Work capsule

It has been a while since I last wrote – summer was busy and fun and before we knew it – we went back to work again and everyday life, filled with things to do.

Earlier this year I decided to make a work capsule wardrobe. Not because there’s a dress code where I work (I’m a teacher), but simply because I don’t want to spend time thinking about what to wear and as a step towards simplifying life and minimising “mental noise”.

I did this because I want to be able to find clothes for my work days which:

  • Are comfortable
  • Which I feel that I look ok in (representable – haha)
  • Which are easy to mix with each other

As a basis in my work capsule wardrobe I have:

  • Slacks – for more formal occasions (black and blue)
  • Jeans (black and blue)
  • Shirts (white, light blue, dark blue)
  • T-shirts (lots of white and a few black)
  • Cardigans (black, blue, grey, dark grey and pink)

Doing this, I spend less time on picking out what to wear and I don’t need to “worry about” this aspect of my life. In addition, I do sometimes “go wild” and put on a skirt or dress, but this is only when I feel an urge to wear something different. Hahaha. I must add that most of my shirts are “easy to iron” shirts, so I don’t bother ironing most of them;)

I have thought about setting up a capsule wardrobe for all my clothes, but I am not sure if I am ready to take that step yet πŸ˜›

Do you have a capsule wardrobe? Or have you considered organising one?

Kari

10 reasons I ride my bike

I bought a new bicycle last year and I love it. So much that I want to share 10 reasons with you, why I think it’s so great. This bike has brought me so much joy, that I need to share how:)

  1. It is a green choice – Mother Earth says hello and thank me when I ride my bike.
  2. The exercise. I try to ride my bike to work at least 3 times a week. This gives me about 3 hours of exercise, spent commuting. This is brilliant, as I often find it difficult to find time to work out otherwise.
  3. I have time to think and reflect. On my way to work, I go through what I am going to do this this day, the students I will meet etc. I think about what we will have for dinner and plan out the days that come. On my way home, I sometimes don’t think at all, but I just unwind. Somehow, I don’t manage to reflect in the same manner when driving a car.
  4. Outdoor time. I get to spend more time outdoors, which I really love. I feel the wind in my face, the sun and the rain.
  5. Observations. When I ride my bike, opposed to when I drive, I have time to look at the landscape, the houses, the animals and the gardens I pass. I think I notice something new, every time I ride my bike. This puts a smile on my face πŸ™‚
  6. I use my senses: I can smell the ocean and the flowers during springtime. I have to look ahead – and behind me – and plan. I am sure this must be good for my eye sight πŸ˜›
  7. Sweat – this is obviously linked to exercising, but I think sweat deserves a point of its own. It is something very liberating about sweating. You feel kind of cleansed when you do, if you know what I mean? I usually go fairly slowly when I ride my bike, but if I am angry or if I have a lot of energy, I put everything into it and sweat it out. Haha.
  1. I feel less stressed. Having had exercised, time to think and reflect and outdoor time makes me feel less stressed. Though I may have days where I have loads of things to do, I feel better prepared if I got to work on my bicycle. I often think to myself, you just rode 10 km on your bike in 29 minutes – you got this!!
  1. I feel like super woman. Hahah. There are various reasons for this. First, if the weather is really bad, I feel strong and brave for riding my bike at all. It would be a lot easier to drive a car – and I feel the looks of the car drivers when riding my bike in bad weather. These looks say: WOW – she’s a super woman. Secondly, when I get to work, all sweaty and sometimes soaked, I take a shower and change clothes. Kind of like superman. Haha. And I’m prepared for the challenges I have to solve.
  2. The kids love it. When we take the car – there’s so much hassle. If we take the bike, they are always in a good mood, singing and enjoying the ride, which makes the mornings easier.

I’m not going to lie – some days taking my bike is hard. But once I’m done – I always feel a lot better!

Have you got a bike? Do you use it?

Kari

Decluttering with kids

One of the most challenging parts about trying to minimise with a family is decluttering with kids. I imagined, before having kids, that I would not let stuff pile up and keep the kids’ room tidy and clutter free (hahahahaha). But it turns out, it’s just not that easy. They outgrow their clothes ALL the time and toys and books pile up. In addition, as we live in Norway and temperatures during a year goes from 30 below Celsius to 30 above Celsius, we need to be able to dress for both these end points and everything in between (and almost during every month of the year- expect from this year, where we have been given an exceptionally warm summer).

I have often preferred doing decluttering when the kids are somewhere else or asleep, as it tends to become a bit chaotic if I do it when they’re awake. However, I thought I would bring them along this time. On my plan, was to go through their books and their winter clothes.

We first went through most of their books. I put all the books on the floor and I asked them which books they preferred to read. We kept a lot of books, but they decided that some books should be donated to other kids, as we rarely read them, or they are difficult to follow. I, as a mother, obviously had a say in the process, but I did not push too much to get rid of anything they wanted to keep.

Next, we went through their winter clothes. I had made a list of items I wanted us to keep for next winter, but if we had double of some pieces, I let them decide which to keep. They tried on various sweaters and looked at the colours and I told them that it is important that they keep the items they feel comfortable in and which they liked the most. Clearly, when I say I am talking to them, I mostly mean my 6 year old, as my 3 year old tends to go off track in these processes πŸ˜›

Nevertheless, I do think that including the kids in the decluttering process can be useful and perhaps help them in the future when they have to deal with clutter. I also hope it can lead to a minimalist way of thinking, that we should keep what we love, use and need, but not more than this.

Do you include your children in the decluttering process? How do you do it? Have you got any useful tips you want to share?

Kari

Simplified packing party

I’ve snooped around on theminimalists‘ blog and they have so many useful tips and interesting articles.

One point which really caught my attention on their blog was the packing party. This is where you pack away all your possessions (as if you are moving houses), only to find the items you need when you need them. So, first night, you want to find your bed and bed sheets, etc. In this way, it is possible to see which items you use and which items you only keep in your house unused. Though I think this must be an eye opener and a fantastic experience, we could not (or would not) pack away all our things.

Though I did a similar thing with some of the kids toys, which were stored in a box in the living room. The youngest (3 year old) would, every day (!!!) take this box, empty it (you know the sound of a load of toys hitting the floor) but proceed to play with his cars and blocks.

Because of this, I removed the box (in the picture below) and did not tell the kids about it. Normally, I would have included my 6 year old, but in this case I didn’t.

It has been a month since I removed these toys and none of them have reported anything missing. So we will donate these toys to someone else.

I think this was a great exercise and I will probably use this “technique” several times, if I am in doubt about tossing something out or keep it.

The kids seem to play better, when left with toys such as building blocks, as they use their imagination and can create things. My 6 year old often builds castles and my 3 year old likes to build roads and parking lots πŸ˜›

I haven’t been blogging a lot lately, too much sun and holiday going on. However, at the moment, we are trying to clear out more stuff from our house as we still have way too many things.

This week, I will take my eldest (6 year old) with me on the process when clearing out her room, and we will talk about her books and toys, and see if there’s anything we could donate / trash / sell.

I will try to make a post about her involvement in this.

Kari

Overwhelmed

Is just one word to describe how I feel at times when trying to minimise and declutter. Because I empty closets and take everything out – and I’m struck with a load of choices to make -trash, transfer or treasure? And a chain of thoughts. Store for next winter? Will it fit next year? Trash this expensive outfit? Maybe if I try it a few more times? All this makes me feel uneasy and overwhelmed.

When I feel overwhelmed when decluttering my closet – I organise in the following manner.

  • Trash
  • Things which are not clothes (toys, bags and other things that find their way into my closet somehow)
  • Clothes

In this way – I can get an overview of what’s in there and I can weed out the things which obviously don’t belong in my closet.

Here is a picture of the process – this is again stepping out of my comfort zone – but sharing is caring 😜

Do you ever feel overwhelmed when decluttering? What do you do to deal with it?

Kari

When the sun shines..

and you live in the Western part of Norway – you don’t prioritise decluttering or other indoor activities such as cleaning and organising. You enjoy every day of sun you can get, as it may be these days which will make up your summer this year😜

So no new plan for May so far – too many people to socialise with and too good weather to stay indoors in.

Though I do have a few things I want to start, I’ll try to update you on those another day.

I hope May is good to you!

Kari

Painting kitchen: part 1

Our walls had two colours and it has been driving me insane. Though there are a lot of things I’d like to do to improve the functionality of our kitchen – I decided to start with this.

Here is a picture of my kitchen walls before painting.

And here is one after:

The reason I called this post part 1, is that I’m dreaming of painting the kitchen cabinets as well, but I’m not sure if we will prioritise this now. In addition, I’d like to remove the top kitchen cabinets and get some shelves for the things we use most. But – for now – I’m really happy about painting this wall and it has made my kitchen a lot lighter.

Lots of love,

Kari