Decorating to Declutter: Wall Organizers and Calendars

The following guest post is from Shaina at Food for My Family.

A little over a year ago I became obsessed with getting my mail off the counter in my kitchen. Mail had been collecting on the corner of the kitchen counter top since the day we moved in. Not only is it annoying in concept (well, to me at least), but I do not have much counter space to share with junk mail in the first place.

I started searching online for the perfect mail solution. I knew I needed something to hold the mail, and I had plenty of wall space, so I focused my Google searches on hanging mail organizers rather than desktop organizers.

Pottery Barn’s Daily System

I settled on a few pieces from Pottery Barn’s Daily System for a few reasons:

Shaina's Wall Organizer

Shaina's Wall Organizer

1. There were several options I could choose from, and I can always add more later on if I loved it so much I wanted more.

2. A dry erase calendar. We plan a loose menu around our schedule, and we have always written down on a calendar of some sort. I love the ability to wipe it off and move the meals if something comes up, but it still provides a place for us to plan and clearly see them. I think menu planning is essential to staying organized at home, and you can read more about why here.

3. Chalkboard, chalkboard, chalkboard. Not only do my kids love writing notes and drawing pictures on the chalkboard, but I love writing them notes and making lists on there. I have been known to make a list of all homework and chores that need to be completed by that evening. My kids will get so excited about crossing things off their list, more often than not, the list gets completed long before my deadline.

4. I had received a gift card to Pottery Barn as a housewarming gift that had been sitting here, unused for nearly 11 months when I finally broke down and purchased what we did. I had originally been thinking of getting four chalkboard tiles, but I decided this was much more functional and was glad I’d procrastinated waited to make the purchase until I found something more functional.

Less Expensive Alternatives

source: cafemom

source: cafemom

In all honesty, I wouldn’t have purchased this without the gift card, but the great news is that you don’t have spend a lot to get a functional and decorative system. You could even make your own mail organizer. I found this “grate” solution on cafemom. There are instructions on how to make one for your home at Do It Yourself.

If being crafty isn’t your thing, there are several options available online and in stores. Target, Amazon and most office supply stores, like Office Max, sell dry erase calendars with a variety of borders for between $5.00 and $100.00 depending on size and style. Online retailer Organize It has several economical choices in a variety of styles. Pair a mail organizer, a dry erase calendar or whatever it is you find functional for your family.

How It’s Working

For my family, the ability to match both a calendar for meal planning schedule keeping with a spot to get the mail off my cooking surface was just the right combination. Because we cook dinner nearly every night, having mail on the counter was just not an option, and we’d been in need of another dry erase calendar for keeping track of what it was we were cooking that night ever since the magnets gave out and it slid to its death as the fridge door was closed a little too soundly by some small fingers. The key is finding what works for you and what you’re actually going to use and appreciate.

Mandi here: I love the idea of creating a meal plan on  a dry erase board rather than wasting yet another piece of paper each week. We have a large glass board as part of our craft center (off the kitchen, inside the laundry room), and I used to use it religiously, but I’ve gotten off track.

Do you have a wall organizer with a dry erase board, calendar, mail holder, etc.? Looking around your kitchen right now, what clutter could you eliminate or what could you organize with a system like this?

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About the Author

Mandi Ehman

Hi. My name is Mandi and I’m an organizing junkie. I’m also a wife, and Momma to four little girls (5, 3.5, 2 and a new baby!). I've worked at home since our oldest was a baby, and like a lot of other moms, my life is a constant balancing act of caring for my family and my home, meeting my obligations and finding time for hobbies in there somewhere. Oh, yeah, in the interest of full disclosure, I’m somewhat of a kitchen dunce and I only like to pretend that I’m crafty. Read more here!

3 Responses to “ Decorating to Declutter: Wall Organizers and Calendars ”

  1. I’ve “cleaned up” our kitchen counters with magnet strips. Instead of purchasing the cute ones, I simply purchased a roll of magnet strip. I cut the length I needed, removed the sticky adhesive, and stuck it to the side of the cabinet above my phone. I also have a small corkboard hung on the wall next to the phone. Pretty much all of our “counter clutter” can be tacked to the corkboard, or stuck on the magnet strip.

    Great post, Shania! Thank you of the tips. I am definitely going to look into a D-I-Y “grate” solution. I’ve been needing something like that!


  2. I’m sooo sorry… I misspelled your name! Great post, SHAINA. I’ll blame it on my adorable DD who continually kicked me keyboard throughout my entire comment. :)

    Amy’s last blog post…Today’s freebies


  3. Using magnetic strips is a great idea, Amy, and a frugal one too!

    Don’t worry about my name; it happens all the time, and I know how distracting it can be having little ones around while you do anything on the computer. Mine always want to try out the keyboard and click the mouse.

    Shaina’s last blog post…Mojito Chicken Sandwiches (with Unicorns!)


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