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Organize + Energize: 10 Ways To Stay On Top Of Your Mail

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


Look familiar? Managing paper in a household is the number one challenge--here are 10 ways to gain the upper hand. Photo: uzvards/flickr.

Does your mail pile up throughout the week or do you handle it right away? Do you have weeks’ worth of mail in a pile in your home? Do you have a designated area in your home to process your mail?

The number one area people have difficulty with when it comes to organization is paper management. One area in this category that people struggle with is processing their mail.

For those of you who have difficulty dealing with your mail, and you know who you are, here are 10 tips to get a handle on your mail. Even if you take away one tip, you are making progress! Everybody has their own system and what works for them. Tailor it to work for you. The key is to have a system.

1. Mail arrives. (A little note about me: I can’t wait for the mail to arrive! I love getting mail!)

2. Bring your mail to an area in your home or office where you can process it. Keep your shredder, filing cabinet, trash, to do list, and calendar close by.

3. Handle the mail immediately. It takes less than 5 minutes to do this. If you let the mail pile up for months, you will spend hours going through it in the long run. The longer you let the piles build, the longer you will put off going through it.

4. Go through each piece of mail. Shred any junk mail that has your personal information on it. Throw away all other junk mail.

5. Magazines. Put in a pile and bring to the area in your home where you read. Make a plan to read the magazines in a timely manner. Rip out any articles you want to save, keep them organized in clear plastic sleeves in a binder organized by theme. Throw away the magazine after you have gone through it.

6. Store flyers. If you don't need it, THROW IT OUT! It takes less than a minute to figure out if you want to keep a store flyer.

7. Coupons. If you can't cut them out at that moment, have a pouch or area in a drawer where you keep your coupons and file them in there for now and cut them when you are ready to go to the store.

8. Bills. Keep a journal desk type calendar and file the bills in the calendar in the week or two before they are due. Never pay a bill late or misplace a bill again. When you pay bills late, your interest rates increase and your credit score will drop.

9. Bills that need to get paid ASAP or mail you need to tend to ASAP. File them with your to do list for the week.

10. Any other mail that is of importance, file in your filing cabinet or calendar or tend to it at that moment.

As you read this, do you have a pile of mail on the kitchen table? Tackle that pile of mail that has been sitting on your table and start fresh with a new system. You will feel energized and motivated! You are one more step closer to becoming organized!

Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, the founder and owner of Organizing in RI, has always enjoyed finding creative ways to streamline the environment around her. Kristin spent several years working in retail management, medical offices, and was even a successful certified personal trainer for 4 years. She discovered that in each of these fields she had a natural ability to streamline spaces and processes. Through her organizing ability and her passion for motivating others to achieve their goals, Kristin created Organizing in RI. Kristin has appeared on air on www.talkstreamradio.com and Patricia Raskin's Positive Business Radio. Her articles have been published in the Rhode Island Small Business Journal and New England Home Life. She is also available for organizing workshops.


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