Control the Kitchen Clutter

DIY Paper Clutter Tamer!

Why does paper clutter gravitate towards the kitchen? I know its not just in my home, I see it with my clients all the time.  Either there is some weird gravitational force that pulls all the junk mail, flyers and random papers into the kitchen and spreads them out onto the counters OR we just don't have a great system to deal with them.  I'm going to go with the latter!

A few years ago I bought this great transparent folder that sticks onto the wall. It is from the Martha Stewart collection that was available at Staples/Bureau en Gros. I immediately put it on the inside of a kitchen cupboard door.  I had instant success! It is a great place for us to keep the random papers that we need handy.  No more paper mess on the counters. .  yay!!! Then the overflow happened. The folder got so full that I wasn't able to close the cupboard door.  There was way too much in there and I could no longer find what I needed.  This clearly wasn't working for us anymore.  As a Professional Organizer I am all about adapting systems to changing needs and lifestyle, so I clearly needed another solution.  For a while that meant I was piling papers on top of our microwave. This drove my husband crazy because every time I needed to find a paper I would take the whole pile down, sift through it and leave the papers on the counter.  When my husband would go to clean the kitchen he would ask "what do you want me to do with these papers?".  I would usually respond by snapping at him to leave them be and I would deal with them later, then inevitably get upset when he didn't clean the kitchen properly because he left the papers all over the counter! 

I obviously needed a solution to this; I needed another folder on the wall.  One would be for reference papers I needed to keep handy in the kitchen (i.e. my secondary home office!) and another would be for all the paperwork whose temporary home would be in the kitchen and would need to be filed later. 

I searched for another of those great wall folders, but sadly the product line was discontinued.  Time for a little DIY organizing action!

I bought some transparent plastic folders (Staples Poly Vertical Filing Jackets) and Command Picture Hanging Strips (two strips that kind of click together, like Velcro) and went to work.  I found an out of the way spot in the kitchen where I wouldn't see the folder when I walked in.  I attached the strips to the back of the folder and stuck it to the wall. Now I can use the folder for temporary filing and then take it off the wall when it's full to file it in my actual office in the basement.  Problem solved!  

Super Simple DIY Necklace Holder

A while back a friend asked me to come up with an inexpensive and pretty way to display jewelry.  I immediately had tons of ideas floating around my brain, just itching to come to life.  I decided to start with this easy DIY cork-board for necklaces.  It took less than 10 minutes and I managed to do this project while one of my kids was home sick.  If I can do it, you can too. . . here is what you need:


  • Cork board 
  • Fabric large enough to cover cork board plus a bit extra (make sure the material you choose is not too flimsy)
  • Staple gun & staples
  • Glue gun & glue
  • pretty push pins 
  • Fabric scissors



     The pictures below are pretty straight forward but here we go anyway:

Using fabric scissors cut a piece of fabric large enough to cover the cork board plus a couple of inches extra to wrap around.  I used some basic push pins to place my fabric and make sure the pattern was straight.  Make sure to pull the fabric taught.  I used a light duty staple gun to secure the fabric to the back of the board (safety first: always use protective eye wear and lock the gun when not in use).  

My cork board already had tabs to hang it up after so I made sure not to cover those.  I wish I could give you a neat little trick for dealing with the corners, but the truth is I suck at corners.  I just pulled, tugged and folded until they looked good.  Any bits of fabric I couldn't tame with the staple gun I tackled later with a hot glue gun.

Once I had stapled all around the board I used the glue gun to secure the ends of the fabric to the board.  This will prevent it from running and keep it flush against the board.  alternatively, you could probably sew the edges before you staple it, but I am useless with a needle & thread or a sewing machine.  The only way I do anything with fabric is pinning or gluing.  Then, once the glue was dry I flipped it over and put some decorative push pins in to hold the necklaces.  There you have it folks, a pretty, easy DIY necklace holder.