Loose threads.

A big part of minimising and decluttering is to make room for what’s important. For me, I realised that finishing projects are incredible important. To feel for filled and satisfied, to not have unfinished projects floating around in your mind and physical space. Every time you encounter one of these Items, let’s call them UFOs (Unfinished objects) your thought process will automatically go through the amount of time this UFO has been in your possession and the guilt that you haven’t gotten around to finish it, also continuously dismissing it in the presence for lack of time or energy.

When you have a lot of things you naturally also have a lot of unfinished projects. It could be things that need to be cared for, repaired or hobby projects that got started but then soon forgotten. They easily pile up, and sometimes we designate a special place for these UFOs , it could be a drawer, a box or a whole room. When UFOs hasn’t been separated from it’s category it could surprise us with it’s presence when we least expect it. Getting dressed in the morning, putting on an item of clothing and realising that a button is missing, a zipper is broken, it’s stained or has holes. Instead of then separating it, we usually out of laziness put it back. Separate it right away, otherwise it is soon forgotten, until the next time you encounter it.

Try not to justify keeping an UFO out of the pure motivation that you have the ability to fix or finish it, because there’s probably a reason why you haven’t gotten around to do it yet. A lot of my UFOs has been laying around for such a long time, so when I finally get around to complete the task, I may realise that I don’t even want it in my possession anymore and it can be donated instead. So the reality of it is that I saved some things, not because I valued them, but out of guilt for not fixing them. If fixing them means they can be donated and not thrown, it could be worth considering doing it either way. You are responsible for everything that you bring into your life, and also how you decide to dispose of the items when they no longer serve their purpose or bring you happiness.

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One of my best examples of UFOs is this pair of socks, I started knitting them around a decade ago, but back then this yarn was meant to be leg warmers. I never finished them, around halfway I ran out of stamina or inspiration. Around two years ago I decided, that I would never finish them and even if I did I would never wear them. So I ripped them up, saving the yarn, repurposed it and started knitting socks (and yes, it’s Totoro on them). It took me around a year to finish them and I was really happy that I managed. But on the side notes, I never actually did completely finish them. There was a lot of loose threads (literally) that needed securing, but they were on the inside, so you could easily wear them and no one would notice. A few months ago, I felt like I had enough. I declared war against all my UFO’s, I wanted to finish everything that I once started to be able to clear my space of clutter and my mind of guilt. My main Motivation was to get rid of the guilt from the past so that I could start living in the presence.

To finish all your unfinished projects is a daunting task, and probably why we put it of for such a long time. But believe me when I say, just do it. Take a few of them reassess what attention they need, put them in a visual place and the next time you watch a tv-series, stitch that loose button back in place. Most of these fixes only takes a few minutes of your time and the satisfaction it gives, it’s so worth it. If you fix 5 items of clothing in a day you will feel very productive and satisfied, even though it maybe only took one hour of your day to execute.

Your belongings are worth your attention.

 

Link to Totoro mittens:

https://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/norwegian-totoro-mittens

 

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Vision.

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Imagine living your life whiteout your vision. Squinting your eyes in a desperate attempt to make the picture sharp. Your whole world is in a blur. Unable to read nor study. Without education, your chances of getting a decent job is low.

For some people that’s their reality. Not affording glasses when in need of them. In developing countries this is not unusual. By donating your old glasses, you could give someone else their vision and a better future, instead of letting your unworn glasses collect dust in a drawer. Do some research online or bring them with you next time you run errands, ask around in the optik stores if they accept glasses for donation to developing countries. I dropped of two pairs today at Synoptik. Asking myself, why did I need two pairs of glasses in the first place? It’s not like they last you longer, if your vision change you’ll have to “get rid of” (donate) both.

Optik stores have high competition today, so the offers easily get out of hand. Buy 2 pay for 1, buy a pair of glasses and get free sunglasses with your prescription or the one I fell for; buy 3 pay for 1. My sister took one of the pairs from the offer and we split the cost accordingly. So even if I weren’t spending a lot of money, I was still wasting the material and energy consumed in the making of those extra pair of glasses.

This time I did buy a new pair, even though I could have kept my old frames. The problem with both my old ones (they are very similar, just different thicknesses), is that I didn’t feel comfortable in how I looked with them on, and that resulted in very little usage. My new glasses are from ace & tate´s store in Berlin. I went to their store three times to try on “almost” all frames every time around, just to be certain that I did the right decision. Kept going back to the same frame model but in various colours until I settled for the pair that matched my hair and eye colour the best. Hopefully I will be able to use these frames for a long time to come, and just exchange the lenses if needed. Ace & tate produce their lenses in Amsterdam and the frames are hand made from Italy. Companies that have a translucent production chain is always to prefer, and to choose non-sweatshop produced products.

When getting new glasses, consider this:

  1. Is it because I’m bored of my old pair or have my vision changed?
  2. Could I keep my old frames and just exchange the lenses?
  3. Can I buy frames secondhand?
  4. Find a brand that produces sustainable frames.
  5. Do I really need more than one pair/ or extra sunglasses?

Avoid trends when i comes to glasses, they are not meant to be worn 1-2 seasons only before you upgrade, that’s a huge waste of resources. Start of with something you really love, and you will only appreciate it more with time.

Read more:

Vision for all:

http://www.visionforall.org/

Synoptik project (in swedish):

https://www.synoptik.se/om-synoptik/socialt-ansvar/optiker-utan-granser/

ace & tate:

https://www.aceandtate.de/

Time to quit.

This year have been characterized by quitting bad habits. It’s not part of any new year resolutions, does doesn’t tend to last that long either way. I’ve just practised to be more active in the decisions I’m making. As soon as I have a thought like “this isn’t so good, maybe I should quit”. Then just do it, right there and then. I quit drinking alcohol during spring. For me it was quite easy, because of the last couple of years I haven’t been drinking much either way. I felt that the small amount I still consumed didn’t add any value to my life, rather it stole my productive time, money and health. Soon after I quit cigarettes, I never been a smoker but it happens from time to time that I smoke for various reasons. But realizing that it tastes like death, was a huge motivation to quitting, so I did. It’s a little bit more of a struggle, but something that helped me a lot is to tell others, instead of just declining when someone ask if you want alcohol or cigaret, tell them: No I don’t drink/ smoke any more, I quit. After some time that statement will become a part of you and you will be a person that doesn’t smoke nor drink.

 

It’s maybe easier for me than others to quit these two categories considering I’m not addicted to either. My next thing to quit is fast fashion. I’m quite addicted to shopping clothes, but have transitioned to only secondhand shopping during the last couple of years. But now and again I go by a shop and are just gonna have a sneak peak, end up falling in love with something, obsessing over it, then cave in and buy it. Feeling guilt afterwards, and then regret. I’m done with this, I’m not going to support this anymore. In time I hopefully can lower my consumption of clothes even more, but for now I’m only going to buy second hand or make it myself. Not even sustainable brands are really sustainable because you still add to the production and consumption of new products. All new products are consuming resources and by doing so polluting and destroying various areas of our planet.

 

If we think about it, we already have more then enough, we are part of a generation that lives in abundance. If everyone would donate their access clothes and things we could probably sustain any new requisite for quite a long time. If we own fever things, they will also have more value to us and we will take care of them better so they will last longer. If we feel like we have a need for something, we should consider it deeply before acting on it, and never buy anything if it isn’t perfect for the purpose. Good enough isn’t good enough. If there’s a small detail doesn’t match your requirements, it will annoy you until you after a while will exchange that item for something new.

TAKE CARE, foldable table.

When you have less stuff around you, you’ll notice that you have more time and energy to actually take care of the belongings that you own. I’ve started to tick off projects that I have been wanting to do for ages. I just finished this tiny foldable table. I found it at a thrift store, but it’s originally from IKEA. It had a lot of ring markings from wet drinking glasses on the untreated wood. So I took it apart and sandpapered it down, coated it whit varnish a couple of times. My thought was to use it for when you sit on the floor on pillows, so I cut of 10cm from the legs to make it an appropriate length. I’m so satisfied whit the result.

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LUSH shampoo bar.

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When I ran out of shampoo, probably one year ago, I started to try out other things. First I tried bicarbonate, it dried out my hair and made it like chewing gum while it was still oily. I used bar soap for a while just because I was lazy and that was what I had at home. Then I felt; fuck it, I’m not going to use anything! So I started the water only method, but failed at maintaing the Scritch, preen and brush process regularly and when the weather got colder, my hair looked even worse. So I went to LUSH and bought myself a cinnamon scented shampoo bar (It’s soon christmas so I had to). Tried it out for the first time, and I fucking love it! My hair feels clean in a good way and doesn’t feel to shiny which I like.

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At LUSH you can buy a tin jar to have your shampoo bar in or you can bring your own container. I just finished up this KUSMI tea, so I brought the tin along to reuse it and the bar did fit perfectly!

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Cinnamon shampoo bar:

https://uk.lush.com/products/new

2nd of advent, candle light.

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It’s 2nd sunday of advent and in sweden we usually celebrate with lighting up a lot of candles. Try to find better substitute for the ones with an aluminum cup. Aluminum is a material that takes a lot of energy to produce. You can instead buy these bigger ones without cup or find something even better, like a soy or LED candles. But if you’re like me and still have some aluminum cup candles left, make sure to separate the small metal plate from the cup. They are made out of different metals, so if they are stuck together they will not be recycled. If there’s still stearic left, take it out and put it in another candle or collect it from a few, heat it up and make new candles.

It’s about being aware, not perfect.

So I collected all the pictures from the past 9 month of keeping track of my plastic consumption. I’ve felt from time to time that I wanted to see more progress. But then I think about the reason why I’m doing this and it’s not because I want to get perfect at it. Consume no plastic at all, that would be nice though and I do believe that some day I can achieve that. But there’s more to it than just prioritizing to not buy plastic. As a vegan sometimes you aren’t left with many choices and then eating is more important. To choose organic vs. plastic free is also a struggle. All I want to say with this is, don’t be so hard on yourself and focus on inspiring others instead. It’s so easy to focus to much on our own progress that we forget the big picture.

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