KIS(S)

Keep It Simple (Stupid).

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Beauty

Constantly reminded, and happy to have seen so many contrasts, we try and keep things simple even if we are back in Sweden and have decided to settle down for a while.

Here, in Northern Europe, much of the basics for living are so comfortable and it’s easy to get caught up in making perfect or comparing with others.

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Simple packing

After living with less things and constantly coming to new places, we try to remember to let life and the experience be in the center rather than making the outer things perfect. It’s more important, to us, to have fun, feel relaxed and meet ourselves and other with compassion and love. When caught up in the spinning wheel of “should have, could have, would have”, those basics are easy to run away from. Maybe we all of a sudden believe in the thoughts of all we “should” do, have or be, instead of asking ourselves what is important and joyful to us.

Keeping it simple can be done in many parts of life: how much foods we buy and store, what to pack for trips and traveling, when communicating with others, in the planning of activities and every day life, how we interact and play with kids (and how many toys, activities and things they “need”), how we design our home and how perfect we want it, social life, to what degree we engage in and at work, and more.

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Train ride to get to Gnesta

When packing to go north to visit my dad and extra mom, I found myself worrying about what to bring, and then I was reminded about the simplicity we’ve had during the long-time travels abroad; if something is missing – either borrow or buy what I need, or be without. And it’s very rarely so important that I can’t be without for a few days.

It also is very good to only unpack what we truly want and miss from the storage; there are many things that are still in the boxes! And I mostly wear the same clothes I’ve had in the past six months, only some warm hats, jackets and underwear is added.

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Today snow!

When in doubt, we think of our life and the friends and family in Sri Lanka where the expression ‘less is more’ felt more real than ever.

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Kitchen "cabinet" in Sri Lanka

//Wivan

Totally unexpected

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A long night of repacking

When waking up this morning none of us knew that we would drive to our former home-town Höör and almost empty our storage and repack many of the boxes to get what we want to have close by nowadays.

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We got to borrow mom's car

Neither did we know we would rent a trailer to bring all the boxes and a few pieces of furniture. Or that we would rent a new, smaller storage (downsizing again!!!) closer to where we stay for the coming months.

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Loading boxes

None of us knew, and yet we made it happen!

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This is what's left in Höör

We need some of our warmer clothes, and since we’re staying until September, at least,  in the same place, we want to make it a little more our own. Some kitchen ware, linen and other details are now being integrated with what’s already in the small house we stay in.

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On the ferry this morning

It’s rather cool to see our reactions to the things we still have, and when reading the inventory list we’re quite clear about what is neccesary and what we really want – everything else is still in boxes and will be stored until we’re ready to either settle down or get rid of those things.

Now time to rest!
// Wivan and Anders

In less than two weeks

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Wivan sorting out her packing

Now it’s less than two weeks until the both of us are leaving Sweden again. Over the past few weeks it has been a lot of planning and preparations to get our things sorted out in time for the departure.

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Right now it's a mess

After three months in Sweden, Anders is working his last day at Sony Mobile in a week and then he’s taking off to Sicily for a week of fun, sun and motorcycle tours.

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Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel

Wivan will go to Portugal to try out her dream of surfing, one of many things on her bucket list.

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Six new pairs of underwear

After our separate little trips, we’re meeting up in France for a reunion with hosts from last winter’s house sit, and will do a two week long sit at one of the places.

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Summer day walk

And then… In late October, there is a plan of going to South East Asia over the winter. Sunshine, waves, snorkling, swimming, fresh food, new cultures and places are on our minds.

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Friends

So now we’re hugging friends and family, checking in with dentists and vaccination clinics, selling stuff from our storage and plan to sell the car.

It’s a good time to practice being in “The moment”. And to enjoy this wonderful Swedish summer.

//Anders and Wivan

Downsizing

Yes! Last week we decided to downsize our storage to half the size by the first of September. Ha! Didn’t see that one coming a year ago.

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Storage, dear storage

Friday was my first visit to the storage since last November. Anders was there a few weeks ago, and now I wanted to get a couple of things (whereof I didn’t find any). What I brought with me from there? A pair of jeans, an old pair of sneakers, underwear and a white long sleeved shirt.

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Found some of my clothes

What we’ll do now is to sell and give away most of the furniture and mainly just keep what’s in boxes, like kitchen supplies, photos, sporting gear, some books, boots and clothes. During our travels we have realized that for us tables, chairs and book shelves etcetera are no longer that important to have a certain design, color or matching. Therefor when/if we decide to settle down someplace in the future we are willing to buy furniture second hand or take over from someone who then wants to downsize. This will lower the cost by half for the storage and it feels like a relief to let go of some more things.

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Boxes, stool, lamp and several pair of skies

So, anyone want a cd/dvd shelf?! Or a coffee table? Maybe some dark brown book shelves?

//Wivan

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Suitcases, beds, dream board and more

Shopping for new stuff

In the past five months we’ve pretty much used the same clothes most of the time. What’s in our backpacks is what we bring along. In the car we have some boxes with car-related things and some basic groceries, but everything is stored in such a way that when we get on the next airplane we have everything personal in one large and one smaller backpack each.

Our backpacks :-)

Our backpacks 🙂

Actually we haven’t even used all the things we brought yet; our flip flop sandals are only worn once, and one of Wivan’s two skirts is now put away after only been worn once.

In just a few days we leave France to go to our next house sit in the Azores, a group of islands out of Portugal. When going through the things we won’t use, we have also found out what we’d like to add to our packing. Though we will be going to Sweden again in June and then have the ability to find some of our stored clothes and things, it seems like we’re thinking very differently now from what we used to – so we’d like to get some travel-friendly things for warmer weather. The plan is to spend next fall and winter in a warmer place.

Good things can be used in various settings...

Good things can be used in various settings…

Spring time seems to be good to find deals on last year’s collection of summer wear before all the new things get in stock. Wivan has ordered some new swim wear, a dress and a skirt online and both of us are getting a couple of new pairs of wool socks, wool is our latest favorite material for clothes! To put the online order together has taken weeks, really. Everything that goes in the packing is considered several times and we really don’t want to bring along useless stuff or clothes we don’t like.

Green Icebreaker sweater and gray Ivanhoe of Sweden

Green Icebreaker sweater and gray Ivanhoe of Sweden

And on the other hand – we really have used the wool sweaters we got last fall. Wivan’s gray one from Ivanhoe of Sweden just recently had it’s first wash ever. Earlier we just let it hang in the fresh air every now and then to freshen up. Wool is an amazing material! Anders’ green wool sweater from Icebreaker almost is a trademark of its own by now – he loves it and has worn it both in restaurants, for walks and snow boarding. So those were really good investments. You find the post about gearing up from October here.

Picture from Malmö last November

Picture from Malmö last November

What’s your favourite piece of clothing to bring on trips?

// Anders & Wivan

The actual value of certain things

On a long walk this afternoon, we came to talk about our plans for the “future”, that is, of the coming year and a half. And the truth is; we don’t know what we’re going to do, where we’ll be or basically anything, after this upcoming October.

So, when talking about this, our storage, where we keep things we haven’t yet sold or given away, came up in the conversation. We pay about €100 per month for that storage right now, and of course – if we would reduce the amount of things, furniture and boxes, the cost could also be cut.

Storage, in the beginning...

Storage, in the beginning…

What things do we really want to keep? Since we don’t know when we’ll settle down, if ever, and if that’ll be in Sweden or not. If ever. So, why keep a huge bed, some really heavy shelves to put a large TV-set on, a dining table and six chairs, an office desk and tons of clothes and shoes we haven’t missed the last five months?

During the walk we tried to figure out which things really mean something to us, and how our thoughts and feelings regarding certain things have changed since we left our house in Sweden last November. Yes, we did sell, give and throw away lots of stuff already then. And selected what to keep. But after five months of travelling our views on owning furniture has changed as one example, and to have four matching chairs is no longer as “important”, or to have a very special table to put the TV-set on, or to keep all different types of pillows, blankets and whatever we decided to keep.

Storage, after a few more rounds with the car...

Storage, after a few more rounds with the car…

The things we decided to keep were hard to just “get rid of” then, but now our thinking is a bit clearer and with some distance and a clearer sense of what we don’t know (like where we’re going to live the coming years) it doesn’t really make sense to keep all those things. We’ve also learned a lot from living in other people’s homes and the thinking regarding money and what is worth what has changed.

Beds, bookshelves, rugs, suitcases...

Beds, bookshelves, rugs, suitcases…

Who knows what we’ll do with the stuff in the storage, but we do know there will be some changes made!

// Anders and Wivan

29 boxes and 3 suitcases

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Moving things to the storage

Today we started moving things out of the house to the storage place.

Except for the boxes, one Stokke chair, one crash pad (for boulder climbing), one ironing board and three suitcases moved out.

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Carry, roll and lift

This gives more space and overview in the house, which is really nice. Tomorrow we’ll continue moving out. Next weekend will be the final days in the house, and it feels good to get a head start already.

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Borrowed this beauty today