Friday, September 16, 2011

More Simple than Real Simple

Yesterday I ran some errands while Little Man was at school (eeek! I'm the mother of a preschooler). I went into Target with the sole purpose of buying a specific jar for Diesel's sourdough starter and another pair of generic Crocs for Little Man. I stuck Duckie in the baby wrap and started trolling the aisles for what I needed. My search was a bust, but since Duckie had fallen asleep and I knew that transferring him from wrap to car seat would wake him up, I ended up wandering around Target for an hour (well-rested infants are key to Mama's sanity!).

During my stroll, I stumbled upon a GLORIOUS find. Real Simple hanging mail sorters:

They were just what I NEEDED.

You see, Diesel and I have had an on-going skirmish about the mail. He brings it in and he pays the bills. For this I am eternally grateful; however, he piles it on the entertainment center and it makes our living room look junky and cluttered. I have tried EVERYTHING to create a system, to no avail. I just want a nice, neat, tucked out of sight, system for dealing with the mail. and Diesel wants a super easy system. So the Real Simple hanging system is perfect because I can hang it on the inside of the pantry door and create a system that works for Diesel and keeps the piles of crap off of my entertainment center. Case in point:

Being a very restrained shopper, I said to myself "Cluttered Mama, tuck this into your memory and run it by Diesel when you get home. Do NOT purchase."

When I eventually got home and got a spare moment, I showed the system to Diesel. He was a fan. So we started mapping out what we thought we'd need. At LEAST 3 of the big folders and 3 of the divided folders. Then I did the math... 6 hanging organizers at $16 a piece=$96+tax. That is right folks, $100 for cute envelope-y things in the hopes that this system would finally be THE system. Lemme put this as Dana Carvey doing his best George H. Bush impression: "not gonna happen. Wouldn't be prudent."

Diesel suggested hanging an accordion file, which might work, but I thought would be too bulky. Then a light bulb went off in my head: I have a zillion manila file folders that I'm not using. I'm marginally crafty. I have tape and adhesives galore, thanks to my scrapbooking habit... I can MAKE something.

So, with a little card stock, adhesive, packing tape, letter sized file folders and a paper cutter, here is what I fashioned:

The large folders are: To File, To Shred, To Sort, Circulars/Ads and one called Little Man (he decided he NEEDED a folder of his own, which is actually brilliant because now I have somewhere to stick all his preschool art when it comes home); the small folders are: Cluttered Mama, Diesel, To Pay, and Supplies (checkbooks, stamps, etc.). We'll add more as we find we need them.

The BEST part?
IT IS HIDDEN AWAY!!! YAAAAY! Now my entertainment center looks like this:

When I'm sure that this system works for us, I'll pretty it up with some scrapbook paper and nice labels, but for now, we're just seeing if it'll work.


  1. I'm so impressed! Both at the organization and at the price!! Congratulations on your double accomplishment!

  2. Thanks Sue! It was one of those rare moments where the stars aligned and allowed my idea to translate to reality. I have high hopes for this system, but if it fails as spectacularly as all my other attempt to provide Diesel with a system, I will be comforted by the fact that I didn't spend an arm & a leg on it!

  3. Hi, I just hopped over from Tsh's article on in-courage. The system is very impressive. I am thinking if I could make it happen for me too. Now, I have one more blog to check for ideas...

    BTW, we picked the same color scheme and very close screen-name. I sincerely just found out your blog and did not copy :)

  4. Welcome! No worries, there is plenty of room for Messy Wives & Cluttered Mamas! :)I'm glad you found some inspiration here and I hope that you enjoy the blog! I'll be sure to follow you, as it looks like we have some similar challenges!


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