Organized

All That Paper (and How I Organize It)

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011

Hey busy ladies and gents, I know I’m not alone in the constant barrage of papers that enter the house on a daily basis.  From mail to magazines to school notices, paper clutter piles up so darn quick you could drown in it.  Despite my best efforts to go paperless, I find there is still a constant stream of paper, paper, and more paper coming through the door.

It used to pile up in my house until I thought it would eat me alive.  It used to give me such anxiety, but I finally developed a system that really works for me.  The real key for me was eliminating as much as I could, and then finding a place for what was leftover.  I think that’s the key for keeping just about anything organized: purge often, and have a place for what remains, then you’ll stay sane.

My method for paper organization isn’t sexy and I’m no organizational pro.   I was asked about a month ago by a reader how I keep it all organized, so here are a few of the tricks I use to control my paper clutter.

1.  Identify It.  It took me years to figure this out, but now in hindsight it seems so simple.  The very best trick I ever came up with was sitting down with my piles of paper clutter and making a list of exactly each type of paper that was coming into my house, then creating a solution for each one.

types of paper

 

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DIY Bracket Bookshelves

Monday, May 2nd, 2011

Hey there, hope you all had a great weekend!  We spent most of Sunday helping my parents move their things onto a moving truck, and since they’re downsizing, they graciously donated some bookcases to our Alma Project.  I’ve been scouring Craigslist for weeks without any luck, so how fortunate to score some sturdy freebies from my folks!  Now we can build that entertainment center we’ve been planning for so long.    

I also managed to squeeze in an hour to put the finishing coat of paint on a simple project I started last week.  My little girl is at that age where improving her reading ability is priority number one, so I wanted to build her something that would keep books front and center in her world.  These inexpensive bookshelves are made from basic wood brackets and dowel rods found at a home improvement store, and they cost me about $15 each. 

cg bracket bookshelves 1

 

If you want to replicate the project, here’s what you’ll need for each shelf:  2 basic 6” x 8” wood shelf brackets (I found these at Home Depot), ½” thick wood base cut to chosen length; 2 dowel rods; wood filler; wood screws; power screwdriver and drill bits; wood glue; primer and paint.  Decorative appliqués are optional.

 

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