Efficiently Dealing with Mail Accumulation

It will be easier to deal with the mail if you create a home for each paper before it enters your house.  Anticipate the kind of mail you receive and create a place for these papers ahead of time.  Some mail you will not be able to foresee, so you will need to make a file for these items after they arrive at your house.  If you receive an abundance of unwanted mail then call or write organizations and ask for your name to be deleted from their mailing list.

 Homes for the Mail

Bills – Make sure there is a specific home for the bills such as a specific box labeled ‘bill box’ or file folder labeled ‘bills”.  The location should be in a place that you would look at often so you remember to pay the bills on time.

Spouse’s mail – Assign a basket for your spouse’s mail.  Ask him or her to deal with it immediately or before the basket overflows. 

Children’s mail – Place their mail in their room on a desk, dresser, or designated basket.

Junk mail – Immediately place these papers in the trashcan.

Coupons – Use a divided envelope to store coupons.  Index cards work well to label the coupon categories.  Suggested categories are:  services, food, restaurants, entertainment, car, and home improvements/repairs.  

Magazines, newsletters, and other reading materials – Place these items in a container or canvas bag.  If you have trouble finding time to read at home, take your reading material with you in the car to read while you wait at appointments, car pool lines, etc. 

Charitable organizations – Create a folder to keep information from an organization you would like to support.   If you do not plan to contribute a donation, discard the letter.

Tax information – Store this information in a labeled file folder.  When it is time to do your taxes, you will not have to hunt for the necessary papers because you will have them organized in one folder.

Invitations – Write the date on your calendar and then place the invitation on the refrigerator, file folder, or accessible drawer.  After the event either discard or file the invitation for memorabilia so you do not clutter your refrigerator or drawer with unnecessary information.

Cards, letters, announcements – Designate a keepsake box for items you want to save.  Some of these items you may save for a short period of time. 

Voter cards – This is your reminder to vote.  Put it in a visible place until after the election.

Catalogs – Only save the catalogs you intend to order product from.  Put them in a basket or file folder.  Discard the old catalog when you receive a new one.

It is important to deal with the mail immediately when you bring it into your house.  Piles of homeless papers are an overwhelming task to deal with.  If you have been on vacation you will need to designate extra time to sort through the stacks of mail.

 “Avoid a paper trail by immediately finding a home for each piece of mail!”


About Diana Koenig