Delivered daily, it is a system that needs constant maintaining. Why is it so hard to keep it from turning into ugly piles of papers all around the house? Here are the best tips to keep it in order:
- Have a mail bin located closest to where you enter the house. It can be a large basket, wall bin, spot on a table but that is where it is officially dumped. Always put it there and train the family to do the same.
- The next time you pick it up you should be recycling the trash, shredding (or putting in a shred bag/bin) the confidential unwanted items, placing catalogs and magazines where you will process them and putting the bills and to-do’s in your inboxes. I have “bills to pay” and “to-do’s” folders.
- If all of these can be close to the dumping spot, you can just stand there and filter into the second spot. This second spot indicates the action on the item; throw it out, shred it, do it.
- The next time you pick up the bills, you should be paying the ones you need to. Or doing the to-do’s or adding them to the right system – calls to make, things to order, file, etc.
Every piece of mail is a decision. With the above, it is a “touch it twice” process. I feel this is so much easier than the mindset of touching it once and helps you identify clearly the action that is required. At a minimum, process the mail weekly. Daily is best. At a minimum also is weekly pay bill and have a to-do session. Doing this means you won’t miss a bill or miss a coupon, event or fail to address wrongful billing in a timely fashion.
Remember, managing the mail means you control the mess!