Urbanic Tips for Staying Ahead of Clutter

Urbanic Tips for Staying Ahead of Clutter

Laure Joliet
May 13, 2008

We're huge fans of Urbanic Paper Boutique. Not only does Audrey stock the best letterpress cards and journals, but the store always looks so stylish and organized. How does she do it? (Did we mention that she's a mom as well?) We're thoroughly impressed with the order that seems to follow her around. Well, lucky us, she put together her method for staying ahead of the clutter:

My mother is an ultra organized, neat-nick perfectionist and my dad is a mysterious visionary. They are complete opposites and I realized recently that I came out an exact mixture of both of them. I have the organizational urge and need within me to have order and structure but the scattered artistic, lover of design side of me that sees a project and treasure in everything. As a result I tend to acquire many things that cause clutter at the end of the day. All this to say that keeping organized is an every day work in progress, and takes daily intentional effort. Having a paper store full of so many little and different things makes it essential to secure a solid organizational system so that things run smoothly.

Every thing in the whole store has a home. Every pen, purchase order, bill, catalogue, customer pickup, adhesive, folder and supply item has a designated area where it belongs while not in use. We create homes for everything and label them so they are easy to get to. Without this label system we would spend hours looking for things in the back office.

My daily projects continually multiply. If I file current projects away somewhere, I loose track of them completely (out of sight out of mind). So I have a neat pile of folders organized by project type or category (i.e. bills, orders, print jobs, to do lists, website etc.) I put a sticky note with the title on each folder. This is really great, because as I conquer the folder I can replace the sticky with a new topic. I budget out my time so each folder gets a portion of my day, so I have specific time to focus on each category. Anything not happening at the moment will get filed into the master file cabinet

My absolute favorite form of organizing is making lists. Everything I need to schedule, buy, create, deal with and figure out gets emptied out of my brain onto lists that have subject headers. These lists are ongoing and quite invigorating to cross off. Having a good list system enables you to achieve your goals and chores.

If you appreciate aesthetics, you may find that you have acquired a lot of stuff that is hard to part with. Discipline is key:

  • Recycle, donate, trash, or hand off to an appreciating friend, all things that are so hidden in your life that you have not seen or used in a long while. If this is hard for you, (but you know it is something you need to let go of) snap a little picture for memories sake and keep in a special notebook or folder
  • Deal with paper immediately. Cut out what you want from your magazines, get rid of your junk mail, and create designated areas for the important stuff that command your attention.

Thanks Audrey!

We also envied her cool organizing accessories:

  • White bins are from ikea
  • Brown hinged boxes from kolo
  • Brown/white box from West Elm
  • Brown wood box from Container Store
  • Silver drawer unit ikea
  • Related Reads:
    Top Ten Organizing Tips from Chez Larsson

    Where's Your Biggest Clutter Spot?
    Another Use for a Card Catalogue
    Inherited Clutter
    6 Yips for Finding Balance

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