A Quick Kitchen Project

For a while now I've been looking for a good solution to a problem we have in our kitchen - how to corral all the loose papers, mail, magazines, and newspapers. Since we got married and moved into our house 4 years ago, we've just dumped all the mail on a corner of the island, like this:

I actually took this picture on a day when we didn't have many papers stacked up. This stack is usually several inches high - no lie. DH is good about taking the bills to his desk in the office,  but everything else has always just camped out in this spot for weeks or months. Every once in a while, DH and I would go through all the papers and end up throwing most of it away. Coupons end up in that pile, and by the time we find them again, the coupons are expired. One of us will print off a recipe at work and bring it home, where it will go into the island pile and be lost for a while. I don't know why this spot has been so hard for us to keep organized.

I asked DH a few weeks ago if I could get a mail organizer to hang on the side of the island. He said no, because he didn't want to drill holes into the island. I understand that. The island is an antique and DH worked very hard to add that bead board to the sides! (I should have told him we could use Command strips but for some reason I didn't think about that at the time.) DH likes to keep some mail in the kitchen because he likes to look through it and read a magazine or a newspaper while he eats breakfast every morning (he has to get up much earlier than I do). So I knew we wouldn't be able to just say no more mail in the kitchen. I needed a solution.

Enter the Thirty-One Hang Up Family Organizer!! At a Thirty-One party a while back, these were on special. If you spent so much money ($31 I believe), you could get one for 1/2 off. So for $12.50, I figured why not? If I didn't like it in the kitchen, I figured I could find another use for it somewhere in the house. It finally came in last week, and Friday I bought some Command hooks to hang it on (didn't want to be puttin any holes in the walls just in case!).

Ain't it precious? ( :  I kinda wish I had gotten it monogrammed at the top, but oh well. I hung it in an out of the way spot in the kitchen. This little space is kind of a hallway that leads to the laundry room. You can see it from the table, but you can't see it when you walk into the kitchen. (DH is not crazy about it being "so far away" from the island, but I figure he'll learn to live with it eventually!) I thought about hanging it on the pantry door, but wasn't sure I'd enjoy seeing something so office-like in the middle of my kitchen. Though it may end up there, who knows.

Just a slightly different angle. Here you can see my meal planning area, too. Its just a simple dry-erase sticker-thingy. I never use the blank one on the bottom, so I really need to just take it down. (And I'm not 100% thrilled with this method of meal planning, but until I figure out a method I love, this'll have to do.) I was pretty excited when the hang up organizer fit perfectly on that wall. Its like it was meant to be. ( :

And there she is all filled up! We didn't have any bills on Friday, just some magazines and newspapers. I plan on using one of the top pockets for bills, though it might just be easier to go ahead and walk those to DH's desk in the office... I did end up putting some pens and notepads in the very top pocket, for grocery lists and stuff.

This is where those pen and notepads used to live (along with a bunch of other mess):

Woah. I forgot to take an "after" picture, but the microwave looks much better now, trust me.

The only thing I'm not crazy about with the organizer is that the pockets are super deep. This is perfect for storing magazines and newspapers, but smaller things get lost in there. I have to come up with a solution for that if we end up storing smaller papers in it. For now, I am just tickled that we got the corner of our island back! (Again, I forgot to take an "after" picture, but its really not that exciting - just a bare countertop.)

Who knows if this new system will work for us. I may decide next week that its not working and try something else. Thankfully, I've learned to not be stubborn about my ideas when they don't work. And I already have an idea for using the organizer in C's closet if it doesn't stay in the kitchen...!

I like quick projects. I'm not really a DIYer cause let's face it, most of those DIY projects take forever to finish. If I can't do it in less than 30 minutes, I'm probably not gonna do it. I like fast results. I don't like to prime something, wait half a day, paint it, wait another day, paint it again....you get the idea. I've done plenty of big projects (hello, both bathrooms in my house), but I have to really discipline myself to get through it. This little project took me about 5 minutes after work Friday. That's my kinda project!!

Looking at the microwave reminds me of the next project I want to tackle: creating a recipe binder. If you look closely in the picture above, you can see a manila folder stuffed full of papers. Those are all recipes that DH and I have collected over the years. No organization whatsoever. Some of them we've tried and some of them we haven't. Whenever we need a recipe that we know is in there, it takes forever to sort through that huge stack to find it. So I want to organize them all in a binder, separated by category (like desserts, main dishes, etc.), and even maybe have a section for recipes we haven't tried yet. This will be a super simple project to complete, I just have to make myself take the time to do it!

1 comment:

  1. We have the same problem with mail being everywhere, and it's really annoying. I'll have to look at some options for a wall hanger like that!


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