Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Project Organization---Mail!

A few months ago, I wrote about spending two weeks with my parents in Florida. When I returned home, I was greeted by my husband, my two sweet dogs and three cats…and two + weeks of mail piled on top of our kitchen island. Since my husband and stepson moved into my home six years ago, organization and clutter has been a frustration for me. While I’m not exactly a Felix Unger type, I do dislike clutter and like to keep things as orderly as possible. Unfortunately, it’s been over six years since I’ve regularly seen the top of that huge kitchen island.

The last time I completely de cluttered the island from all the mail that had accumulated, I threatened my family with death if they let a single piece of mail pile up again. I should have clarified my intentions as they just moved the mail to the desk in the hallway and then junked the island up with everything besides mail. Here’s that desk in a relatively “clean” state:

Desk before

I’m absolutely horrified when I look at this picture!!! Now imagine three weeks of mail piled on top of this desk, which is what it looked like when I started my organization project. Here is said mail:

Pile of Mail
That very large pile at the top of the picture is junk mail. My husband walks down to the mail box as part of his routine every morning. He brings all of the mail into the house and then insists that he “sorts” the mail prior to putting it on the desk. He says the mail on the desk is “mine.” I guess all the junk mail, magazines and catalogs are mine then. Sigh.

I knew I needed to do something that would be easy for my family to use and not drive me crazy at the same time. It’s one thing to be driven crazy (I may be insane, after all, if I’m worried about this stuff…lol) and it’s quite another to miss bills because I can’t find them due to all of the piles of mail around the house. Most of our bills are presented online and I pay them via online bill pay but there are some that can’t be set up that way and are literally attached to our front door when the services are rendered (lawn fertilization service, propane, etc). So I came up with a plan and got my family to agree.

Step one was going to Target and purchasing enough baskets so that each person in my house had one and then I had extras for catalogs and junk mail. Step two was figuring out a way to make them cute enough to be displayed. Here’s what I came up with:

Basket 1

I printed the titles out on plain white paper and then used scrapbook paper (construction paper) from my scrapbooking days to customize the tag. Then I used glue dots (also from my scrapbooking supplies) to stick the whole thing to the basket. It was pretty darn simple!

Basket 3


Basket 2


Basket 4

My family, so far, has embraced this new system and everyone seems happy to indulge my quirkiness with regard to organization. The final result makes me happy and you know what they say, “If Mom’s happy, everyone’s happy!”

Desk before Desk Before

Desk after Desk After

How about you? Do you have any favorite organization tricks to share?