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Paper control – a quick and easy solution

Once upon a time I had a kitchen drawer that looked like this….
but life got busy and before long it turned into this…

Yeah.  A nice example of one of my organized spaces that became really difficult to keep organized.  I took care of my recipes by re-organizing them in my aqua accordian file, but I still had mounds of paper I was trying to corral in this drawer.  We don’t have a home office in my house so I have to get creative when it comes to paper control!  If you’ve been reading my blog for a while you know I have paper organized in Kole’s room, the closet under the stairs, and in kitchen cupboards… just to name a few places.  :)

What has been working well for me when it comes to paper control is the system I use for my kids’ school work before I put it in their albums.  So I decided to copy the same system for the papers I was attempting to organize in my kitchen drawer.

 I picked up a $5 crate from Staples.  (The crates are my favorite because I don’t like lids on the top of my files.  I want to be able to access things quickly and easily.)
 Then I ordered my favorite hanging file folders on Amazon because they didn’t have them at Staples.  And they are my favorite.  Did you want to hear more about them?
Good!  Because I’m excited to tell you about them!
They are the Pendaflex Ready-Tab hanging folders and you can find them here.
I love them because of the built in tabs that easily lift up and down.  And the fun colors.  And because of the built in tabs that easily lift up and down.  Did I mention that yet?   They are my favorite!
Is my love affair with file folders scaring anyone?  They make me almost as giddy as sticky notes.  :)
K.  We can move on now.

I pulled all of the paper out of the drawer and separated everything into piles.  I quickly realized that aside from phone numbers, most of it was miscellaneous information for the kids.

So I gave each of my kids their own folders and within two minutes I had a much better system for my paper piles!  I think this system works so well for any paper you want to organize.  Much easier than digging through a drawer to find what you need.

I ended up with extra folders that I’m keeping in the back so that when random paper comes in that I need to hold onto I can easily create a new folder.  There was also enough room in the back to store my home decor files and my built-in binder.  Bonus.  :)

I safely tucked this crate on the side of my couch in the living room.  It’s my hidden little spot where I keep must haves for every day.

The corner basket holds my camera and video camera (a goal of mine is to film my kids more this year!).  Next to that are books the girls are reading for our D.E.A.R time each day (more about that in this post).

Then I have Kole’s diapers and our favorite throws in the other two baskets.
Our daily essentials for the living room.  :)
It’s not my ideal spot for paper control, but it will do for now!
At least it’s working better than the kitchen drawer.  :)
xoxo, Erin
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13 thoughts on “Paper control – a quick and easy solution

  1. Okay, I must say that if I tried to store paper on the living room floor a certain 2 year old of mine would be in HEAVEN! He would have those papers in places I never imagined! I do smile at your hidden spot in the living room, I had a place very similar to that in my old house – in a nice big tucked away corner that seemed to be all mine!

    I have a lightweight wire wall unit very similar to your PB magazine wall file and the kids have 4 file folders each (schoolwork to return, extra activities-outside of school, school groups, and Project Life). It hangs by the door and that’s where I keep all our papers. It’s working very well this year! I try to go thru it once a week but sometimes it’s longer. It was nice to have everything together for PL albums too.

    I organized my kitchen “junk” drawer yesterday afternoon and 70% of it went right in the trash! What all that was doing in there I don’t know. My middle was putting everything in there!

    Have a great day!

  2. Lynnsey – I have to say that I’m shocked that Kole hasn’t messed with the stuff in that corner yet but he hasn’t! Must be boring to him because he leaves it alone. I love the idea you have for school work and PL stuff. Smart!

    Sarah – I got the organizer on-line from Ballards. :)

  3. Paper control is my worst nightmare – thanks for sharing your favorite file folders – I think I need to get some to kickstart the motivation.

  4. Paper control is the worst isn’t it. I have two kitchen drawers for stuff and one is still a complete disaaster, you make me want to go tackle it.
    I just started a couple binders, one is for all the recipes that I have accumulated and I love it.
    Enjoy reading your blog and the fun things you come up with.

  5. Love the built in tabs, I’m not sure if we have that brand in Australia but now I am on-a-mission, thanks Erin!
    I especially love that Amelia Bedelia is still around, loved her when I was at that stage of reading :0)

  6. Oh Erin…your organizing posts are my favorite!!! I am fairly new to your blog, so I haven’t gone through all your posts yet but I love that you have so many organizing ones!!!

    I think the Pendaflex built in tab folders are awesome…I didn’t even know they existed and I am at Staples a lot!!!

    I have saved all of our Amelia Bedelia books (they are my favorite). Even my sons loved them when they were young,they are 25 and 23…my daughter is 12 and she still has them in her room :)

    Hope the new house is coming along well…Janel in NJ

  7. Question for you regarding children’s papers? I have kept mine in a large plastic bin w/lid. I like how you have yours filed neatly. But what do you do with the artwork that has objects on them, like the dinosaur made out of macaroni I received yesterday!? My sister takes a photo of hers and then throws the original away. Ack!! Not able to bring myself to that. Ideas?

  8. Thanks so much everyone! I’m so happy there are other Amelia Bedelia lovers out there! I bought that for my girls because I loved it so much when I was little. :)

    Janel – such a sweet comment. Thank you! So nice to “meet” you!

    mommaren – Oh that’s a hard one! I have to admit, I throw a lot away. The ones that I adore and can’t bear to part with I display in our house (and store them in my hutch when I’m not displaying them) and I put some of those types of projects in my girls’ Project Life albums. (There is a PL link on the side of my blog if you want to see posts on their albums.) I hope that helps!

  9. You have helped make me the most organized person from your inspiring blog posts. I copy just about everything you show on your blog and it works! I get excited when I see another organizing post or you share a tip on something that works for you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! I wasted money on so many organizing books and tools over the years and it never worked. Finding your blog and following your ideas has been the best and easiest way to organize my house. You have no idea! I also love your favorite things posts. I now have my whole family and friends eating the addicting Zebra popcorn! I never would have known about that crazy delicious treat if it wasn’t for you. :-) Your blog is my all time fav! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  10. Hi Romi!

    Oh my word! What a sweet comment! Thank you so much. You just made my night. :) I’m so glad my posts have helped you. And I know! Zebra popcorn is crazy addicting, isn’t it!? I just bought some yesterday and it didn’t last two seconds around here. :) Thanks again for your kind words!

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