what I will do… ahem… in a couple of weeks time! I just need to get this current move out of the way first, and there are still a few things that needs to be done (guest bedroom/office to set up, basement storage room to sort out, curtain rods to be hung, pictures to put on the walls, books to unpack… you get the drift) before I can lean back and relax.

But at least I have made the decision (and a decision is half the work, right? 🙂 ) to do a pseudo “packing party” as soon as this real “unpacking party” is over…

Want to join me, in my “packing party” endeavour?

February in a nutshell!

I can’t believe I’ve almost forgot to post February’s summary!

I’ve been a bit on the busy side, it’s getting down to the wire when it comes to my step-mums move. They are working like crazy to finish her new bathroom, and we’ve been working on putting up lamps, painting and putting in storage shelves. This weekend we just finished putting in new bookshelves, today we are putting up blinds in the bedrooms, cleaning up the new place and packing the last bits and pieces, as the movers are coming tomorrow.. oh yeah, and I have a dishwasher and a washing machine to disconnect….

Since I will be occupied with the move and sorting things out for a few more day (ok, probably more than just a few), I figured I would give you a quick summary!

So here it is – my February in a nutshell!

Declutter
Yes I did actually get a few things out-the-door during February, my Wii, a bunch of clothing and a few books! 101 items all together 🙂 

Activity and exercise
My activity plan really didn’t happen much in February. Between work, treatments, running around sorting things for my step-mum and not to forget the rain, that blasted rain, I averaged only 2 times a week 😦

Only buying necessities
I’m on schedule. But what about my allowances?

  • Books – none
  • Eating out – not doing to well in February either, like I mentioned in January, when we have been working at someone’s house, I sometimes just need food “now”, or we are to tired to bother about making food and we eat out.  So it racks up! Hopefully when this moving business is out of the way, we can do better…
  • Flowers and plants – no purchases
  • Buying a non essentials – yes, one purchase, I finally found something I have been looking for, for the last couple of years, I’ll tell you about it in a separate post!

Other financial goals
Mortgage: Due to how the interest rates are doing, I made a one time lump sum payment, which I told you about a few days back… I’m really chuffed that I’m now down to about a third left of my mortgage 🙂

Other activities/projects this year
As I mentioned above, the focus is getting my step-mum into her new house…

Oh, yeah, and I did a plastic trash challenge in February. I have to admit, it was an eye opener…

I guess that’s it for now, I told you it would be quick 😉

January in a nutshell!

Ha, bet you thought I had fallen of the face of the earth now, didn’t you?

Well that’s OK, you are forgiven for thinking so 😉  I am after all the the one who has been a bit on the quiet side!

I’m not sure why, but it’s been a slow start this year with the things I have on my agenda, which is why you haven’t heard much from me lately! Thankfully it seems like I’m finally getting my butt back into gear, and I’m sure I’ll pick up speed going forward…

So what have I been up to in January?

The most important thing is that I’m back at work, ever so slowly, half a day a week – yeah I know, stupid really, all I get done in those few hours is pretty much show up for lunch, have a meeting, chat with people and then I go home 😉 Hopefully I get more done when I start up with two half days a week, mid February. And I’m hoping I’ll step up more, after I see my neurologist in March, but we’ll just have to wait and see what she says first.

I gave you a list of goals a couple of weeks back? This year around, I think I’ll give you guys a monthly sum-up, of how I’m doing with those goals, and not just a tally of my decluttering, like I did last year.

So here it is – my January in a nutshell!

Declutter
Have I decluttered anything in January? Well, yes I’ve been working away at it the last couple of days (finally got my act together) and a post is on its way 😉 It will have to count as a February shed though!

Activity and exercise
I have a plan to be more active this year, and so far this month I have been out on an average 2,5 times a week… Not a lot I know, but the weather have been really shitty, and I took a spill on the ice a few weeks back, which kept me out of the walking loop for a few days 😦

Only buying necessities
I’m on schedule, so far so good. But what about my allowances?

  • Books – bought 5 dollars worth of e-books (3 I think it was)
  • Eating out – we’ve done pretty shitty in January, as we have eaten out 10 times. There have been a few reasons for why. Like, we have been working at someone’s house and I just needed food “now”, and a few times we have been meeting people helping them look at stuff and ending up eating in the process. And one of the days I was hanging out with someone at the hospital all day, and just needed a quick bite…  So it racks up! Regardless, we will have to do better in February.
  • Flowers and plants – no purchases, quite the opposite, I gave away a couple of my plants to the neighbour instead 🙂
  • Buying a non essentials – yes, one purchase, but it was really a replacement purchase of sorts.. I’ll tell you about it later!

Other financial goals
Mortgage: I paid my yearly down payment, 10 days ago, and I’m now finally under half left of my original mortgage, phew 🙂

Other activities/projects this year
We finally got the job done at my sisters place, installing the heaviest ceiling lamp on earth, over her dining table (it’s still hanging.. I think…), installed a ceiling lamp in her hallway, and we got her very long TV network cable hidden away (she has the TV at the opposite side of the room from where the plug is), I have to say..  her place is coming along really nice and she seems happy with the job we did…

Other stuff? Well, there are still a few things on the agenda at my step mums new place, but that is going to have to be a February thing!

That’s it for now.. see you in February 😉