Organizing Wednesday: Purging paper and found treasure!

Welcome!  Today is Organizing Wednesday here at  MidlifeMomMusings.  Every Wednesday I will organize some portion of my life…work, home, play or anywhere in between. 

Won’t you join me?

This week’s focus was supposed to be on the kitchen. I reorganized all of the cabinets and drawers (I’ll share the results in a later post) as well as my pantry (which you’ve already seen.)

However, since discovering I had no place for these two overflowing recipe binders and the large plastic bin filled with recipe books, I thought this post would  be better served to show you how I tackled my personal biggest clutter monster.  Paper.   I seem to collect it and not want to let it go.



I had to deal with these binders, and my first thought was to take them into the study and dump store them there.  You know, move clutter to another room instead of deal with it.  But when I got to the study, I noticed it had problems of its own.



DSCN5672 Crap.

Time to deal with this mess.

At first, I thought about implementing some storage solutions in there that would prevent this from becoming a dump zone.  I thought I could run out to the store and get more bins for the paper.  Thankfully, I came to my senses and decided to just get rid of it.

So, I purged.  And I purged.  And I purged some more. (That sounded wrong, didn’t it.)

Anyway, I ended up getting rid of 3 lawn/leaf garbage bags (you know, the really big ones) of paper, binders, old school notebooks, old checkbooks, old financial papers etc. etc.  (My husband brought the highly sensitive material to his office to get shredded).  It took me 6 hours, but every drawer and cabinet in my study is now organized and nearly paper free.  I now have room to store recipe binders but I won’t need to.  After the study was done, I continued my ‘purge’  and whittled that stack of recipes down to only one binder.   Yep, just one that I now keep handy in the kitchen.


Here is my study now:


Much better, don’t ya think?

Getting rid of extra paper and junk was so refreshing, and lucrative!  While I was going through all of the drawers and papers, I found (5) gift cards in my desk that totaled $250.00, (a combination of restaurants and Amazon).  Looks like we might be able to go out to eat after all. :)

Does paper take over your house?  

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  1. Jeannette Sieh says:

    Hmm I believe you are about a 4 hour drive to NJ, I would be willing to provide dinner and gas money if you can calm my office down. Having multiple hats creates quite a havoc on my desk.

  2. I struggle with paper too. I’m not sentimental, but I have business paperwork, home paperwork, school stuff, I’m pta treasurer, coupons, insurance, and more! Things I can’t get rid of because they are “active”. I want a better way of storing things so I remember where they are.
    I may just tackle one shelf today, thanks!

    • It’s crazy, isn’t it? I had so.much.paper! It was so freeing to release some stuff, but I imagine if you need the paper, finding an organizational solution for it might be the better route!

  3. I would take a picture of my desk, but I am too embarrassed:)

  4. Question, do you use your iMac for printing coupons at all? If so, how does it work for you? I’m making the conversion over to apple products but before I buy an iMac I need to be certain I can print coupons-that’s pretty much the only reason to have a desktop! :)

  5. Wow! Great job – I love your study. 6 bags is a lot of trash. I love how freeing it is to clear stuff away and congrats on the gift cards (it’s like getting them all over again isn’t it)? I need to whittle my recipe binder down too…there are a bunch in there I know I will never try.

    • Thanks Raquel! It was a lot of trash, but now I actually have room in the cabinets. So refreshing. Recipe binders can get ridiculously full, right?

  6. Pretty office! My desk pretty much looks like the before picture, but I haven’t got inspired enough to do anything about it.

    • Thank you! My desk looks like the ‘before’ pic most of the time, but I’m really trying to handle the paper as it comes in.

  7. Yes, paper does take over my house. I’m pretty good about getting rid of the obvious stuff like junk mail, but the other things that need some kind of decision seem to accumulate and accumulate. It’s a never ending battle. I’m impressed that you were able to purge that much stuff in just one day. Congratulations.

    • It is a never ending battle. I get lots of paper Part of it is my fault, as I tend to print articles out from the internet. (I hate reading from the screen)

  8. $250 in gift cards! Just sitting there……….woo hoo!
    My desk isn’t cluttered BUT the top of my shredder is! You inspired me to shred away today.

    • Yeah, I forgot we had some hefty restaurant gift certificates from contractors that my husband deals with at work. They usually give them to him at Christmas time, but they are for restaurants downtown DC, and my husband never wants to go back on the weekends since he has such a brutal commute during the week. So, we have them. We will definitely be using them this fall.

  9. Wow, nice job!
    Wish I could find some gift cards…

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