Need help organizing family papers in our new kitchen

starpoohMay 6, 2005

We have a busy family kitchen that's about to go through a major remodel. I am determined to keep the paper clutter out of my new kitchen! I have a DH and 2 DS's (ages 10 and 16). Two of them have S.L.O.B. genes. It has been difficult to corral their mail and papers and magazines.

I'm not talking about bills and junk mail... I handle all that. It's the things they either like or need to see... the SunSetter Awnings brochures and the auto maintenance reminders and the progress reports etc etc. My current, inefficient system is to make a pile for each of them on our kitchen table... right next to their dinner plates where they can't miss seeing the pile!

Well, our kitchen will be gutted in the next few weeks. The new kitchen design will eliminate the kitchen table; in its place will be a beautiful soapstone peninsula (I'm so excited!) that we'll use for homework, informal dining and chatting while one of us is cooking/cleaning. I also will be instituting a new rule: no clutter on the peninsula!. The peninsula will have a file cabinet drawer for receipts, paid bills etc and another drawer for pens/pencils. I also plan to keep

with current papers that we all need to access (soccer and karate schedules, latest Boy Scout and Cub Scout news, PTA and school and church functions, etc.) These can't go in a drawer because DH can't find them when they are put away (don't ask me why. i can't figure it out myself!).

So, I don't know where to put their paper clutter. I thought perhaps I could hang 3 small message centers on our pantry doors - one for each of them. I found a that could be used for posting reminders and messages... can even hold DH's keys!

Does this sound ridiculous? Do we need major therapy?

How do you handle papers for the rest of your family? "All I want for my birthday is a few hours with a professional organizer..."

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maddiemom6

Sounds like our family... might I suggest for your sanity that you creat a household command center? Mine is a big binder that sits on the counter.. in it I keep schedules, take out menus, ph#'s of people we need to contact ( dr or pharmacy, next door neighboor etc) As for the rest.. why type of clutter exactly do they generate? Stuff you need to look at and sign? School treasures and papers to save? Important work papers? I saw that one family had a small mailbox for each family member.. might that work for you???

Maddiemom6

    Bookmark   May 7, 2005 at 11:04PM
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talley_sue_nyc

I wish everyone in my family had an In box--a pocket on the wall, or a slot in a stack of in boxes. unfortunately, I don't have a physical place I can put it. I tried to get DH (who MOST needs one) to establish one; even put an under-shelf wire basket in his room. He won't use it the right way, so he loses stuff.

Papers to save and important work papers go FAR away from the "hot zone"--I file them, in the other room.

But stuff like an article I want DH to see, mail he needs to act on (like a catalog I know he's looking for, bills he usually pays, etc.) mostly gets chased around the DR until he does something with it. Or until I yell at him, so he grumpily gets up from reading and takes it into the bedroom, where he sets it on his desk and never sees it again.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 2:35PM
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kittiemom

Take a look at the organizer below. I was recently searching for a good way to deal with our mail & bills. I seriously considered this organizer. But it's just DH & me, & I decided we didn't need this, at least for now. We're going to be changing our den into an office, so I may get one then.

Greta

Here is a link that might be useful: Mail organizer

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 10:11AM
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marie26

Greta, I really liked the mail organizer. It would work great for me except for the fact that it doesn't seem to hold magazines (we get quite a few each month).

My perfect organizer would be one that would hold the incoming mail, including magazines and other oversized pieces, a place to put bills to be paid, a place to put items to be filed, a place for keys, and a magnetic memo board.

    Bookmark   May 14, 2005 at 8:34PM
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talley_sue_nyc

Marie26, try making one w/ foam-core board and masking tape. Modify it when you need to. Then, when you've lived w/ it a while, take it to a woodworker and see if they'll make you one out of 1/2" stock!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 11:16AM
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starpooh

Greta ~
Wow! That's exactly the type of organizer I was looking for!The wooden organizer is small enough to fit on the wall between the SGD and new peninsula (right next to the mail basket on the counter). The mail slots will be accessible to the family but not on the countertop.
And I like that it has 8 sections... with 2 adults and 2 kids we can each have 2 sections of our own. And if there's something too big to fit, then the center partition can be removed.

I purchased a [wicker mail basket from Ballard's](http://www.ballarddesigns.com/bd/pdp.jsp?prod_oid=283234) that I'll keep on the countertop and use in conjunction with the wood organizer. The wicker basket holds current magazines and schedules. It's working out quite well.

Talley_Sue ~
your DH and my DH must somehow be related! Yes, he wants to see his catalogs and car maintenance coupons, etc. But if I leave them on the DR table he moves them onto the chair and vice versa. When I finally get on his case about them, he'll move them into the bedroom where they enter the black hole beside his bed. (House is too small for an office!) Hopefully the mail slots will work... at least we won't be shuffling papers between the table and the chairs!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 11:04PM
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mariend

My son in law made a nice orginizer for the wall using a cubbard door from Menards, lining it with cork, and putting on the needed cup holders along the side to hold keys. He varnished it and it really looks nice. Of course with kids, you might need more space.

    Bookmark   May 17, 2005 at 10:24PM
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