mount paperwork: climbed and conquered.

It took me longer than expected to tackle the mountain of paperwork in our house but I am happy to report that I'm officially done.

I wish I could say the only problem we had in this area was incoming mail and medical stuff but tragically the kids had a crisis of their own brewing in the corner of our dining room:

They do multiple art projects every day and the table is the most logical place to do crafts so we had set up a little contain-all/catch-all station next to the china cabinet. The problem is I never had a plan for it to begin with so this area quickly became a pile of supplies mixed up with artwork with no real purpose other than sending me into fits every time I thought about it. And can I have a little mommy confession time? Most of this "art" wasn't worth saving. What can I say? We can't keep everything and the majority of this didn't meet closet wall standards.

I tackled this while Ocean was in school, Iris was playing quietly and Ruby was napping. I got myself a big cup of coffee and started going through The Pile. Most everything went into the recycling bin. The pieces that made the cut were those which made me smile with delight. Drawings of our family, hand tracings, writing samples. I didn't follow a set formula for keeping or pitching, just whatever felt right. Then their respective art went into color-coded bins which my mom bought me over a year ago for this very purpose. (I'm a slow learner.) The bins fit neatly on the top shelf in our foyer closet which is located directly on the other side of the china cabinet wall- out of sight but easily accessible.

Now what to do with the art supplies? I have a basket way up high in our mudroom that contains the art supplies over which I maintain control- paint, sequins, glue, markers and tape. I want them to be free to get a piece of paper and draw whenever the mood strikes but I don't want it taking over our eating space. So I cleaned the clutter out of the bottom of the china cabinet and voila:

The far right is an empty shoebox full of paper for drawings. The middle is our trusty craft carousel, full of washable crayons, colored pencils, safety scissors and glue stick. The far left side has an empty shoe box for the kids to deposit finished artwork, and I will go through it when it's full to figure out what stays and what goes.

So here's the finished project:

Other paper-related areas that I tackled last week:

-The corner of the kitchen counter where all the bills land

The amount of crap is staggering


Smaller basket, tidier nook

-My backlog of coupons

Cut and filed

-A cardboard box full of stuff that needed to be sorted, shredded and/or filed

"Shred me!"


As a side note, this project got me thinking about my china cabinet. We bought it off Craig's List a couple of years ago for $40 with the intention of painting it but I just never got around around to it-- does anyone know if I have to sand before priming? Because that will determine whether it gets painted or not. Thoughts?

Also, for those of you who are tackling projects of your own feel free to link your posts in the comments. I want to see your progress!


amy said...

where do i get those cool bins for their artwork?? (: i am so inspired by all of this!!!

Becky said...

I'm not an expert on furniture painting (you could check out www.younghouselove.com for some more sound advice) but I THINK that if the finish isn't super glossy, you can just paint over it with an oil-based primer and be fine.

Aviva said...

Wow! I only have one artist in the house, but man does she create enough paper. I feel like I'm drowning in paper between artwork, schoolwork, etc. I keep buying stuff to contain the paper, but that's pretty impossible. I'm going to try following your example and weeding through the stuff and choosing what to keep. Boy is that a mountain of work! :-)

Thanks for the inspiration!

Jessica said...

inspiring! awesome progress!

tim's wife said...

Usually, you would have to sand it a bit or nothing would adhere well. The paint will chip off easily. You may have better luck with an oil based primer if you really don't want to sand but I will warn you, the smell, and toxity will be significant so this is a "porch project." If that is your mountain of paperwork, oh boy am I in trouble. Right now, I can't see one whole section of kitchen counter, the top of my diningroom table and FORGET the piled up boxes of paperwork that have been banished to the basement. Forget a shredder, I need a bonfire!!!

Preferred Customer/ Janice said...

I believe you will have better succes with sanding and use a non toxic substance to refinish, you have enuf going on without adding insult to all your immune systems. Lowe's or Home depot would help with a phone call.
Take care and I do not envy you with the kids, house, husband etc. Blessings

Cassie said...

Amy- JoAnn. I have a bunch of coupons if you want some-- I can send them to school with Ocean.

Denise- that was just one box of shred stuff. I had another, and that is nothing compared to what got recycled and filed. We're talking about a half dozen laundry baskets full of papers. Embarrassing.

Thanks for the advice on the cabinet-- I decided to go ahead and sand it before priming and painting. It may take some time but I'll post when I get it started.