Sunday, March 20, 2011

Project Simplify: Hot Spot #2 Before & After

Hot Spot #2 was tackling paper clutter around the house. This project made me glad we don't have an office AND that I had recently gone through our paperwork and cleaned out our files. That being said, I still found some gems, like all of the bills and paperwork from Little Man's delivery in 2008!!!

Here are our 3 main paper catching zones:

The first is what I call "The Diesel Zone." I created this area out of frustration, because Diesel would bring in the mail and set it (and his keys, sunglasses, change, earphones, etc.) on the entertainment center, the table, the dresser, you name it. It was driving me up the wall!!!! I kept trying and trying to create systems for organizing his stuff, and NOTHING seemed to work. A few months ago I created this area for him and it seems to be working. It still gets ridiculously messy, but at least it is all in one place and there is a method to its madness. There is a place for his wallet, phone, check books, spare change and miscellaneous junk. The mail sorter is for bills/paperwork that need to be dealt with. Anything that needs to be filed goes into the basket for me to deal with later.

BEFORE:

As you can see, it is pretty messy. The top of the printer became home for a secondary basket of papers to be dealt with, some of Little Man's artwork and his R/C truck, which was put there on a timeout after it had been told not to chase the dog.  The Diesel Zone was also ridiculously dusty. Yuck!

AFTER:

The second area where paper (and other junk, as you will see) accumulates is the top of our dresser.  I'm guilty of using this area as a temporary holding zone for paperwork that I need to deal with.

BEFORE:

LOADS of paper and junk!

AFTER:
Ahhhh! There is my dresser! This was actually the easiest clean-up, because all the paper was either trash or needed to be filed. The sad thing about this is that the trash can is located on the side of the dresser and our file crates are in a cabinet directly facing the dresser. It is just sheer laziness on my part that things don't get put away!!

Last but not least are our filing crates. These babies live in the cabinet under our bed. I love that they're put away, but hate it because it is an extra step or two in getting stuff filed. In the end, our paperwork either ends up piled on the dresser or just jammed in the front of the file crate to be dealt with at a later date.

BEFORE:

Loads of paper and junk jammed in the front. The files are actually pretty organized in and of themselves, but there was a lot of unfiled paperwork and there was a LOT of outdated materials that could be gotten rid of.

AFTER:

All neat and clean, ready to be returned to the cabinet. Please note the bag of "to be recycled" stuff behind them. Plans are in the works to build a nice desk area in the dining room which will include storage space for papers and sorting bins for the mail and things that need to be dealt with or filed. The plan is to have this area built by May, but we shall see. Until then, we'll have to keep moving along with our temporary fixes!

A FEW OTHER PICTURES OF THE PROJECT IN PROCESS:

My basket o' stuff to deal with. I put on Sliding Doors (and when that started skipping, The Holiday) and went to town sorting this stuff into "To file," "To toss," "To shred," and "To deal with today" piles. I swear it is mere coincidence that Organized Simplicity is in this photo. I was reading it this morning and left it on the side table. I eventually dragged the filing crates out to the living room and went through each of the folders, but didn't take a picture of that.

My pile of stuff to shred. Pretty good size if I do say so myself!

My lovely assistant was given the task of shredding documents!

Last but not least, is something I've started to do to cut down on paper waste associated with my scrapbooking hobby. My albums always come filled with blank white pages, but I rarely use these, so I've amassed quite a stash of white paper. As I now have more white paper than I know what to do with, I've started having Little Man use the paper for art projects.


Here are a couple of his recent finger paintings. I took photos of him creating these works of art, and had planned to use these papers as the background for scrapbooking the photos, but today he informed me that the painting on the left is for his Nema (my mother) and the one on the right is for Ah-Ma (Diesel's mom), so I guess I'll just have to have him paint some new ones for me!!

7 comments:

  1. Creative Idea with the finger paint pictures. Nice photos too. I couldn't resist visiting after I saw the name of your blog.

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  2. Thanks Megan! I just popped over to your blog... I think I need to add you to my blogroll! :)

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  3. I have so much paper clutter around my house and it makes me nuts! Especially notices and past assignments and art projects from the kids' school. I'm off to purge paper. Can you send your assistant over to shred for me?

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  4. Sure! If you promise not to get all handsy with him! (he's quite hard to resist!) ;)

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  5. Great job! I found you through Simple Mom. I love finding other cluttered (but getting better!) friends. :-)

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  6. @Elizabeth-- I just chuckled at the title of your newest post, and that my kid has some of the exact same toys! I'm glad you found my blog. Like you I love reading about/finding people on the same path as me.
    @Megan-- I have to admit, it is the "bank" that won me over. I almost spit out my water when I saw it! :) I like that you're doing a "thing a day" challenge-- I want to do that, but find I do better doing BIG purges. It is just my personality type. I want it done and I want it done NOW! I really should work on that... :)

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