Everyday (except Sundays), mail stares you in the face. Do you look forward to getting the mail? Or do you dread it because you still haven’t dealt with yesterday’s?
Many homes struggle with paper clutter. Mine used to be one of them. I used to have a pile of papers that screamed at me every time I walked in the house. I would always think “oh I need to go through them…” but that’s about as far as I got. It wasn’t until I really decided that I needed organize our home, that I finally got control of that pile.
The thing is, I learned it wasn’t the pile that I needed to keep control of.
It was preventing that pile from even happening in the first place, that made all the difference.
When it comes to mail, it is easy to grab it from the mailbox, quickly glance at what came, and throw it on the counter to go through more in depth, later. I suppose that method works for some, but I have learned that the tried and true method of dealing with mail clutter is:
TAKE CARE OF EVERY PIECE OF MAIL THE MINUTE YOU WALK IN THE DOOR
I know, I know, you are thinking, “who has time for that?”
Let me ask you this – do you take 15 minutes to fold your laundry? Do you take 10 minutes to do the dishes? Do you take 5 minutes to browse Facebook?
What I am suggesting is treat your mail as one of those very things listed above – as something that will take a few minutes to accomplish. Getting the mail isn’t the problem – it’s what to do with it when it’s brought in the house, that’s the problem.
Here is how I take care of our mail clutter:
1. Get the mail (pretty simple!)
2. Set it on the counter and put it in 3 piles – recycling, sort/file, bills/responses.
3. Immediately recycle anything that is not needed (out of sight, out of mind).
4. Sort or file whatever needs to be – actually, I do not even file those papers right away. I put them on a pile on top of my filing system and every week or 2, file that pile (it’s usually at the max, 3-5 papers). Saves a little bit of time, from having to pull my filing system down, and doing individual papers. It’s much easier to just do it every once in awhile.
5. Pay those bills right away, respond to a RSVP, fill out the survey, etc. right then and there. I get that magazines can’t be read right away and some bills can’t be paid at that moment, but put those on top of your planner so that it makes you deal with them asap, when you can. Also, if something needs to be written on the calendar, do it right then and there.
Taking care of the mail right away, as soon as you walk through the door, diminishes any pile that would even think about starting in your kitchen. Also, it keeps your life organized because you know that every paper you get, is either filed, recycled, paid, or written on your calendar. There is no room for procrastination or forgetfulness with this method!
I have dealt with our mail right away for a few years now and it has done wonders! I would take a picture of my paper piles, but I no longer have them.
And how freeing that is!