Our kitchen counter was a magnet for paper clutter, and it drove me bonkers! Until I found this command center file organizer. Here’s how I solved our paper clutter problem in 5 minutes for less than $20.
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One of my absolute favorite features of our house is also one of my biggest frustrations…
We have a large kitchen counter smack dab in the heart of our home that’s perfect for food preparation, guest seating, and heart-to-heart talks.
It’s also a magnet for paper clutter. It is “flat surface syndrome” at its finest.
Bills and forms, letters and invitations, ads and catalogs… they all ended up on our kitchen counter. And all that clutter was driving me crazy and making it difficult for me to cook or serve meals or simply enjoy that space.
And since it’s right in the middle of our open floor plan, having a cluttered counter made the whole house look cluttered.
After reading Making Space, Clutter Free and listening to a talk on home organization at a moms’ group meeting, I was ready to take action.
Obviously, my previous system for dealing with paper clutter (or rather, lack thereof) was not working, so I decided to try a new approach.
My Solution to Our Paper Clutter
I decided to try creating a command center.
I looked at a LOT of different ideas and options, but I wanted something that…
- Would be simple and easy to put together… because if I had to put a lot of work into it, I knew it wouldn’t get done
- Wouldn’t take up a lot of space… because we don’t have that to spare
- Would look clean and tidy but wasn’t totally out of sight… because I am 100% an “out of sight, out of mind” person, and if our stuff is tucked away, I completely forget about it!
After scouring Pinterest and Amazon, I found this over-the-door file organizer, which looked perfect for our pantry door.
The best part was the price — it was cheap enough that we weren’t out much if it didn’t work out.
We’ve had it over a month now, and I absolutely love it!
Setting It Up
Assembling and hanging it was super easy. All I had to do was stick the hooks in the holes and hang them on the door.
(I will say, out of the package, the hooks were a little off and the whole thing hung crooked which drove me BANANAS. I thought I was going to have to send it back. But my husband quickly solved the issue by bending the hook a bit. Crisis averted.)
The hardest part for me was deciding how to organize and label the bins.
It sounds so silly, but I struggle with analysis paralysis (putting off decisions due to an obsessive need to get it “right”), so this really stressed me out at first.
But I thought about what kind of paper tends to stick around on our countertop and forced myself to just start with something.
I don’t know if those are the labels I’ll settle on, but they work for now. And I can always tweak them later.
My Organizer Set-Up
Here are the labels I settled on (for now):
- Levon — anything that pertains specifically to my husband
- Lisa — anything that pertains specifically to me
- Action — anything that we need to do, i.e. things that need to be filled out or mailed in, checks that need cashed, papers for a decision that needs to be made, etc.
- To go through — ads, offers, magazines, flyers, etc.
- Aidan — since he’s the only one in school right now, he gets his own bin. This is where I put letters from school, projects that need to be completed, and papers that need to be turned back in. This is also where I’ve been keeping his school library book to keep it separate from our public library books.
Is there anything I don’t like about this organizer?
Besides the fact that it hung crooked when I first got it (something my handy hubby quickly took care of), I don’t love that it swings freely at the bottom.
It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, and it doesn’t swing enough to annoy me, but I could see it being an issue for some people.
However, I’m willing to bet that a little double-sided tape on the bottom corners would fix that problem right up!
If paper clutter is a problem at your house, give this over-the-door file organizer a try! It’s cute, it’s sturdy, and it’s simple and affordable enough that there’s basically no risk to trying it!
You can get it here: Over The Door File Organizer, Hanging or Wall Mounted Storage System
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Martha McNeal says
Unfortunately, wouldn’t work in my house, i.e. out of sight (inside of closet door) out of mind. I ended up using a limited size (would not hold a ton of papers) decorative wall unit. It was made of black metal with a wicker weaving design and had 6 slots and 5 hooks at the bottom. I hung it near the entrance door everyone uses, so you couldn’t miss it when you came in the house and we used the hooks for everyone’s set of car/house keys. Decorative style made it look attractive appropriate for use in that area. We continue to use it now, 22 years later, even with kids grown and gone.
Lisa Mullen says
Where ours hangs is not out of sight at all. It’s not inside a closet door, it’s on the outside, right in the middle of the main “hub” of our home.