Do you struggle with organizing your mail clutter? With the crazy amounts of junk mail that we receive in the mail, it’s no wonder that so many of us suffer from chronic mail clutter in our homes. Let’s take back our dining tables, our entryway tables, and our kitchen counters from overflowing mail clutter!
Here are 5 steps towards ending mail clutter once and for all.
1. Come up with a letter organizing system.
Before you head to the mail box and pick up the latest batch of mail, take a few minutes to sit and think about your and your family’s needs and the types of mail that you get regularly.
Ask yourself: Do you get a lot of junk mail that you recycle? Do you get a lot of health bills? What about catalogs and magazines? Do you get lots of personal correspondence? What kind of sensitive information do you get in the mail that you usually file away or shred? Do you receive a lot of forms to fill out, such as permission slips for your children’s field trips?
Decide on a couple of categories for your mail. Three or four categories should do the trick, but you could do only two to keep it simple or go up to five or six if you like to be more specific with your organization. Whatever works for you will be fine; just be sure that you will actually follow your system.
For example, you could have three categories: to shred, to read, and to do. You would put catalogs and magazines that you want to thumb through in the “to read” category and put bills to pay and forms to fill out in the “to do” category. If you recycle, you could put a small bin next to your letter sorting station (more on that later) to corral all the junk mail you want to recycle or create a fourth category for that.
2. Set up a letter sorting station.
Choose a location in your home where you want to sort through your mail and organize your mail clutter. The entryway is a popular choice, but other locations that would work include a desk in your kitchen, an office, an unused corner near your front door, a kitchen corner, or even a coat closet. Add a little table to the space if you need one and designate that area only for mail clutter.
Since you’ve already decided on the categories you want to use to sort your mail clutter, you can then purchase (or use something you already have) something to hold your mail. What about a stacking acrylic letter holder or a pretty ombre cascading letter file tote? I also like this modern letter sorter, this cute blossom letter sorter, this simple acrylic file sorter, this smart letter tray, and this fun grass letter holder. Choose a product that works well with your letter organizing system.
3. Check your mail every day.
The reason for this is simple: if you sort through your mail clutter frequently, the task will always be fast and easy. Let the mail pile up and you’ll end up sorting through all the paper clutter for far too long. And then tomorrow, you decide that you don’t have the time to do it. Then the mail piles up again. It turns into an ugly and disorganized cycle.
Just do it on a daily basis. You don’t even have to pay the bills or shred anything when you sort your mail clutter. Simply put the mail in their appropriate categories and then walk away. The end. For now.
4. Make an appointment with yourself to tackle your “to do” pile.
Remember these bills and forms that you need to complete? This is when you go through them, all at once. These appointments should happen at least twice a week and last for around 20 minutes. Sit down and go through your “to do” category. If you have “to shred” and “to file” piles, do them as well. Don’t stop until you’ve completed everything you need to do.
If you do this regularly, it shouldn’t take very long and you will feel SO good afterwards.
5. Whenever you’re relaxing, grab a catalog or magazine from the “to read” category.
Some of us subscribe to magazines that we never read because we forget to do so! When we’re relaxing, it can be easy to reach for the iPad or the phone and get lost in the internet vortex. Try to remember to read the magazines that you’ve paid for (and even the free catalogs) and reduce your mail clutter in the process.
Alright, I’m off to sort through my mail clutter. Can’t miss my appointment with myself! For some more organizing solutions, don’t miss How To Organize Your Closet in 4 Steps and Tips for Organizing Your Garage.