Category Archives: Thoughts

‘Death Cleaning’

Be kind to future generations and throw out your junk.  Give away or sell what is usable and chuck the rest.  In all likelihood, your children or others will simply hire someone to come in get rid of your stuff – they don’t have time.  To me, it is selfish to saddle anyone with this chore.  If you are married into a family who has plenty of storage, then NOTHING is thrown away and there is machinery, furniture, plates, and other trinkets stored to the rafters of 4,5, and 6 generations.  It is honestly beyond ridiculous.  Stuff that could have had value and usefulness 50 or 60 years ago, sits in storage all this time and is now worthless.  Selfish and sad, very sad.

‘Death Cleaning’ Swedish Style

Decluttering helps you and loved ones downsize

attic trapdoor and clutter


“The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning” explains this downsizing ritual.

The latest export from Sweden isn’t a sturdy station wagon or a funky furniture store, but rather it’s a way of life. More specifically, it’s a way of end-of-life. It’s called döstädning, which translates to “death cleaning.”

In the tough-minded ways of this Scandinavian culture, it’s a decluttering practice that’s more about relieving a burden on family than creating pleasant surroundings. Americans have taken note of the ritual, which can begin as early as one’s 50s.

Margareta Magnusson, the 80-plus author of the new book The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, explains the phenomenon.

Q: What problems does keeping too much stuff cause your loved ones after you’re gone?

A: It’s very time-consuming. Why should my family take so much time — having jobs, families and everything else they have scheduled — to take care of my things?

Q: How do you decide what to keep or discard?

A: Talk about it with your family. It’s a delight to go through things and remember their worth. But if you don’t remember why a thing has meaning, then it has no worth, and it will be easier for you to part with.

Q: You write that you should get rid of “private” items — such as diaries. Why?

A: If you think a secret will cause your loved ones harm or unhappiness, then make sure to destroy such items. Make a bonfire, or shove them into a hungry shredder.

Q: How does cleaning help the cleaner?

A: The more I have focused on my cleaning, the braver I have become in discarding possessions. I have had a moment to reflect on the event or feeling, good or bad, and to know that it had been a part of my story and my life.


6 Habits to Reduce Clutter at Home This Year

The year is still new and with the weather making it tough to get much done outside, consider refreshing your home by decluttering.  No need to confine decluttering to your home either!

One of my most important decluttering decisions is reducing.  In other words, stop, think, do i really need to drag this ___________  (fill in the blank) home in the first place?

Another consideration is if i have to buy something to organise something – maybe i don’t need either somethings.  Part of decluttering in my opinion is NOT spending money .

Enjoy these ‘6 Habits to Reduce Clutter at Home This Year‘ courtesy of Houzz!  AND find a host of more ideabooks with decluttering ideas and tips at Houzz.




Site Inspect for FAMS

Dallas is not a good bathroom cleaner upper. Probably never will be, so occasionally, i can no longer stand the mess and start scrubbing. I don’t mind, he takes out hay for me when it’s too cold to live, manhandles gates i struggle with, and does lots of other jobs that are getting harder and harder for me. ANYWAY, here’s about as clean as one can get cheap Mustee brand shower panels after being used for 5 years. Took me about half an hour, scrub brush, cloth, Soft Scrub, hot water, and tooth brush to get this clean. However, as a former travel consultant and group air coordinator, i had the opportunity to participate in a few FAM (familiarization) trips. On FAM trips, we are paraded to various hotels, restaurants, etc in the hopes we would book their properties (they are paying for this FAM), so we learn to scrutinize. Looking at this shower, what would you check to see if it was clean?

Nothing can be perfectly clean, but there is definitely a minimum standard to be maintained to show respect for your paying guests. (this is our home now and no longer a guesthouse)

Here’s the mostly cleaned shower.  If you were doing a site inspection for a hotel, where would you look?
The bottom of the shower curtain.
Run your finger or a cloth on all horizontal surfaces.
Note the difference between the cleaned edge on the right vs still dirty on the left.
Check the top of the curtain rod.
Inspect corners and the BACK of the frame panel.
The soap dish should be scrubbed.

Time Management Lesson

Too many times I engage in projects which end up as time wasted. Case in point this 12×12 chicken tractor. After spending time and money on it, I’m now faced with more time wasted disassembling it. I have no intention of raising layers on pasture again and it’s too awkward to move very far and a waste of space to store it. The high quality tarp from Troyer Tarp will be stored, however, since it is a $100 item. I’m learning, albeit slowly and with the wisdom my children bestow upon me, to utilize my time more wisely.




Hurtful Words

Hurtful words come at us and we spew them out.  There is no doubt a lot of experts tell us how to deal with this, but i’m just going to share my own observations and experiences here.  There is nothing scientific about it – purely anecdotal.

  1. Is the person tired and/or cranky?  Careless words can be spoken when we get tired and we don’t think them through before they come out of our mouths.  If this is the case, either ignore them or gently check to see if you understand correctly.  But maybe we,the receiver, are tired and/or cranky.  This is a real possibility.

    Romans 12:17-18 ESV 

    Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

  2. Perhaps the words are spoken as guidance or correction.  Oftentimes, we have blinders on and don’t want to hear truth.  We might be hurt, but consider that we may need correction or direction.  Ones who love us will correct us; if they don’t correct us, they do not love us.

    Colossians 3:15-17 ESV

    And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

  3. Are hurtful words in response to something you said?  Someone may certainly respond in anger or hurtful manner if you have attacked them.  Step back and examine your own words.  This is the time to remove the beam from your own eye before deciding you are the one being hurt.

    Ephesians 4:29 ESV 

    Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.

  4. If hurtful words come from a person with regularity, this person may truly wish to hurt you or control you in a passive aggressive fashion.  This is the time to rid yourself of any relationship with that person.

    Proverbs 16:27-29 ESV 

    A worthless man plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. A dishonest man spreads strife, and a whisperer separates close friends. A man of violence entices his neighbor and leads him in a way that is not good.


Perhaps the most painful words are between and amongst those we love most and with whom we are closest.  Extra caution and more carefully chosen words are in order, though we cannot force another to receive with understanding, words spoken kindly or in love.  There will always be those who are determined that what you say is meant to harm no matter how banal your comment.  In this case, what do you do?  It is, perhaps, simply best to remain quiet.

well, thoughts for a rainy day in Bergen!