Challenge #8: Take-out Menus

[Note: If this is your first day of the challenge, scroll down to review The Process we are using all month]

Take-out menus. Today we will tackle the stash of take-out menus.

Congratulations to all of you who are taking part in the Get Organized Challenge. If you are just joining in, welcome! Today we will tackle the stash of take-out menus.


Today’s project is quick and easy.  Dig out all of the take-out menus you have shoved in a drawer or have hanging on the fridge. If you keep coupons for restaurants, grab them as well.

The first step is to sort through it all on a clear surface and throw away/recycle anything that is expired, for which you have duplicates, or which you no longer have an interest in using. Pair the coupons with the menus. This should take no more than 10 minutes.

Now you are ready to reload. There are a couple of options for keeping these organized, so pick the one that best fits your space:

  • Binder with plastic pages, stored on a shelf
  • Hanging file (labeled!), stored in a file drawer
  • Clipped together, stored in a drawer or hung on a hook (this only works if you have a small amount of paper)
  • Magazine holder, stored on a shelf or in a cabinet
  • Large adhesive pocket, on the inside of a cabinet door
  • Scanned, stored as PDFs on a computer (menus only, for coupons you will need to keep the paper)

This little project can save you time and instantly give you a less cluttered look.  It is a good idea to periodically (e.g. every quarter), cull through your collection again so it stays up to date.

How did it go? Which solution did you choose?

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If you are joining the challenge today, here is a review of how to get ready to organize any of the spaces we are working on:


1. Gather your supplies: (you can reuse these same supplies each day)

  • Boxes or bags labeled with “Donate”, “Elsewhere” and “Store”
  • Trash can and recycle bin
  • Damp rag/wet wipe

2. Remove everything from the area (yes, everything) and wipe it clean with a damp rag.

3. Sort the items into these categories: (The Seana Method’s R.E.D.D.S. system)

  • R- Restore: these are the items going back in
  • E- Elsewhere: these are items to keep, but that don’t belong in this space
  • D- Donate
  • D- Dispose: trash or recycle
  • S- Store: items you want to keep for sentimental reasons, or perhaps for a long-term future use, but which you don’t regularly use. These items will eventually need to go into a bin/box in an attic, basement, or closet.

4. Keeping the “Restore” items out, and put all other items into the boxes/bags you prepared.

5. Move items to their final destination:

  • Put the “Restore” items back into your designated area.
  • Carry the “Elsewhere” box/bag around your house and redistribute its contents.
  • Move the “Donate” box/bag to the car to be donated.
  • Trash/recycle the “Dispose” items.
  • Put the “Store” items into a container and move it to a remote location for future access.

10 thoughts on “Challenge #8: Take-out Menus”

    1. I do believe it, Janine. You are one organized lady! A folder is a terrific solution: tidy, effective and easy to tuck away:)

    1. I know I certainly don’t want to see the clutter:) I use those pockets for manuals and instructions for nearby appliances, faucets, etc. as well. That way, they are near at hand when I need them, but still tucked away. The stack of menus isn’t really decorative, right?

    1. A drawer is a perfect place to start… a limited project that you can accomplish fairly quickly. Good for you. If you do a little bit each day, you’ll build momentum, which helps tackle the larger projects! Thanks for reading:)

  1. Love this often overlooked area to organize…the menus! It’s a quick fix with a big impact because who likes to go searching for food when they’re hungry, right? We keep our takeout menus in a single plastic folder in the kitchen cabinet. It’s always worked for us. Every once in a while I go through it after I’ve ordered something to take out duplicates or expired menus. My favorite part is that they are all together in one place and everyone in the family knows where to find them.
    Linda Samuels recently posted…Ways to Boost Your CreativityMy Profile

    1. I love your point about the fact that everyone in the family knows where to find them. That is HUGE! You’ve established an easy system that works. This is such an important principle for organizing almost any space. Set it up, keep it simple, and let everyone know how to use it. That’s a recipe for success!

    1. Excellent visual, Tamara. Basically a binder for your own town… I wonder if that will make us feel like we are on vacation?

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