Kitchen Clutter – Organized

Hope everyone’s enjoying their week.  It has gone fast for us here.  I wanted to stop in and share this quick and easy organization project with you all before the weekend officially hits.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle (A LOT) with organization.  Especially in the kitchen.  It’s where all our junk mail and other random “junk” from around the house ends up.  It’s like we see empty countertops and tabletops and just can’t resist the urge to set something on them!  😉
The kitchen paper and junk mail finally got to me and I had to do something about it.  Here’s what the piles looked like before I got started.
Okay, so the pile on the right was actually messier than that, but I started cleaning before I took pictures.  Oops!  This counter usually looks much worse than this.  Sad, I know!
So, clearly I had to do something about the messes.  Paper doesn’t belong in the same space as our food preparation, right?
I started with putting a paper grocery bag in the entry closet to put our recycle paper in.  It works really well since I can grab the mail from the front door, sort it while I’m closing the door, and then discard any junk mail into the bag right away.
We still had the rest of the mail on our counter, though.  You know, the credit card applications that need to be shredded and various magazines and other mail that need to be attended to.
I saw the idea online of putting an organizer on the side of the fridge and thought that would be the perfect thing to keep clutter off our counters.  But then I was thinking, we just got a new laptop (a Macbook Air, which is super light) and I needed a solution for that, too.  It is convenient for us to keep it in the kitchen, but it didn’t belong on the top of the microwave.  So I needed an organizer that was sturdy enough to hold the laptop, too.  Enter this fabulous specimen from Target.  The computer fits perfectly in it and it’s finally off the countertop!  Plus we can charge it while it sits in its little cubby.
One note about the organizer – we put a couple Command Adhesives on the back of the organizer to make sure it didn’t fall or slide in the middle of the night and the computer went crashing to the ground.  Now we have the peace of mind that it will stay put and keep our things safe.
Here is the organizer with and without the computer.
Ahhh, the space feels cleaner already!
Another way we wanted to organize the kitchen was to have a place to keep our grocery list organized.  We originally thought of attaching a small dry erase memo board to the inside of the cabinet door that is right next to the fridge, but then came my hubs and his awesome idea!  We instead bought a piece of sheet metal (which you can get for pretty cheap at The Home Depot), made a paper template by tracing the shape of the door “insert”, and cut the metal with tin snips.  (Please be very careful if you attempt this – the cut metal is very sharp!)  Then we ran construction adhesive on the back side of the metal and placed it on the cabinet door – which was not attached to the actual cabinet at the time.  We used a rolling pin to help flatten it out and get the adhesive to stick.  We bought a dry erase marker for our new memo board and that was it!
Now we have a fun little space to keep our grocery list and reminders and a couple of pictures of our favorite little person!  😉
One thing I’ve learned from the few organization projects I’ve worked on thus far is that you can put a system into place, but it won’t work unless you make an effort to actually stay organized.  You can have all the tools, but if you don’t use them to their full potential, nothing will change.  So, with that being said, I am going to do my best to keep this system working for us and not let things pile up on the countertop.  Because clutter stresses me out…and I hate being stressed!
Have you done any organization projects this new year?  How are you keeping up with them?
*UPDATE – It has been over 6 months since we implemented our organization system and it still works great for us!  We don’t put many papers in the mail slot anymore because I had so much that I needed a binder for it, but my computer stays there when I’m not using it and it is the perfect spot for it!  The sheet metal in the cupboard is still working for us, too.  We don’t really use it for appointments, but we do use it for a grocery list.  It’s so easy to see that we’ve run out of something in the fridge and turn around and write it on the board.  Then, before we leave the house to go grocery shopping, we snap a picture of the list and we’re all set!
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Want to see the rest of our kitchen?  Click here for a tour!
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    • says

      Diana – the cabinet door does knock into it just a bit, but we are pretty gentle with our cabinet doors, so it isn’t a problem. (We just don’t open the door all the way.) You could always put the organizer down a little farther on the fridge if you don’t have a microwave in the way like we do! 😉

  1. says

    Oh yes that pile of papers on the microwave looks all a bit familiar to me! I love the pocket for the computer too, although my laptop would be way too heavy to hang like that, plus I tend to use it in the living room so not so much an issue for me. But the bills and paper definately need organising at my house!
    I had a bit of a kitchen tidy up on the weekend as well getting stuck into my spice rack re-labelling and filling up the containers. Lots of January spring cleaning :)

  2. says

    I love the board you made in your cabinet. That’s so smart – and looks so nice! I use an app called AboutOne to organize the papers that would otherwise accumulate (mine always find the kitchen table). With my AboutOne app, I can snap a picture or scan each item, save it to my account, and I know exactly where to find it later. It’s really helped me with household bills and statements, kids’ papers, photos, car insurance, and that kind of stuff. Like you said, it has to be easy or I won’t use it.

  3. Anne Anderson says

    Just read your update—what a great idea, to snap a photo of your grocery list and head out! You’re SO organized and time-efficient!

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