Creating our Paperless Home

It has been a whirlwind of sorting, scanning and shredding paper over here! I knew this process would take a while, but I never expected to have it take this long. Between figuring out if we need to keep paperwork, scanning it and figuring out our tags, and actually having time to do the work, it has been an adventure. But an adventure that is sooo worth it!

Creating our paperless home. No fancy scanner or equipment necessary.

Sorting Papers

The first step we did was to sort the papers. This step is also outlined in The Paperless Home. We sorted all of our papers into 3 piles: Trash, Scan & Shred, and Scan & Keep.

The trash pile was easy - straight to the shredder!

Then, I started scanning the pile I knew that I could get rid of, the Scan & Shred. We knew that everything in here wasn't 'essential' to the home. This pile took a while to scan, but once I finished, I knew I only had one pile left.

This pile is one that I am still working on. The reason this pile is taking so long is because it turned from 'Scan & Keep' pile into a 'Scan & do we really need to keep this?' pile. So I am slowly working my way through this stack of papers and having a conversation with my husband about if we really need to keep these papers. (You will be happy to know that most of the answers are 'no'.)

Creating our paperless home. No fancy scanner or equipment necessary.

Learning Evernote

A huge step in this whole Paperless Home is learning Evernote. Without the videos provided by The Paperless Home, I could have figured it out eventually, but it made the whole thing go faster. I especially loved that Donnie walked you through the 2-step verification process. I set up my Filing Cabinet and Notebook Stacks a bit differently than he did, but he gave me a great foundation! I also emulated the way he named each of the notes that we imported, it makes it so much easier to find everything.

I am really enjoying using Evernote so far. We did start with the basic plan to try it out and upgraded for a month to see if it was worth it (we had a credit in our paypal account to cover this) and we decided it was worth it. Being able to access our files and search easier in Evernote is so convenient and worth the small monthly payment.

Tips and Tricks

Along the way I have learned a couple of new things. I also was able to use what we had to make this Paperless Home work well for us.
  1. Use the scanner you have and make it work for you. The ScanSnap that is recommended in the book, along with several websites I saw, and looks so easy to use. But, I didn't have an extra $300 to just throw at a new scanner, and I don't know many who do. I have a Brother All-in-One that we got at a super discount on Black Friday about 4 years ago. We love it and it has yet to fail us. Some Brother printers, I found out, do have the capability to connect to Evernote, mine however is an older version and does not have that capability. However, I created a folder named 'For Evernote' on my computer that my scanner now sends the scanned documents to. This way it is easy to just click and drag the files from that folder into the Evernote Inbox. Then as I go through each one, I rename it, add tags and file. Simple as that. It's just one more step.
  2. When in doubt, skip it and come back. One of the things that was holding me up in the beginning was looking at a piece of paper and trying to decide if it was worth keeping. So what I decided to do was just assume I would keep it after scanning. This way, I was able to just get started and learn. After getting started and having the chance to reread the book, I can now determine quickly if I even need to scan some of the items. This process is going a lot faster than it would if I took the time to figure these things out in the beginning.
  3. Do bulk scanning. At first, I would scan and then go enter the document into Evernote. I thought this was a great idea and I thought I was really making some progress. But I saw that my piles were not going down as quickly as I wanted. I also only had the morning before my daughter woke up to really have access to the scanner. So I decided to bulk scan. I just spent the half hour that I had in the morning scanning to my computer. Then, at naptime or in the evening, when I could access my computer but not the printer, I organized everything into Evernote - which went so quickly.
We are so happy with how this is working out for us. The virtual filing cabinet is so much easier for us to find things, and this way we are saving a lot of documents that we otherwise may not have kept but may need to reference later.

You can find out more about the Paperless Home here.

If you know you would like to get started, you can purchase the ebook or packages with videos here.

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Owner's Manual & Warranty Organization

Murphy's Law: When you finally get to heat up your lunch for the third time this afternoon and your child is actually napping, your toaster oven calls it quits with cold pizza still inside. You know it's not dead and you want to troubleshoot it, but where is that owner's manual - and warranty in case it's broken. 

Yes. I have lived this situation. Owner's Manuals. This is one area that Marie Kondo, the creator of the KonMari Method, and I disagree on. And this is probably the only time I will tell you that I think it is ok to keep papers around.

Organize your Owner's Manuals and Warranties Easily. Great method on keeping your directions handy. Free printables for your binder too!

Conquering Paper Clutter with the Paperless Home

I am a piler. I pile papers into different groups but never get rid of anything. I think I have a system until I can't find the life insurance paperwork to make my payment. Days later I find it, and it's late, in danger of being terminated. I think it's time to tame the paper clutter.

Eliminate paper clutter with the Paperless Home ebook

Office Space Organizing - The Plan of Attack

So this month we are focusing on the Office Space. When we redesigned our basement, knowing we would lose our second bedroom to the nursery, we brought our desks downstairs. We have been living with this arrangement for a couple of years and I have to say it is delightful! I love having our desks situated the way we have it.
Making a plan to organize the office. Plans for more KonMari Decluttering and going paperless.
So this month, we are focusing on the clutter that is attracted to our desks. Let's take a look at the before pictures.

Master Bedroom Reveal - Small Changes Make a Huge Impact

Well, August has come and go and I am finally ready to reveal to you our master bedroom!
It's amazing how small changes can really make a huge difference in a room. How to make your room a master retreat

It was truly a team effort from my husband and I. I am so happy to be able to have his help. He has really come on board to help out more since his work schedule has loosened up a bit. It really helps in the completion of projects!

DIY Tufted Fabric Headboard: the Do's and Don'ts

In the process of making our master bedroom a real retreat, we decided we wanted a headboard. We looked for options to buy, but we had already spent a fair share in the bedroom and we wanted to be able to DIY one since it would be much more affordable then buying one.

Don't make these mistakes while creating your fabric headboard. Even includes printable instructions so you don't have to keep the post up.

There are TONS of tutorials out there for making a DIY Fabric Headboard, this is not one of them. I am going to walk you through some of the dos and don'ts for creating your own headboard. Since none of the tutorials seemed to run into any problems that we did, I wanted to share our experience and what we did to solve the problems we encountered. So learn from my mistakes and keep this handy when you decide to do your own.

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