Do you find your household paperwork doesn’t have a home? Is your bedroom getting used for stashing unmanaged mail? Do you have papers and mail all over the house? Are you frustrated that your home never looks tidy? Many people use a large portion of their kitchen counter to manage notes and mail…and it spills over from there. But the kitchen counter space often doesn’t provide enough room for a tidy work space.
All these scenarios point to the importance of dedicating a space for a household management center.
The ideal location for a household management center is close to where this work usually gets done. Kitchen, dining room, living room are very common areas. Look where your paper is accumulating and see if you can dedicate a bit of space to make it an “official” work area. Active projects need to be out and accessible where you will really work on them. Where does the work actually get done?
If you have a more remote home office but don’t find yourself staging the mail and active projects there, you might find paper clutter creeping into the living space. It would be appropriate to create an active work station more centrally and store overflow and permanent files in the office. For example, if you find yourself most often sitting on your couch paying bills online, can you create a space there to catch incoming bills?
The Critical Bits:
- Active projects: to-do’s and bills to pay
- Active reference: family schedules and phone lists
- Basic office supplies (stamps, envelopes, paperclips, post its)
- Dedicated containers to get the recycling and shredding out of the way and off the countertop
Nice to Have Nearby:
- Printer – can be hidden or made wireless so it can be stored in a back room or closet
- Main household filing system – including past years taxes and permanent records
- Overstock office supplies
- Kids’ art portfolios
Instead of berating yourself for being messy, embrace the idea that household management needs dedicated space. And give yourself the gift of organization.