Day 3: Mail
Paper clutter is a huge struggle for most families! Throughout this month we are going to work to create practical, easy-to-maintain systems for all of the different paperwork that finds its way into our lives. The first thing on the list? Mail!
There is unfortunately no good way to stop the onslaught of paper mail that continually pours into our homes. Thus the best way to keep all that mail clutter from getting out of control is to create a workable system that ensures no important letters in bill (literally) slip the cracks.
The system that seems to works best and be easiest to follow involves immediately dealing with junk mail by recycling it as soon as it comes through the door, while simultaneously collecting the important mail items in a central location to be dealt with at a regular day and time.
Objective: An easy-to follow system that ensures all mail is dealt with in a timely manner.
Assess the current situation: What is happening with mail right now? Where does it go? What are your habits? What are your biggest struggles?
1. Gather and sort current mail into two piles—keep and trash. Start your mail organization process by dealing with the mail that has already piled up. Immediately discard your trash pile, then spend time getting caught up on your “keep” items.
2. Create a recycle station for immediately disposing of junk mail and catalogs. A pretty bin just inside your front door is ideal, but you could also create a recycle station in the kitchen, laundry room, garage, or utility room. Just make sure it is someplace where you will use it!
3. Unsubscribe from catalogs. Spend an afternoon removing yourself from as many company mailing lists as possible. There is unfortunately no easy way to do this, but a phone call directly to each company should be sufficient.
4. Create a collection bin or basket for remaining “real” mail. Pick a pretty basket that can collect the mail you actually need to deal with. Put it in a convenient place where you will actually use it. For example, if your mail normally piles up on a particular counter in the kitchen, put the box or basket right on that counter.
5. Designate a day/time each week to open and deal with mail. Try to do it at the same time each week so that nothing slips through the cracks.
1. Wire Mail Basket (LiveSimplybyAnnie.com) 2. Wall Hung Mail and Key Sorter (LiveSimplybyAnnie.com) 3. Fabric Mail Sorter (BrightandBlithe.wordpress.com) 4. Lid Rack Mail Sorter (MarthaStewart.com) 5. Daily Mail System and Organizer (PotteryBarn.com)