Before you start organizing your mail, I recommend gathering a few important supplies:
- A shredder
- Recycling bin
- Trash bin
- Two trays (one for incoming mail and one for outgoing mail)
I highly recommend setting up a mail station wherever you keep your files.
Keep in mind that there’s really only four options when it comes to incoming mail. You can: Toss it, Shred It, File It or Put it in an action file (ie. To Do, To Read, To Pay, etc.)
If you are not in the habit of going through your mail daily, try scheduling a time in your appointment book or calendar so that you make the time to open your mail every day. This will prevent the mail from piling up.
When going through your mail:
- Immediately toss all junk mail
- Shred anything that has your personal information on it that you are not interested in (ie. credit card offers)
- File all statements or other mail in their appropriate files (which should be right there next to you)
- Any items that need attention should be filed in your Action files. If it is a bill then put it in your “Bills to Pay” file, if it is an invitation, put it in your Upcoming Events file,
- Finally, don’t forget to put any important dates or due dates on your calendar!
This whole process should take a few minutes. If you take just a few minutes each day, you will ultimately avoid having the mail pile up day after day. It will also avoid needless late fees or penalties from unpaid bills.
Remember to keep it simple!