Mail is going to inevitably make its way into our homes. Having a place to put it immediately so it doesn’t overtake a surface is a quick and easy way to tame some of the paper clutter madness.

The kitchen table or countertops often become a place to set all of junk down when we come in the door — keys, wallet, glasses, sunglasses, mail, books, etc. It can quickly spiral out of control and end up as something we dread going through at the end of the week.

First, you need a filing box and hanging folders. I bought both of mine on clearance at Target.

As usual, I was just so excited about the price that I didn’t look at the color of the hanging folders I was purchasing. I love the color green, but not this color green. Not really a color I want staring at me every day. It’s not that cheery.

I took a quick look in my filing cart and solved my problem. I took the pink/blue/purple/black folders and swapped them for the green folders.

So much better!

I created my own calendars for the rest of the year with Microsoft Word. If you’re interested in a copy of my calendars, you can download them as a PDF here. I use Sharpie Pens to color code who each event corresponds to.

I needed something to keep my Sharpie Pens in and I remembered that when I cleaned out my closet earlier this week, I kept a frosting tub from all of my recycled containers. I found a scrapbook paper that was just the right size to fit around the frosting tub. It was left over from this sweet creation I made a few months ago — my beautified clipboard. Now they match!

This is all it took to make the pen cup: ribbon, an empty and clean frosting tub, Mod Podge, a foam brush, and scrapbook paper. It only took 5 minutes for the whole process. I covered the outside of the tub with Mod Podge and then carefully placed the paper on top. I used a gift card to smooth out the wrinkles/bubbles/excess Mod Podge. I let it dry for a minute and then gave the paper an overcoat of Mod Podge. While this was drying, I quickly wrapped some ribbon around the top.

The categories I used are:

  • incoming mail: holds things I don’t really care to look over right away when I get the mail
  • outgoing mail: holds things that need to be mailed out, but need attention before mailing
  • to file: items that need to be filed in my filing cart or put away elsewhere
  • bills to pay: self-explanatory
  • receipts: incoming receipts that need to be filed
  • coupons: unclipped coupons (printed and from the newspaper)
  • grocery ads: finally, a place for the grocery ads — I always find a way to misplace them
  • recipes: I print and clip way too many recipes, so they can sit in this folder until I can take the time to put them where they belong in my recipe binders
  • Tiffany: items for me
  • Chris: items for him

It was too dark where I keep this filing box, so I moved it to get a better picture.

Oh, and look at the pen cup! Beautiful!