I tend to stuff mail into a basket that’s hidden on a shelf and behind a curtain in my laundry room. We pay a lot of our bills online, but still get the paper version. It’s something that I changed about two months ago. I dumped everything out and started to clean and organize it. A trash pile, shred pile, and file away pile. It took me about 1 1/2 hours to go through it, but I’m sure glad I did. I wish I would have taken a picture, but I’m sure you have a “little” pile of your own so you don’t need to see mine!
From then on I changed my mail strategy and here’s what I do (most of the time!).
- Throw out any junk mail before it even touches any flat surface of your home. If you live in an apartment typically they have a trash can by the mail center. Use it. If you gather your mail as you drive up to your house, throw it in your trash can before you even walk into the house. Of course, if it’s available to you, recycle it.
- Immediately throw away/recycle the envelope the mail came in. That’s usually half the mess right there!
- File your mail once you open it. Use whatever system you already have going for you. If you currently don’t have a system, get one.
- Keep a pen, calculator and stamps by your “system”. This just makes it easier to grab when you do pay those bills or fill out the return forms.
I know that this sounds a whole lot easier than it is. I just went through a small pile that was getting bigger and bigger last night. Luckily it only took me 5 minutes, but that’s because I do try to stay on top of the mail.
So go on…take some time to clean out that pile that is currently on your kitchen counter/mudroom shelf/office desk. I promise you will feel so much better!
**Side note about junk mail. If you find yourself getting an over abundance of junk mail, here’s a little tip. If it’s the kind that provides you an envelope that no postage is necessary, stuff all the junk mail that company sent you into that envelope and send it back! Then they can take care of it!!!