Organize With a Household Hub

Does your kitchen need a go-to spot for family info? Here’s how to get organized.

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Recycling Bins

If your kitchen is home to bills, school backpacks, family schedules and the like, then professional organizer Vicki Norris says to designate a kitchen desk area or a cabinet and counter space as the "household hub" to help make sense of the madness. Here's how to get started:

Divide and Conquer

Before you set up your "hub," first sort the paper that commonly clutters up a kitchen. Vicki says to think of paper processing as a runway: there's room for landing and take-off but no room for parking! So gather your stacks and start sorting with actions like these:

Immediate

To Do
To Read
To Pay
To File
To Sort
To Shred

To Recycle

You may find it more efficient to capture incoming paper in separate trays labeled for each family member so each person can sort according to the actions mentioned above. As children get older, it's a great way to initiate the habit of being accountable for their own paperwork.

Bind It Up

Combine the family calendar, school and sports schedules, phone numbers and takeout menus into one three-ring binder.

Where to Keep Reading Materials

If newspapers and magazines are cluttering up every available flat surface then it's time to implement a wall-organizing system that has pockets labeled for different actions like To Read, To File and To Recycle.

Make sure not to buy organizers during your sorting process, first discover what you need to contain through an organic discovery process, and then buy the right product at the right time in the process. While stylish containers are certainly enticing, they may prevent you from making hard decisions on what should stay and what must go.

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