It's time to organize a counter top. Raise your hand if your counters often look like the before picture. Come on . . . don't be shy. . . . I know I'm not the only one!
I have two clutter tough spots (okay--a lot more than two--but I'll deal with the others another time): The laundry room counter, and the kids stuff left all over the house. I can't remember the last time there was actually room to fold laundry on this counter! It's just so easy to dump stuff on that counter when I walk in the back door. As for the kids stuff all over the house--I want them to learn to clean up after themselves, but I get tired of looking at it all day while they're at school. Here's my solution:
I purchased these buckets at Walmart from their Easter decor, and I love the color. There is one for every member of our family. Using Photoshop, I created a label for each bucket. (The kids names are smudged out for this post.) Now, as I find things out of place throughout the day, I pick them up and drop them into the correct bucket. When the mail comes--instead of keeping piles of things to look at later, I just dump the junk mail and drop the other stuff into the right bucket (the shopping ad I want to look at later, Steve's magazines, etc.), and ignore it until I'm ready to look at it.
The other good thing about this project is that I actually found the counter in my laundry room! It was there hiding under the junk the whole time! Now I can even fold laundry in the laundry room! (I've never actually done that before!) So, now you're wondering . . . "When do the buckets actually get emptied?" Well, I don't quite have a system for that yet. For now, I just hand the kids their bins when I want them to put their things away. I'll get a system someday. Today, I'm just happy to be able to find all of my counters again. (It seems like my counters are always covered with paperwork and things that are now tucked away in these buckets.)
Do your kids save everything like mine? Do you have tiny junk toys, stickers, rocks, etc that the kids just have to keep and can't possibly get rid of? When I find them on the floor, I often put them in the kids' buckets. When it's time to empty them, I quickly scan each bucket for items like that which have been out of sight for a while and not missed. Then I sneak them out of the buckets and get rid of them! (Don't tell my kids!) I know. I'm either a mean mom or a genius. Probably both!!!
Instructions: Fill buckets, empty, repeat!!
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