Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Paper Clutter on your Counters

We have lots of counter space in our kitchen.  You would think that would be a good thing, and it is, but there is also a downside.  With all that counter space comes lots of room to put things and clutter can easily pile up.  Paper clutter from school papers to church papers, to mail - it all makes its way onto my kitchen counters.   This picture doesn't look that bad.  I cleaned up a bit the day before, but trust me, it's usually much worse.

We call this area the peninsula, to distinguish it from the island where we eat.  

And it's the peninsula which has become a drop zone for all paper that enters our house. 

It's also one of the first things you see when you enter into our house which is why I really need to keep it clean.  So one day, I went through everything on the counter.  And in 3 easy steps, my counter was clear.

I followed these steps and it didn't take long to see results.

Throw away what isn't needed.  Some of the papers were reminders for appointments and school events, so I just typed that into my on-line calendar and threw the paper away.

STEP 2.  
Sort into piles, keeping likes together.  I made a pile for each person, plus a pile for bills.

Put those piles away.  You know the old saying, "a place for everything and everything in it's place".   So if you don't have a place for stuff, now is the time to make one.  I filed receipts, school papers and other things I like to save and then put the rest of the stuff away in the appropriate drawer.  We also have a desk in our kitchen and I have a drawer designated for each person.  So their "stuff" goes in the drawer and off the counter.  Most of the time they never look in the drawer and I purge what's in there when it gets too full.

Looks like clearing the paper clutter off the desk is next.

I was surprised at how easy this process was and how much of a difference it made in the overall look of the kitchen.  Sweetie Pie came home and noticed the clear counters right away.  She said "nice job cleaning the counter Mom".

So now my counter looks like this:

I just need to stick to my easy 3 step plan:  Throw Away, Sort, and Put Away.  It needs to be daily for it to stay this clean all the time.

Is anyone else's kitchen counter a magnet for clutter?  How do you clear up the paper clutter?

Thanks for stopping by,