1 Cor. 14:40 "Let all things be done decently and in order."
For many of us, our biggest organizing opportunity is paper, in general …. and particularly mail. It accumulates so fast. I have encountered so many clients that simply let it pile up, then they just throw it in a plastic bag or a box and hope for the best???
When you walk in the door with your mail, analyze what you are doing with it. Does it end up on the entry foyer furniture, kitchen or dining room table or counter top? Does it pile up here before you finally address all the papers? Do you find your paying late fees? The solution is to develop new, good habits.
Where to start...
The first good habit is to sort the mail as soon as you walk through the door. This should take you less than a minute. Otherwise, it will build up rapidly. That’s the old, bad habit. Sort the mail into the following piles:
1. Important papers such as bills and documents
2. Junk mail, flyers, advertisements
3. Items to be shredded – anything with sensitive information on it
The next good habit is to place the junk mail, advertisements and flyers in the recycle bin or circular file (trash can). You can add old magazines and newspapers to this bin, as well.
Following this, you want to set aside the items to be shredded in a container convenient to the shredder. Ideally, this would be in your space where you pay your bills and file records. When you are ready to pay bills, the shredding can be completed at the same time. Shredding literally takes seconds.
The last good habit to manage daily mail is to place any mail that requires an action in a convenient place such as a small desk or tabletop. You can use a stackable tray or a vertical paper holder to store these documents. Place the papers in order so that the most critical is at the top or in front of you with an action date written on it. That way, you will not miss any deadlines.
In summary, it’s a simple solution of three easy steps to get a handle on your mail. You will have some setbacks such as vacations when you get a pile of mail all at once. Incorporate the good habits to get yourself back on track quickly and efficiently.