Cleaning Habit: Organizing the Mail

The mail arrives every day. What do you do with it? Do you sort through it right away? Do you stack it on the counter? Do you let your paper trail pile up over time? One of the easiest ways to reduce clutter in your home is to go through your mail every day and keep it to a minimum.

When we first moved into our home a few months ago, I placed a small catchall basket on our counter and we ended up putting the bills and other pieces of mail behind the basket. Every time I walked into the kitchen, I saw the basket and mail pile as an eyesore. Even though the basket and mail pile were small, I couldn’t stand being greeted by them upon entering the kitchen. I noticed that we needed to get a system in place for our mail.

I went to the store and bought a galvanized wall hanging that had two baskets. One basket was dedicated to my husband. The other basket was dedicated to me. From there on out, whenever the mail arrives at our home, my husband goes out to get the mail and then immediately separates the mail into his pile and my pile and places those piles on the kitchen island. We do this every day.

He goes through his pile and only keeps the important items (e.g., bills). I do the same with my pile. All of the bills go into his basket since he manages the bill pay. All of my magazines go into my basket.

He will then go into his basket when the bills are due and pay them. Once they are paid, he discards the bill. I go through my basket on a regular basis to maintain its organization.

By implementing a mail organization system, we only keep documents that are important and then discard those documents when they are no longer needed. As a result, we never let the mail pile up in our house.

This system has made such a big difference in the mail organization in our home. I encourage you to setup a system that works for your household.  If you don’t have a system yet, I promise that you’ll feel so much better when you do.

How do you currently manage the mail in your home?

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  1. I used to let it pile up, but not any longer. We also handle the mail daily. Junk mail immediately goes in the trash, saving only the ads from stores I actually shop at. I open the bills and keep only the actual bill, all the rest goes in the trash (unless it must be mailed, then I save the clean envelope, too–can you believe the water company only accepts checks in the mail and cash at the payment center?). I even go so far as to remove plastic bags, inserts and postcards from the magazines.

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