Why am I showing you my cluttered counter?

Just keeping it real, people.

I hate clutter. But I have it. The mail area in our kitchen is the worst for clutter. THE.WORST. Many times I’ve cleaned it but never really found what the problem was to begin with. So, I decided to use the PROCESS to deal with this area once and for all.

My Plan: Ask myself, “What do I want this area to be?” I found coupons (expired!), bills, tax forms, instructions to various things, vitamins, magazines, and a sudoku cube. None of these things belonged here! I wanted this area to be the bill paying area and that was all. Not a drop place for random coupons, mail, toys, etc. The plan also meant that I just didn’t move things to a new location. They had to have a home. Old bills down to the shredder or filing cabinet, games to the game closet, vitamins with all the other meds, etc.

I Removed everything from the space including cleaning out the container and put like with like.

I Organized into piles. The garbage and recycling bin were close by so whatever I didn’t have a home for were tossed/recycled. I was ruthless with the purging too. While I might like to have used a coupon, the reality of it was I probably wouldn’t, so I tossed it. Once the space was cleaned and piles were made, I found homes for everything that wasn’t tossed/recycled.

My Container works when it’s just bills. Anything else and it’s just a mess. I keep pens (that work), a notepad, checkbook, calculator, checks that need to be deposited, stamps and anything else that relates to bills and bill paying. My container also has a small section that’s perfect for gift cards. I like to keep all gift cards in one area and this makes sense for us.

After a week of this new organized system, I’ve Evaluated to see if 1) the area was still organized and 2) being used as its real intention. It was a relief knowing that it was still organized and nothing else was being thrown in there that isn’t a bill, check or gift card. It works for me!

Right now, I don’t need to Solve or simplify anything that I see.

Wanna see what it looks like now?

Come back tonight and I’ll show you!

Update! Shazaam! Here’s the finished space! Now, I can Sit back and enjoy the clean, organized space.

ETA…again: I’m entering this in the 28-day Organizing Challenge. Here are my 5 answers:

1. What was the hardest part of the challenge for you and were you able to overcome it? Seriously, just doing it. I would look at that pile after the rest of my kitchen was clean and just feel defeated. Turn off the lights, walk out of the room.

Sorting and purging, that’s the easy part! Also, who wants to give up a snuggle moment with their little one to do something like this? So, I did it when he went to bed and I didn’t have anything on tap for the night. Starting was the hardest part.

2. Tell us what kind of changes/habits you have put into place in order for your area/room to maintain its new order? The rule is deal with the mail as it comes into the house, not weeks (and piles) later. So simple, but it’s working.

3. What did you do with the “stuff” you were able to purge out of your newly organized space? If it was a paid bill, I took it to the office to either shred it or file it. Games went to the game closet, etc. I didn’t just move it to another space. That was the rule I made with myself. Everything had a home and needed to be there, not moved to another pile.

4. What creative storage solutions were you able to introduce in order to create additional space as well as establish some limits and boundaries? I already had the little storage container (yes, from Ikea Tony!) and it really is perfect for the mail role. And I thought if I put a cute photo of my little one and my pup, I’d be more inclined to keep it organized.

5. Why do you think you should win this challenge? Oh boy, doesn’t everyone have this problem with the mail? While this was a small area, I could definitely use help with bigger areas, including simple organizational tools for my life. I want to be that organized spouse/mom/employee!


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