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Project Simplify: Week 2 {Kitchen Clutter}

It’s Week 2 of Project Simplify, have you joined it yet?  It’s not too late so head over to read all about it from Tsh. This week’s prompt is kitchens.  I was going to tackle the pantry but then I got sidetracked searching through stacks of paper that were covering the countertop looking for a permission slip that my daughter needed to turn in immediately. The form had come home with her in her book bag approximately 3 weeks prior and had gotten lost in the chaos of my kitchen. For some reason I have one counter that breeds paperwork like rabbits.

Did you just cringe in horror? I won’t blame you a bit. I didn’t know what was in that pile but it was a good 4 inches thick! Pull up your big girl panties and let’s take a closer look, shall we?

First thing I did was clear off the entire counter top and Oh My Gah- there’s a toaster back there. Waffles for everyone tonight! This is a project best reserved for naptime or even better, after the kids go to bed and you can drink wine. Not that I don’t drink wine in the afternoon but I assume that not everyone is a big of a lush as I am.

I dumped all the paperwork in the middle of the floor and sorted it piece by piece into piles. I ended up with 6 piles when I was done: Magazines, Coupons, Trash, Bills, Recycling, and filing.

Please note how the trash pile is twice the size of every other pile. That’s right, I’ve been holding on to stuff that should’ve just been thrown in the trash. Why? So I had this organizer and some super cool folders that I bought awhile back to use in the kitchen and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to start using them.

Look, you can see countertop! Hold your applause till the end please. If you direct your eyes up to the left you will notice that I even cleaned out the wicker hanging baskets. Go big or go home, that should be my motto. Really, it should.

I made a file folder for School, To Do, Reference, and Save. Now when I pull out 500 pieces of paper from Maia’s book bag, I have somewhere to put the ones that need to be saved. The To-Do file is for anything except bills such as the renewal forms for our irrigation system maintenance plan. The Reference file is for stuff I need to be able to find quickly- such as the phone number of the super nice babysitter that just moved into our neighborhood and the date of the community yard sale. The Save file is for the stuff I need to file but haven’t had a chance to get to it yet. I mean, let’s be honest here- there is no way I’m going to have the time to file every paper immediately so I need somewhere to put the stuff in the meantime.

I even made tickler files. Do you know what a tickler file is? I could explain it but Tsh does a much better job so read her post on Tickler Files. I’m using this magnetic dry erase board on the side of my fridge to keep track of the things I put in my tickler files (which I’ll show you in detail on Week 4).

I cleaned out this little side drawer that was holding nothing important and made it the bill drawer. Now the bills are in one easy to find location and they are out of sight of visitors. I don’t know about you but I don’t need the neighborhood HOA president knowing how much I owe on my Amex card. The checkbook is also in the drawer for those few bills that have not yet entered this century and do not have online bill pay.

Mr.McHunky came home, took one look and said ‘Oh wow, there’s the toaster.’ Let’s take one more glance at my nice newly organized, clutter free kitchen counter.

Linked up with Cure for the Common Monday, Craft-o-Maniac Monday, Better Mom Monday, Motivate Me Monday, Made by You Monday, Just Something I Whipped Up, Creative Blog Hop, Mix it up Monday, Meet Me Monday, Show Me What You’ve Got, Anti-Procrastination Tuesday, One Project at a Time, Tutorials & Tips, Tuesday Confessional, Take a Look Tuesday, Tuesday Treasures, Tuesday Talent Show, Titus Tuesdays, Teach Me Tuesday, These Chicks Cooked, Show Your Stuff, Whatever Goes Wednesday, Lil Luna Linky, Link it up Wednesday, Wow Me Wednesday, Creative Spark, Show & Share, Catch a Glimpse, Inspiring Thursday, House of Hepworths, Inspiration Friday, Fridays Unfolded, Home Sweet Home, Potpourri Friday, Pity Party, Feature Yourself, Flaunt it Friday, Simply Link, Friday Favs, Friday Flair, 4 Real Friday, Strut Your Stuff Saturday, Love it Like it Link it, Weekend Potluck, Weekend Wrap Up, Once Upon a Weekend, Tutorials Tuesday, Overflowing with Creativity, Live Laugh Linky,Crafty Sasse Party

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15510594223746911615 Sherry

    Oh, I have corners like this and 1 room!! It is on my list for spring cleaning! Great organizing! Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07786393130298148548 Erin (Out on a Limb)

    This is awesome and I can soooo relate to the kitchen counter mayhem. Mine breeds a similar kind of paper and I’m always trying to tame it and stay on top of it. Love the tickler file idea!

    Just found your link via Homemaker on a Dime’s Link Party. I’ll be following along for sure!

    Have a great day,
    Erin from Out on a Limb…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15650367830239917459 Lisa @ Flour Me With Love

    I don’t care for clutter either, this is a great solution! Thanks so much for sharing at Mix it up Monday :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11868510378564673738 Six Sisters

    This will be so helpful!! I hate the clutter piles that slowly grow!! Thanks for the great idea! Thanks so much for linking up to “Strut Your Stuff Saturday.” We loved having you and hope you’ll join us again next week! -The Sisters

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13082785446616129059 Motivated Mommy of two

    I have the same file organizer and pen holder just in different color. I love it.

    check it out

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07364013898578143174 Kate

    HOW WONDERFUL!! You make me feel inspired. I’m so organizationally challenged but I love what you did. I’ll have to give this some thought and prayer!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09436036572780759085 Alana of Domestic Bliss Diaries

    This makes my organizing-loving heart very happy! You did such an awesome job creating a kitchen command center that works for you!

    ~Alana {www.domesticblissdiaries.com}

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12340556321412795388 Etcetorize

    lol, love that you found the toaster! I’m very inspired. I try not to let things get too out of control but my little nook could use some tidying up too. Thanks for giving me the kick I needed~

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15409730115634400018 Charlene@APinchofJoy

    Love the paper taming results — including the bill drawer! I would love it if you would consider linking to Busy Monday at A Pinch of Joy, a Sunday through Thursday link party for ideas that make life easier, better and more fun!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18264002197374263734 Laurel Stephens

    I’m impressed! That’s quite a transformation. Happy organizing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00329474024845503811 Amy L

    I too have a paperwork breeding zone on my kitchen counters. I have a file system, but others in my house lack the discipline to actually use it, and leave it all up to me. It is a constant fight – sometimes I am winning and sometimes the papers are winning. {New Linky Follower}

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00329474024845503811 Amy L

    I too have a counter that breeds papers. I have a counter top filing system, but sometimes the rest of the house lacks the discipline to actually use it, grrr. Oh well, it is an on going fight, sometimes I am winning the battle and sometimes the papers are winning the battle.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08567149340809225297 Patience

    Where did you get the green file folder?

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04968250671087385396 Delilah Love

      I found it at Target in the clearance section! I’ve had it for awhile but they probably have a whole new selection now.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16530153686464497821 Urban Hoot

    You are not alone with the crazy stacks of paper! Great idea with the filing system!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16277495842717034627 Erika . . . with a K

    Yea, I really really need one of those organizers. I have a table like that… but it is the table right when you walk in the front door. It has a mountain of shoes underneath and a mountain of crap on top. I would have to wait until after kids are in bed to 1. enjoy a glass of wine, yes, but more importantly 2. so there are no tears when more than half of the school stuff ends up in the trash!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02010273556952859145 Dottie

    Wow. I love it. This is *extactly* what I need for all the paperwork. Even without a munchkin in school the paperwork still breeds like rabbits around here. Found you through Simplemom.net and so glad I did. Great job! :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08440969357242099169 Alana in Canada

    Fabulous! I hope you enjoyed the waffles. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07271550135826574182 taradon

    I have a declutter day scheduled for April 2. I took the day off work and everything. I’m really looking forward to getting my house in order!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13299143179444145372 Kelly

    Great job! Doesn’t it feel so good.

    Can’t wait to post my pic tomorrow!


  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12261179479821073705 Heather

    Oh! I love the green, it would actually match my kitchen pretty well :-) I need to get some sort of a system for files. Most of my important stuff is online now, but I still get random things in the mail, and I have taken to just throwing them into my huge 4 drawer filing cabinet…from my pre-online bill pay days…also when things were somewhat organized…I think that was before I had my first babe, so, oh, 4 years ago :-) Glad I’m not the only one with a paper pile!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16644613647401437326 Emily

    I have a counter like that at my house (seriously, where does all the paperwork come from?), but this is…inspiring! I’m totally going to steal your system!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18010888083503743747 Your Doctor’s Wife

    I feel like such a slacker.

    • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04968250671087385396 Delilah Love

      Please don’t. You should see the rest of my house. Ouch.