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February 06, 2013


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I like the idea. You should totally host this.

As for the papers, try this. When you find them in the kitchen move them en masse to the dining table, or whatever surface your family uses to consume the next meal. Then deal with them (or have whoever is setting the table deal with them, or require everyone to come and deal with their own papers -- whichever works best) as the first part of table setting. Nobody gets fed until all the papers are gone. :)

The key to this working is that they have to be really moved to the place where they are really supposed to go, not just shoved aside. As you do this you may discover that you need to create a new home for some category of paper. ...

Oh, I don't have much to offer, we have two(!) spots like that. Is there a way to start a hanging folder system, maybe hangs down from the butcher table? A folder for each person that gets cleaned out every evening or weekend? (I have yet to find a space like that myself.) Or, adding on to the above comment, putting a basket there, then putting that basket of papers on the table to be sorted pre-dinner?

Love the weekly idea, I'd join in! I was having the same sort of thoughts today

Paper piles is my biggest hot spot. For me, I've figured out that a) I need to get rid of everything that is going into the wastebasket right away, b) take action on anything actionable and get rid of it in whatever way I can, and c) have a place to put the papers that have to be kept. That's where the plan falls apart, but now that I'm figuring it out, I'm going to work on it.

Paper is also the bane of my existence. So is my tiny entryway which has been cluttered since we moved in and our co-op offered and then reneged on their offer to do minor renos on it. Also, the ledge between the kitchen and eating area collects all sorts of varied objects.


oops, wrong post.

I love the idea of Weed Where You're Planted. You are brilliant.

We come in the front door of our house to a teeny foyer which has a coat rack and a shelf for shoes. There is no table, so things inevitably get left on the floor of the foyer or in the first few feet of the living room as we take coats, boots, hats, and scarves off. I have been known to stand in the foyer and call the children back to pick up their things. Come to think of it, I do this with messes in other parts of the house, too. I will interrupt whatever game they are playing to have them come and pick up the bits from the previous activity. At 9 & 11, they know that tidying up after themselves is their responsibility.

When they were little, in preschool and early elementary, and I was legitimately the Arbiter of All Papers, I kept a binder and hole punch on the kitchen counter where we sort the mail. When they brought papers/announcements/permission slips home from school, I punched them and put them it. It helped a lot.

We're in a different house with a much smaller kitchen now, and we've fallen into using the refrigerator to keep track of those sorts of papers. It works okay.

Maybe that handy open little space on the counter could hold a wire basket for the collection of these items...so it can be set elsewhere for food prep, and gone through later. You could still see the yellow or hot pink note from school through the wire, and it wouldn't be a pile that has to be touched or picked up when the wind blows.

It doesn't look as if the space can be modified in any other way to add a new surface for the Setting Down of Stuff.

A few years ago I borrowed an idea from another family for managing paper detritus: wall-mounted file holders. I happened to get one that has three slots which is perfect because I also happened to give birth to three kids. You can attach urgent things like lunch money or permission slips due back today to the outside of the slots with binder clips. The holders can become untidy and overstuffed, of course, but at least everyone has a designated spot for their papers, and vertical messes are way less bothersome than the horizontal, counter-top-taking-over kind.

I don't see any wall space available in your picture but perhaps there is some nearby?

YES, I like this WWYP idea. And I have a very similar space in my kitchen that is FULL of the papers. I tried the hanging file folders too, similar to this. Those have just filled and now can't hold anymore, and so the counter is once again the holding area. Frustration!!

Anxious to read all the comments.

Landing pad from Apartment Therapy.

We (maybe mostly I) leave papers and random stuff mainly in two places: the dining room table and on top of an old trunk in the dining room. The pre-dinner cleanup sounds like it may work with your family. I am so resistant to finding homes for papers that I gather them up in the tablecloth when we eat dinner and then re-pile them neatly when I replace the tablecloth. *roll my eyes at me*

Yeah... everyone is right, you're a genius with this idea! :)

I LOVE my house, but of course there are things I'd like to "weed," oh, yeah... I'll give it some thoughts and try to take on the blogging challenge. I might even post on Wednesdays! ;-)

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