The start of a packing party?

I’ve snooped around on theminimalists’ blog and they have lots of inspiring articles on their blog.

One point which caught my attention was the packing party. They have made a concept where you pack down all your possessions as if you are going to move any day soon, and than you unpack the items you need in the following weeks. Joshua (one of the minimalists) did this and discovered he only used about 20% of his stuff. Though I do think this is a brilliant idea, we will make our own version of a packing party. To us, minimising is a slow process and we must take it step by step.

img_3898

I have in the past, when decluttering toys, involved the kids (at least my 6 year old), and she has willingly found toys she says she doesn’t play with anymore. However, in the picture below, you will see toys which were stored in a box in a cupboard in our living room. EVERY day, my 3 year old would empty this box, all over the floor, but not really play with any of the toys in it. He mostly plays with cars and building blocks, so I decided to pack away these toys to see if they ask for any of the pieces within the box. My 6 year old, rarely plays with any of the toys in this box. I suspect they won’t ask for them – and will have forgotten about them fairly soon, and than I will donate some of it and store what we want to hold on to (the Duplo). Thus, this will be our tentative start of a packing party.  I’d love to pack more stuff away to see if we really use our stuff, or if it is just lying around, taking up space in our house.

I will try to update you on how it goes – the toys have been packed away for 24 hours now. This morning – I had no reaction from any of the kids 🙂

Have you heard of the packing party? What do you think of the idea? Would you like to try it?

Kari

 

PS: The sun is still shining here, so no bigger lists or projects for us for now 😉

Book review: “The joy of living with less” by Francine Jay

img_3282

I have just finished my second book on minimalism and it has been helpful, as well as inspirational in my process of decluttering and minimising. Francine Jay walks us through four main sections in her book, starting with philosophy in part 1, continuing with part 2 where she presents her Stremaline method for decluttering. In part 3, she guides us through room by room, giving us useful tips on how and where to start, and what to be aware of in the various rooms. She introduces us to the aspects of lifestyle connected to simplifying our lives in part 4.

In part 1, she walks us through a lot of the thoughts and expectations around things, where especially two of the subchapters got to me: “You are not what you own” (Part one: chapter 2) and  “The Joy of enough” (Part one: chapter 9). I think it’s easy to feel that we need more things, newer things and a bigger house to accommodate all these things in society today, as images of how we “should” live our lives often appear in social media and are orchestrated by advertisers. In addition, I have tended to keep things that I feel say something about who I am (or at least, who I want to be, or in some cases, who I used to be). After starting the process of minimizing, I still want to buy new things and keep my old things, however, I feel that I now reflect more about the things I buy and I want everything I buy to last a long time and to have a purpose.

The streamline technique which is introduced in part 2 is extremely helpful when decluttering. Before I read this book, I followed these steps to a certain degree as I think many of these steps are natural in a decluttering procerss, but I have become more aware of the various ways of organising and of where clutter “lives”. Streamline stands for Start over, Trash/treasure/transfer, Reason for each item, Everything in its place, All surfaces clear, Modules, Limits, If one comes in, one goes out, Narrow down and Everyday maintenance. I will not go into detail into these, some are probably self-explanatory, however, I have discovered that I have tended to cheat on the first point; Start over. Sometimes, when I have decluttered a shelf, or some drawers, I have not taken everything out. It does really make a difference, when you do Start over.

Another point which I found useful from this book are the Modules. I have organised some of our things, to a certain degree into modules before, but I have become more aware of this after reading the book. Furthermore, the Outbox is a brilliant concept as well. You place an outbox somewhere in the house to encourage family members to get rid of things. I have for a longer period of time kept an outbox to myself, but I think it will be interesting to see if other family members will make use of it as well.

If you want to go on a decluttering journey or simply minimise your everyday somewhat, I definitely recommend this book. It is easy to read and you can easily jump to the points relevant to you, if needed.

I feel inspired by reading books on minimalism and decluttering. Do you have any books or articles or blogs you would recommend, please share, as I love to learn more.

Lots of love,

Kari

Trying out our lavvo

This will be my first post on outdoor activities, where I will share with you mye experience setting up a lavvo.

A while back, we bought a lavvo, initially intended to use to spend nights outdoor. However, I needed an activity to do with the kids one day, so I thought, why not set up the lavvo and have lunch in it?

(If you don’t know what a lavvo is, it is a type of tent used by the Sami people in Norway. It could probably be compared with the tipi of the Native Americans.)

I did some research on how to set it up (YouTube), packed my backpack and an hour and half after, we were on our way. We had to walk 1,5 km to get to the field where I wanted to set it up, which is a bit of a distance for my 3-year-old. But he managed it with enough pauses:)

These are the steps I followed to set up the lavvo.

  1. Give kids some snacks
  2. Unpack the lavvo
  3. Lay out the lavvo on the field
  4. Fasten the tent pegs in the ground (or snow and ice in my case) – looking like this (next bullet).
  5. Than comes the tricky part, putting in the tent pole. This is a pole made up of four parts and it comes easily apart. We failed the first time, but this was due to the tent pegs not being properly fasten in the snow.
  6. And voila!

We made lunch (rice pudding) and played around the lavvo, before it elegantly collapsed due to the snow and ice melting around the pegs. However, I saw this coming and had manage to take out all our things.

A few things I learnt from this trip:

  1. There is actually something called snow tent (lavvo) pegs – may have to try this next time.
  2. Bring coffee next time (we spent 5 hours outdoors)
  3. Bring a carrier in case the 3 year old refuses to walk – he is heavy to carry without.
  4. If setting up lavvo in milder weather (0 degrees Celsius), cover up pegs with snow or other things to keep them in place.

We will definitely use the lavvo again, as it enabled us to stay outside a long time, and it was fun having shelter. We want to try to sleep outside a night as well, and when we do, I will give you an update.

I cannot wait for spring to come, with less snow and ice and a warmer weather. I really want to take my bicycle out again soon. What outdoor activities do you like to do?

Lots of love,

Kari