Week #10! Hard to believe how fast time is going isn’t it. I hope you are finding your home slowly becoming the uncluttered and not so chaotic space you want it to be.
With my trip last week and the craziness of all that had to be done at home when I returned I didn’t get a chance to reply to comments on last week’s post. I do apologize for that. I did however get a chance to blog hop on the awesome links and was super impressed with all the organizing going on. It makes me just giddy, you have no idea and I’m just so happy to see what a difference it is making in your lives!
This week I want to talk a little bit more about how to keep your flat surfaces clear. From the comments and emails received about this topic I know many of you desire this for your homes and just aren’t sure how to go about it, not to mention maintain it. Let me give you a couple of tips.
1. Identify your landing zones
Everyone has a space, most likely the kitchen counter, dining room table or near the front door, where paper piles seem to occur the most. It’s where mail, bills, school papers, cell phones, magazines, etc get dropped. I’m talking about items that need to be actioned or referenced regularly and therefore can’t be filed away right away. This is normal and I don’t know anyone that avoids this all together especially if you have kids. The trick is to stop fighting it and come up with a way to “store” these things to reduce the visual clutter that happens when it’s spread out all over the place.
2. Create storage solutions that work for you
Now that you know what’s piling up it’s time to create some storage solutions that will not only give you some valuable space back but reduce the visual clutter in your home as well. Baskets work well to provide limits and boundaries which is what I find so appealing about them. In my home I have a small section of kitchen counter right by my stove that is at the entrance of my kitchen. Here it is cleared off…believe me it doesn’t always look this way!
You can see I’ve added a basket there for miscellaneous items that I routinely go through but it gives me somewhere to tuck things in the meantime. Also I am a huge fan of the Fridge File that I use as a command center of sorts to help corral all those school papers and schedules that I reference regularly. I just can’t say enough about how much it helps me stay organized in this area.
My other hot spot, like many families, is my dining room table. My son likes to color and do workbooks at the table while I’m cooking, I like to read the weekly flyers there, magazines, etc. If I didn’t have a designated space for them off the table, they would just pile up and pile up and would eventually make it unusable space. Let’s not go there. Here’s how I resolved this issue. Tucked in the corner of my dining room I have a tea cart that holds some craft supplies and workbooks for my son (store stuff where you use it!) and one of the pull out drawers holds my flyers. Beside that I have a magazine holder that works awesome to help me keep my table cleared off and create an uncluttered calming environment instead.
3. Regular maintenance
Having a storage solution doesn’t mean your counters will now magically stay cleared. Your family will still dump stuff there. However with a regular regime of going through what’s there and putting items into their “designated homes” you’ll be able to stay on top of it. I like to do this as part of my 10 minute tidy each night before bed. Remember though that this isn’t a permanent filing solution…you must routinely go through and pitch papers no longer needed, magazines you haven’t read (older than three months, toss!), school forms that need to be signed and returned, etc. Don’t let things continue to pile in your hot spots, get into the habit of regularly taking care of business :)
Here are a few examples of ladies from last week’s links that came up with practical solutions to keep their flat surfaces cleared.
Born-Again Crafter found some inexpensive dollar store baskets to hang by her desk and kitchen counter:
and as well she added these clear file folder holders below that she prettied up with the help of some scrapbook paper. This is an excellent idea for holding file folders for each of the kids, bills to be paid, invitations, schedules, etc.
Kirsten from Doris Today Designs uses a lovely holder to keep the clutter contained and up off her bathroom counter. So pretty and practical!
I hope you find these suggestions helpful. It’s time to take back those flat surfaces!!
Questions to ponder:
- What are your hot spot landing zones?
- Think about ways you can tackle these flat surface areas to manage the stuff that continues to pile there.
- What are you most proud of so far in your 52 weeks journey?
Please feel free to share your organizing journey and encourage one another in the comments. You are also invited to link up to the linky below with any posts related to your 52 weeks of organizing participation or to a post of an organizing nature that you feel will help and encourage others in their quest to get organized. Please remember to link back to here though so we can reach out to as many people as possible in need of some inspiration.
One other thing to consider: by including your link below you, you are giving me permission to use parts of your post including pictures as a spotlight in future 52 Weeks of Organizing posts. Proper credit and links will of course be provided. If you are not okay with this please do not link up. Thanks!