Three Tips for Organizing the Mail

I have a love/hate relationship with mail. Much like my feelings about books (real books for life!), I love getting it, the feel of it in my hands, and having something to open and read on real paper…but I hate having to go through it.  Over the years, I have found there are three key things I can do to keep my mail organized so I still get the enjoyment I want without feeling like mail is overtaking my life.

1.      Go paperless. Seriously, if you haven’t done it yet, do it. Find the things that you really do not need to get a hard copy of. Most companies allow you to download a PDF of anything you might need in the future, and doing that one step alone can significantly reduce the amount of mail you have to deal with on a regular basis.

2.     Have somewhere to put it. What is your process when you come home? Do you drop all your things on a table by the door, do you go to the kitchen and get a snack, do you go to your room and change your clothes? Whatever your process is, that’s probably where you want to put a mail container so you can drop your mail into it as part of the routine. If you have somewhere to put your mail, you know you can always find it in one place, which helps from feeling like your mail is taking over your space.

a.     Give everyone who lives at the residence their own mail container. Keep everyone’s container in the same place for easy access and sorting, and make sure everyone’s container is clearly labeled so you know whose is whose.

3.     Create your mail process. This goes along with #2, but you need to determine what your mail process is. For me, this is checking the mail every day and automatically getting rid of things I don’t need like credit card offers, certain coupons or flyers. Then, I put the mail I want to go through back in my mail container (and Dave’s in his container) and go through it on a weekly basis, usually on Saturdays. At that point, I have taken action on anything I need to and my mail container is empty and ready for all the new mail I may get over the next week. All that to say, figuring out the process that works with your lifestyle is the foundation of keeping your mail organized (although a nice to look at mail organizer doesn’t hurt).