Have you ever found yourself standing in front of piles of papers on your desk, your dining table, or in a box because you just had to put them somewhere? Do you ever get overwhelmed with the amount of documents that come in the mail and that you have to take care of: open, read, pay the bills, file important documents…
We receive document after document, day after day. Sometimes we just don’t have the time to take care of them right away, we put them in a place, we grow that pile on the table, or sometimes we misplace some, and forget to pay the bills, or mail something before the due date. Hopefully, this kind of situation does not happen often, but with our busy schedules, well… it does occur for some of us. And then, the consequences can even get stressful…
Because of a series of events happening in our household, my Husband and I often would see our table filling with papers. It wasn’t because we were lazy, it was just because we didn’t know how to organize the papers that we needed to keep close by for the necessary follow ups. One day, I couldn’t take it no more. Not only was it unpleasant on the eyes, I couldn’t stand going through our mounts of papers at the end of the week, even month, at times…
|~Source: Ambir Technology~|
I realized that the papers we were accumulating could be divided into 4 different categories: papers to read, to file, to pay, to mail.
Sorting the documents into these categories, I thought could help us manage the chaos of in-coming mail and else. I therefore created a system:
- As soon as we receive mail or other letters, we put it in the “To Read” category ~if we don’t have the time or energy to read it right away!~
- Once a document has been read, it can be sorted as “To File“ if we will simply keep it for our record ~i.e., data like bank statements, TV/electricity bills for the year~. At the end of the week, I then get the “to file” collection of documents and store them in the filing cabinet.
- If the document is a bill, we place it under “To Pay“. We take care of paying the bills over the weekend.
- Now, what goes in the “To Mail“ section?! The bills or letters that need to be sent out of course!! It’s very convenient to have a specific place to put all the out-going papers this way we know exactly where to put them instead of leaving them on a table or in the kitchen… They can otherwise get misplaced easily or forgotten!
I brainstormed for some idea to make this sorting system happen. I wanted something slim, that could be posted on the wall in an area that we pass by often for easier access to it, and that would be quick and simple to use. We did have a wire wall organizer, but it was too bulky, and I knew the papers would just accumulate until each basket would get filled. Not what I wanted to happen!!
I remembered a post from a blog that I’ve been following for a while and fell in love with, in which Jen from IHeart Organization described how she came up with an ingenious cleaning plan for her family. In this post, she has two beautiful and colorful charts posted in gold frames: one for a cleaning check list where she collected all the tasks to do in the house; and one for their nightly schedule so everyone in the family is on board and aware of each other’s tasks.
|Jen’s “Cleaning Plan for our Clan”|
Isn’t this great?!
If you don’t know Jen’s blog already, I highly recommend you check it out as she has tons of wonderful organizing tips and pretty home improvement ideas. She even has her own Etsy store where you can find her above mentioned charts ~and have them customized~ and lots more!
Jen’s gold frames and colorful charts first inspired me to make a mini checklist with a weekly menu.
Since we all need to-do lists in life to not forget the important things, and I also like to plan our menu for the week, I thought it would be a good idea to have both near my sorting system for the everyday papers. I was creating an Organizing Nook after all, so let’s be organized!
~Side Note: The weekly menu is very helpful with knowing what to buy at the grocery store as well as not wasting time just having to think about “What are we eating tonight?!” each night. Plus, when whipping something up at the last minute, we don’t always end up making a healthy meal! Planning it ahead of time enables us to create balanced and satisfying dinners!
This frame started the base for my soon-to-be organized wall.
Then, I found 4 unused clipboards in my craft closet, and realized I could use one for each of the categories I needed. This way, Hubby and I can stay on top of our papers!
This was the raw version! Of course, I had to make it prettier and more colorful!!
Here is a simple way to make an Organizing Nook of your own.
All you need are:
– 4 clipboards : $1 each at your local dollar store
– Frame: this is a hand me down, but you can find one at a thrift store for sure
– Paint: all the paints I used where from AC Moore craft store at 2 for $1
– Paint brushes
– Mod Podge
So, this project cost me no more than $6!!!
~$4 for the boards, and then we can add up the little bit of different paints I used and some Mod Podge to $2… I still have a lot of paint left!!
|I wanted to do this project in the beautiful sun ~until it got way too hot to stay out!!~ so I carried my craft supplies in a basket!|
First thing first, find the area you would like to set this organization wall. You may want it in your office, on a closet’s door, in the entrance… It’s always best to place it where you think it will be seen by you and the rest of your family the most, without interfering with your decor. Although, for us it also serves as decoration for our previously very dull and empty hallway!
Once you figured out the where, you can focus on the how. You may decide that you would rather have it displayed vertically or all horizontally in one straight line. It’s really whatever will work best for you. Keep in mind that the main purpose of this organized wall is to enable you to better sort your documents and stay on top of things, not make it harder for you.
So decide how you want it to look like, than measure your wall, and hammer the nails in.
For a squared look like mine:
1. First place the frame right in the middle. Measure the wall’s width to find the center.
2. Once the frame is up on its nail, measure the width on each sides of it and again search for the middle.
3. To align the clipboards, make sure to measure from the floor up to your desired height. Mark your point with an x.
4. Hammer the nails in. Keep the nails outward about 1/2 in. so that the clipboards can lay neatly against the wall.
**Do not hammer the nails too far into the wall. I found that if I put the nails too deep, the bottom of the clipboards would tilt upward since the top, where the clips are, would be pulled towards the wall, like such:
5. Place all of your items on your wall to check that the display fits your needs and that all is straight!
Now, it’s time to be creative!!!
I started with the frame, and like my inspiration item from Jen, I choose to paint it gold!
You are obviously free to paint your clipboards whatever way you wish.
I would however suggest that once you are done painting, you cover each clipboard with a nice even coat of Mod Podge. I have recently started using this fabulous product, and I just really like the feeling that it gives to anything painted. It protects it and therefore will prolong your projects’ lives.
As for the paper in the frame, since I don’t yet have a color printer, I created it on a blank page and measured it to fit the frame. With my favorite colored Sharpie, I traced the table and the lines as well as wrote the titles and days of the week!
And to finish, here’s a Before and After view of our hallway!