What To Do? How To Do??
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I don’t know about you, but for most people, the mail is always and continually piling up; there just seems to be no way around it. Mail organization seems so elusive. Between flyers, solicitations, and those dreaded bills….there’s just no stopping it.
It’s similar to the laundry or the dishwasher. No matter how many times you take care of it, you still have to do it again. It’s best to come to terms with it. Just like Ross had to come to terms with the fact that he and Rachel were not on a break, we have to come to terms with the fact that our pile of mail is something we’ll never finish… cause there’s always tomorrow.
So now that we’ve come to terms with the fact that our mail pile is, and always will be, neverending…. it’s time to figure out how to deal with it.
Lucky for you, I have a quick fix!
Obviously, the mail is important and you have to sift through and look at most of the things you get. One helpful tip that lowers my mail count is managing my overload of catalogs.
I know I’m not the only one that receives an exorbitant number of catalogs; yes, some are interesting and useful, but most of the info in them can be found on the web. If you can’t seem to part with some of the catalogs and love the feeling of looking through that glossy material, that’s totally understandable. But give yourself a timeframe for reading through them, and then toss them.
However, I know there are also some catalogs you get that you don’t want to read, and you have no idea how they got your name.
That’s where Catalogchoice.org comes to your rescue. Sign in to this website, search the name of the catalog you don’t want, opt-out, and they do the rest. You can also call the number on the catalog if you can find it, but that can be a little more time-consuming. Pick a way that is easier for you, and Like Nike – Just Do It.
Once you’ve done it you’ll be so happy. You only have to do it once to reap the benefits.
Now that you’ve weeded out the catalogs, the best way to approach dealing with the mail is to have a system and stick with it.
In order to not reinvent the wheel, there are a few very important items that are needed in order to get this done correctly. If we have them and follow the system, then we’re golden. Mail organization is within our reach!
For our first line of defense, we need just 4 things:
First, start sifting one by one. The more you purge, the less you have left in your piles. Break it all down into different categories.
Toss, File, Bills, Read and Shred.
Next, label 4 of your file folders. Toss doesn’t need a folder.
- Let’s start with the easy one: Toss. Show no mercy! Out go the catalogs and flyers that don’t interest you, out go the envelopes that everything comes in. You know your own address, you don’t need to save 45 envelopes with it, or envelopes with a clear plastic window. Allow yourself a quick glance at any flyers — but if it’s irrelevant — 1,2,3… out it goes.
- Next, let’s get to Filing and Bills. This is the actual meat and potatoes of the mail. Keep your “show no mercy” gloves on, and throw away any unnecessary pieces. You know what I’m talking about: Who really needs the blank page at the end of a bank statement? Throw that away, take the few pages that you actually need, the ones with the statement information, unfold those and staple them together, and then put them in their own pile. Next in line are the Bills. If you need to hold onto the return envelope inside to pay by snail mail, then that’s where the paperclip comes in. If you pay online, then toss those envelopes, as well, and put the bills in their pile.
- There are only 2 categories left: Read and Shred. “Shred” is for any paper you don’t need, especially those that have personal information like account numbers or your Social Security Number. “Read” includes articles or papers that tell you what, how and when you need to do something in the future.
Now, put your 4 piles into their own labeled file folders, and if you’d like, put them in a holder. You can use a magazine holder as pictured here. And poof, you’re done! The mail should take you no longer than 5 minutes a day once you implement this system.Now you can check “Sort Mail” off your To-Do list, which we all know is very satisfying. Go ahead — give yourself a pat on the back. Speaking of “To-Do” lists, check out my post on 5 Quick Things To Get Off Your “To-Do” list. This organizing thing isn’t so bad once you get on a roll.
This new system will make you feel so good. It’s so simple to sort the mail, it just looks daunting. Give it a try, turn it into a habit, and stick with it. It will help tame the chaos of everyday life.
Let me know how it goes. Do you have a different system for your mail organization that works for you? What’s your system? How often do you go through your sorted mail so your bills get paid on time? If you have one, share it with us. Either email me or drop a note in the comments section below. Let us all learn.
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