Monday, January 24, 2011

taming the paper monster...or trying to at least

The 21 Day Challenge has officially ended, but I'm not done organizing yet! I never completed all 21 days, but I'm still determined to get as close to covering all 21 days as I can!

Last Sunday, I was able to organize the junk drawer {easy!}, but that wasn't all I did. I was also able to put into action a system that would help conquer the random piles of mail and papers that seem to be scattered everywhere on a daily basis. Day 17 of the 21 Day Challenge at A Bowl Full of Lemons was to organize a mail station. I sort of had something in place, but let's be wasn't working for me or else there wouldn't be papers everywhere!

My normal routine for getting the mail was 1) look through it walking back to the house, 2) realize that there wasn't anything too exciting, and 3) once I got into the house, set it down on the counter, office desk, entryway bench, or any flat surface. One time, I found 3 different mail piles in 3 different places. Not good for someone who likes to avoid paper piles, but yet I'm still notorious for it...please tell me I'm not alone! The current "mail system" (ha!) doesn't work because it always turns into this after awhile...

{hanging my head in shame}

This is a before of my current "command center". It's workable, but more often than not I would just shove odds and ends into the black organizer and it would always just look messy.


Up close view...see that wire organizer by the phone? It holds all of our random eating out coupons and other misc. small papers. It's actually magnetic, but since our refrigerator doesn't hold magnets, I put it there "for now" (9 months ago!) I just don't like the look of all this hodgepodge.

Here is the side view. It's kind of an eye sore in my kitchen. The big white binder is for my daughter's preschool stuff. Yes, I keep everything and at the end of the year plan to go through it. I have more to share on what I did with this binder and where its new "home" is now, but I'll save that for another post.


My biggest problem was just trying to have a place for all the papers once I opened the mail or brought something home, so with the help of many inspiring blogs I've read, I decided to keep a small file box on the kitchen counter. Off to Target I went, and brought home two options. One that cost me $9 and it was the silver wire look and this one below that only cost me $3 and it was black! I opted for the cheaper option and will be taking back the other one, so I can buy something else for $9. *wink*

I thought about what I needed the most and came up with 7 hanging files: To Pay, Ryan, Heidi, Mikayla, Austin, Coupons, and Contacts (which has all of the random directories from church, mom's group, etc.). The file box isn't huge, but I already have a place in the office that has a folder for "to be filed". I just needed something that would hold things my husband and I needed to be sure we were on top of. This way we can set aside a time every couple of days to see what we need to take care of without sifting through piles of paper.

Here is the "after" all tidied up. I was able to get rid of a lot of the clutter in the black organizer. (I also got rid of the wired magnetic organizer. It really wasn't serving much of a purpose and was just another thing to make this space look messy.)


Side view - no more white binder!


I kind of had a genius moment and instead of keeping my grocery pad in the black organizer, I decided to put it on the inside cupboard door above. It will help get unnecessary paper off the counter.

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And, for all of those organizing junkies out there, A Bowl Full of Lemons is going to be starting a weekly organizing challenge where she will give you a space to organize during the week. Just what I need to keep motivated, so I'm joining in the fun!


Kelli said...

I loved how you cleaned this up. I have been thinking about the same kind of filing system...simple and portable. I will have to make a trip to Target to look for something like this. I can't wait to see what you did with the binder!!!

heidi said...

My after looks like your before! LOL Nicely done!

Emily said...

I love your black "before" organizer. Do you know where it is from?

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