Whether it's bills, advertisements, or catalogs- we all receive tons of mail! The question is- what do you do with it when it comes in? Do you have a system in place or does it pile up and create clutter? Because if you don't have a sorting routine that you use right away when mail enters the house, and a place to put it after it once it is sorted- it ends up piling up all over your kitchen counters! So today I am sharing my tips for mail organization that I use every day!
When it comes to organizing your mail, you need both a system for dealing with the mail as soon as it comes into the house, as well as a central location to place all of the mail that needs to be dealt with regularly. Think about your current process, and ask yourself:
- Where does the mail go when it first comes into the house?
- Do I go through the mail every day and immediately recycle the junk mail, catalogs, and ads that I don't need?
- Do I have a place to keep bills that are waiting to be paid?
- Do I have a process for dealing with invites/flyers/mail for kids and spouses that they need to see?
Here's My Mail Organization Routine:
The first step of my mail organization routine is that my daughter collects our mail from the mailbox at the bottom of the driveway right when she gets off of the bus from school. She carries it into the house and deposits it on the kitchen table, right where I normally sit.
This ensures that I will take the time to deal with it before I sit down for dinner!
The next thing I do is to take a look at every piece and make a decision on what to do with it- sorting it into piles as I go.
There are separate piles for bills to pay, letters for other family members, catalogs or magazines to read later and junk mail that should be recycled.
As as soon as I am done sorting- I start “delivering” it.
Bills or mail addressed to me goes in an inbox on my desk. Bills are put in a “Bills to Pay” file- which I deal with twice monthly. Any other mail of mine is opened immediately and dealt with- items are added onto my calendar, RSVPs are sent, etc. If I need to hang on to any of the paperwork- that goes onto our family command center in my kitchen.
Mail for my husband goes into an inbox on his desk. Mail for other family members go on the kitchen table- in front of their seat at the table. Again, so it is dealt with prior to dinner.
Consistently “delivering the mail” to my family members in the same place every day means they know exactly where to go to find it!
Magazines and catalogs to look at later go into a bin in our family room- which I will enjoy looking through over the weekend.
And junk mail goes right into a recycling bin. This helps to make sure that junk mail is disposed of immediately and never clutters our living space!
Bonus Work #1: Reduce the Amount of Junk Mail You Receive!
What newspapers and magazines do you receive that you no longer make the time to read? Cancel those subscriptions immediately which will save you both money as well as clutter!
You can use a free service like Catalog Choice to help you opt-out of store catalogs that you would no longer like to receive. I suggest making a stack of catalogs that you receive throughout each week, and then once a week log into your Catalog Choice account and using the account # next to your mailing address on each catalog to opt-out of each one! In a few weeks time- the amount of junk mail you receive will greatly be reduced!
Bonus Work #2: Deal with Your Email Inbox Too!
I find that email makes me feel far more cluttered in my brain than US mail does! So if you want to battle the electronic clutter that comes from an overly filled email inbox- read this post on How to get to Inbox Zero!
Looking for Tools to Help You with Mail Organization?
This post on ideas for mail organization that can help!