21:11- An update!

day-11Here we are… oh gosh.. at day 11 of our 21 day challenge. I can’t believe it’s day eleven already.

I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to stand you guys up for such a long time. Seriously, standing anyone up for even a few minutes is pretty bad manners, and here I am, a week later, before you hear from me😦

I know I have promised you an write up of the importance of shredding your papers. On the why’s, how’s and where’s. But I’m sorry to say, it will have to wait a few more days. You see, I’m monitoring my computer time. Any prolonged time hanging out in front of my PC is not helping my headache much, so for right now, I’m pacing myself.

I’m sure you guys can hold of the big shredding party a few more days.. right?😉

So, since you aren’t giving us the know-how of shredding, you got any other updates for us? 

Well, yes.. as a matter of fact I do😉 A very, very small, update!

Since I’ve been out, there have been a few days, where I didn’t get much (nothing… actually) done. Even so, there is slow (excruciating slow mind you) progress.

I’ve done a little bit of sorting, a tiny bit of scanning and my pile has moved up from 6 inches to 7 (yeah.. I know.. I told you it was dismally slow going).

Now hopefully, since it seems like I’m perking up some, and I have already sorted some of my future scans, there might? be a tiny, tiny hope of me getting something done over the next few day.

All I can say is.. I have this huge pile of things to scan.. I’m only about 1 fourth there.. it will be done… just might not be in 21 days, as there is only 10 days left😦  (I did tell you it’s excruciating slow.. right? )

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And how are everyone else faring at this challenge? 

– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, is starting up her Paper Purgathon oh yeah.. and it seems like I’m still a queen🙂
– Viv, at GriefHappens, said she needed to be on this “like an over-sugared kid in a bouncy house”, and are joining with 30 minutes a day🙂
– Jena, at All Round Better me,  is easing into this.. slowly😉
– Amy, at More time than money, joining with 60 minutes a week
– Grace, at The CFO MOM Blog, joining too
– Barb, at Decluttering The Stuff, has gone through some of her papers as well.. but is staying far away from the scanning part (and I don’t blame her..)
– Jen, at The Hidden Hoarder, is working hard on the living room and front porch, and are filling bags of paper as she finds them, she might be with us now that Thanksgiving is over… sorting out some of the bags she has collected.

Still sitting on the fence
– Gilly, at Anything Except Housework is waiting to see if we survive it all😉

 

Out of commission!

pain-3


Sorry everyone!

I know I owe you all a post or two, but I’m a weeeee bit out of commission.

If you will so kind as to bear with me, I will be back in a couple of days!

21:03 – The trial and error of scanning!

day-03Here we are at day three of our 21 day challenge, and I guess it’s time for a quick update on how this is going.

As I have sorted through my papers over and over again the last couple of years, I find that most everything I’ve collected is stuff I need and want to scan, which means there are a lot, a lot of scanning to do😦

I bought a new printer earlier this year, mostly for the sake of having a proper scanning device.  This particular printer will scan double sided documents as well as single sided ones, and as it has a automatic document feeder it will do bulk scanning.

So how is this printer/scanner working out?

After a bit of trial and error, I have found that I need to be a little careful about putting to many pages in the document feeder at a time. The automatic document feeder can hold 30 pages, but unless the the paper is completely prisine, I have found that everything runs just a little smoother if I don’t fill it to the top of it’s capasity.

I’ve also found that it sometimes, mind you not all the time, but sometimes, is a bit temperamental when it comes to paper quality. Curled corners, tear or two, or mixed sized paper, does not always seem to agree with the scanner. This has resultet in me having to do a few re-scans to get everything right.

I am finally starting to get the hang of it, and I now know a bit more about how to proceed, to get things running more smoothly. Hopefully this will speed up the process, because, until now, it’s been a bit slow going for my pacience:-/

When I scan my documents, I mostly use the scan to PDF function on my printer. I alternate between duplex or single side scanning, all depending on what’s in the document. Now unfortunately I can’t mix the two in one session, so I have to decide up front what I want.

As I do not yet have any good software for editing my pdf files, I have to be a bit “crafty” when I scan my documents.

If there is only one or two double sided page(s), within a large document, I will copy the “second” page, add it to the pile and scan everything as single sided pages. If there are more double sided pages than single sided, I will scan everything as double sided, and just live with the blank pages in the file.

If you guys have any experience with a good, and cheap, PDF editing software. Please let me know, so I can check it out. And if I come accross one, that doen’t cost an arm and a leg, I will off course let you know.

Now that we have talked about the scanner, is there any progress on that pile?

Well as you can see from the picture below, my work-space is a mess (yes, that’s my dining room table😉 ), the piles are still all over my livingroom floor, and my pile of done and scanned stuff, is only about 6 inches high.. even thought I am working on it, as we speak😉

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My next post 

After a comment from tigerofmyheart, on her already having a bag ready to go, but no shredder in sight. I was thinking about doing a small piece on the importance of shredding your papers. On why, how and where you can have this done for you.

Stay tuned.. that’s what’s next on this page!

 

JOINING IN 

There is a saying “The more the merrier”, and so far there are a few of us who will be attacking the paper piles. And I for one, can’t wait to see what stacks we all will shed!

– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, is joining with about 15 minutes a day
– Viv, at GriefHappens, said she needed to be on this “like an over-sugared kid in a bouncy house”, and are joining with 30 minutes a day🙂
– Jena, at All Round Better me,  is in for 60 minutes a week
– Amy, at More time than money, also joining with 60 minutes a week
– Grace, at The CFO MOM Blog, just told me she is joining, woohoo

Sitting on the fence
– Gilly, at Anything Except Housework is waiting to see if we survive it all😉
– Jen, at The Hidden Hoarder, is hard at work on her front porch, and haven’t quuuuite decided yet😉

Anyone else want to jump in? Let me know, and I’ll ad you to the list🙂

 

 

21:02 – Document KEEP overview!

day-02It’s day two of our 21 day challenge.

Yesterday we talked a bit about what kind of documents we need to keep, should keep and want to keep. I promised I would make you a printable picture of the KEEP overview.

It’s not all fancy but it should work for your needs.

document-keepers-smallClick here to get a printable version

 

What have I been up!

Enough of this talking about what to keep… have you gotten any decluttering done? Is there any progress on your pile? 

Well, yes🙂 There are some progress, but that will have to wait for tomorrow. I can’t let you inn on everything right away you know😉 Right now I’d rather tell you about, who all is joining in on this endeavor.

JOINING IN 

There is a saying “The more the merrier”, and so far there are a few of us who will be attacking the paper piles. And I for one, can’t wait to see what stacks we all will shed!

– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, is joining with about 15 minutes a day
– Viv, at GriefHappens, said she needed to be on this “like an over-sugared kid in a bouncy house”, and are joining with 30 minutes a day🙂
– Jena, at All Round Better me,  is in for 60 minutes a week
– Amy, at More time than money, also joining with 60 minutes a week
– Grace, at The CFO MOM Blog, just told me she is joining, woohoo

Sitting on the fence
– Gilly, at Anything Except Housework is waiting to see if we survive it all😉
– Jen, at The Hidden Hoarder, is hard at work on her front porch, and haven’t quuuuite decided yet😉

I hope I didn’t miss anyone.. if I did, or if you just decided you want to join. Let me know, and I’ll add you in on the list.

Guess that’s it for today,

see you all around. tomorrow

21:01 – Sorting time!

day-01It’s day one of our 21 day challenge, and the first thing we have to do is gather every scrap of paper that is using real estate in the house. I hunted high and low, and my pile can be found in yesterdays post.

You’re not ready with your pile yet? Right! Everyone, you’ve got 15 minutes to gather it all into a huge pile.

Now! Run…

 

Ready? No.. not yet? You need a little more time? No problem…. (minutes are passing)

OK guys. Everyone have their piles? Yep? Great.

Seems like we are all ready to get down to business🙂

It’s time to start SORTING the stack!

One, two, three.. ready… NO,no…  hang on a minute! I just thought about something. There is something we need to talk about first!

You might be really tempted to chuck it all right smack in the middle of sorting through your papers (I know I would love that), but you should not do this.

You see! There are some personal files we need to keep, and some we should keep, in addition to the ones you want to keep.

Let’s talk about the these real quick.
My lists below are a compilation of what I have found on the web. Not everything will be applicable for everyone, I might also have missed some documents. Anyways, the lists should work as a general guideline for what we need and should keep. Now, you might not want to hang on to all, I’ll leave that up to your discretion ;-) 

Disclaimer! If you own a business, there are specific rules for what you need to keep. My lists are for personal documents only.

NEED TO KEEP  (physical copies and data files if possible) 

  • Will, Power of attorney and living will
  • Birth and death certificates
  • Marriage license, prenups and divorce papers
  • Social security information (US) or other equivalent type of documents (rest of the world)
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Adoption papers
  • Alimony arrangements
  • Child custody agreements
  • Military records
  • IRA information/contributions
  • Retirement/Pension plan documents
  • ID cards and passports
  • Insurance policies (might be OK to have as physical paper in addition to any digital copy’s)
  • Vehicle titles and loan documents
  • House deeds and mortgage documents
  • Any other loan/mortgage documents, this also includes personal loans
  • Business license

In short, you’ll want to keep physical copies of things related to state/federal matters, including certifications, licenses, or deeds. Why?
1. You, might want to have easy access to these, just in case you need them.
2. If you need a physical copy and don’t have one, it’s a pain to have them replaced, since you have to make a direct request to a government agency, and we all know how “fast” they work😉

SHOULD KEEP (data files and/or as physical copies)

These are documents you should hold on too, for a while. You don’t need to keep them as physical documents, unless you really want to. Scanned files are fine.

  • Tax records and receipts, including the yearly statements you need for the tax return (Norway – IRS can go back 10 years = keep 10 years, US = 7 years – check out Forbes info on this, UK – 22 months )
  • Pay stubs (keep for a year, until you can check it against your yearly statement)
  • Bank statements
  • Social security statements
  • Annual insurance policy statements
  • Retirement plan statements (401(k), 529, IRA, etc)
  • Home purchase, sale, or improvement documents (keep as long as you own the house + at least six/seven years after you sell (for tax purposes))
  • Medical records (should keep as long as they are relevant for your situation)
  • Medical bills (keep at least a year after payment in case of disputes)
  • Warranty documents and receipts (keep as long as you own them)
  • Pictures of expensive items you own, in case you need them for an insurance claim

There are also some documents you probably should keep the most recent version of, for your own piece of mind:

  • Canceled checks and bank deposit slips (until you receive your monthly bank statement)
  • Bills (until you have proof that the payment was received)

I’m sure there are more I have missed, but in general A GOOD RULE OF THUMB can be to think (when deciding what to keep)

How hard is this document to replace? Will I need to hang around a government office, hospital, bank or on a phone for hours to get hold of a copy?” Is the answer a resounding YES, then it’s probably best to hold onto it🙂 Anything else, can probably be scanned or found as online documents.

WANT TO KEEP

Then we get to the documents/scraps of paper we want to keep. maybe they are ideas, a great article, drawing or sentimental items like old letters. You are the only one who can decide on these items. But to keep that particular pile under control, make sure the paper/document is important to you, inspires you or gives you tremendous joy (like drawing from a kid, letter from a dear one and so on).

NOTE!

As I mentioned before, I shred all documents before they leave the house. You should too! If not, you might risk people rummaging through your trash finding personal information about you, that they can use to empty your bank accounts, buy things on credit cards or even completely steal your identity. If you don’t own a shredder, make sure you at least tear the important stuff.

OTHER

This turned out to be a long list of things to keep in mind when sorting through your papers.

To make it easier for you, I will add a printable picture/file on this tomorrow, in case you would like the overview on hand as you sort through your papers – I know I could need this😉  Why not add it right away.. well, I haven’t made it yet.. and as it’s 11PM here, I can’t get to bed soon enough😉

Until tomorrow everyone, until tomorrow🙂

Nighty nite…

21 Day Paper Challenge!

21-day-logoI mentioned a couple of days ago that it is time for a new 21 day challenge. A paper challenge this time.

I figured that since it’s a challenge, I will need a few rules/goals. How else would you guys know if I’m keeping up my end of this😉


Rules/goals:

  • I will dedicate at least 60 minutes a day (yes, every day) to sorting out my paper monster.
  • I will update you all on a regular basis, on what I’m up to, and on how much has gone “out-the-door” (read: trash pile)😉
  • Out-the-door – I’m hoping that about 90% of all my papers will be shredded at the end of it all. Why not a hundred? Since there are some papers that we need to keep physical versions of, I guess I’ll be keeping those. Since I don’t know how many there are of these, I’m going with the “hopefully 90% out-the-door”😉 As you can see from the piles below.. it’s not easy to say exactly how much will be going out-the-door!

2016-11-16-21-31-22

When do we start? 

Tomorrow is a god a day as any to start, so I’ll see you then?

Melinda, you ready?

Paper and paper clutter!

paper-pile

Now that the great cooktop debacle is over, I want to talk to you about paper.

I’m not talking about things like wrapping paper or nice little pristine notebooks waiting to be filled.

No, I’m talking about all the paper we tend to hold on to. The paper “clutter” that seems to be everywhere.

Stuff like old tax returns, pay slips, bills, manuals, scraps of paper with notes on, receiptsm magazine and newspaper tear outs, insurance papers, financial statements, health info and notebooks filled with random notes.

Off course, some paper we need to keep, but those tend to easily get lost in the pile of paper we really don’t need to hold on to.

Just about everyone I know, have way to much paper floating around. And I for one, want that to be over, once and for all.

It’s time to tackle the paper monster, hanging around in the house.

You might remember I tried this back in May. My intention was to scan all the important ones, and then get rid of it all.

Now as you probably gathered from lack of posts about that particular task, I never succeeded.

I sorted some, and even scanned some, and then I had to tuck it all away because of visitors. And you know how that goes. Out of sight out of mind! Yeah, that particular project never made it out of the cabinets again… until now!

I really do want this stuff gone! So I’m giving it another try, but this time I’m doing it in a way that might help me actually get there.

You might remember my 21 day declutter challenge in September! Which turned out to be a pretty successful project, mostly because of you guys.

I’m thinking maybe a new challenge is the way to go, to get my pile under control, a 21 day paper challenge.

I might try to tackle the project by topic, but topic or not. There are a few steps that will be the same, regardless of what pile I’m attacking.

4-steps-blackpng

SORT
I will sort papers into what I need to keep, should keep, and want to keep. The rest? Goes into the toss pile.

SCAN
All papers in the keep pile will be scanned.
When a piece of paper has been scanned, and checked that it looks OK, a new evaluation is needed.
Do I need to keep this as a physical copy or can it be tossed now that it’s scanned?

FILE
As I scan along, I will end up with a few documents I will need to keep physical copies off, like for example birth-certificates, ID cards, passports, vehicle title, active mortgage documents and so on. There are more, of course, but we will get to that.

The physical keepers, I will categorize and file into binders.

SHRED
As I sort, scan and file my paper, I will end up with quite a lot of paper in the toss pile. All this will be shredded, then tossed.

I’m super careful with anything that might have my name, bank details, credit card details, health information or anything else on, that might say things about me. I do not want to set myself up for identity theft, therefore I shred all personal papers leaving the house.

21 DAYS
21 day, sound like a long time.. will it take you that long? 

I have no idea. My experience from earlier tells me that the scanning part will be what takes the longest. And from a health point of view, I want to spend as little time in front of the computer as I can.

Right now, there are piles and piles of paper to go through. Sadly as most of it has been sorted several times before, and I believe most of the papers I have.. are the scan-able ones… ouch😦

Will I get it done, in 21 days?

I’m certain I will get it done (cocky I know).. but if I don’t… at least I’m going to be a heck of a lot closer, than I am today😉

Do you have a pile pile from hell, that needs some work? Why not join me and we can tackle the paper monster together.

Not everyone will be scanning, I’m sure, but there might still be work to be done, with sorting, filing and shredding.

I would love the company🙂  

The end of the cooktop nightmare… I hope!

For those of you who are jumping in right now… here is a quick recap, just for you.

A week ago, I managed to ruin my glass induction cooktop by starting to many large pots (making broth) at the same time.

Well that was not the worst of it. A couple of day after I got a new cooktop into the house, I manage to drop a heavy glass jar on it and and yep… it breaks into “a thousand” pieces (well not really a thousand.. but you get the drift). Now luckily as part of the deal, when I bought the new one, I got and extra coverage insurance with it.. that should cover this type of accidents….

Part 3 of the cooktop/broth cooking saga: 

So I’ve got good news, great news and maybe some slightly less good news!  

Lets do the good news first:

The day after my accident (yes, it was an accident.. I did not thrown that glass jar on my brand spanking new cooktop) I called the insurance company, and “Yes, off course. We will cover this. This happens more than you know. No problem. Just take it back to where you bought it, and they will either fix it or get you a new”.

Whoa, it that isn’t good news I don’t know what good news are. I felt so relieved (wouldn’t that have been a nightmare if the answer was no… after all, it was an expensive cooktop).

So B and I took off with the broken one, back to where we bought it in the first place.

Some info you need to know: 

When I bought the cooktop, we were alternating between two models. We picked the one that was the most powerful of the two. When picking it, I had discussed with the seller that me keeping it, was contingent of us being able to use all my pots and pans on it (and yes.. every one of them works on inductions cooktop, as this was what I had before). If I couldn’t make them work I would probably be back to swap it for the other model (which was no problem as they have a 30 day return policy).

Now… it turns out that some of my pots did not work, especially my espresso brewing pot and my butter warmer/melting pot which had bottoms to small for the induction plate to detect them😦

As a result.. B and I had concluded that choice number two would probably be a better solution… and we had just concluded this, when the accident happened. Oh noooo, now the big question was, would we still be able to swap the cooktop for our second choice?

And here comes the great news:

The answer was yes.. whoohoo!!! The seller graciously decided to let us swap… even though the other one was broken. So home we came with another brand spanking new cooktop. And this one works perfectly for all my pots. What a relief🙂

Now.. the less than stellar news (and this is something I can live with, IF all goes according to plan)

Since the “old one” has to be sent in for repair as it’s an insurance issue, the shop could not mark it in their systems as a returned piece, yet. Which means that we have to wait for it to be repaired, returned to the shop and then they can do an official product swap (old in, new out)

Since this might take weeks.. they have given me the new one, as a “new sale”, by creating an invoice with a 30 day due date.

What does this mean for me? If all goes according to plan.. I have no problem, as they will just do a swap and the invoice goes away.

If all goes belly up.. it means I have an invoice that is due in 30 days that need to be paid… as I’m registered in the shop as having bought two cooktops.

Now… the seller did tell me he would postpone the due date, if it takes a long time for the repair to go through, so in theory there should be no problem…

From the sellers mouth, to Gods ears.. I hope that is true! 

I will know in a few weeks time, and hopefully, this will be the last you guys hear about this😉

2016-11-10-10-21-48

My broth cooking nightmare!

I mentioned the other day I was cooking broth for future use. And as a result.. my cooktop blew up!

Part 2 of the cooktop/broth cooking saga: 

So, we got this cooktop safely into the house. As usual (as happens when I get new stuff) I got a slightly more expensive cooktop that what the original repair would have been.

When I bought my last one, I got one that had gotten very good reviews and was somewhat expensive. It fitted nicely into the house, and worked brilliantly (until I just had to push the limit).

So this time around, I figured I would get a decent one, more or less in the same price bracket as what I paid for my old one (as I had been really happy with it).

When you buy new electric items these days, it’s quite common that they will try to sell you/offer you an extra coverage insurance to go with the product.

I never buy these extra coverage insurances (as we are really well protected with regular warranties here in Norway).. but this time around they offered it for free. The offer was, either 45 dollars off the purchase price, or a 5 year user insurance worth 90 dollars.

As the insurance will give you a new product if you for example drop something on the cooktop, and the glass break, I figured, why not! That might be a good idea, even though I have never had that happen to me before. So I said yes thank you, I’ll take the insurance, thinking, I would never ever need this…

Little did I know… it was an omen of things to come!

.
.
.

Yesterday… while moving a coconut oil jar across the cooktop… the jar and the top (which I was holding) decided to divorce each other and BANG the glass jar hit the cooktop and shards flew everywhere!

Oh, noooooo.. that sinking feeling looking down at a brand spanking new broken cooktop…

cooktop-busted

I think I give up…

This batch of broth is becoming awfully expensive (note to self.. next time just buy the darn thing in the shop).

A couple of you mentioned in your comments on my last post, that you would take the top breaking to be a sign to never cook again… well.. I’m inclined to agree with you…

So now what? 

Well now, I have to wait until tomorrow, to call the insurance company and see what they have to say about it. In the meantime… I’m glad I haven’t tossed my old half working one, as it looks like I might just need it😦

The saga continues…

Banging my head against the wall!

Bash Head

I have about half a dozen unfinished blog post that I can’t seem to get out. I write… have a brain fart…. and that ends that endeavor!

And it happens over and over…

And then there are all the little projects I want to do (and tell you all about) where I get all the stuff out.. take a picture for the blog post… have another brain fart, and here we go… again😦

So you might say things are not going according to plan…

Take yesterday!

My intention was to spend the day making a large amount of broth for future use (first time ever doing a dedicated broth “run”), pay my bills, write on my blog and hang out with a friend watching the newest Star Trek movie🙂

And guess what… another very sudden stop!

I had two large casseroles all decked out with broth bones, ox tails and vegetables. I was all ready to go. Two large casseroles was on the inductions cooktop with full heat for a quick boil (before I put them back on a simmer) and I had just put on a small casserole to make some tea.. and BANG!

My cooktop blew up!

What?????

OK, so it didn’t physically blow up, but the fuse blew, and it did say bang.. and when I threw the fuse breaker back, sparks flew and killed the mains at the same time.

Oh no… 

No worries… I pulled the plug on the cooktop, and activated the fuses again.. all back to normal… with one teeny weeny exception..

The cook-top no longer worked.

For real? 

Yep!

I left it alone for a about half an hour (to let it cool down) just in case it would spring back to action.

And guess what, it did. Yaay!🙂

But only half of it. Noooo!😦

Turned out, the half I use the most, was dead as a door nail. All it did was give me all sorts of funky error messages that was not mentioned in the manual (go figure).

I had no other option but to call a repair man to find out what was wrong with the darn thing. A few minutes into the conversation he concluded what was wrong, and gave me an estimated repair cost.

Well guess what! I could literally buy a brand spanking new induction cooktop, for what he said the repair most likely would be.

My cooktop is 10 years old, and no way I’m spending half it’s cost on repair when I can get a new one for same price as the repair.

So guess what… after sorting out the two broth casseroles that was already warmed up before everything went pear-shaped, by putting one in the oven and the other one on the remaining working burners, B and I took off to look for a new hob.

Hours later, after reviewing several, we came home for a rest and a cup of coffee.. to see if we could narrow it down to one or two.

Revived from the coffee, we took of for town late last night, to a shop we hadn’t visited already, as it looked like they might have something just up my alley.

Did we find something?

Yes we did, I think.. maybe.. if I can make all my pots work on it… which I haven’t quite succeeded at yet. So tomorrow will show, if it’s a keeper or not (yes, I’m hard to please).

Stay tuned.. and I’ll keep you posted on where I end up on this.

And the broth?

Well that task is going quite well, thank you. It’s simmering nicely, on the stove as we speak, slowly being reduced into an amount that hopefully will fit my freezer😉

broth