Mail mayhem (or madness) takes many forms including piles of unopened mail on the kitchen counter or an overloaded email inbox. Most of us have some sort of mail mayhem, and it can be quite overwhelming to face. Here are some tips to help get you started on controlling your mayhem.
Take it one day at a time and do it daily. Deal with incoming mail each day, designate 10 minutes to open, sort and put away mail. By completing this each day you will avoid pileups, late bill payments and missed events.
Open the mail in the same place every day and ideally near your shredder and recycling bin so that empty envelopes and junk mail can be disposed of immediately.
Put items directly in their homes whether it’s a “to file” pile or a “to do” pile etc. Be sure any upcoming events, due dates and deadlines are put in your calendar so they’re not missed.
Evaluate the number of subscriptions you have and consider reducing them, even temporarily. When you do receive subscriptions, set them in a place that is highly visible so that you do in fact read them.
Consider going paperless
Investments, banking and credit card statements can all be issued electronically. This saves paper and the time required to sort and file documents. Should you require a hard copy, you always have the option of printing your own statements.
If you still like to receive paper statements, consider reducing the number of statements you receive by requested quarterly or annually summaries.
No flyers Please
Put a sign on your mailbox clearly stating “NO Fliers please”. This will stop some of the mayhem from ever getting into your mailbox.
Work on the backlog
Don’t fool yourself; your current pile of mail mayhem isn’t going to go away on its own. Designate an hour to open, sort and put away items in your pile. Be brutal with these items- if you haven’t needed or missed any of these things, perhaps they should be shredded or recycled.
Like any project…the more you take care of today the less you will have to deal with tomorrow.