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 😛

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 🙂
  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 😛
  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

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

April update

April has flown by and I have had some very busy weeks at work. Due to this, I am a bit behind my April decluttering plan. However, I will not lose all spirits. There are still some days left of April, and I will do my best to cross of a few more items of my list.

Here is my list, with the items I have managed to declutter so far. I have donated some white shirts and a black suit and I have also had a look at the kids clothes, to see if we could donate clothes that won’t fit anymore.

  • Give away white shirts and black suit (planned to give to theatre group)
  • The kids’ clothes: purge / donate
  • Winter clothes – make a box to go to attic
  • Get rid of 3 items which I find hard to say goodbye to
  • Sell black coat and skirt (mine)
  • Purge toys downstairs
  • Get rid of dresser upstairs (give away)
  • Dissemble linen closet and get rid of it
  • Declutter / remove at least one box under the bed
  • Start organising hobby cupboard downstairs

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The picture is of some of the clothes I removed from my 3 year old’s drawers. It is more spacious now, which makes it easier to see what is in there.

My aim is to see if I manage by Thursday,  to declutter / remove one box from under the bed and purge toys downstairs. I will keep you posted.

Have you decluttered anything lately? Do you manage to stick to your plan?

Lots of love,

Kari

How I use my bullet journal to declutter my mind

In order to stay on top of everything I have to do (or not do), I use a traveler notebook as a  bullet journal.

If you are not familiar with the concept bullet journaling, I strongly recommend that you get familiar with it, as this type of planning has changed my life and helped me “declutter” my mind. Go check out the official website of bullet journaling, by the creator Ryder Carrol. Basically, you need a notebook and a pen. Ryder Carrol, I’m forever grateful that you shared your idea with us!

In using bullet journaling, I plan my days, weeks and months. I like to sit down, before a new week begins (or a new month), to plan out the week, to check if there is anything in particular I have to remember that week (or month). This gives me an overview of the upcoming events, and also of the available time we got to our disposal to plan new events.

For my monthly log and weekly log, I have bought travellers notebook inserts with prints, but I know a lot of people like to make their own outlines.

I use a blank insert where I write out my daily logs (as in the picture).

I do not plan all days, and how many details I include vary from day to day. If I am really stressed out about a lot of things happening a day, I plan more detailed, and I may include tasks such as “shower”, “breakfast”, “get mail” etc. It is not as if I wouldn’t remember these tasks without having written them down, however, when I write them down in my journal I feel I can stop going over the next day in my mind over and over again, because I know I have everything on paper in my bullet journal. Furthermore, I LOVE crossing off items on lists, I feel that I accomplish great things in doing this (haha), so this motivates me to carry out the tasks in my journal.

Before I started using a bullet journal in my daily planning, I would try to “remember” everything I needed to remember, and I ended up forgetting a lot, which lead to a lot of frustration and stress. In addition, it was difficult to “declutter” unimportant tasks from my mind, and to notice if I was spending too much time thinking about unnecessary tasks (or worrying about these) . After I started jotting down tasks I wish to do, I now can quickly see when a task is ignored and not carried out, and I can weed these tasks out of my system, and out of my life. For example, I put down several weeks in a row that I should clean the floors upstairs. This task rarely got carried out and it didn’t bother me that it didn’t happen (I dust and vacuum the floors), so I stopped putting this up as a weekly task as this is a task which is carried out more rarely. So instead of thinking about this task and becoming increasingly stressed out about yet another task not completed, I realised I could eliminate it. And I have managed to do this with several tasks which I spent a lot of time and energy thinking thinking about.

In addition, I include a sleep tracker and a habit tracker in my weekly log. Since I like crossing off items off lists, I have developed several positive habits (taking my vitamins, eating breakfast before I leave the house for work etc).

What do you do to declutter your mind? Do you plan out your days?

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

How I discovered minimalism and a few tips along the way

After I became a “grown-up”, with a proper job and a house, and especially after having kids, life got more busy and I felt that we never had enough time or space. We have moved a couple of times, and each time I thought that we would finally have enough room for all our things, but I’ve always ended up feeling like we didn’t.

I read loads of articles on organisation, decluttering and “hacks” to get more stuff stored in less space. I bought containers, boxes and started to organise clothes, toys, paper, pens etc. However, the last 4 years, I have been writing a thesis in English didactics which took most of my spare time, so I never managed to get “properly organised”. At times, I felt as if I was drowning in clothes, toys and other things, which I constantly was picking up and moving around the house (or had to ignore because I had to focus on my thesis). Once I handed in my thesis, I thought I would take a weekend to sort my house. A weekend…that was optimistic😜. Needless to say I realised this would take longer.

With kids came clothes and lots of equipment. We got rid of quite a lot, but the accumulation of toys and clothes was constant. I realised that organisation was not the solution, and that it was not necessarily lack of organisation that was our problem, rather an abundance of things.

We started the process of decluttering, first I started with my things before I started to involve other family members as well. I started with my clothes and our bedroom and moved on to other rooms in our house. As we’ve been doing this, we’ve all noticed it has become increasingly easier to put away things for the evening, as there are not so many of these things. My kids seem more drawn to their rooms now that it is easier to find toys, as there are not too many to choose from.

Perhaps the most valuable lesson I’ve learnt from this process so far is that striving to be more minimalist has changed me much more than I originally thought it would, especially my ways of thinking about things and possessions. In addition, I want to emphasise that it is a process. My husband and I both work full time jobs, so decluttering comes on top of the normal chores and family time we have in our everyday lives. However, we have started this process and take one step at the time, and only thinking about that we are in this process makes me feel happy and more at ease.

If you want to get more organised and live a more minimalist life, here are some tips from me:

  • Start today – just do it! Even though you only have 10 minutes, find a drawer or some other small area and set your timer on your phone and get started. You’ll feel so good about yourself afterwards!
  • Make a plan! Everything is much easier to do, when you’ve made a plan (or a list). I love crossing of lists, so this is a great motivation for me to get things done.
  • Make it a habit. I have put in my calendar on my phone, declutter 10 minutes, three days a week. Though I can’t get through huge closets in ten minutes, at least I get something done, every week. It is important that this time is not used to picking up toys from the floor, as I see this as part of the “normal” housework which we have to do anyway 😉
  • Be patient! If you have a lot of things, it will take time, especially if you have a job or a family which occupies you time as well. Take one step at the time. You’ll get there!!
  • Read books or articles on minimalism or decluttering. There are lots of people sharing their experiences on the topic. I’ve found this essential and motivational in our work to become more minimalist.
  • Reward yourself and do something nice for yourself or you and your family, when you’ve started the process. This is a nice reminder of why you are doing this! I see that I can spend more time with my loved ones, and less time on stressing over things, which to me has been really deliberating.

How did you start your minimalist journey? Do you have any tips to new beginners in search of minimalism? I’d love to hear from you as this is a continuing process, where I feel I learn something new, every step of the road.

Lots of love,

Kari