Getting Organized: How to Deal with the Mail

Thirteen and a half inches! Every day for one week I measured the amount of mail I got. All totaled, over a foot of paper came through my front door. Only half an inch of it was even remotely important.

How you handle the mail coming into your home is one of the keys to reducing your piles of paper.

When you consider that more mail comes into our homes over the course of a month then our grandparents received in a lifetime, it’s no wonder that we don’t know what to do with it all.

I got over 13 inches of mail in one week and that doesn’t include newspapers. What happens if you let a week, two, three or more go by without getting rid of that paper? How tall will your piles of mail be?

Without a doubt, the single most important thing you can do to minimize these piles is to go through your mail every day and throw away the junk. It may not be practical to fully handle everything, but if you just go through it and toss the excess at least your piles will be smaller – MUCH smaller.

So go through your mail everyday, near a garbage can or recycle bin, and use these 5-tips to help you decide what to keep.

1. Before you open a catalogue ask yourself: “Is there anything I KNOW I need to purchase from this merchant?”
2. What have I gained from this publication, magazine or newsletter in the past? Is it worth adding it to my pile?
3. Can I make a decision about this (paper, event, flyer) now or do I want to be stuck having to think about it again in the future?
4. Is someone trying to sell you something? Ask yourself: “If I hadn’t received this information would I have even considered buying it?”
5. Open up the envelopes. Get rid of all of the extra filler information and sales materials. Save only what you need.

Following these tips will not save your mail carrier’s back but it will help you uncover your countertops.