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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
can we share ideas on how to declutter, organize, and maintain the space?

I'm not sure what systems to have in place to manage the crap that seems drawn to the space. Where to begin?
 

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For the "hot spots" in my house I really like the "fly lady" concept.

In just 15 mins you can get a LOT done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I know I've read about her hotspots--I just can't remember. I'll do a search


But I still want to know how to avoid cluttering it in the first place. For example, throw out junk mail as you sort it. But where do you put your keys/wallet/purse when you come home? What about organiziing bills to be paid and random paperwork that you need to fill out/mail in/take care of? We have a filing cabinet for all the long term stuff, it's just all the daily/weekly things that get me.

And someone tell me WHY I collect coupons or offers (usually from the mail) that I *think* I might want to redeem before they expire? (This is a big part of my kitchen clutter.) I seriously NEVER use them. Even when I've wanted said product, I always leave the coupon home and end up paying full price for whatever it was (like a kids' haircut or something). ACK!
 

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Well, we currently have a lot of crap on our counters, and on our kitchen desk, and on top of the dryer in the kitchen, so I obviously need to rethink some of the aspects of my system, BUT. . .

We've got the following in the entrance way (which enters into the kitchen):
  • A bill holder/key ring hanger mounted on the wall right when you come in.
  • About four hooks mounted on the wall for coats, hats, umbrellas, canvas bags, etc.
  • Two metal shoe racks (MS Everyday at K-Mart) that hold shoes on most of the shelves and purses/bags on the top shelves.
  • A small bookcase that holds library books and other borrowed materials.
  • A basket to collect unsorted junk mail--this also holds the bill-paying material, although this is the weak link in the system so far, as the checkbook seems to wander mysteriously all over the house. . . .
All of this does keep things under control most of the time. I'm not sure why we've got such clutter at the moment (aside from the intransigent fact that a flat surface in a well-used room will collect junk).

Oh, and recently I've been putting coupons in a magnetic clippy next to the shopping list (on the fridge). I don't know if that will be a good long-term solution, since in most cases I really should just be tossing the darn things.
 

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Kitchen counters can be frustrating! I try and do the Flylady "hot spot" concept as well and that really helps.

Regarding coupons...I have a magnetic clippie on my fridge for coupons I think I'll use. I also keep an envelope (one of those plastic ones) in my car full of coupons to use while we are out. This is for eating out and haircut coupons. Often I was leaving them at home and got very frustrated. This way they are at least in my car with me!
 

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Quote:
Where do you put your keys/wallet/purse when you come home? What about organiziing bills to be paid and random paperwork that you need to fill out/mail in/take care of?
We have two (frog...) hooks by the back door, one for each of us. Keys go there. On the kitchen desk, we have a little basket where cash, coins, IDs, phones and misc. crap from pockets gets stashed. My bag hangs on the back of the desk chair.

When the mail comes in, all junk and catalogs go directly into the recycling (if we don't look we can't order...). Bills go on the bottom shelf of the cabinet above the desk, with the due date written on the outside. On payday, I just grab the stack and whip through them (I've moved all of the due dates to be 10 days after I'm paid).

It's the other mail that we struggle with--letters to answer, photos, etc. We're working on it, though!
 

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This is great advice for mail and bill management.....I'm gonna try your system.

I try to keep the counter clear by only keeping things there that we use on a daily basis. I read this in my feng shui book and it really helps.

/QUOTE
When the mail comes in, all junk and catalogs go directly into the recycling (if we don't look we can't order...). Bills go on the bottom shelf of the cabinet above the desk, with the due date written on the outside. On payday, I just grab the stack and whip through them (I've moved all of the due dates to be 10 days after I'm paid).

It's the other mail that we struggle with--letters to answer, photos, etc. We're working on it, though![/QUOTE]
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Chinese Pistache
I know I've read about her hotspots--I just can't remember. I'll do a search


But I still want to know how to avoid cluttering it in the first place. For example, throw out junk mail as you sort it. But where do you put your keys/wallet/purse when you come home? What about organiziing bills to be paid and random paperwork that you need to fill out/mail in/take care of? We have a filing cabinet for all the long term stuff, it's just all the daily/weekly things that get me.

And someone tell me WHY I collect coupons or offers (usually from the mail) that I *think* I might want to redeem before they expire? (This is a big part of my kitchen clutter.) I seriously NEVER use them. Even when I've wanted said product, I always leave the coupon home and end up paying full price for whatever it was (like a kids' haircut or something). ACK!
On the top shelf of our front closet we have two bins -- one for me and one for dh. Keys, wallets, etc. go in there. Any junk dh leaves around I throw in his bin. It then clean them out preiodically.

Throw out junk mail when it comes (that's almost all my mail). Then designate a drawer for current stuff so you don't have it on the counter. I don't keep anything on my counter. It drives me nuts.
:
 

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I ordered three plastic bins from Staples. They are sturdy plastic boxes that have grooves inside to hold file folders. I have a bin for each child and one for misc. stuff. I organize all paperwork in here. For example, in my daughter's bin, I have a folder for school papers, a folder for dance papers, a folder for artwork, etc.

(My DH is in charge of bills etc. ... I put them on his bureau as they arrive and he pays and files them in a metal locking file cabinet.)

I also got two binders and the plastic sleeves that fit inside. When I clip a recipe, or print one from the internet, I put it into a sleeve. It's great because I can pull out a recipe when I need it and the sleeves protect them from messy kitchen spills. I can also organize by recipe type (appetizer, side dish, dessert, etc.) and easily see the recipes. The other binder has magazine clippings for birthday party ideas or craft projects.
 

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I forgot to mention keys. I bought a set of 3 frames at Target that had spots for pictures, a small mirror and key hooks. We enter the house through the garage which brings us into the kitchen, so I have these on a kitchen wall. We automatically put our keys on them when we come into the house.

As for jackets and shoes ... we remove upon entering and put the shoes on the bottom step of the stairs. Whenever we go upstairs, we take them up and put them away in closets. Same for jackets ... we take off, put on the bannister and take them upstairs to put away as soon as we go upstairs.
 

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we mostly shop at Costco, or places that don't carry things for which coupons are published, but if I do find a coupon I will probably use, it goes straight into my wallet. I got tired of standing in a check out line and remembering I had a $1 off coupon at home.

My husband does shop work in our garage so there is a big garbage can in the middle of our garage. I take the mail out of the box mounted between the two bay doors and as I pass the garbage can, junk mail goes into the can, and only stuff we need goes into the house.
 

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We bought a house last year that doesn't have a coat closet. THe previous owner used a coat rack in the kitchen pantry, but that didn't work for me as it wasn't right near the most often used door.

We primarily use our back door, and the first door that is to your left when you enter is a laundry room. The laundry room is small, but in it we've managed to squeeze an extra fridge/freezer, a washer/dryer, a small Ikea coatrack, a shelf for shoes, and some hooks for the diaper bag, etc.

On the laundry room door, we have our "launch pad" (www.organizedhome.com has great info on this). What works for us is one of those over the door shoe holders...ours is the kind with clear plastic pockets. You can find ones that you can cut down to half size, etc. if you want.

In it we keep cell phones, loose change, car keys, gift cards, coupons, etc. so they are there when we need them before leaving the house. I do have to declutter it periodically but we usually know where our "leaving the house" items are, kwim? It also doesn't take up horizontal space like a countertop...for me, having it take up horizontal space means it is a pain to clean as you have to move everything to clean off the counter, etc.

I keep most stuff off of our kitchen counters, but we have two walk in pantries (not huge, but very helpful) where I keep less often used appliances (food processor, blender, stand mixer). I have a shelf in a cabinet where I keep my most often used appliances (toaster, can opener) right near the outlet where I use them. I usually use it and then put it away, which is pretty easy considering it is close to its point of use (I forget what book I read about this in, but it was either Sidetracked Home Executives or Secrets of an Organized Homemaker, but it is the concept of storing things as close to their "point of use" as possible, especially regarding things you use often ).

I'm far from organized though. Kitchen counters just aren't a major problem of mine, but I've got others
Oh, I have a big problem with fruit and veggies collecting on the countertop (tomatoes right now as we have loads of them) which is a pain to move to clean the counters. I busted out a big tray today, put parchment paper on it, and the tomatoes on that. At least to clean I can move it all in one sweep now. This also works for things you might like to leave out like salt, pepper, olive oil, sugar bowl, etc. Put them on a tray and at least you can move it all with one motion.
 

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I like all the previous thoughts but one other that I didn't see mentioned - in addition to recycling all the junk mail immediately, make sure you write or call all the opt out places and just quit getting much of it! We still get daily newspaper-like sales flyers but beyond that, our junk mail is down to almost nothing. Most catalogs are available online so call or fax them and get off mailing lists. I don't have the contact info for opting out in front of me but it's been mentioned on MDC many times if you search. Good luck! We have a huge island I hate that there's always something on it!
 

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This is my pet peeve---clean kitchen counter.


We put up a wall shelf for cookbooks, etc. and shifted a lot of stuff to the top of the fridge. NO appliances at all on the counter unless they're used daily. I keep all oils & breads in an antique bread box.
 
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