Category: 2016

Hellooooo May!

I can’t believe it’s May already. We have forever been waiting for spring here in Stavanger and when it finally showed up a few days ago, May was just around the corner.

It’s been a couple of months since my last post on this website, and I’m sorry for dropping off the face of the Earth like that, leaving you guys hanging, without even a heads up. My apologies.

You see, a few weeks back my mum got ill. Nothing really serious, just a bit of a “bad” cold we thought. A couple of days into it, I woke up to a text from one of mum’s neighbors telling me that mum had been rolled into the hospital during the night.

Since mum has a habit of getting from bad to worse pretty quickly, due to her past history of pneumonia, combined with her not doing too good with medication, because of her autoimmune disorder (Sjøgrens), (we have had a couple of scares before) I wasn’t leaving much to chance this time… and booked a ticket to UK right away for the earliest plane we could get on.

After a nine hour trip B and I got to the hospital checking in on mum quickly before we called it a night. Over the next few days we visited twice a day, talked to the doctors, discussed medication and what we needed to do, to get mum back healthy.

Thankfully because of her quick admittance to the hospital and a few days with antibiotics through an IV (pretty much the only thing that works anymore) she was bouncing back and it was decided that she was well enough that she could go home 🙂

We stayed around for a while to take care of her, you know.. alt the little things of cooking, shopping, walking the dog, being mean making sure she took her meds 😉 and in general keeping her company, until she was back on her feet well enough she could fend for herself.

We are back home now, and I’m happy to say mum is getting better by the minute, as I got a text a couple of days ago that she was out and about doing a little shopping 🙂

I’m sorry I’ve got a couple of you guys worried about what was going on, but I haven’t felt much like writing…

But hey… I’m back now… so hopefully things should pick up a little 😉

 

 

21: – I think I jinxed it!

cancelledLast time I wrote to you all, I had high hopes for me being able to start back up with my 21 day paper challenge.

Well… I think I might have jinxed it (yes, Nancy, you were right, I tempted faith 😦 )

The day after my last post, I believe the universe decided to conspire against me, as a truck filled with hand grenades, blew up inside my head.. or maybe it was a small nuclear bomb… I’m not sure… whatever it was, it felt like it took my head off, it hurt like heck (and yes, there were tears) and I’ve been holding on for dear life ever since.

B and I seriously contemplated going to the emergency room, because this one, was a doozy, and it came on so sudden! But past experiences have taught us, that as soon as they hear I have migraine problems, they’ll assume it’s another attach, they’ll give me some medication (which is pretty much sugar pills compared to the stuff I have at home) and they’ll send me home.

I really didn’t feel like hanging around in the emergency room for hours, with a head threatening to fall off, for them to just send me home, so I took all the medication I dared to and went to bed. Hoping it would clear a little by next day. Thankfully it did! But only a little…

I had an appointment with my neurologist the day after this happened, and she thought I had had what they call a Thunderclap headache. During the appointment, I asked her, did she think it possibly could have been a blood related issue (like TIA), but she didn’t think so, as my latest scans hadn’t shown any potential problems.

Sadly, she didn’t mention how important it is to seek medical care should I ever experience this again, as a Thunderclap headache can be caused by artery bleeding (which I just found out from looking it up on the internet). If this ever happens again, there is no doubt.. you will find me at the emergency room, and I won’t let them send me home until they have given me a proper checkup!!!

Since Wednesdays attach, I have struggled… and sadly it might be time for me to give up my current paper challenge!

cancelled-2

I am really sorry, this was not my plans, giving up halfway in.

You know… sometimes life just throws you lemons… but right now, it doesn’t seem to matter how much lemon tea I’m making :/

We are getting closer to Christmas, and any sane moments I might be having, I’ll be wanting to spend on the things that makes me happy… which means, I’m packing the paper challenge away.. for now!

It won’t be the the last you hear about the challenge, as I’m faaaar from finished, so I will mostly start it up again next year;-)

That’s if from me, right now! MY challenge is officially over…

Everyone else though, are still at it 🙂  

– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, is on day 4 of her Paper Purgathon
– Viv, at GriefHappens, is working away at clearing the clutter, papers included 🙂
– Jena, at All Round Better me,  has been getting some of her papers out of the way.
– 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 done some paper stuff, but is staying away from the scanning part (and I can’t say I 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.

On the fence
– Gilly, at Anything Except Housework is no longer on the fence. She had to withdraw from this challenge. She is now full time care giver for her dad, and mum, after an operation. We’re here for you, Gilly!

 

21:xx – A DO OVER!

do-overWe are at day XX of our 21 day challenge, and I seriously want a DO OVER!

Who could have predicted I would be running into weeks of more than average hellish migraine when I started this challenge? Well I for one, did not! Had I known, I would have postponed this challenge until January or something.

There was a moment a few days ago that I thought I had turned a corner, well… that was… until I had a shoulder/neck treatment which knocked me for a loop, and sadly not in a good way 😦

I should really be used to this by now, I have after all been nurturing hanging out with a 24/7 headache the last 6 years… still… when I get these rounds of elevated strength migraines, they completely knock my socks off, over and over again (seriously, if you tripped and fell… your inn for a super soft landing with all the socks lying around).

All I can do is hang on for dear life… and spend my days “nicely” tucked in a cocoon. You know, eat my pills, sleep a lot, sit there quietly and do nothing, absolutely nothing 😢 except maybe watch TV and possibly read 5 minutes here and there, but outside of that… nothing!

I get so little done that my house hasn’t even seen the vacuum machine for ages! Eh… well… that’s not strictly true as I’m sitting here looking at it as we speak, so we have SEEN it. Lately the rubble in my house has been getting so bad, I’ve been considering rock climbing classes just to get to my front door. Maybe it’s time, to make the vacuum earn it’s keep 😉

Beside contemplating cleaning my house, there has been next to no energy to tackle things like.. say…. my paper monster.

This migraine has seriously stopped my paper declutter challenge, dead in the tracks!

And it’s making me want a

do-over-1

 

I know it’s not really all that fair, to everyone else, who has already been working hard at it, me chickening out this way. But I’m thinking maybe I have a legitimate excuse?

So this is what I’ve been thinking. I’m not going to do a complete do-over, starting from scratch. But I am slowing everything down, so much so, that I will only be counting the days I am actually getting something done. Which means that since I have done absolutely nothing since day 11, my next one will be day 12 (as opposed to day 19 or 20 or whatever we would be at in real life).

I’m sorry, I’m messing this up like this! I could off course throw in the towel right away, but I don’t really want to have to do that, which is why I’m changing things up, to see if that makes it possible for me to complete this challenge.

I hope you all don’t mind to much!

 

And everyone else, how is that going? 

– Melinda, at PurpleSlobinRecovery, is on day 2 of her Paper Purgathon
– 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 no longer on the fence. She had to withdraw from this challenge. She is now full time care giver for her dad, and mum, after an operation. We’re here for moral support, Gilly!

 

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? )

2016-11-29-20-30-17

 

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 😉

2016-11-21-19-57-00

 

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?