We are all about starting fresh this month as a new year has just begun. Many of us have put away the holiday decorations (no shame if you haven’t!) and are enjoying the clean, clutter-free spaces in our homes. But one place that can often accumulate junk is the mailbox, and today we want to help you learn how to reduce unwanted mail and organize the important stuff. Let’s go!
It’s important to set up a structure for incoming mail, including a location where you organize it. An office space might be a good location, or even a spacious drawer. Depending on your space you’ll probably want some kind of container to organize the mail in. We’d suggest:
Once you have the location and the supplies you need, you’ll want to develop categories that make organizing easy. We’d recommend categories like:
Records | Think voter registration cards, mortgage information, car registration information, etc.
Waiting for Reply | RSVPs, snail mail, or anything other action-oriented mail.
Bills | We’d recommend going paperless on your bills to save space, but if you choose to go the paper route it is imperative to keep them all in one place!
Coupons | This is broad, but saving relevant retail information can be helpful when you’re making purchases. Or, when you need a good old-fashioned catalog to flip through!
Once you have your space designated and your categories set up, the most important next step is to be consistent with your system. Take your mail directly to your designated area, and throw away any mail that doesn’t fall into one of these categories.
Like we mentioned before, doing this exercise can also tell us more about the kind of mail we do and don’t want to receive. If your records folder is piling up, try digitizing the information. You can use a physical scanner to do this, or use an app like Adobe Scan to simply take a picture that will then be converted into a PDF. The same is true for bills, most of which have a paperless option if you log into your online account. And here’s a pro-tip: creating these same folders in your email inbox can help you stay on top of the email pileup!
Last but not least, if you try this system and still have piles of mail to throw away, try removing your information off of mailing lists. You can do so by visiting consumer preference websites like DMA Choice and several others.
We hope these tips help you stay on top of your paper piles!