Organization Tips {Paperwork}

Isn’t it total CRAZINESS how quickly papers accumulate?!?!  I mean seriously you can clean through a stack of papers reaching from your desk to the ceiling and five minutes later it reappears.  How that happens, I have NO idea, but I have found that having a place for EVERYTHING helps me keep my sanity!  I think daily systems are so helpful in keeping me from becoming totally overwhelmed! Once papers are stacked high, I totally avoid them and that becomes an awful cycle!  There are so many ideas to share over the years my sweet friends, but for today, I thought I’d deal with something that is SUPER daily…come rain or sleet….PAPERS!
Similar to Martha Stewart’s bedroom hope chest idea, I have kept my files in my coffee table chest for years.  It totally works and is aesthetically, so much prettier than an old metal file cabinet!  I love her addition of cork board to the lid and a cutlery holder to organize office supplies!

SNAIL MAIL!  As much as I try to steer away from paper bills and such, they just keep coming!  I’m afraid the old ‘save the trees’ campaign failed miserably!  And it doesn’t help that Stud and I enjoy magazines!  I think we have four-six that we subscribe to…at $2 for an annual subscription it’s a bit hard to resist!  How they afford to send me 12+ copies for that price, I have no idea, but I like it!
When the mail arrives, I always open EVERY item right away!!!  Putting it off, sadly never makes it go away.  I sort the mail into three piles: junk mail {this includes all the envelopes}, magazines, and the important stuff!
The junk mail and ALL the envelopes are very short lived here.  {IMMEDIATELY, they’re destined for the trash/recycling bin/shredder.}   I do offer the important stuff a little shelf life in a basket I have next to my desk.  Between homeschooling, church papers, kid’s art work and all the daily mail, it’s not a priority to make sure each bill is paid and each item is filed the day it arrives.  But, the alternative of papers stacking up on my desk quickly becomes real stressful.  I’ve found having a limited sized drop spot helps me out!  I purposely chose a smallish basket so that a months time doesn’t pass with papers still accumulating, but I do need a week’s worth of space because sometimes a day goes by before I even have the chance to blink my eye!
Total tangent, but my sweet boys are definitely LOVING my new rug.  They’re constantly playing play-mobile and pushing cars around…the coffee table is the parking garage I guess!
I purchased this coffee table a few years back from Pier One.  I like it because it allows for lots of room for room for the kids and me to spread out on the floor and read or play games.  It’s also an obvious favorite spot for the boys to play with their little toys that hurt so badly when you step on them!!!  Confession: I do vacuum up little toys I find on the ground, all of them except for legos because they cost so much per item I can’t afford that method of cleanup with them!
The other clutter in our house is definitely magazines!!!  I love them and don’t like to ditch them very often because truthfully, it just takes a while for me to actually find a moment to sit with a cup of tea and enjoy them!!!  When I do find the time, it’s usually in our front room, so that’s where I store them!!!
I searched CraigsList for a week and stumbled upon what I totally was in search of…LOVE it when that happens.  As soon as I saw it listed and for $50, I picked up the phone, grabbed my keys and handed them to Stud {I couldn’t carry it on my own} and he brought it home to me as fast as he could.  Love him!!!  Thankfully it was a Saturday and it just all came together like that!  It’s one of my favorite furniture pieces in the house.  I LOVE sitting on my white sofa and draping my legs over the leather ottoman and totally chilling!!!  I also am LOVING that my old living room rug has found a perfect home in this room!  It’s a better scale for the room just like the blue rug is a better scale for that room!!!  Oh I love it when everything is proportionate!!!
And not too surprising to you I’m sure, yes, it opens and keeps all my magazines out of eye sight for those prized moments when the house is still and quiet and I feel like dreaming!!!  We get an wide assortment of magazines and when I do find time to enjoy them, I rip out the recipes I want to try and enter those into a document I keep on my computer and I take pictures with my camera of the project ideas that I love and I label it according to the magazine for safe keeps, then I toss that magazine in the trash {or pass it onto a friend} so I can make a bit of room for the next magazines that will arrive shortly!
And here’s a little closer view so you can see some of the magazines we receive: Instyle, Martha Stewart Living, ESPN, Better Homes and Garden, I have a few Real Simples, Highlight Magazine…hmm, I don’t know.  Seems like there are a few others also.  Which magazines do you subscribe to or are you totally over that now that you have Pinterest!?  I don’t keep this organized.  To me there’s just no point.  Only Stud and I open it and we’re both totally fine with the magazines being in total disarray!  The boys put their own pajamas and underwear away and those drawers are in total disarray, but I’m okay with that because they’re the only ones who open those drawers and they’re fine with it!!!  I LOVE organization LOTS when it helps, but I’m not one to mess with it just to mess with it!  Twenty-four hours just isn’t enough!
Want to know one other little secret?!?  Know where I put my sweet hubby’s mail and “stuff”… I placed a basket in the trunk of his car long ago…and when I just don’t know what to with something that is his…that’s where it goes!
Organization totally makes me breath slower and smile lots more!!!

SHARE THIS POST ON: Twitter | Facebook | Google + | Pinterest


  1. Mimi says:

    Great post. Thanks for the tips.

    I now use Pinterest to “save” my inspiration pages from magazines. I scan & upload them and toss the paper in recycling.

    Pinterest is a great tool to “tame the paper monkey” & probably saved me from eventually dying among magazine piles in a “hoarder’s house”.

  2. Mimi says:

    tried to read Kim’s post about organizing, but couldn’t find it at that address. Please check the address and repost the correct one? Or is there a trick to finding it?

    • Aimee says:

      Mimi, I just went to look for Kim’s post, but it seems that she doesn’t have that post available on her blog anymore. Such a bummer! XO, Aimee

  3. Mimi says:

    I’ve never found anyone who understood my need to save magazine “inspiration” — until now!

    I’m very grateful for Pinterest: now I tear out pages of interest & scan them to upload on pinterest — keeps my paper storage to a minimum. And I won’t end up with a “hoarder house” of magazines (I could easily end up that way – magazine love is my guilty secret).

  4. katie lake says:

    I definitely need something like this. We fall victim to the overflowing pile of bill/insurance EOBs/magazines/junk/EVERYTHING in a wicker basket on our kitchen cabinet. Maayyybbeeee I’m heading over to craigslist.

  5. Mindy says:

    I just discovered your blog, and I love it. I also love that you use so many exclamation points!!! It makes each sentence jump off the screen and into my heart. You’re beautifully passionate!!!

  6. Aimee - says:

    Tight squeeze to my magazine hoarder friend!!! I’m hearing many keep a bin by the door as they come in for mail trash…so smart! That would be a handy tip for keeping the car clean too! Hmm!!! Thanks for leaving me an inspiring sweet note!!!

    XO, Aimee

  7. momto8 says:

    I am on your same program! I get rid of the mail as soon as it comes.. I finally got rid of my basket type tables full of toys..b/c my boys are getting so big now! I am your newest follower..pls follow back if you can!

  8. Just Jaime says:

    Great tips! I have issues with it too!

  9. Mimi says:

    Taming the paper monkey is never easy. Thanks for some great tips.

  10. Crafty Mischief says:

    You’re such a smartie pants! I really need to implement a better mail sorting strategy at my house. I love your coffee table! Love!

  11. Lisa says:

    Where did u get your rug? Love it too!

  12. Ruth says:

    I want one of those ottomans in place of my coffee table. Our living room is small. I need to search Craigs List. It’s the only way I will afford one. Saw one I love the other day but it was $798. About $750 more than I could afford.
    Snail mail is tough to keep up with. I have a magazine addiction, too.


    • Mimi says:

      my daughter ordered one online from Target for about $100

  13. Cranberry Morning says:

    I am definitely going to be looking for a leather ottoman on Craig’s List! My DH has said a firm ‘NO’ to a leather couch and love seat, which I’ve wanted for ages (but it’s because he’s convinced that the cats would shred it). BUT, an ottoman? And if I can find it for a good price? We’ll see how it goes. And maybe if the cats leave the ottoman alone… Who knows! :-)♥

  14. The Bathtime Team says:

    Ouch my message deleted. will return, lol

  15. Comeca Jones says:

    Great inspiration

  16. Christine Trevino says:

    I hate how the mail piles up too. We have a similar system . . . now if I could only employ a fairy to take care of those bills . . .

  17. The Wallace Family says:

    I can’t believe that amount of credit card applications we get daily. My husband and I get at least one a day. We each get the same ones addressed separately to each of us. It’s insane. Most of the mail we get is trash. We are also magazine lovers and they quickly take over our house if I don’t get them under control quickly! Love the idea of the basket! I am sure it keeps the paper piles down!

  18. Aimee - says:

    Tiffany AND Ginger! You both must be SUPER fun!!! I think those that don’t get slowed down by paper don’t let much worry them!! That’s totally my Little B and she’s TONS of FUN!!!

    Kim, Oh my goodness I love your storage solution! Love those bins LOTS!!! Very fun to have a link to share!!!

    XO, Aimee

    Okay, off to prepare for my class tomorrow! Wink Wink! You will be there, right!!! Hope you’re studied up on the parts of a camera because there will be a test!!! LOL!

  19. Aimee - says:

    E & Allyson, Isn’t it ridiculous how behind I am on those magazines!?!? I hear the violins playing! LOL!

    Kathy, I LOVE that you toss it before you come in! And now the envelope saving is finally making sense, I should have asked long ago I suppose!!! LOL!