Gittin a grip.

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During the past 6 years of full-time, in home caregiving, I've to keep myself occupied and productive in the blank spaces when I'm not too worn out and bored sooo, here's my list of projects over the past few years.

Year 1 Digitize all my records. I hate paper.

Sorted, organized, scanned to pdf files and shredded most of my old records - old bills, insurance claims, tax returns, and important papers such a birth and death certificates, property records, wills, POAs. Once they were digitized, organized the directories and files and backed them all up on an external hard drive (kept in a fireproof lockbox) and a USB flash drive. Subscribed to edelivery of almost all statements and bills. Now at the beginning of each new year, I download relevant files and archive for the current tax year along with my tax returns. Never efile, not secure, but scan returns each year after they are signed and mailed).

Year 2 - Make a Family Book

I scanned all my old photos to my computer and downloaded a bookmaking software (Booksmart) and created a book with all the photos. After the book was "published" (privately of course). I shredded all the old photos, of course they are backed up on the computer. That project took about 8 months.

Year 3 Lose the Weight

Started exercising, ever so slowly, and changed my eating habits. Over 8 months lost about 40 pounds and 4 sizes. That's the year I spent most of my time trying to find clothes 3 times to accommodate my new sizes. But oh it felt so good to loose the weight. I still exercise and have maintained my weight but it does get harder as you get older and your body protests.

Year 5 - Renovate Exterior of House and Barn

Almost 100% of this work was hired out but there was always plenty to do to keep the ball rolling. Finally got a screened in back porch. During spring, summer and fall, it's a refuge from the monotony of what has become our new normal.

In the meantime, I have decluttered, organized, decluttered, downsized, decluttered, organized and decluttered. I tell my friends if I ever leave my house I want all my belongings to fit in the trunk of my car.

So I'm now working on year 6 / 7. I've almost run out of projects. What are some projects that you've done to fill in any blank spots to keep yourself from losing it completely?


I spend all my free time here, on AC. And I play scrabble on facebook. :)
i do understand decluttering. there is nothing in my basement bunker but sparse necessities. my mom was of the hoarder mentality and its just overwhelming to me to view hundreds of items at a glance. the vision is meant to pinpoint and view things one at a time. anything more is data overload.
I am a geek, so everything I have is on the computer. I always keep the hard copy of important things, mainly because computers can get fried. Drives also change. Anything that I had backed up on floppies, of course, is now useless. DVDs are also passe now. Flash drives, forget about it. We're probably heading to put everything on a glass chip about the size of a pinhead. So I keep the hard copy of anything important.
Jessie ... right about technology evolving. I do have the originals of all the important stuff but realize that even those could be destroyed in a disaster. Most everything can be recovered in the event of total loss but like I said...Hate paper, takes too much room. Eventually, life ends up boiling down to 2 documents, Birth Certificate and Death Certificate and after a few decades, even those aren't even important.

Floppies, oh my gosh, do you remember the 5.25 floppies? I do, I remember using them on a Lanier word processor back around 1977. Things sure have changed.
They have the online backup subscriptions that are reasonable. I don't bother with them, though. I know that one day the company will decide to close and anyone with things stored on the site will get the email to backup everything somewhere else. Could you imagine doing that to multi-gb's of data? We all know dotcoms come and go.
Cloud storage. Just think "Target" breach. I wouldn't store my dog's tag number on the net. I know too much about info security and data breaches to risk any personal info on the net including pictures.
I have a lot of hobbies... when I am not brain dead I like to be creative... I sculpt, sketch and draw, crochet, do a lot of mixed media collages... it doesn't feel like 'work'.... and I find I have more energy when I am 'creating'....and I am a rockhound.... when I have the luxury of getting out... I hit the backroads and spend time in nature, in the quite.... I call it ... 'going to church', just some precious ME time....and then it's AC time....gotta know what Boni is up to...!!!
Fading, that is a really excellent list! Is there a craft or skill that you've done lightly in the past, or thought could be fun? Refinishing small furniture items comes to mind (it's in a book I'm reading :) or how about something artistic?.. Is there a small artists' co-op in your area? Or find a college track that you can do online... art history, plant biology, nutrition... Maybe you can pick a charity/area you really believe in, and assist with fundraising. You could start by reading What Color is Your Balloon! Have fun. :) Lisa

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