Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Organizational Challenge--Take Two

Why am I doing this again?? The results from Laura's first challenge were--well, they were okay. By the end of the 30 days, I had taken everything out and put it back. Some of the changes have stuck and have been a blessing, but others--well, let's just say that I'm NOT going to post pictures of what it looks like right now.

So, I have decided instead of tackling a room this time to tackle a small space. This is the desk that is in the kitchen, right out in the open all the time. The cookbooks on the shelf look nice, and actually did come as a result of the first 30 day challenge when I purged my cookbooks from my basement and kept only those which would fit in this designated space. But below that are some cubbies, and that is what they always look like. They are messy. I need/want to use the space, but I want it to look nice. I would love Laura (and others) advice on what I could keep here that would not be messy. I don't know about putting containers in there.

The drawers are obviously a problem as well. I want to keep the standard office supplies there, my address book etc, and not let them collect receipts and papers and whatever else is in there.

Mail and papers from school--enough said? I bought this clear sorter to stand up against the cabinet and I put Amanda's papers in there as well as a few bills in the front, but I end up with a big pile in front of it oftentimes.

My goal is to get this cleaned off and establish a good system that I can easily maintain so that we can use this desk for homework etc, but also for storage for all of the papers and supplies that we need. Right now I can clean it off, but within days it becomes cluttered again because there is no plan.

You can still join in the 30 day Organizational Challenge by linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie today (and by the way, if you aren't reading Laura, you should be. She's so funny and helpful and loves baskets so much! I would never have thought that an organizing blog would be on my Top Ten list, but it is).


Marcia said...

Hi Jennifer

Thanks for visiting my spring reading thing last week!

Hmm - I usually tell clients not to let the paper come into the house . That's the first step. I suggest a wastepaper bin near the door so all junk mail goes there directly - I don't even open mine.

Then I would have a different section of that paper holder for each child and one for household.

And then (now you have to be ruthless) you have to go through it regularly. This depends per person - for us (only 2 adults) once a week is enough but if I had kids who brought stuff home all the time, I may then change to daily or once every two days.

hope this helps - remember be ruthless ;)


Susanne said...

I totally blew the first one too, but here I go again jumping right in with both feet. :v) Must be contagious.

Katrina said...

Good for you. Looks like a very doable space. I, unfortunately, forgot all about this challenge this week, and am just now getting back to reading blogs... oh well, I think I'm out this time around. But I'll watch your progress! :)

org junkie said...

Ah, you are so sweet!

Great challenge selection and totally doable! I love the cubbies and my first thought when I looked at your picture was nice baskets but not the plastic kind. More of a wicker type. I have definitely seen them that size too. You could even designate one cubby per family member for odds and sodds.

I love how you have this counter space to use and two drawers! It is ideal....you are very fortunate and once you have a system in place (and I know you will) it will be awesome! I have no doubt.


Debi said...

Looks like a great space! I can so sympathize with that pile of papers! Ours accumulates right on our kitchen table. There's just no keeping up with it, no matter how hard I try! I'm really looking forward to seeing what you come up with! Good luck!

Anonymous said...

One idea is to put your pens, pencils, scissors in a pretty vase/urn/mug...still out but displayed in a pretty way. Also, someone gave me the idea of puuting all of my kids papers from school in a big rubbermaid and not trying to decide at the time what to keep and what to throw. Go through the papers half way through the year, or in the summer, when you have a little distance and can more accurately decipher what is actually something you want to hang onto. I just keep 3 rubbermaid containers (because I have three kids) either under my bed or in my closet, and put EVERY paper that comes home in there.
Hope this helps!!

Barb, sfo said...

I would love a kitchen desk! I'll look forward to the "finished product" :)

At A Hen's Pace said...

I have a couple suggestions for that last picture. One is to get a tallish, rectangular basket that's attractive and just upend that pile so it's vertical and contain it in that basket. It looks much better and it's actually easier to flip through when you're searching for that one paper you need.

Also, in that same spot you could put one of those organizers with 3-4 shallow drawers that are 8.5 X 11. One drawer could be To-Do papers, so you can easily find them, and other drawers can be labelled for each child, to hold their current papers from school, sports schedules, etc.

I am a pile person, but having my piles in drawers and upright in baskets really helps me! (I have one upright basket for the mail, and one I use as a catch-all when it's time to set the table.)


A Juggling Mum said...

Good Luck with the challenge, I'll be watching your progress with interest :)

Rachel xxx