corralling the clutter

I'm sure most of us can sympathize recognize this...



The inevitable stack-o-papers-on-the-counter that comes with school, kids, running a household etc. The papers seem to come in faster then they go out (5, 10, 15 a day!) yet some just have to stick around for reference, information or sentimental reasons. 

But.

I. hate. clutter. 

a.
lot.

So, I organized. Awhhh yeah! My favourite word (oh wait, there is "wine" and "coffee" in the dictionary too). Okay, so maybe my third favourite word. Anyway, now the pile-o-clutter looks like this.


Serenity.

To achieve this calmness, I first separated the stack-o-chaos into piles. The point of this was to see what categories I could lump them into.



I came up with:
1) "Reference" (for things like recycling schedules, Chace's school notices etc)
2) "For Review" (notices about programs I may want to check out, forms I have to read still etc)
3) "Action Required" (forms I need to fill out such as book order forms, field trip forms etc) and
4) "Projects" (ALL the paperwork that comes home from Chace's day - spelling, art, poems etc.).

A note about the "projects" folder: when that folder gets full I take the paperwork up to our office where it gets placed in a larger box. Once a year I go through the box and save the best pieces or my/Chace's favourites. I recycle the rest (will he miss a piece of paper with an orange crayon line across it when he's 20?). In the end I am left with one large manilla envelope for each year filled with all of the papers I've kept for that period. 

Then, I bought the Ikea Kvissle magazine rack to corral my piles. This unit was perfect because it was a) sturdy since it's metal, b) customizable - you can use only one or all five (I used four as mentioned), c) inexpensive - who doesn't love that? And d) white - clean and pretty - my fave. Also, since it's metal you can attach things to it using magnets too if desired.

The file compartments attach together easily by simply sliding in and latching together in the back.



I used these Martha Stewart adhesive metal bookplates to label my files, but from what I've heard they are hard to get now or discontinued. I don't know why though because they are awesome! To print the words, I used my label maker (aka my third arm).





To attach the file system to the tile backsplash I simply propped it up and used a few 3M Command picture hanging strips to keep it in place.



Tucked in beside the fridge, I now have a tidy, clutter free system that helps keep me organized.








Do you have any tips and tricks for keeping clutter at bay?  I've been using this system for awhile now and LOVE it.

Stay in touch and follow along...










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