January 13, 2012
In about 15 minutes, you can transform your kitchen – no heavy lifting required. All you need for this easy makeover is a Bindertek Binder, Write-On Index Tabs, Sheet Protectors, a corkboard and three letter trays.
Step 1: Clean Off the Refrigerator
No need to worry about the two-year old condiments inside. It’s time to focus on the outside. If you’ve forgotten whether your fridge is stainless steel or bisque, it might be time to de-magnetize. The refrigerator often becomes a catch-all place for the important information we want to keep track of – appointment reminders, recycling schedules, business cards, invitations, school forms. And it doubles as a gallery for prized artwork, holiday photos and magnets commemorating every state we’ve visited. This magnetized miscellany can make a kitchen seem small and cluttered.
Step 2: Create a Home Reference Binder in Five Minutes
Fill a Bindertek Binder with Write On Index Tabs and Sheet Protectors. Remove all the papers and cards from the refrigerator, and place all the reference items you need (schedules, phone numbers, appointments) in sheet protectors. Group this information in categories that make sense for you, and fill in the tab titles accordingly. Now you’ve got a Home Reference Binder. Linen-textured Bindertek Binders are available in up to seventeen colors and look great on a counter or shelf. If you want professionally printed tab titles, check out our custom Build a Binder Family Binder.
Step 3: An In-Box with a Way Out
Set up a system to organize items that require action from you. Stack three Wood Options Letter Trays or colorful Semikolon Letter Trays in the area of your house where mail and paperwork pile up, like the kitchen counter or desk.
Use the trays to group and prioritize by deadline. Anything that requires immediate attention, like a party RSVP goes in the top tray. Once you’ve taken care of the item, file it, mail it, throw it out – but don’t put it back in the tray. If it’s an upcoming appointment, add it to your calendar and put the card in your Home Reference Binder.
Use the middle tray for items that require action in the next week or so like bills and fundraiser order forms. Spend a minute or two a day going through the middle tray and keep track of due dates.
Use the bottom tray for items that will need your attention in the next month or so, like information about lawn services, vacations, home improvements, investments and catalog purchases.
When you bring in the mail or empty the backpack, resist the urge to create one big pile that you’ll go through later. Spend a few seconds and prioritize the pile, using the 3-tray system. Keep a recycling bin and shredder nearby, and discard what you don’t need right away.
Step 4: Design Your Own Work of Art
Take all the holiday photos, birth announcements, engagement postcards and homemade art projects that dot your refrigerator and arrange them nicely on a corkboard. Hang the corkboard up in your kitchen and celebrate all those smiling faces and talented artists in an organized way. If you must keep a picture or two on the fridge, rotate your favorites from the corkboard.
Step 5: Give Yourself a Pat on the Back
Take a minute and wipe down the outside of your clutter-free refrigerator. Then smile at your refection in the refrigerator door.