My only resolution this year was to get– and KEEP– control of the paper mountain that accumulates in my kitchen. I don’t have a designated desk in the house, so piles of bills, kid’s school paperwork, and interesting recipes tend to pile up on my kitchen island and next to my computer on the kitchen table. I’ve tried various organizational techniques throughout the years, but these piles seem to be tenacious!
I saw an organizer on tv the other day which seems promising: it’s a big “blanket” (not really, but that’s the only way I can give you a quick visual) with 9 pockets or straps for keeping paperwork together. When you need it, you unfold it (which assumes that you have enough clear space to unfold the thing), when you are finished, you fold it up and tuck it in a drawer. The reviews on Amazon were uniformly crummy due to the construction quality, but I wonder if this isn’t a good diy project.
More importantly, if I build it, would I use it? Or would I resort back to the piles?
I read an organization book (trying to get tips to help my hopelessly disorganized son) and learned that some people (me as well as DS) work better with horizontally sorted paperwork, as opposed to the more universally useful vertically stored paperwork. If you are reading my blog, you are probably a horizontal-storage type person; it is more predominant in artistic people.
I have a shallow space for a desk, but it is out in the open– i.e. in my living room/kitchen area. I bought one of those desks which folds down to provide a writing area– score! always a clear writing surface– and folds back up to hide the piles– score! However, the storage is so shallow that I can’t put my laptop inside, nor can I really store much beyond paperclips and a few pens…and a pile of paper that needs to be gone thru, now that I look at it! The desk, in retrospect, was a good idea in theory, but the space was so shallow that the desk which fits isn’t all that useful, beyond the drawers underneath which are useful. So the desk stays, as do my problematic piles.
I have some ideas for myself, and though this post is getting really long-winded, I thought I would keep you for a few more minutes while I share my ideas. Who knows– maybe you’ll find my ideas useful, or you’ll have new better ideas (SHARE!!) or you’ll write to me and help me figure out this issue!
First, I think that the pile to the right of my computer is here to stay. It’s the only place I have for “business”. To make it more manageable, I’m thinking of re-purposing the vertical file holder that currently gets used for envelope storage (what a silly use!!) I think I would feel less chaotic with a cleaner storage solution, and the verticality would take up less space on my table. I’ll check in with you and let you know if this works for me.
Second, I took over a shallow but large drawer in my kitchen island to hide some of the clutter. The clutter on the island drives DH crazy– and I see his point. My house has an open floor plan, so when you walk into the house and look through the living area to the kitchen, that edge of the island is the first thing you see. Short of putting a nice red bow on the pile…. I sweep it into the drawer. In going through the drawer, I see that much of the paperwork consists of cooking magazines and a few files full of clipped recipes. Since that’s counter-productive (I punned!!) I decided to order some of those sticky backed photo pages to hold the recipes in a binder. I can still use the drawer, but perhaps you all can help me figure out how to use the drawer better! Hmmm. More food (I punned again!) for thought over the next few weeks….
OK. I’ll let you go. I took the month off from quilting for customers so that I could concentrate on my family over the holidays. It was the first time in 7 years that I not only scheduled the break but actually stuck to my guns and kept the break cleared of last-minute quilting! It was wonderful, and I spent some of the time working on my own little projects. Photos and sharing to come!