Monday, October 29

I'm not saying that I'll never move ever, ever again, although I feel like that at this moment. I might move again 10 years from now. Maybe. Once this move is done it'll be my 7th move in four years and enough is enough!

This week is going to be intense, but it'll be over soon and I'll be finally able to settle down and not worry about my future. I'll be able to be, enjoy life again, take it easy, go out with friends, play in SCA, knit some of the ideas swarming around my head. You know, live again.

The only thing that's holding me together right now is the thought that this whole mess will be over on Saturday. I'm planning to have pancakes for Sunday breakfast, play WoW, knit and not unpack anything the whole day.

That is, if I get the Internet to work this week, if not, I'll listen to audiobooks and knit.

Progress report:

  1. pack the fabrics; — DONE
  2. finish packing the books; — DONE
  3. finish packing the yarn; — DONE
  4. buy the furniture;
  5. pack kitchenware and dishes;
  6. pack the SCA gear;
  7. talk to the electricity company;
  8. do laundry. — DONE

I also need to go to the bank on Wednesday and sign the loan contract and transfer all my banking to them. I'll go straight to Ikea after that, buy the furniture and have it delivered on Thursday.

On Thursday I'll go back to the bank for the ownership to be transferred and to get the keys to the apartment. Go to the apartment, install the wireless router and wait for the furniture. I'll probably take the laptop and electronics with me then, instead of Saturday.

On Friday I have half a day off to assemble the furniture. Fortunately I'll have some friends helping, so it shouldn't take too long.

On Saturday R's brother will come with his lorry and we'll cart all my stuff to the new apartment. The cats will go last to spare them the moving-in part of the process. They will have to be shut in the bathroom while moving out, otherwise Mao will try to explore the wilds, Ursus will flee strangers and there's no telling where they'll end up. I'll let them out as soon as we have loaded the lorry, but it still feels bad to shut them in there. Even if it is to keep them safe. When the lorry is emptied and everything carried in, I'll fetch them. And that's it. Done. Finished. Over.

Of course, things need to be unpacked, but I can do it on my schedule, take my time and organize to my heart's content.

Friday, October 26

So I went to Ikea yesterday to buy the furniture and have it delivered next Thursday. No can do. The Box service only delivers the same or the next day. Oh well I'll go back on Wednesday and buy the big stuff then. I wrote down the shelf numbers yesterday and got a bill for the bed so it should go very fast.

I bought all the storage boxes, a throw for the bed and wheels for the sofa table yesterday. I was considering grabbing the lamps as well, but that would have been bit too heavy to carry and decided to leave them for Wednesday.

Meanwhile I've been thinking about minimalism, clutter, materialism, mess and neatness. I like things neat, uncluttered and I abhor mess.

Living with R has been frustrating in that area because for him clutter = comfort and mess is a way of life. When I first moved in there was no space in his apartment to breathe or simply be*. There's a bit more space now that we rearranged the room this summer, but there's still no space to be. In a week it won't matter anymore, but I've been thinking about the new apartment, how much stuff I have and how much should I keep and still stick to the minimalist philosophy.

The problem is that I'm a packrat at heart and stuff seems to accumulate at an alarming rate. Through the six moves in last four years I've gotten rid of much, but it seems that I should seize the opportunity undertake another culling now.

While I was reading Unclutterer I came across this article: Outta here! Professional purgers' organizing tips. This one tip hit like a ton of bricks: "You should own nothing that is not useful, beautiful, or loved," says Izsak.

Wow! What an insight. I've kept stuff because "it might come handy one day" or something that I didn't really like, but "I could make something out of it". You know what, I never did! I admit, some saved stuff has come handy, but all those saved proto-projects? Never.

And how many coffee pots one needs, anyway? Surely not more than one? I have three. Please don't ask me why I've kept the cracked one. Sentimental reasons perhaps? Or the one that's too small and rickety. One thing is for certain — they won't be coming with me.

Of course one can go to the other extreme with getting rid of stuff. I had to leave some things behind when I moved back from Ireland that I could really use now. To make things worse, some of them were gifts. I thought I had no choice at the time, but there's always a choice and I wish now that I'd chosen differently.

While packing I've thought about things that stayed here while I was in Dublin and I didn't even miss. Should I keep them? Toss them or donate them? Put them in storage if they have no immediate use? Everything is subjected to these questions twice: first time while packing and second time while unpacking.

I hope that I can organise my stuff better and keep the things that are "useful, beautiful, or loved". Even if I don't achieve true minimalim, I'll at least have a space to be in.

* be to me means that you can take time off, have space to breathe in, enjoy the moment and not be suffocated by the sheer amount of things in your surroundings. Reload your batteries in peace, without visual, aural or any other kind of interruption. This is something I've not been able to do since I moved in with R, there is not an inch of space in that place you can rest your eyes on or even look at without cringing.

Wednesday, October 24

Things to do before November 1st:

  1. pack the fabrics;
  2. finish packing the books;
  3. finish packing the yarn;
  4. buy the furniture;
  5. pack kitchenware and dishes;
  6. pack the SCA gear;
  7. talk to the electricity company;
  8. do laundry.

There's probably more to do, but at the moment this is what I can think of.

Monday, October 22

The packing proceeds at a good pace. I've dealt with almost everything upstairs, except kitchen and the SCA closet. Oh, and bathroom, but that'll be easy — I have packed all but essentials already. I am leaving the kitchen to next week and will pack the SCA things once I've fetched a suitcase from the cellar.

The computer stuff will be packed the night before the move.

The biggest task this week will be to go to the cellar storage room and tackle the fabrics, yarn and the rest of the accumulated posessions that have been stored away for years. Ugh! I am so not looking forward to this, but I can't put it off any longer.

On a lighter note. I saw this clip on Cute Overload and simply had to share.

This is like Mao every morning! Except that he does leave me alone on weekends.


Friday, October 19

I went to Ikea to scout. I'd looked up the bookshelves, table and bed on their website, but I wanted to see all the bits and check the surfases.

Most of what I had chosen was as I thought it would be, some were not and I crossed them off my list. Then there were other things I simply 'had' to add.

Like two sets of cutlery and a bathroom set. Oh, I was going to get them anyway, but not exactly now.

I'll be going back next week after the payday and buy the furniture.

Monday, October 15

T minus 20 days.

I decided to start packing for real this weekend. I'd planned to do so this coming weekend, but with the association's welcome, I felt confident enough to go ahead now.

So I plunged in at the deep end and packed the books (most of them, actually). This may sound like a trivial task, but it took hours and in the end I had 24 big paper shopping bags worth of books packed. I haven't measured the volume, but that lot is about 12+ running metres.

This does not include most of my cookbooks or the *cough* 13 *cough* books I bought from various Amazons last month that have started arriving. Nor does it include books that I had bought in Ireland, they are still in the mail boxes they were shipped in from Dublin. I might repack them, though and use the boxes for kitchen stuff. And there are probably a few stacks of books in the basement I've forgotten about.

I'll find them eventually. It's not likely that I'll run out of the paper bags. I bought 96 of them from a grocery store. Why such an odd number? I spotted a pile of paper bags still wrapped with plastic straps and grabbed one bunch, thinking that even if I don't use all of them for books, they are convenient size to pack other things in too. The only downside is that they are not easily stackable, but if I tape them shut with packing tape, nothing should spill out.

Note to self: buy packing tape!


Mao and Ursus exploring the newly empty bookshelves

Mao and Ursus exploring the newly empty bookshelves.

Friday, October 12

I met the association yesterday and it went very well. My papers were in order, they liked me, I liked them and they welcomed me to the house. Monday's meeting is just a formality, I heard.

I was shown around the building yesterday and I was very impressed. The management really cares that association members enjoy living there. They have given serious thought about what different groups of people like, and then they've made plans to provide that.

For IT geeks like me there is free 1G Internet. 1G! That means 100M up/download. The fastest connection I have seen from regular internet providers is 24M download and 8M upload. Quite a difference, isn't it?

For TV geeks, 66 channels of digital TV (including my favourite Discovery channels), all for free.

For car owners, there is a garage. For bicycle owners there are outdoor and indoor spaces for them.

There are two different common laundry rooms with brand new machines. Two! One you have to book a time in, the other can be used whenever no-one else is using it. They have a ginormous washer for small rugs and blankets with correspondingly ginormous dryer in the bookable laundry room. They even have supplied the tennis balls for the dryer! The laundry rooms are soundproofed so one can use them even at night. As I was told: "We have people who work shifts and they need to use the laundry room too."

They have truly thought of everything, and then some extra.

There is a woodworking room in the cellar with a huge bench. This is just beyond belief! I can do bookbinding and SCA woodworking projects there without being concerned that I get sawdust all over the apartment. A woodworking room with a huge bench! It can't get any better...

But wait! It does!

The old laundry room is used as a common library where you can take whatever you like and leave the books that you don't want for others to take. Next year that room is going to be rebuilt into sauna complex with jacuzzi hot tub and lounge area. *insert dreamy sigh here*

The courtyard is also going to be rebuilt and will have three different garden areas. One with a grill to have picnics in, one to relax in and one in the middle.

Oh, and I've not even mentioned recycling, handicap access everywhere, child- and petfriendly atmosphere.

In a house like this, who cares if I don't have a separate bedroom, balcony or a bathtub? I don't.

If it is possible to be in love with an association, I'm in love!

Monday, October 8

The reason why I want to have a sofa/daybed in the kitchen is Astrid Lindgren. It is her writing that introduced me to the concept of having a place to sleep in the kitchen.

Ever since reading Brothers Lionheart I've had this secret desire to have a kitchen big enough to have a sofa in there. As I remember in the book it was not a very positive thing to sleep in the kitchen, but a sofa in the kitchen can be so much more than a bed for a little boy.

This desire was reinforced in Dublin. The house we rented had a big kitchen and we used to have "house brunch" on Sundays there. Or when friends came over we would hang out in the kitchen, cooking, sipping beverages and chatting. There was no sofa in that kitchen, but there was space to do more than just cook.

I've missed all that. After moving back to Stockholm we talked about buying a bigger apartment, but nothing came of that. When I was looking for apartments I remembered the sofa in the kitchen in the story. It seemed like a good idea to have a sofa for guests to sit on instead of hard dining chairs.

These kitchen sofas do not look like ordinary living room sofas. Here are a couple from IKEA: Meldal and Tromsnes.

Add a mattress cover, a few pillows and you have a cozy place to have your Sunday morning coffee. Or comfortable place for your friends to hang out on while you cook. Or a spare bed.

Perfect, isn't it?

Friday, October 5

I was informed yesterday that V (the girl R left me for) shall bring over some of her things this weekend. Previoulsy I was informed that she will move in after Christmas and I sort of assumed that I can start packing two weeks before moving date, which is tentatively 3rd of November.

Sigh. I had plans for this weekend. Now I will have to start packing two weeks early to make room for her.

The apartment block association I bought the apartment in hasn't even accepted me as a member yet and the sale is void if they don't. There is no reason to think that they won't accept me, but you never know what might happen. If they won't accept me as a member I will have to start looking for an apartment again. And that means that no-one really knows when I can move out.

Compound this with the fact that she's moving in before I've moved out and all I want to do is to go to a forest and hide under a rock.

Wednesday, October 3

I went to Weight Watchers last year and lost 6 kilos in 3 months. All that point and calorie counting got to me in the end and I quit. I also quit watching what I eat (full Irish breakfast instead of cereal, etc.) and didn't step on the scales until early August.

85.9 kilos. I hid the scales again and decided to go to gym soon. Then R left me and my world crashed. Finding an apartment became much more important than going to the gym or eating wisely. I'm certain that I gained even more weight.

Then a switch was flipped in my brain and I realised exactly how much I'd been eating and, more importantly, how much did I really need to eat. The switch was flipped during the Kick Off event. The breakfast and lunch were served buffet style, but the dinners were posh restaurant style... with microscopic portions.

Only, I wasn't hungry after dinner. I must repeat because it truly hit me, I ate so little and I wasn't hungry!

So I amended my ways and stopped going out for lunch. Instead I have 2 pieces of knäckebröd/rice cake/corn crisp, 2 slices of ham and cheese, 2 leafs of salad, some veg and some fruit. That's it ...and it's enough.

I was doing good on breakfast, so I didn't need to change anything there. I have also drastically reduced the portion size for dinner. I have made mistakes there a few times, but have lost weight regardless. My current weight is 82 kilos. That is 4 kilos lost!

I had to adjust my belt a couple weeks ago and yesterday I bought new jeans. They are smaller than the previous ones and a bit tight now. I am counting on them not being as tight in a month.

P.S. I haven't made it to the gym yet. Maybe I'll start going there when I stop losing weight, maybe I won't. We'll see.

Tuesday, October 2

Oops! I forgot to publish this yesterday.

The visit to the bank on Friday went well. The down payment has been paid and I've opened an account with them. Handelsbanken wanted that I transfer all my banking to them and I am glad to do so. My current bank didn't even talk to me, they just sent a letter saying that they won't grant me a loan for the amount specified. Too bad for them, I'll just take my business elsewhere.

I did not get the extra loan, so I'm browsing the IKEA website and calculating how much do I need to save by November. I could manage without a bookshelf and a bed, but I'd rather not. I don't even want to think about what the cats would do to the books if they were just stacked on the floor. And a bed... Well, I'd rather sleep in a bed than on the floor, wouldn't you?