How To Stay on Top Of Mail

Mail Organization

As a professional home organizer I saw one very common problem from home to home.  Paper.  And specifically mail.

I would classify it as the most common problem.    It arrives in our mailboxes and on our front porches daily.  Since it never ends it can quickly lead to an unorganized mess. 

Use these steps to keep your mail organized and under control.  

1.  Only get your mail when you have 5 minutes or more to focus on it.  If you are in the habit of grabbing your mail and plopping it down wherever and leaving it for another time, no more.  Only bring it in when you have time to take care of it.

2.  Stand over your garbage/recycle when going through your mail.  99% of mail can go right into the recycle.  Literally.  No exaggeration.  99% of it is junk mail.  Get rid of it.

3.  You're left with bills, cards, catalogs, coupons & packages. 

  • Be realistic about the coupons.  What are the chances you will use them?  If you will, put them in an envelope in your car or purse.  If you leave them home you will not have them when you need them. Go through your envelope at least once a month to throw out expired coupons.

  • Cards are sentimental and if you like to keep them go ahead.  But you should have a designated place you put them.  And you should have room for them.  If not just keep your most favorite.  Or if you are unsentimental like me, keep them for a period of time them toss them.
  • Bills usually come with an envelope for mailing in your payment.  Who mails in payments these days?  No judgement if you do, but paying online is so much easier.  Either way, tear off the payment stub, shred the actual bill or file it, and then put the pay stub in the enclosed envelope.  Have a place for these so when it is bill pay day you know exactly where they are.  On bill pay day either mail them or pay online.  If you pay online shred the stub afterwards.  
  • Most catalogs can go straight into the recycle but if there are ones you like and shop from take the time to go through them the same day.  I love getting my monthly Costco mailer and earmark each page that has items I want to purchase.  If there are multiple things on the same page circle them.  After you have made your purchases, the mailer goes into the recycle.
  • If you received a package most likely you ordered it.  If you ordered it you wanted or needed it.  Take it out of the packaging immediately.  Recycle all packaging.  Now put the item away!

Happy organizing!