DIY Mail Organizer

This project is an example of “if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”

We have a few “problem” areas in our home that I struggle to keep tidy.  The biggest one is the island in the kitchen. We get so much mail every day that it quickly piles up. The problem gets even worse when school starts back.

I’ve been wracking my brain to try to find a solution to the problem.  I decided that a small filing system that I could keep on the counter would be my best bet.  If it required a lot of effort to drag it out of the cabinet, file the bills and put it back away, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to it. #aintnobodygottimeforthat I also wanted something that would look nice in the kitchen with a lid.

I found a basket that I liked on Amazon (affiliate) but I didn’t want to pay $50 for it.  (Mr. Right says I’m frugal…whatever, I’ll take that as a compliment) I decided I could make something myself.

I searched for a regular basket or box to transform into a file folder but could not find the right size for the life of me. Then I decided I could just make my own box out of a larger cardboard box and cut it down to the right size.  This didn’t work either because the box was too flimsy where I taped it together.  And there was no lid.

Mission: Mail Organization was on hold until I made a Target run during lunch with a few girls from work last week. In the Dollar Section, they had little file folder boxes for $5!  (That’s 90% less than the one on Amazon for you non-math folk!) None of the colors matched my kitchen but I grabbed a blue one anyway.


I covered the outside of the file box using leftover fabric from the kitchen curtains Mom made several years ago and a hot glue gun.  It was extremely quick and easy.

Here’s how I did it!

  1. Iron the fabric.  You can’t iron the wrinkles out when it’s already glued to the box.
  2. Cut the fabric to the approximate size you need to wrap around the box leaving a couple extra inches on each side.  (I wasn’t wrapping all four sides of my box since I didn’t have enough fabric.  I left the two narrow sides their original color since it coordinated with the fabric.  The file folders probably would not fit inside if I added the fabric to the sides anyway.)
  3. Run a bead of hot glue down the edge of one side.covering-file-box
  4. Fold down the edge (you don’t want the raw edge showing) and stick to glue (be careful, it’s hot!)
  5. Repeat steps 2 & 3 on the bottom and other side of the box.  (These pictures got a a little blurry.  Sorry!  My photographer is only 6 y’all!)diy-file-folder
  6. Now you should have the fabric glue to one entire side.
  7. Run a bead of hot glue down the opposite side, pull fabric tight, fold other edge down and press into the glue.
  8. Fold and glue down the raw edge at the top of the box.file-organizer
  9. Add a couple of hanging file folders and cute folders!file-folders
  10. Marvel at your awesome DIY skills!diy-mail-organizer


I also stuck a check book, pen, envelopes and stamps in the front of the box so I have everything I need when its time to pay those bills!

Here are some suggestions for file folder names:

  • Bills to Pay
  • Bills Paid or Receipts
  • Deposits
  • Miscellaneous (this is where I put anything random, but important…(i.e. perscription for glasses))
  • Insurance
  • Bank Statements
  • Tax Documents (I find its so much easier to keep track of those donations and tax forms if I have a dedicated place to put them when they arrive throughout the year.)



What do you think?  How do you keep the mail under control at your house?  I’d love to hear!

p.s.  I’m linking up to Home Stories A to Z, What Treasures Await , My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia , Stone Gable and Tatertots and Jello.

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