I always feel better greeting the new year with a clean house. At least, as clean as our house gets. It seems I’m in a losing battle with our mail. It ends up heaped in the office where things are buried, lost, and forgotten. I’ve tried different filing systems but they never last. I prefer a tidy workspace. My husband prefers to have the important stuff in his line of sight as a reminder to deal with it. I managed to put this little number together in less than an hour. Super simple.
Materials:unbleached cotton fabric
1/2″ wide elastic or ribbon (depending on where you’re hanging it)
Steps:1. From your fabric, cut a rectangular panel measuring 27.75″ by 16.5″ (or whatever dimensions you deem appropriate depending on your needs).
2. On each of the long sides, fold in the edge about 1″ and press flat.
3. Top stitch both folds closed using a 1/4″ seam allowance.
4. Determine which side you want to be “the front”, and top stitch a second time 1/4″ below the first line of stitching. (See the image if you’re confused.)
5. Fold the panel in half, lengthwise, right sides facing, and stitch up the sides. (1/4″ seam allowance again)
6. Now it’s time to add the pockets. I chose the size of mine based on the widest piece of mail that we receive on a regular basis. Using a straightedge, simply pencil in a faint line from the top to the bottom of the front panel to show you where to stitch in your dividers. This makes it easier to sew in a straight line and you can’t see the pencil mark after you sew over it.
7. Stitch in your dividers, following your pencil line, beginning at the bottom and stopping when you reach the lower top stitch line. (Again, refer to the image if I lost you.)
8. Print each of the four labels, below, onto cardstock and cut them out. I left a very narrow border around each one. [UPDATE: The reason for the "action required" label is that invariably, we have pieces of mail (not bills) that require a written reply or a telephone call in response.]
9. One at a time, position each pocket under the foot of your sewing machine. Place the printed label in the desired spot. Top stitch across the top edge of each label to secure.
Whether you add elastic or ribbon at this point is entirely up to you. Ribbon loops or ties would be ideal for hanging on the wall. I chose elastic because I wanted our door to be able to wear it. To accomplish this, I stretched the elastic snugly around the door to determine a good size. Then I stitched one end carefully to the upper back side of the organizer. Just be sure you don’t stitch both ends, as you’ll have no way of getting it onto the door!!! Using a door is a bit tricky, I recommend hanging it just above the middle hinge. This gives the elastic something to catch on and it just so happened that one end of the organizer rests comfortably on top of the doorknob, which keeps it from sagging. The unstitched end of the elastic is secured to the fabric with a sturdy safety-pin.