How to Organize Paper Clutter

Hi there!  Have you heard about my series "Organizing and Decluttering for Unorganized and Cluttery People"?  I'm sharing easy low budget ideas that anyone can do to improve their organization and get rid of their clutter.  They will probably not be the cutest organizing tips you'll see out here in blog land but they will be relatively easy and inexpensive. 

Last year I had a few organizing posts and this one is worth sharing again.  I have been using this system for a year and it's still going strong (most of the time). :)

How to Organize Paper Clutter

I have read approximately one-bazillion posts on cleaning clutter, organizing closets, un-junking junk drawers, tackling toys, prettying up pantries (I don't even have a pantry! Why am I reading those posts?!)... the list goes on and on.

In all of my clutter research I was looking for the solution to paper clutter in my kitchen. My oldest started school this year and I can not belieeeeve the amount of paper that is sent home with him. Seriously, it is reedonkulous! How many trees are they killing for these kindergartners?? ;)

All the paper he brings home needs some kind of organization. Some of it is completed work or art that I put in a special bin in his room for keeps or on the fridge, some of it is information for me of special dates and events, some of it is homework he has to complete and take back (don't even get me started about homework for kindergartners...), some of it goes straight in the garbage (shhh, don't tell him!)

He brings me all this paper every day and I just start making piles, then mail starts coming in and I pitch what I can up front but the rest goes on top of the pile. The pile keeps growing with whatever other paper stragglers make it into the kitchen and by the end of the week I have a HAAAAUUUUGE mess!





Ok, this is actually really clean for this area I'm sorry to admit... usually the piles are much bigger!
 The mess drives me nuts! It drives the hubs, Mr. I-don't-like-anything-on-the-kitchen-counter-ever!, even nutser. (Yes, I just made up the word nutser, but it's true)

Although I have an office I tend to do all paper work in the kitchen. This is where I spend 90% of my time, I can keep an eye on the boys and get something done plus, I am too lazy to walk up the stairs. My office/mom cave is still a work in progress so it's not a very good place to hang out right now anyway.

I decided I needed some type of filing system in the kitchen. I have seen people with filing systems in their kitchen or wherever all over blogland so this is not an amazing new idea. I just tweaked it a bit to work for me.

First, instead of a typical file box I got this super-cute lined basket at TJ Maxx for only $7.99!





I then found some files (TJMaxx too, I'm tellin' ya, they should pay me for all the free publicity I give 'em!) that match perfect for $2.99 (even the plain ones cost that much!).



I labeled everything... I now have a file for all appropriate school papers, household stuff, plus my decorating business with room to spare!



And, it even looks pretty!!

When we have company or I want less on the counters (or the hub wants less on the counters) I can just take the whole basket and move it to my office revealing a clean counter... everything stays organized and in it's place.



Note to self: going to have to take the picture down behind the basket.
Why didn't I ever think of this before?! I guess it just took getting huge amounts of paper from little guy everyday and finding a cute basket and files (I don't care how much it helped me, I wouldn't put an ugly file box on my counter every day if you paid me. ;)

What's your organizational savior??

See all of my organizational posts:
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Linking: Someday Crafts, Tatertots & Jello, Organize It! at Goodbye House, Hello Home!

38 comments :

  1. That is the cutest file basket and I love the file folders. Great idea. I need about 10 of them.. LOL
    Babs

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  2. That looks awesome! Love the basket and the file folders! It turned out great!

    Ruthie @ Tattered Bliss

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  3. This is an adorable way to get organized. I would love to do something like this (I pinned it)! Also love that little pot and plant beside it. :)

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  4. I remember those days of paper overload when my children were small. Great idea! The basket and files look lovely!

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  5. Wow! I just posted about getting my papers in my kitchen organized but this is way better!! Why didn't I think of this!? I may be rethinking my system. Or adding this...we get a lot of paper.

    Maxwellhouseinteriors.Blogspot.Com

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  6. Great idea! It's amazing how things work our sometimes. I just 'discovered' a basket in my craft room that's the perfect size for all my Christmas magazines and books. So much cheaper and prettier than the alternative

    http://chickenscratchny.blogspot.com/

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  7. Beautiful organizing stuff is always the best!

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  8. I love this idea! I did organize my desk but would like the files to be out where I can see them. This would be pretty and functional.

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  9. Nice post. I love the basket and will remember this for when I have little ones.

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  10. What a handy way to file! I swear paper clutter is my nemesis. Thanks for sharing!

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  11. Great idea. I love organizing too and find that paper is what makes me the craziest. The box is pretty and you have everything right at your fingertips. Well done!

    Pam

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  12. I can completely relate to your situation! I have a Mr. Nutser-about-that-stuff too! My paper piles were out of control last year (hmmm, just when my oldest started Kindergarten! look at that!) I wish I had found a cute basket like yours! Instead I opted for a binder- complete with files and tabs and pockets, you name it. It has been working for 4 months now! You will love saying to your husband "it's in the basket" instead of "it's in one of the piles in the kitchen!" Thanks for sharing!!

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  13. Totally can relate... So adorable, I love your solution, what a cute basket....Thanks for sharing.. I'm your newest HAPPY follower here <--Marilyn via http://www.theartsygirlconection.com .. LOVING your blog space here.. Hope you can stop in sometime. Off to indulge in more of your lovely posts.. Happy Tuesday~!

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  14. Love this! We have a filing system in the office, but of course most of that school stuff never makes it to the office. It just sits on the kitchen counter. What a great solution! Thanks for sharing.

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  15. OMG I love this idea.. I always wanted to purchase these baskets but I never imagined using it as a filing box. Great idea. Must be added to this list! You'll find some great tips on organizing and decluttering: http://www.skinnyscoop.com/list/eden/favorite-organizing-products-and-decluttering-tips

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  16. It astounds me how much paper a 4 year old pre-schooler brings home each and every day. I love seeing what she is working on but it creates quite a challenge. Your filing box is such a fantastic idea! Thanks for sharing.

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  17. L.O.V.E. it!!! I actually just did something similar in my kitchen! {except mine IS UgLy!} But, that will be changing soon!! I have big plans to fancy up my file folders and paint the crate I keep them in!! Yours is so pretty! Thanks for the inspiration! I also have a blog! www.mariahscreations.com Check it out if you want! Have a F.A.B.U.L.O.U.S. day!!!!

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  18. Oh this is what I've been searching for!! My kitchen counter always has a corner that paper just piles up! Thank you for your inspiration!!!!! I am one of your new loyal followers! When you have a chance come on by and check out my blog (and make sure to say hi!). If you like my blog, I would love it if you would follow me back! Cath @ Home is Where my Heart is: http://cathhasablog.blogspot.com/

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  19. Filing your things accordingly can provide a great advantage.You can find the things that you would be using. There would be less paper because you can already remove those that are no longer in use and have it be shred to keep important information that could be found on it.

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  20. Loved this. You made me rethink my system. Will give you a shout out tomorrow on my blog. Hope that is okay. Thanks so much!!!

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  21. I love it! Thanks so much for sharing! I'm curious, what did you label your folders?

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  22. Great idea! I have the nice files, but the ugly office supply superstore file holder. I think I need to head to Hobby Lobby to find a cute basket (we are T.J. Maxx-less here...)!

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  23. here from i heart organizing, and I really like your idea! going to peek at the rest of your blog.

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  24. Super cute Kate! I love how you can wash the fabric when it gets dusty. I pinned it.

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  25. This is great and I already have the TJMaxx basket in green/cream. I would LOVE to see what specifically you file there. In other words what your folders are labeled. I am inspired and always keep with the motto of "why re-invent the wheel?" so to speak so I thought I could work off of your ideas. Thanks.

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  26. I love your ideas. I need to get a basket like that for all my papers!

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  27. I love this idea! We have a ton of paperwork throughout the house...the office is the "room I close the door on and try to forget about." I am definitely going to try this!

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  29. Your clutter is my neat. Someday I'll have to have a blog and show my clutter. Heaven's to Betsy, no. You woldn't believe it. Your's is baby stuff, but you did find a very attractive solution for it.

    I have your fabulous fireplace re-do pic hanging in the hearth room where my SO can see it. He's a fine carpenter and I plan to have him help me do mine the way you did yours. Great job there. Keep up the good work.

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    1. Well, darn, twarn't your fireplace redo!! Sorry 'bout that. But I have a rec room I'm working on and your fireplace do-over will work there. I can buy the mantel unit and paint it, which I had not thought of. Instead of commercial tile, I'll use seconds from local tile-makers (I live near a world famous craft schools and all kinds of tiles are made in the area). If one of those heating units shows up in the Habitat shop, I'll be on it like bees on clover, black spray paint in hand. Thanks for that post. And the new vision for the rec room.

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  30. What an easy, brilliant idea!
    My Capricorn moon sign GREATLY appreciates this post, my Aquarius sun is brainstorming just WHICH basket will get transformed to accomodate my mountain of papers, however my Leo ascendent is a LAZY little feline so wish me luck in getting this done!

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  31. For me it is that stinking mail the hubs brings and drops in the kitchen. I clean it up and put it in a basket until it over flows or I have to actually find something I need. Then when it is more than I can handle one more day I open the trash bin and start going through and sorting. Perhaps if I have a little better system this old set of habits would stop. I'm going to work on a soution for my diaster. Thank you!

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  32. I like the basket and folders you bought! Black and white is just so classy. It looks a lot better than having a random pile of papers on your kitchen counter. The design goes very well with your frames too.

    Ruby Badcoe

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  34. It looks neat. Great job in there. Good move with what you did there.

    Wholesale Canvas Prints

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