Category Archives: paperwork

Productive Monday Morning

I haven’t made up my 6 list today. But here’s what I’ve done this morning:

  1. Washed dishes
  2. Washed rags
  3. Swept the hearth, entry, living room, and hall.
  4. Polished the fire screen.
  5. Depilled my muffler. (wonderfully soft/fuzzy, wants to pill!)
  6. “Mopped” the hearth. (Spray bottle and rag on my knees, no mop.)
  7. Gotten down a block of soap to be cut into bars.
  8. Went through a stack of mail, cull/shred/file.

It’s 10:15 a.m., I think this counts!!!


Paper Cull

Worked on the attic today for a bit. Found a box which no doubt came out of DH’s office when it closed down — at the company who moved us here, 20+ years ago. This box was in the MIDDLE of the attic, on the floor, so it was behind and under everything else, and had been missed, multiple times no doubt! 90+% of it went to the dump’s recycle bin this afternoon.

Later on, I started going through a bin of my papers, some of which were as old, or older (and business related). They went. I got to near the bottom of the box and found things which needed to be filed, but not tossed, they were that current. I quit.

That said? We recycled 100+ or probably more like 300 pieces of paper today, including catalogs, magazines, sales receipts, etc.,

I talked to DH about taking vacation between Christmas & New Years’, with the idea that we do this or something like it, at least once in that time. It all helps — and tomorrow? Tomorrow’s another day to tackle more.

The bath mat is currently 6.5″ 7.25 wide. I changed out one of the colors at 6″. Will change another when I get to 12″. That’s 20 17 rows from now… each row is .25″. Now you know why I will NEVER make another of these, like this! (Updated 11/26)

More Minimalism, Sort Of. . .

I found another one of those lists. On this list that I do buy: drinks from Starbucks (when we’re there, it’s an hour away), usually I get them free with stars. I do buy newspapers, on Sunday. It tells us about events happening around our rural area and we like the comics and articles. (And, yes, we’ve been known to start the wood stove with them or use them for shipping materials as well.)

No “as sold on TV” things, well that one’s pretty easy. We haven’t had a TV in > 10 years. Books? Well, yes, I do still buy books. I am who I am after all.

I think our minimalism is more like, cut it down until you don’t have excessive extras. I cleaned out an area earlier this week and found a stapler. Fine. Took it up to the office, where staplers should live, right? We had 2 there already. I couldn’t find one when I wanted it and hauled the one from the kitchen to the office. Then I located the office’s designated stapler. And yesterday, the other. So. . .for the moment there is an office stapler and a stapler on my desk.  The kitchen stapler went back to the kitchen. If/when I move to the other office again (this summer hopefully?) I’ll take the 2nd office stapler with me. Two offices, two staplers. We use the one in the kitchen to seal herbs in brown paper bags in summer to dry them, amongst other things.

Do I really need 3 staplers? No. But it’s convenient. Until it stops being so, I’ll keep them. I could get by with just one, DH hardly uses them at all, but it’s always on the wrong floor, or in the wrong room. (I tried that.)

Other things I’m going to do which are not minimalist. I’m going to make 24 monthly envelopes from fabric for the current and past years’ accounting papers. Why? Because at the moment I’m using manila envelopes, and they’re all over the place as I’m doing the 2016 taxes.

manila envie

I’m tired of opening up the envelopes to find this or that, then closing them, then shuffling thru the stacks of manila envelopes trying to find the RIGHT one. Not now, not til after the taxes are done, but then I’m going to make 2 matching expanding envelopes for each month. I will no longer have to have 24+ envelopes for the 2 years’ worth of data. Three year old data can be filed in the filing cabinet.

If I were really going minimalist, I’d close the business. That won’t happen until the storage is empty and I’ve culled, sold, or whatever the excess stuff. And maybe not then? I’ve been selling things a long time now. Wonder what I’d do otherwise?


Made the Jan-Feb Goal Today

That’s 338 pieces. I talked about that here. I’m at 370.

Hopefully, I can get rid of a lot more before month’s end. By contrast to the paperwork purge going on here, the things at the antique store are just sitting, as of 2/9 I hadn’t sold a single thing this month.

I’ve signed up for the one-day flea market I’ve done in the past. Was unsure about it this year, not sure people will want to spend the money; not sure I’d have anything for sale (We have 1 small box set aside for the next flea market. In years past, whatever hadn’t sold pretty much wound up in the “flea market” category.) After a flea market, I usually donate whatever doesn’t sell. If I can’t sell it for $5 or $1 or whatever it’s not likely that I’ll sell it, period. But I’ve changed things this year. Most of the pieces I pull from the booth because they haven’t sold get donated out of the car, instead of being brought home and becoming flea market fodder. Accordingly, I have a lot less merchandise.

Didn’t find  a lot more merchandise in the attic. Whatever is there is hidden right now by the unorganized stuff. One category I noticed that I almost certainly will take is sf digest magazines. I have lots. There was a guy for a while selling at the flea market who thought they were valuable, really valuable. Funny. I bought a book from him he thought wasn’t worth much and sold it for $400! [Ignorance is bliss I guess.]

Anyway, I do have boxes of magazines I can sell. I’ll have to start pulling them together in one place. Some are in the attic, some in the kitchen, and there’s a bunch in the storage too. I also have a chunk of USDA annuals. I bought a store’s inventory of these when they went out of business. I only need 1 copy of each year. Most of them don’t have color plates or anything really interesting, so they’re not worth much, mostly. There’s the bookcase they’re on in the storage, and that can be sold as well.

Also in the dump bin and not counted otherwise, 2 skeins of yarn. Forgot about that!

Haven’t updated the Tally

Frankly, I’d forgotten all about it.

I’ve been working on taxes, and that is enough to make me downright grumpy, without contemplating purging stuff.

However, let’s see what’s on my “running total” document. It may be a lot, or nothing?

It’s nothing. I haven’t noted anything since the 6th, the last time I updated the tally as well. Tomorrow is a dump day; I’ll have to see what I can find to get rid of. Books are usually fairly easy for me to find. I’ve been filing papers though. My system this year is to put all the receipts, etc. in “coin envelopes” and they’re filed by month in a manila envelope.   It’s definitely filing, and the 20 from Jan are 20 pcs of paper in 20 envelopes in 1 big envelope, so 40 things become 1. I’ve only gotten thru the first quarter, but that’s 39 for Jan, 39 also for Feb, and 63 for Mar. That’s 141 pieces, all by itself!


So the new total is 254 pieces out.

Glad we had this chat, it was productive!



Just went into the attic, looking for more things to sell and found an envelope of old tax info — out it went! That’s another 116 pieces out. Huzzah!


Been Working on the Paperwork

My first tax appt. is this week, so I’ve been going thru paperwork.


This morning I’ve culled/filed coupons.

Culled/filed misc. paperwork.

Culled/filed receipts.

I’m not sure exactly how many papers I’ve tossed, filed, or put in the shred tub, but it’s an hour+ of sorting things. I’m going to count it as 30 papers out. I’m sure it was likely more than that, but as I said, I didn’t count so I don’t have an accurate number.

Other agenda related to the tax appt. is to clear my desk and the area around it. The old computer needs to be plugged in so I can get some data off of it.

I ran out of the envelopes I use to file receipts. One thing I learned long ago is that I purely hate the mess that misc. piles of small bits of paper create. My first solution was to tape the receipts to college ruled notebook paper and file the stuff in notebooks. Works, as long as you keep it up. I did (and didn’t). Last year, when I shut off the old computer (it had completely died doing the 2014 taxes, then started to again doing the 2015 taxes!) I had the first quarter’s worth of data in the data base. I figured when we got the new computer, I’d just upgrade the data base, and I’d be good. Something we’ve done before. No, the company has gone to a monthly subscription fee rather than expensive upgrades. Okay, in our old age I am working really, really hard at REMOVING monthly fees and autodebits — so I decided that after 20 years or so with the data base, I’d stop using it. (Also, I’d finally (!) zeroed out the book stock, so didn’t need to use the same medium any more.)

Okay. I started filing receipts and tracking what I was doing in a different way. Like all things, it has its pluses and minuses.

However, I’m still using that system. But I need to get the 1st quarter ‘s data from the old data base . . . .

After that? I have 20 years worth of research for the kitchen book (mostly) in a few data bases to convert to some other system. Now you know why I haven’t tackled this already; it’s daunting!

More Learning & Being Minimalist

One thing there are still a lot of here are boxes of unfiled papers. I started going through one of these today.

After I realized I was looking at cancelled checks from the 1980s and 1990s, the batch was going in the shred bin. . .  .


Except it occurred to me that the old paperwork, if shredded would work just fine instead of the newspapers we’ve been buying to help with the wood stove. (We’ve been predominately heating with wood for the past 2 years.) Instead of buying a local paper, or two, I figure I have enough old checks, statements, etc. for our burn paper for the rest of the year, and maybe more than that. This means a few things:

  1. We won’t be paying Staples to destroy these papers.
  2. We won’t be buying as many local papers.
  3. There will be fewer boxes of “stuff” (papers) in the house.

All good!

This is like the bit with the boxes from the ornaments. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this before! If I was still counting things, I’d be estatic, as I’ve probably shred or marked to shred 200+ pieces of paper today.

This may seem obvious to you, but the shift in mindset from having kept this stuff, including the paperwork, because we might need it, to using it as firestarter is huge.

One more indication things are real different here than previously!

Note: we burned everything I’d shredded the first day. The following day (today) I’ve shredded more and added it to the paper bin. A big check on being consistent!