Have I ever mentioned that once upon a time, in a pre-child era looooong ago, I was incredibly organized? I was! I was so organized that I used to make labels for folders and I never misplaced ANYTHING. I’ve never been particularly concerned with tidiness, but there was a time when everything that came into my home had it’s place. Like Sarah from In the Trenches of Mommyhood says, I had a mind once. Now I have children.
Unfortunately, my house had become overrun by piles of paper. Mail, lists, and school art projects seem to multiply like rabbits. It had gotten so bad that I was always misplacing important things, like bills and scraps of paper with phone numbers and ideas for Pulitzer prize contending blog posts. Every week I attend a women’s group that I like to think of as free therapy. Childcare and food included! In my small group, we’re reading the book, Desperate Households, a book with tips for organizing your life and creating peace in your home. (Disclosure: Affilate link, Mama needs a new toothpick!)
One of the things I’ve taken away from the book is giving each person in the family their own spot for their “stuff,” like the ever-mounting piles of paper. Instead of making piles on my kitchen counter, I created an office space in our pantry where I organize all the paper that comes into the house everyday. Each family member has their own basket and into the basket goes all the stuff that isn’t quite ready to be thrown away. Voila! Problem solved!
HA! Not really. Since I didn’t have piles, I’d forget all about the bills because they weren’t staring me in the face every second of the day. EVEN WORSE, I couldn’t find the babysitter’s phone number.
So I decided that I needed a central hub for the SUPER IMPORTANT papers. I considered a bulletin board, but decided that small, sharp objects and small, not so sharp children wouldn’t be a good mix. On Etsy I found this darling magnet board from Paisley and Co! Isn’t that cute!! Frankly, I almost thought it was too cute to hang in my pantry. (Disclosure: I’m simply mentioning a shop that I really, really, really like. I bought this magnet board with my own money.)
Now I place all bills and important phone numbers and anything else that I, RULER AND SUPREME BEING of my home, has deemed worthy on the magnet board. Here are a few shots of my office slash pantry combo…
Food side (below). Pretend everything you see is organic and healthy.
The office side (below). I am well aware that it looks messy, but I assure you that I know where everything is. Please note our life savings in a medical beaker on the shelf below the top shelf. Stay away thieves!
One of my most detested chores is filing bill stubs. I wish I could figure out a better way to file these things away, other than just DOING IT ALREADY. But that’s what I’m forcing myself to do. Instead of letting the paid bill stubs pile up, I make myself file them away as soon as they’re paid. It’s painful, but worth it.
A view from outside the pantry that’s making me realize that I have a little more organizing to do. *cough*Where’d all that junk on the floor come from!*cough* Thank goodness there’s a door.