If you are like most people, you receive more mail than you know what to do with. (Am I the only one wondering why this is still happening?!) Between mail and school papers, I have a TON of paper coming into the house on a daily basis. If I didn’t have a system for dealing with this, it would quickly pile up and take over the house (like all the drawings taped to our walls by my middle child!).
In “Dealing with Paper Clutter” part 1, I am only writing about how to tackle the onslaught of mail that comes to your house. The best advice I can give you is this: deal with it RIGHT AWAY. Immediately sort your mail into piles to recycle and deal with.
How to get your mail organized and keep it that way:
- Immediately sort your mail. Throw away or recycle what you don’t need right away.
- Put the mail you are keeping in a basket or tray by the door. Having it right by the door gives you no excuse not to use it!
- Set up a filing system. Only you know how many files your need. For me, I need a file for bills, a file for coupons, and a file for keeping items for the long term. Keep it simple- the more complicated your filing system the less likely you will continue to use it.
- Keep supplies for dealing with mail together. This could be pens, stamps, envelopes, and the checkbook.
- Go through the paperwork currently in your house. Decide if you should recycle, shred, or file each item. Take action on any paperwork you have been putting off. Get it done so you can start tomorrow with a clean slate!
- Establish a habit of putting your mail in the drop-off zone. Try not to put your mail EVEN ONCE on a random table or counter. Once you let that happen, it’s a slippery slope people! If you are wanting to change the paper clutter problem in your house, you have to be serious about it and establish new habits.
- Establish a habit of regularly dealing with your mail. Set a day/time of each week that you will deal with mail. (Put it on your calendar and set a reminder on your phone!) This helps ensure that you aren’t late paying bills or generally letting the mail pile up by your door.
- Consider receiving some mail electronically. Most of the time you can do this with your bills. You may want to find out if you are being charged a fee to receive a paper statement!
- Remove yourself from mailing lists. If you take the time to do this and receive whatever you can electronically, you will have SO much less paper coming into your house each week. I found this article very helpful for putting an end to junk mail.
Following those steps will have you well on your way to keeping mail clutter under control. If you keep on top of it, you don’t need to worry about important mail getting lost or forgotten. Below is some inspiration to help you think of ways to organize the mail in your home.