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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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  • 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!

  • 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…

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

  • 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

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

    check it out

  • 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!

  • 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}

  • 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~

  • 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!

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

  • 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}

  • 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.

  • Where did you get the green file folder?

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

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

  • 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!

  • 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! 🙂

  • Fabulous! I hope you enjoyed the waffles. 🙂

  • 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!

  • Great job! Doesn’t it feel so good.

    Can’t wait to post my pic tomorrow!


  • 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!

  • 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!

  • I feel like such a slacker.

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