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

Clear flat surfaces

To many, it may be obvious that clear flat surfaces, look less cluttered. However, to me, it was a matter of getting these surfaces cleaned easier and making use of the space which was occupied by things that motivated me to uncluttered my kitchen counters, in addition to my changed mindset of wanting more available space. I don’t have a huge kitchen, so the counters that I have, are needed for food preparation.

I have done a bit of reorganising without taking before and after pictures of my kitchen (omg – why, right?). I used to have several things on the counters, such as the toaster, Sodastream, a jar of utensils and my coffee machine. Now I’ve put away most of these things to have clear surfaces. My kitchen already feels so much more spacious. In fact, my father visited me the other day and commented upon it.

So now we will get to the fun part. The pictures. This is scary, because this means showing pictures of our mess. However, I find it very satisfying watching other people’s “before” and “after” pictures, so I thought it would only be fair to give back to those who have already shared. Our kitchen is old and we dream about upgrading it, but that is a different story.

So first, you’ll see pictures of my clear counters.

These are most of my counters – but I got one more. And this is the one where all the things go. It’s just that corner where everything piles up. Magazines, papers, toys, coins and who knows what.

And this is what the neighbours see when passing by. In making this post I decided to do something about it, so I cleared away some of the things.

Now it looks like this (after picture;)):

It should be noted that my counters are not like this always. Especially around meal times, there’s more things on them (and after the rush of getting out in the mornings). However, having few things to begin with, helps me keep it cleaner and less messy.

What’s your tip to keep the kitchen clean and clutter free?

Lots of love,

Kari

Minimalism put into practice

Putting minimalism into practice is a lot of work. When I decided to create this blog, I wanted it to be honest and I wanted to challenge myself to share several parts of the process, and not just the finished “product” (or after pictures).

img_2885

In some of the upcoming posts, I thought I would share some of these processes and challenges of decluttering, with illustrating pictures. This is – to be honest – quite scary, because it means I will have to let the world see our clutter. Normally, we’d try to hide this, for instance when we get visitors, but I think this will be an experience I can learn from and which will motivate me to continue the process towards a more minimalist lifestyle, with less clutter in our lives.

Attached to this post is a picture of one of the times I have been going through a closet in my bedroom.

Stay tuned for picture updates 😱

Lots of love,

Kari

Happy international women’s day

International women’s day snook up on me this year, but here is a ta huge congratulations to all the fantastic women out there!

pexels-photo-272976.jpegUnfortunately, I have not been able to focus in-depth on International Woman’s day in my lessons this week, but I have made a mental note to try to incorporate this in my plans for next year.

Increasing status of women is important and today is a good day to reflect more on women’s role in society.

Here are some interesting websites and articles on the International women’s day:

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

What I learnt from “Goodbye, things” by Fumio Sasaki

Screen Shot 2018-03-05 at 15.36.47

When I first “discovered” minimalism and minimalist living, it was through pins on Pinterest. There were lots of great articles and blog posts on minimalist living giving me useful advice on how to start decluttering and start a more minimalist lifestyle, however, I wanted to do more research. I searched for books on Amazon on minimalism and I thought that this one looked interesting and it had lots of good reviews.

Fumio Sasaki is from Japan and I don’t know a lot about him,expect from what I learnt about him in his book. He is honest about how he used to live before (with lots of possessions and how this affected him) and he really illuminated to me that living more minimalist is much more than just living with fewer physical possessions. When you free up space where you live, you also free up mental space.

Throughout his book, he defines what minimalism is, walk us through the reasons for the accumulation of things and he offers valuable advice on how to reduce the number of things you have at home. Though I think that Sasaki and I are in different walks of our lives, I found a lot of his advice useful when decluttering. He emphasises that being minimalist is not about having close to no possessions, however, having what you need. He states that “what one needs” may vary from person to person. To our family, living up North, with a varied, but relatively cold climate, one or two jackets, simply will not cut it, whereas I can imagine that if we lived somewhere with a more stable (and warmer) climate, I could do with two jackets.

Chapter 3 is called “55 tips to help you say goodbye to your things”. It may sound dramatic, but it is not (you are not suppose to say goodbye to all your things;)). Some objects may be difficult to part with, for various reasons, however, Sasaki states that “[r]ather than thinking about the loss of everything you discard, direct your attention to the things you’ll be gaining” (p.83).

In the last chapters of the book, he reflects on the changes he went through and how this made him a more happy person.

I found this book inspiring and to be an eye-opener to me, and I still pick it up and reread parts of it, when my motivation to declutter is low. Sasaki has taught me about the psychology of possessions and what they do to us and I have, through reading this book, changed how I think about my possessions. Owning lots of possessions, or in my case, too many useless possessions, was not healthy and I felt agonised, sometimes as if drowning in things. My mood would get worse, the more clutter and mess I had at home. Nevertheless, as I have started the process of decluttering and getting rid of things, it is like a weight has slowly been lifted off my shoulders. My house still gets very messy (and probably will always get messy), however, there more things I get rid of, the easier it is to pick up and store away things – and I can already see that I can spend less time on housework, and more time on what I want, like spending time with my loved ones ❤

If you haven’t read any books on minimalism and are looking for one, I absolutely recommend this one. It’s easy to read and full of useful advice to set into practice.

Have you any books on minimalism you would like to recommend?

Lots of love,

Kari

 

The purpose of this blog

Hello everyone!

I will try to introduce you to the topics of this blog in this blog post, however, since it is a completely new blog, it is somewhat difficult to predict the posts which will come. Nevertheless, I wanted to create a blog in which I could share my ideas, the processes I am going through on my journey to live a more minimalistic and purposeful life.

I am married, mum of two children aged 3 and 6 and teacher at an upper secondary school in Norway. I love my job, so I may post a few teacher-related posts as well, as I find other teachers’ blog posts inspiring and helpful in my work. I will make some categories as I go along, as this is fairly new to me.

We love spending time outdoor and go hiking and skiing, so in order to spend more time outside, we need to spend less time inside, cleaning and doing housework. I noticed I was getting increasingly frustrated by all the clutter, the toys and stuff in our house, which I kept trying to organise. I kept thinking we didn’t have enough space, however, I see now that we have got plenty of space in our house, but we’ve had too many things, toys, etc. We have been in the process of decluttering a couple of months now, and I am thinking that I need to write a post about including the children in this process, as I found this really interesting.

Below, you can see a picture of my daughter as we are approaching our cabin up in the mountains. During winter season, we have to take the train, as the roads are not accessible. We ski from the train station to the cabin (about 900 metres) and when we get evenings like this, it is magical.

upsete

Please share your own experiences on living a simpler, more purposeful life, as I find it inspiring to hear other people’s stories.

Lots of love,

Kari