It is important to be in control of our paperwork; we don't always have control over what we receive in the form of paperwork and most of that tends to come from our mail. What we do have control over is how we deal with this source of clutter. With that in mind, let's look at a good way to deal with our mail.
Most people receive mail six days a week, this may depend on your specific location. Sometimes there are days when all that you receive is “junk” mail – mail that serves no purpose other than trying to sell you something or get you to donate money or some other distracting topic. We are all in the habit of getting our mail daily since that is the usual delivery schedule – but does that mean we have to let it occupy our space and time every day? No!
A good way to deal with the clutter that the mail becomes is to designate an in-box of some sort that you can place near the main entrance to your home. We are going to use this to put our mail in as soon as we come in the door. This way the mail does not end up on the dining table, a kitchen counter, or spread throughout the house. Use whatever you wish, a Tupperware container, a cardboard box, a magazine rack. Tuck it under a table, on top of a shoe rack – whatever works for you and gets you to use it regularly.
Now that we have a collection area for the mail, designate set times to go through the mail and weed out the clutter causing portions. Most people do not need to review their mail everyday. Most of us can get away with once or twice a week. Set up a schedule that you want to follow and start right away. When the time comes to review your mail in the in-box, go through it all and sort it completely:
- Put ads and junk mail in the recycling or garbage
- File or scan and digitize bills and important paperwork in the correct locations, get rid of the envelopes.
- Paperwork decluttering is touched on in other tips of ours, and is extensively discussed in the Get Rid Of Clutter Today membership plan.
Take the time to read any personal letters and correspondence, again, get rid of envelopes and only keep the cards that you intend to display – boxes of cards that you never look at aren't going to bring you much happiness if you never see them!
Now that you have a plan and a schedule, enjoy! You have freed up some of your valuable time and will not have to keep track of paperwork that is cluttering up your home.