Adding to the numbers!

Christmas is over, and the new year is only a few hours away (at least here in Norway).

B and I spend Christmas in UK this year. Hanging out with my brother, his wife, his wife’s uncle and my mum 🙂 This year we tried the best we could to keep our “gifts” to usable/edible items, things like chocolate, marzipan, candy’s and kakemenn (for my brother.. he loves them), stuff that you can pretty much only get in Norway (as most of them are made here). I think we left them happily munching on stuff when we left to go home 😉

We have been back a couple of days, and as we are nearing the new year, I decided I needed one more run towards a declutter goal I had this year, that I haven’t told you about before!

When I finally finished this year’s 21 day challenge in August, I was thinking;

“Hey I’m almost at a 1000 items, I should be able to shed a few more during this year. I have another 4 months to go… ”

And I thought out this elaborate plan that maybe I should shoot for decluttering as many items during 2017 as I have written about on this blog since I started my declutter journey in 2014.

So how many items would that be then missus Anne?

Well, lets see now – that would be 634 items in 2014, 561 items in 2015 and 437 items in 2016… (mumbling and calculating under my breath… ) – that’s 1632 items!
I should be able to do that!! I still have 4 months to go.. no problem!!! (remember.. this is what I was thinking in August.)

Well here we are, at the last day of December and my total for the year is at 1508 – that’s 124 items away from my imaginary 1632!

I’ve been thinking about this, and it probably didn’t matter if I did it or not… but I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.. I really want to get to the 1632!

I have a lot of digital decluttering that needs doing, something that will be my main focus in 2018.  I decided to cheat and start early, and what better place to start than my iPad mini, which I use every day.

So that’s what I did!

I knew I had way, and I mean way to many apps hanging around on my iPad, and that I could really do with a cleanup. I checked (Settings/General/About) and found that I had 468 third party apps residing on my iPad. I know.. crazy, right! Who need that many apps? Well I certainly don’t… even so.. I found it harder than I thought to whittle down the apps. For the purpose of a count of items, I’ve decided 5 apps = 1 item

 

From 468, to 318 = 150 apps less
= 30 items

 

Getting some of the apps out of the way, I decided to move on to my iPad emails! One of my challenges with e-mails is that, with my e-mail provider, they sync to the iPad, iPhone, PC and remains on the server. Problem is, when I delete something, I need to do it on all 4 places 😦 (haven’t figured a way around this yet). So safe to say, it’s a pain keeping up on it all, and it shows…

To find out how many e-mails I had on my iPad, I marked all emails with a flag, so the total would show in the Flagged section of my email program (now.. this is probably not a good idea, if you already have a lot of flagged emails for later reference – I had some, but I checked them first to see if any was important to remember anymore, and they weren’t). For the items count, I’ve decided that 10 emails = 1 item

From 2007, to 1296 = 711 emails gone
= 71 items

 

Just to throw in some actual physical stuff – I figured that shredding a pile of papers that was waiting to go, probably wouldn’t be a bad idea.

I have a portable shredder that I use with a specific trash bin. I can typically shred around 200-250 pieces of paper before the bin is full. Food store receipts? Well then we are talking probably 700-800. Since I’m counting items, I have decided that one full bin equals 10 items out-the-door. This time around, it was a mix of regular paper and store receipts, which equals a lot of single pieces of paper. 

I shredded 3 bins full
= 30 items

That’s a total of 131 items for today! 

And my new grand total for 2017 = 1639!

I guess I passed my silent goal of 1632, yayyy 😉

That’s it for 2017 – no more decluttering!

Until next year 😉 

 

 

The mad scientist!

Since I started on this minimalist path, I’ve been trying to stick with gifts that won’t end up stored away in a closet somewhere. Gifts that are either a replacement for something they need/use, edible, drinkable or at least a gift that can be used up somehow.

I was done with all my gifts a couple of weeks ago, but..  the other day I decided I wanted to add a couple of people I have never given to before.

I wanted to add one of the people that I use for some health treatments, and I wanted to add a girl I have gotten to know at the shopping mall, who is not feeling to good because of an illness.

With the girl in mind, who is struggling with an illness, I decided, why not make something that will make her relax and feel good. So the other day I got a little “mad scientist” and I mixed up a  batch of bath salts, for both of them 🙂

While I was at it, I figured I needed to replenish my stash of face and body oil, so I got my box of goodies out and went to town.

Not only did I mix some body oil and face oil for me, but this time around, I even ventured into the uncharted territory of mixing up some shaving oil for B!

And you know what? B is really liking the shaving oil. According to him, it’s at least as good, if not even better, than the ones he has used before (he could just be trying to be nice..  😉 ) Anyways, there will be no more store-bought shaving oil… 😉

Lets get back to the gifts! Since I had mixed up some new body oil, I decided to tie a small bottle on the bath-salt jars, to really make it a tiny spa treat.

I love mixing these bath salts, not only are they great for a soak and some me time, but their are also great to use to soak your feet (if you don’t have a bath tub).

Ingredients I used for this batch (2 jars) of bath-salt (it differs a little each time):
Makes enough for about 4-6 baths, or about 14-16 foot soaks. 

1 part Epsom salt (about 350 gr)
1 part Sea salt (about 350 gr)
0,5 part Himalaya salt  (about 175 gr – I just wanted a touch of the color)
25 ml sweet almond oil (don’t want it too greasy
but just enough that it makes the skin feel good)

Mix inn some essential oil, whatever you like – I used:
5-6 drops of Lavender (relaxing and good for the skin)
4 drops of Blue Chamomile (calming, cooling and good for inflammation)

You can use any salts, in any combination.
And the almond oil and/or essential oils are options you can use or not. It is entirely up to you 🙂

How to make it: 

Mix all the different salts with, almond and essential oils.
I leave the mix over night, spread out on a baking tray,
so that the mixture becomes “dry” and airy. (The salt draws the moisture inn)
When the mix is ready, I pour it into glass jars.

Note! 

Because of the almond oil and especially the blue chamomile oil,
it won’t smell absolutely wonderful when you open the jar.
In the bath though,it smells pretty good 😉

Note 2/Disclaimer! 

As there is almond oil in the mix, be careful in the bath as it gets slippery. 

Also, you should rinse off the tub after use,
with some dish-washing liquid, as this will cut the oil.

If you worry about the oil, just omit it from the bath salt, as it’s nice without as well.

Need some me time? Why not give this a try 😉 

 

 

12 years old – again!

The snow is still sticking around, but there has been a bit of rain, frost, rain, frost .. so it’s slowly going away. The forecast is warmer weather so I guess in a day or two it’s gonna be completely gone 😦

A couple of days ago, B and I went for a walk. We figured we should enjoy the snow, while it was still there.  We roamed my neighborhood (by foot), and decided to swing by hole no 14, on the closest golf course (just to stretch the walk a little).

It was the smartest thing we did all day!

As we got close, we were hearing a lot of screams – joyful scream – and the closer we got, we saw a bunch of kids (or rather young adults) on all sorts of sleds, playing in the snow.

B and I was hanging around at the top of the hill, watching one kid after another throwing themselves down the hill (and it was a good long hill), when I spotted one of those cheap miniature plastic sleds, that barely will fit your bum (you can see it, circled in the picture).

It was lying there all in it’s loneliness… I looked around, almost all the kids were either at the bottom of the hill or on their way down the hill. The only two kids left, just ready to go, had their own sleds, and had no idea who’s sled it was.. (yes I checked).

I looked at B, I looked at the kids, I looked at that inviting looong hill… I looked at B… then I grabbed the sled, threw my butt (well gingerly placed my butt) on the sled and off I went.

Fast as a rocked down the hill, swirling around on my way down, hitting a few bumps, tearing past a bunch of kids.. finally coming to a full stop, way, way down there, with the shittiest grin on my face 🙂

I gingerly picked myself up, grabbed the sled and started the super long (did I mention it was a long hill?) walk back up.

It took forever, and it was hard on an untrained body (and I didn’t have the best of shoes).. but it wouldn’t have mattered how long or hard it was to walk back up, that was the most fun run I have had in a while (how often do you get to act like a kid). You couldn’t have erased that grin for anything in the world.. I’m still sitting here with the silliest grin on my face thinking about it.

I finally got back up to were B was patiently waiting and put the sled back where I had found it. Turns out (I ran into their teacher) that it was a couple of school classes that was out during their gym hour. It was one 6th and one 7th grade class.

While I was talking to their teacher, telling her she should really give it a try, it was so much fun, I was feeling like 12 🙂 One of the kids piped up; I’m twelve! And a second kid echoed it with : Me too…

I couldn’t help but smile.. here I was, 53 years old, hanging out with a bunch of 12 years old, playing in the snow!  What a hoot!

Life don’t get better than that!

Have you been 12 today?

Double 7 – turned into a triple 7!

I’ve finished my my double/triple 7!  

I have to say, I’m a bit surprised how well it went. I decluttered more than my goal. I wrote on my blog every day!  And I added one more 7 day that I finished today.

One more? I thought you were doing two 7 day tasks – decluttering and blog! 

You are right, those are the two I told you about, but Monday night (day 1), I decided to throw one more into the mix to make it a real 7-7-7.

Since my health has been really up and down for a while, I have become quite a couch potato.

So I had a chat with B about maybe doing one more 7 day task. A 7 days activity task, just to get out of the house.

Wouldn’t matter what weather it was, we were going for a walk or at least, get out of the door, even if it was only for doing errands or walking around the house.

If nothing else, regardless how bad the weather was, we were at least going to put outdoor clothing on and walk outside!!!

We started Tuesday! And today our 7 days are up! And we did good!

We have been out, ever day. A few days the weather has been terrible, so those days we pretty much ran errands, in all sorts of stores (plant places, food places, Christmas gift stores). Outside of shopping, we have done stuff for my step-mum, we have tidied up a couple of graves for Christmas and we have gone for walks, short ones and a little longer ones.

Yeah, I know it’s nothing impressive like running marathons or biking 10 miles every day, but hey, we have been out and about – every day! That’s better than staying on that couch.

Now I just have to keep it up, and hopefully turn some of the errands into proper walks instead 😉

A sum up!

And hey, this is my 8 day of blogging – so maybe there is hope?

See you soon!

 

Double 7 – Sunday!

It’s Sunday and we are at day 7 of my 7 day thing.

This is what we woke up to this morning 😉

The rumor is it’s only going to last a couple of days, so rather than spend time on decluttering, I started my day shoveling snow. Gotta clear those pavements!

 

It’s been a beautiful day, we have been out and about, inhaled way too much fresh air, and I’m all tired now 😉

So I’m sure you’ll forgive me for making this declutter post short and sweet!

All I’ve got for you today, is a bunch of random stuff from around the house.

A few things from the bathroom, a few things from the kitchen. A little here… a little there… Before you know it, it actually adds up!

2 clothing covers
1 suitcase
1 handheld vacuum
1 pair of shoes
54 items of random stuff
=
59 items out-the-door!

My 7 day tally  = 477

Guess i did it then.  Goal 343 – result 477
I think I nailed it!


And my new grand total for 2017 = 1508

Not too shabby, if you ask me 😉

Later gator!

Double 7 – Saturday!

We are at day 6 of my 7 day thing,

Unge Spor (Young Tracks) – is a voluntary organization who works with kids, youth and young adults, to spread the joy of performing arts.

As part of their organization, they have a group of regular members (age 14-25) who are the backbone of the organization.  This group of “kids” gets to participate from A to Z on Unge Spor’s projects. This includes organizational work, music, dance, drama, scenography and more. The “kids” gain indispensable knowledge, and at the end of the projects they put on exceptional shows and performances.

You might say that “Unge Spor” (Young tracks), has established themselves as an important cultural force in my region.

Since they are a voluntary organization, they don’t get much support from the state/region. Which means, they rely on sponsorship’s, donations, and other gifts.

A few weeks back, they posted a request for an old used iPad, in one of the buy/sell Facebook groups I follow.

As both B and I had a couple of older iPads, that we no longer used, we decided we could help them out.

I called the groups leader, and, oh boy was he happy.

He popped by a little while later, and not only did he leave with 2 iPads, but he “ran” out of here with a couple of extra bags.

Turns out they could do with some extra props for their theater shows, and I just happened to have a couple of suitable items they could use as props + I had one more item!

A little backstory:

I used to be an avid “Nescafe cafe au Chocolat” drinker. They sell them in boxes with 8 pouches of instant mix – just add water.

Well, since these are ridiculously expensive, I would always get a bunch (and I mean a bunch) when they had exceptional good deals (like 50% off or more). So last summer, such a deal just happened to be in my neighborhood store, and I shopped, and shopped 😉

Fast forward a few weeks after my mad shopping spree, I changed my diet (health reasons) and stopping with gluten and milk protein products all together. And guess what! Yep, there’s a lot of milk in my beloved “au chocolat” 😦

The boxes of coffee have been sitting around ever since. I’ve been holding on to them in hope of finding someone who would drink the stuff (as opposed to me throwing it away),

And you know what, a group working with a bunch, as in a big bunch of kids… yeah!

“Absolutely, we can take these of you hands”

So off he went, with iPads, props and a bunch of coffee 😉

37 boxes of Cafe au Chocolate
2 pillows
2 pillow cases
1 lamp
2 bamboo plates
1 decorative plate
1 iPad mini (yes only mine.. can’t count B’s iPad stuff)
1 iPad mini charger
1 iPad mini back cover
1 iPad mini front cover
1 regular sized iPad protective cover
=
50 items out-the-door!

7 day tally  = 418

And my grand total for 2017 = 1449

Until tomorrow!

Double 7 – Friday!

We are at day 5 of my 7 day thing!

My head is playing up like nobody’s business, so today’s post is short!

For as long as I have had my blog, I’ve been working on downsizing my book collection.

Back in 2014, I started reading myself through my bookshelves, and called it my “Read a book program“.

The idea; read one of my books, grade it, and depending on the grade, either keep it or get rid of it.

I didn’t do too good with this task during 2016, and started it up again this year.  My 2017 goal? 100 books.

So far I’m not doing good on my goal at all, as I’ve culled only a few, and I doubt I’ll make my 100… But even so – a little here, a little there is still helping!

Here is another batch making it out-the-door!

8 books out-the-door!

7 Day tally = 368

Grand total for 2017 = 1385

See ya tomorrow!

 

PS.  I just found a blog post in my drafts folder from June this year, that I never posted. It was all about books!

I remember it well! It was all written up and the only thing I needed to add, was the photo (which I needed to take first). Somewhere in the mess of things, the books got delivered to the recycle exchange place, and I forgot completely all about the blog post.

Even though I have no proof  (read photo) –  I’m just going to add those books to my tally. So here it is:  14 books out-the-door during June. 

New Grand total for 2017 = 1399

Double 7 – Thursday!

We are at day 4 of my 7 day thing,

I haven’t ever heard about a home that doesn’t have a junk drawer or two, and this house is no exception 😉  I have more than one…

Today’s task; declutter my living room catch all.

Here it is in all it’s glory – yeah, I know, not pretty!

FROM THIS

Well.. I might as well get on with it – hang in there, folks – I’m going in!

(a hours or so later..)

All done. Oh, that’s looking a little better now, isn’t it?

TO THIS

MINUS ALL OF THIS:

2 picture frames
1 diploma from Microsoft
1 calculator
1 remote control
1 notebook
1 lanyard
1 US simcard
1 Micro memory card
6 pens
1 pink marker
2 cd covers
5 umbraco’s
Bunch of paper to toss – count as 2
Bunch of paper to shred – count as 2
1 empty box
7 unused Valentines cards
8 envelopes
15 Ziploc’s and small plastic bags in assorted sizes
2 packs of memo cards for old diarys
10 plastic items
2 journal covers
1 reusable net
1 box of cool looking paper clips – which are horrible to use
(goes to show, just because they are cool don’t mean they are practical)
2 boxes of push pins – leftover from my office days
Bits and pieces – count as 2

 = 

78 items out-the-door!

7 Day tally = 360

Hey! Didn’t I just pass my goal? Nice!
Still have 3 days to go. I wonder what number I’ll end up with 😉

Grand total for 2017 = 1377

Until tomorrow!

Double 7 – Wednesday!

We are at day 3 of my 7 day thing.

Since I started my blog, I have been slowly downsizing my closet. (it seems to be the thing we women do 😉 )

I’ve probably gotten rid of about 50% or so, since I started my declutter thing on this blog in 2014.

Since I left the workforce (soon to be two years ago – my how times fly), I don’t have to dress up for meetings or change from work stuff to everyday wear everyday. These days, I pretty much live in the same type of outfits all the time – jeans, t-shirt and a sweater (weather depending).

Since I changed my diet (for health reasons) last year, I lost about 15 kilos or so. It took quite a while before my weight stabilized, and since it was fluctuating quite a bit there for a while, I only got new pieces of clothing when I absolutely needed something new that fit me (it’s not that fun walking around in clothing that is way, way to big).

I’ve stabilized now.

It’s hard though, to downsize, as I have clothing that are good quality for those special occasion like party’s, Christmas and other meet ups. Even though I only use about 30-40% of my closet on my daily outfits (remember – jeans and t-shirt kinda girl). I still need to keep the other type of outfits around.

Since I happen to be kinda picky about what I wear (even when it’s only jeans and t-shirts), I’m having a hard time finding suitable replacements that fit my current size. Which unfortunately means, I’m still hanging on to a few items to many of my old stuff.

I have not given up hope that I one day will have this beautifully curated minimalist wardrobe… and the only way I’m going to get there is to forever chip away at it.

Which brings me to today’s declutter write-up!

I have found a few more closet items, to say good buy to 😉

8 t-shirts
2 workout tops
3 fleeze
sweatpants
longjohn
2 pars of thick socks
2 sleepwear
2 caps
1 wool jacket
1 sweather
bandana
1 pair of flipflops
1 pair of boots
=
26 items out-the-door!

7 Day tally = 282

Grand total for 2017 = 1299

Guess that is it for today, see ya tomorrow 🙂