Getting rid of the File Cabinet

So today I set out to start the project of converting my file cabinet into a computer folder. My intention was to start scanning all of my paper documents that I would need for taxes and convert them into pdf files.

Why would I want to do this? The number 1 reason is of course to de-clutter and reduce the amount of paperwork I have laying around, and 2 to make those documents more accessible as they will all be placed on the cloud where I can access them even on my cell phone.

I made it about 5 minutes into the project, got totally overwhelmed and decided to drop the whole project for now. I decided that I would need a simple plan to get it started. I will start with just those items that go into a particular folder. The first will be paychecks for both my wife and myself. That is enough for now. It is just one step towards starting a new minimalist practice.

I have separated other documents into piles to be scanned and saved later. The good thing is that there are many that I don’t have to scan. Certain bills that I pay online I always save and print to pdf the receipt, and bank account statements I download from my bank. Yay

I have a flat bed scanner that I have had since 2005. It is slow, but still does a good job. I have elected to use my Iphone for this project. I downloaded an app called Scanner Mini tinyscanwhich is free and it works pretty good as I can save all scanned documents to Icloud. I can then download them from Icloud on my laptop, rename them and place them in the appropriate folder. I use both skydrive and a 64 gig thumb drive to back up all of my important documents. I know, it is a large project to take on but I know once complete I will never have to worry about all of that paperwork building up again. I may even get rid of my file cabinet and just use a file box or a multiple file folder for those important documents that I need to save in hard copy like birth certificates and such.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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14 Responses to Getting rid of the File Cabinet

  1. Neale Bacon says:

    Shredders and scanners are 2 of the best inventions EVER!

  2. James says:

    Just a few things. First, backup everything. If you have it all on your hard drive and your hard drive cashes, the data is (probably) gone for good. I’m not entirely sure I’d trust the cloud with my banking and tax information or even have it all on my PC. Any internet connected device or service can be hacked and I’ve already had my identity stolen once.

  3. I have been scanning photographs from the 70s and 80s, then trying to restore the color through several types of photo software. It is a daunting task!

  4. I am in the process of doing the same thing. I’m currently using a cloud based software to hold all my documents. I’m not thrilled with the cloud use but am not really sure what else I want to do. We move a lot, and I’m afraid an external hard drive could get lost, or a standard hard drive could crash (Story of my life every couple of years).

    • I agree. The cloud is actually pretty safe. I prefer Icloud or skydrive, but even Amazon offter a cloud if you have a prime account. I am looking into physical cloud devices. They seem to becoming popular where you can have your own private cloud right in your home.

  5. Great idea about getting rid of the paperwork. I recently decided to start from NOW (as in trying to go paperless going forward by scanning any important current documents and throwing away originals), then gradually I aim to work backwards and hopefully save my children the daunting tasking of one day having to go through my mess.

  6. Allyson H says:

    I DID THIS IN FOUR DAYS! I was going to do a post on how we went paperless: the Epson WF-3640! I hope you can find the motivation to pick this up again, because it is so rewarding once you complete it! T and I are rooting for you!!

  7. Sharron says:

    My husband and I have been scanning our documents for several years now. We use the ultrafast, double-sided Scan Snap. It scans all sizes and types of documents in seconds, making the job super easy. We had so many files it was overtaking the house! We put them in folders and scanned only the past couple of years unless it was something important. So there is a separate file for each different file we wanted to scan: electronic gadget receipts, bank statements, Veterinarian bills, etc. etc. (Of course you don’t really need to scan bank statements anymore) We also scanned our passports, drivers licenses and medical records. We have needed those on several occasions. Good Luck

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