I am NOT a hoarder. Far from it. I make regular trips to the Salvation Army to unburden my household of stuff (that I probably should not have bought in the first place). But I do hang on to some things past their expiration dates.

LIke empty boxes of things I bought. I am afraid I will change my mind or find something terribly wrong with a new purchase so I hang onto the box in case I need to return it. For two years? Uh, I don’t think so.

And vases. I have an absurd collection of vases that have held tenderly chosen bouquets of cut flowers delivered at great expense from the local florist. I am pretty sure the florist picked them up wholesale for a song, but there is something sentimental about those vessels, even when I can’t remember what kind of flowers were contained in them, nor the name of the person who sent them.

Makeup is another bug-a-boo that keeps my life cluttered. I KNEW I shouldn’t have caved in to the cajoling of the perky young sales clerk, but somehow I was convinced that THIS eyebrow pencil was an essential part of my arsenal of beauty weapons. It wasn’t, but I can’t just throw it away. And I can’t donate it; health regulations prevent my eyebrow germs from being transferred to someone else. So it languishes in my makeup drawers. Unless it came from Sephora which blessedly allows me to return stuff for any reason. Even then, I have to remember to take it back, which is also a challenge.

The worst is receipts, those maddening little bits of paper fluff that crinkle and wrinkle and quickly become illegible because the ink fades (whose great idea was THAT, I’d like to know?). Should I save them all? Probably not, but I guarantee that if I recycle it today (after shredding of course) I will need it tomorrow.

neat receipt scannerI am happy to report that I have a solution that finally works for me: I bought a Neat receipt scanner. It wasn’t cheap, but it gets a workout at my house. I like it because it has slots that are EXACTLY the right width for my skinny receipts. I turn on the scanner, insert the receipt and voila! the soon-to-fade writing is captured in my computer, which then syncs it to Dropbox. It’s mine forever (or until the internet collapses, whichever comes first).

Now I must brag a bit; I am what is known as an “early adopter” of new products. I was convinced that the receipts all over my house could be captured and saved in a computer, so I bought an itty bitty Neat scanner more than six years ago. It didn’t work as advertised. It’s still sitting in the closet where I tossed it (can’t get rid of it – what if I could finally get it to work?).

I’m proud because I finally got this system working. I was just ahead of my time..and the ability of the technology to deliver foolproof operations. I am a happy camper these days.

Now, do you know anyone who needs a few dozen gently used vases?