If you struggle with dealing with the constant flow of mail at your home, you are not alone. Most people either love getting mail or they hate it. I happen to love getting mail, but I know many people who avoid the mailbox like the plague. If you are ready to stop losing the battle against your mailbox, check out these simple ways to manage daily mail clutter.
Create One Spot For Mail that Needs to be Sorted
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If you set your mail down in a different spot every time you get it, you are more likely to create multiple piles of paper clutter. I suggest finding a file or tray to put your mail that needs sorting. I just bought a large rectangle shaped platter at Home Goods. When you have a set place to put your paper, it is less likely to become clutter.
Set Aside 5 minutes Daily to Sort Your Mail
I honestly believe that right after you pick up your mail and bring it in the door is the best time to sort it. When you set routines it helps to create habits. If you get in the habit of sorting your mail right away you will be less likely to just dump it and create clutter. If that is not possible, you should set aside 5 minutes in another part of your day to commit to sorting it.
Quickly Sort Mail Into 4 Piles
This pile is for all mail that needs further attention. Your keep pile includes all magazines to be read, letters to file, bills to pay or any item that requires a response such as an invitation. You need to set aside more time later in the day to deal with this type of mail or once a week. The choice is yours. I will talk more about this later.
The recycle pile is for ads or magazines that you don’t want. They should be recycled immediately if you have that option. I always black out my address with a black marker or an identity protection stamp.
It is best to shred all mail that an identify thief could steal information from. I recommend a good crosscut shredder for this job.
This is for all torn envelopes, or garbage inserts from your mail.
You should dispose of all mail in the recycle, shred or toss piles immediately, so that you are only left with your keep pile.
How to Handle the Keep Pile
During the weekly or daily time that you set aside, deal with the keep pile from your mail completely.
You should have a set place for magazines that need to be read. Keep only those that you plan to read and purge them often. If there are articles or inspirational ideas you want to keep, have a set spot for those as long as you actually use them. Otherwise, you need to toss it.
You should pay or schedule all bills immediately. If you cannot do this, mark a time to handle them in your planner or set a reminder on your computer or your phone.
I find it best to file all papers such as insurance documents immediately. Don’t leave them laying around. When you file items right away they will be there when you need them, they will not get lost and they will not create clutter.
I recommend responding to all correspondence immediately. You should mark important dates in your calendar and place items to be mailed back in one spot.
There you have it. A simple system for handling daily mail clutter. It’s time to set up yourself up for success and say goodbye to the paper clutter.