Category Archives: Office

The Tax Nightmare is Over (I Hope)

tax timeWe moved in with my parents for a few months–back in 2008. And then we got stuck, until very recently. We’re now in a truly wonderful house, but staying with my parents for so long created a few problems, one of which was organization. Because I’m a hopeless optimist I have a very strong sense of denial, each month we lived with my p’s, I’d tell myself that in just another month or two we’d be back on our own. It was okay that I left this or that unfiled because soon enough I’d have a real office again.

I never got organized. I never put the right systems in place.

So when it was time to do my 2011 taxes, I was really scrambling. Most of my papers were here, but some were still at my parents. I was months behind in my bookkeeping.

But then I caught up.

Aaaaand then my computer crashed.

Needless to say, it was overdue for a backup.

So I had to enter months of financial data all over again.

Now everything is balanced, reconciled, and ready for the accountant.

I hope.

Business taxes are due March 15. You ready?

 

Getting Organized: Medical Bills

Organize medical bills, test results and moreAs I look into the future, I know I want it to be less cluttered than life is now. I flip-flop between feeling reassured that once we have more space, things will feel less cluttered and living in fear that big new house means so many more spaces to clutter up.

I’ve realized that one of the largest sources of paper clutter is the never-ending stream of medical bills, invoices, and EOBs from our insurance company. I tend to let it build up and then here’s how I tackle it.

It sounds kind of old skool here on the doorstep of 2012, but that’s how I roll with certain things. I don’t do banking or medical stuff online. Do you?

I developed a spreadsheet listing patient name, date of visit, doctor seen and brief explanation of the problem. For each visit, I also record our expected payment, actual payment, date paid and the form of payment.

This may sound like a lot of work,but believe me it’s a lot more work trying to remember which family member saw which doctor on what date, etc when the bill arrives weeks or even months later.

But what about all that paperwork? For years I kept it in a boring old three-ring binder. I used sticky notes to create tabbed sections for doctors, dentists, prescriptions, etc. But a couple of years ago I received a review sample of KnockKnock’s snazzy medical organizer pictured above.

It’s got the basic three rings and so much more, like dividers with pockets to hold, say, a CD with MRI results. It comes with pre-printed divider tabs with categories I didn’t know I needed, but do. And I love the handy notepad tucked up front that helps your plan questions and checklists for upcoming doctor visits.

Each January, I empty the previous year’s’ content into a file folder and start fresh and empty. Even though it’s not so very different than what I created on my own, I’ve developed quite a fondness for this organizer over time. Kind of like how the food in vending machines is always more tantalizing than what you already packed for a snack.

How do you tame the paper tigers around your house? Your tip may be featured in a future post.

Kitchens, Bathrooms and Floors: Home Renovation Week 12

We’ve got kitchen cabinets! We’ve got a base coat of paint (in some areas)! We’ve got tile (mostly)! Check it out on this week’s video update with an included bonus update on our feathered floors.

I Got the Renovator Blues- Now with Video!

I am exhausted. I had no idea that given the number of workmen in and out of our house, I would be so tired and achy. This might be due in part to the fact that I stopped taking one of my arthritis meds prior to my surgery and it’s finally catching up with me. Or maybe it was the midnight shopping spree after Thanksgiving dinner (a supposedly fun thing I will never do again).  Or perhaps it was the days of nonstop fun with my kids, nieces and nephew over the holiday break. At any rate, I made a video last week but never managed to post it here. See below for even more updates!

We expected a few slow days around the house after Thanksgiving, but it’s been anything but. The tile guy that was supposed to show up this week decided to start the job early. (OMG, tile guys; I could write an entire blog about the many guys we had out to quote us–another thing that was keeping me busy in recent weeks.) And the floor guy showed up to lay down new hardwood in the bare spots.

Today the trim guy replaced our old kitchen door and trimmed several windows. The tile guy (his helper, really) laid out the kitchen floor, the drywall guy came to patch a few spots and…

(drumroll, please)

Our kitchen cabinets arrived!

There was a bit of drama when it appeared the corner unit would not fit through our front (and largest) door, but the issue turned out to be the large box, not the cabinet itself. That said, I’m not thrilled to have that piece unprotected while there’s a lot going on and a lot of workers coming and going around it.

I’ll be back soon with tales of paint colors! And tile (installed) that might not actually match our cabinets (uninstalled, but not returnable)! Stay tuned for this and more!

Seeing My Flaws

crack in wall needs to be patchedWe brought in a professional painter to beautify our new ceilings. In addition to painting, the ceilings needed a bit of patching and freshening up. It was well worth the the money. But I can’t look at my walls the same way anyway. There are flaws everywhere!

{sound of needle scratching a record}

I wrote the above words in September 2011 and the post was put in draft until I forgot about it could give it more attention. It’s funny to see that I wrote it was well worth the money to have the ceilings painted, something DH pushed for prior to the Plan A Renovation. Not funny as in “ha, ha”, but funny as in bitterly ironic because our electrician is going to install a ceiling fan anchor and a hard-wired smoke/CO detector (mandated by code) on at least one of those pristine ceilings.

The electrician will do his best, but the ceiling fan install may require a 16-inch by 16-inch square cut smack dab in the middle of the newly smooth and creamy white ceiling. D’oh!

As for the flawed walls, well, so many have been torn down in the reno, that it will only be an issue in certain rooms of the house. I think we want the old walls in our living room and dining room to look as new and smooth as possible, but we’ll accept a bit of imperfection in less public areas.

As a homeowner, do you think you are more likely to notice your own (wall) flaws than your guests are?

Mirror Me

a wordle for reluctant renovatorDo you ever use Google to track down your old posts? With years of blogging on a dozen or so sites under my belt, sometimes Google is like a little flash drive that enhances my memory. I recently tried to locate one of my dusty old posts and noticed a site “mirror.me” amongst the results. I wasn’t sure if I’d find my doppleganger or someone scraping my content or what. Instead, I found this cool Wordle-type topic cloud image that you see above.

Mirror.me takes a person’s Twitter stream to show what that person cares (or at least Tweets) about. Not only is it artsy, but on the Mirror Me site, it also links to others who express the same sentiments, so you can meet like minded Tweeps.

I was pretty impressed with @RenovatorKim‘s results, but I could have signed into the site to tweak my results had not been pleased.

I tried it with my older, less renovation-oriented Twitter account.

Mirror Me for Kim Moldofsky

I’d been thinking about creating something like this for my “About” page, but I might have just stumbled upon some new art for my office wall as well.

Cool? Creepy? What do you think?