Landing Areas….Landing Areas… I wasn’t quite sure what Mary meant by de-cluttering our landing areas. Luckily, she gave more detail and explained that landing areas are “places that collect clutter on a daily basis.” Oh…. does she mean places like this?
or how about this…
I’m pretty sure that we all have Landing areas….those places that drive us nuts because that’s where things go when we don’t know what to do with them. Some of us (hand raised) are “pilers”. We “pilers” think that because it’s in a neat pile, that it’s somehow organized and uncluttered. Hmmmm….it’s an illusion, people!!
Paperwork coming into the house was a big problem for me. It was just a few years ago that my 4 kiddoes went to 4 different schools and were involved in many different activities. Imagine the paperwork that piled up, yet alone trying to find what you wanted when you needed it.
I found a system that has helped me keep my counters clear and the paperwork at bay. About 5 years ago I bought these cute little “boxes” from Target. I thought it was really cool that they had 2 units of 3 drawers- just enough for our family! I bought it and assigned everyone their own “box.” These boxes store everything from game/practice schedules for sports to items I find laying around the house. (if it fits !) If the kids wonder where something is, I usually say “check your box!” (my 12 year old daughter is DYING that her box still has a Hannah Montana sticker on it, and that I’m showing you all! )
Now, much of the paperwork that I need to deal with on a daily basis comes from my mailbox. Another tool I use came from a class that I took with a sweet lady called the “Clutter Coach.” She recommended using a fingertip file system that is kept in the kitchen (at your fingertips!)
Here’s what mine looks like, but you could tailor yours to fit your family.
The file contains days of the week, months of the year and a few various other categories. Now, I fully admit that I don’t use the days of the week files. I think the concept was to check each folder on the day of the week to see what tasks need to be done on that day. (a.k.a. a tickler file.) I prefer to use my planner to keep track of tasks and appointments.
I use the monthly folders to keep track of receipts. If I go to Target in August to buy school supplies, I will simply put the receipt in the August file. This was not, however, how the clutter coach designed these folders to be used. Her idea was to have a place to store invitations or information that may be needed at a future date. For instance, if I receive a wedding invitation for May and it’s only January, I would place the invitation in the May folder so I could easily find the invitation when I need it.
Here is a close up of my other categories.
The categories that I use MOST OFTEN are Receipts, Gift Certificates, Coupons, Bills and Waiting For. When I bring in the mail, there undoubtedly will be a few bills and hopefully some coupons. I simply open the door of my kitchen cabinet and drop the envelopes or coupon cards into their respective folders in my fingertip file. When we receive a gift card from someone, it immediately goes into that folder so we know exactly where it is, and it’s not floating around in my purse somewhere. As for the folder titled “Waiting For”. It is to be used when you order something online and you are waiting for some kind of action to be taken. Maybe you bought a cell phone and are waiting for the rebate check, or maybe you ordered photo prints online and are waiting for them to arrive. Store any information in that file to remind you that you are waiting for it to arrive! The “Receipt” folder is used to house big ticket item receipts.
By the way, here’s where I store my fingertip file!
I know from experience that those Landing areas can get piled high and overwhelming…just take one pile at a time and pace yourself- that’s what I did!!
What’s up for next week? According to Mary’s Challenge, it’s “Playrooms.” No playroom here, so I will be tackling my sunroom/scrapbooking area! See ya next week!!