I have a friend named Maureen. Maureen is ultra-organized, and I often feel inadequate in comparison to her organizational skills! I tend to have piles of paper that may or may not make it into their proper folders. Maureen has binders with tabs and laminated sheets. I often think, and sometimes say aloud, “If I ever get completely organized, I’d be dangerous!”
Those laminated sheets really caught my attention. I decided to find out if there was an inexpensive home tool I could use to get my paper organized and laminated, too. I can think of about a bazillion uses for a laminator, and I often use the one at the library.
Purchasing a Laminator
Finding and ordering the Purple Cows Hot and Cold 9″ Laminator Model # 3016C could not possibly have been more easy. I did a Google search for laminator machines, it popped right up, it was available on Amazon, and I ordered it with my 1-click ordering. Even better, it qualified for Amazon Prime shipping. The cost was a very affordable $22.97.
There it was sitting on my doorstep two days later. Presto! Sometimes Amazon makes me believe in magic/immediate wish fulfillment.
Out of the Box
Getting started couldn’t be simpler. There were only four things in the box: instruction booklet, machine, plastic document feed tray to clip onto the machine, and a plastic package filled with 100 assorted sized laminating pockets (40 8 1/2″ x 11″ 3 mil., 30 4″ x 6″ 3 mil., and 30 3″ x 5″ 3 mil. pockets). The machine plugs in quite easily and the document feed tray snaps right on. So far so good! The machine automatically adjusts for 5 mil. pockets versus 3 mil. pockets, but I haven’t bought any 5 mil. pockets just yet. (With plastic sheeting, the higher the number of mils, the thicker the plastic.)
Deciphering the Instruction Manual
Sometimes when you open an instruction manual, you are lost from the get-go and convinced someone wrote this in another language and put it through an online translator! I was pleasantly surprised to find that this product does NOT have one of those instruction manuals. It was clearly written in English and very easy to follow and well-organized.
Firing It Up and Laminating
Turning the machine on was a snap. There’s an “on/off” switch and a “hot/cold” switch. I turned it on and flipped it over to “hot”. It took almost exactly 3 minutes to heat up. I put paper (my current “To Learn”, “To Do”, and “To Buy” lists, which I have whittled down to one page each, front and back) into a laminating pocket, slipped the pocket (sealed end first) into the document feed tray, and the machine took over, gently grabbing the edge of the pocket and guiding it straight through the machine.
In less than 45 seconds, I had a beautifully laminated page with a completely watertight strong seal all around the 3 edges. Perfect! I’m pleased to report that I did NOT stay up all night laminating everything in sight. I only stayed up until midnight. And I only laminated 25 items (so far), including my concealed carry class completion certificate, my mom’s handicapped parking placard that was delaminating/peeling, and a 7-day free-visit card to my gym that I’m going to mail to my nephew so he can use it over the summer.
Every item, no matter its size or thickness laminated beautifully. The thicker plastic handicapped parking placard needed to be put through the laminator, just like the instructions said, twice. At the end of 2 runs through this little gem of a machine, it was done perfectly.
The instruction manual and box inform me that the unit is energy efficient and UL-Listed. All brands of 3 mil. and 5 mil. hot-lamination pockets sold at office supply or craft stores may be used with this laminator. The cold (COOL) lamination setting uses adhesive rather than heat so that items damaged by heat such as flowers, fabrics, plastics, and embellishments can also be laminated. Special cold lamination pockets (sold separately) must be used for this purpose. The website www.purplecows.net provides a free library of projects to get you thinking about what you might want to laminate!
Every preparedness-minded person who wants to get their paperwork organized would benefit greatly from this machine. My experience was superb – easy and affordable, works exactly as advertised. I can’t say enough good things about this little purchase. I’m getting on Amazon to purchase more laminating pockets today, because something tells me 100 won’t be enough!
For more ideas, watch this video!
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