Sunday, May 31, 2009

Processing Mail

One thing that consistently comes up is how to deal with mail. It tends to get thrown on the counter and pile up quickly. Mail needs to be processed immediately. On your way back from the mailbox, make a stop at the trash can. Throw away/recycle anything that you don’t need or aren’t interested in. For example, those grocery store ads that come every Wednesday never make it past my recycle bin. Next stop should be your office, bill paying area or whatever space you have for dealing with household operations. Your mail should be immediately opened and put into its proper home. You should have a shredder located in this area as well.

Every household should have some kind of filing system and bill paying folder system. I prefer the tickler file (see my article on tickler files) but that doesn’t work for all. Open and file your mail. Shred anything that has personal information on it.

This sounds like a lot of work when you have other things to attend to, but giving your mail 5 minutes of dedicated time a day will save you lots of paper piles, stress and possibly late fees later.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at


Prohomemaker.Com said...

Kudos! I wrote a similar post on how you need to deal with the mail as soon as it comes in. It has a 5 minute lifespan on my counter. I do save the grocery ads (to chart the specials and clip the flyer coupons) but that's the only place I disagree.

You would be surprised how many clients' homes I go into witha week of mail in a toppling basket. This is such a simpler way to make your home organized.

Great post!

Brandy with Send Out Cards said...

This might help cut down on the pile of paper that accumulates on the table closest to the door. I'll just need to get a file system in order :)