Wednesday, April 3, 2019

5 Simple Ideas to Clear Paperwork Cluttered Counters

Paperwork cluttered counters can be a sore subject in most houses. It truly can make you crazy. Before I came up with solutions, the paperwork used to get stacked in the clutter corner of my kitchen counter. The idea of all of this paper coming into my house on a daily basis, and needing to have a home for all of the different categories of paper, was a bit overwhelming.

There are tons of home binder organization ideas on Pinterest. While they are great solutions to long term household paper work, I want to talk about short term daily paperwork. 

For storage purposes I file my two types of paperwork differently. The short term paperwork that I need to refer to maybe weekly or daily, I want it to be easily accessible. While the household stuff I may not need to look at it at all in a year so it can be literally filed away.

The three types of short term paperwork categories that are reoccurring in my house are:

Kids Stuff- No one tells you that kids come with STUFF. Probably because it's hard to actually define STUFF but it happens. 

Monthly Bills- If you're not completely paperless, (which I am not) they need to have a home until it is time to pay them.

Tax Receipts- You know those little pieces of paper that you need to keep track of for an entire year until it's time to do the taxes.

Over the years I have experimented with different methods to organize all of this short term paperwork. I was tired of it cluttering my counters. I found that the true trick to dealing with paperwork is to use a system that is 1-2 steps. If it takes more than that you probably won't do it. It needs to be sweet and simple.

I'll be honest, this post feel more like a Sears Catalog than a blog post, but I know busy moms need solutions to problems that they can do immediately not in a week. I also know that I am an extremely visual person who doesn't like 2 step processes when there is an option for 1 step. Hence the obnoxious pictures and links to Amazon. 

These amazon links will show you exactly what I used without having to use your precious brain power to try to create a mental image.

Hopefully you'll find a solution that works for your short term paperwork issues. 

With all that said, here are a few ideas that I have tried.

1. Binders with Dividers
This is a great idea when space is limited and you need to have the papers at your fingertips. 

You can use either divider system. By using the tabs system you would use a different tab for different categories. You just hole punch the information and place it behind the divider. The trick is to have the hole puncher easily accessible for easy use. 

If you use the pocket system it would give you the option of putting small items in a safe place without having to invent another system. You can still hole punch with this system if you'd like. 


2.Wall File Organizer
If you're looking for a more permanent idea, this works great if you have a "command center". Each section would be for a different category. This is super simple and allows you to just drop the paper into the correct file. Whatever you decide on, choose one with more sections that you'll need, just in case you forgot something. 

These didn't have anything as cool as this when I was organizing. I used the boring old plastic ones. I liked both of these though. The first one folds up and can be put away but may not hold as many kids' papers. The second one is classy looking and will hold more papers. Either one is a win!

3. Desktop Drop File
This is a space saving type of organization that is relocatable if you needed to move it to another location. Like the wall file organizer, it is really just a matter of dropping the paper into the correct file. Remember the goal is to only touch the papers 1-2 times.

This drop file system comes in different colors and it includes 5 files. A file for each kid, bills, and tax stuff. 

4. Accordion File System
This is the file system that I bought for each of my boys when they moved out. The grew up knowing that I had a filing system and often times were sent to get items from it so they were vaguely familiar with how it worked. I helped them set it up for their purposes. They have told me time and again that it has been so helpful.

This system is portable and smaller. If you don't have a lot of short term paperwork to keep track of, then this may be the answer for you. The files don't expand as wide but you can use 2 files for 1 category.

5. Cork Board
This system is for those things that you may need to refer to often. It can be easily changed and requires absolutely minimal upkeep. 

The first picture is my inspiration. It is super cute and would look great but it isn't going to be as functional. By combining the other two you will get more bang for your buck. Also just because it says over the door, doesn't mean you can hang it on the wall. Remove the door hangers and use command hooks.

The common theme here is file. Basically if everything has a place then when it comes into the house, it's dealt with instantly. This will alleviate the pile of papers on the counter that you have no idea what to do with.

Organizing paperwork clutter is a huge battle. If you can win it by forming a routine of dealing with it immediately, you will have won the battle of daily paperwork clutter. 

I have faith in you! You can do it!

I'm praying for you!


  1. You are speaking my language! I have such issues with paper piles! My hubby loves piles, I hate them, so it is an ongoing problem. Thanks for the tips! God bless you -

    1. Yes husbands have a different definition of flat surfaces. I asked my husband one day if people came by and just randomly put papers on his desk? He looked at me and realized sort of what I was saying. Needless to say, it's still a battle but he really is aware, he just does it out of habit now. He'll apologize as soon as he realizes he's done it.