Monday

How to Organize Mail

One thing that often gets overlooked when it comes to getting organized is postal mail. Although email has replaced snail mail for most communication there is still plenty of mail delivered daily by your postal carrier. People still like to keep that personal touch especially for birthdays and special occasions by sending cards or invitations. Most utility bills are still sent by post and of course there is still the old fashioned equivalent to spam known as junk mail.

Mail can quickly add up.

The mailman comes around at least five days a week just a few pieces of mail a day, if not dealt with immediately can soon become a mountain. If you set it aside to read at a different time you'll quickly have it scattered everywhere and that leads that feeling of overwhelm. If you put it in one place like your kitchen table it's not long before you have no place to even set a plate to eat. It happens that fast.

It's essential to have things archived and stored away.

Is this you? Then it's time to take control. Have a special place to put your mail as soon as it gets into your home. You don't need to file it right away but it's a good practice to do this at least once a week or else it will start to accumulate. Many people think it's okay to throw away bills but that isn't true. Credit card statements should be held onto for up to 7 years. All of your financial records are essential to prove that you aren't doing anything wrong or illegal. Another thing is that if a company says that you didn't pay a certain bill there is not way of proving that they are lying unless you have the paid bill to back you up. Many people trust the fact that the companies have a copy but they don't understand that you can get hurt if the company turns on you or if they lose the records. Don't think that they can't lose the records. Not every company is organized. You may have misconceptions about how long to hold on to bills.

Keep track of how much you are spending.

Another great thing about keeping your bills is to keep track of how much you are consuming. It's a fun goal to try to go down on your energy consumption. Learn to turn things off when you are not using them. Paying online offers you an added benefit of having the record easily accessible when you need it.

Keep the junk mail under control.

If you are going to enter the clearinghouse sweepstakes, fill it out the form, save the stub and send it off. Have a folder or transparent envelope to put these stubs. Sales fliers are really unnecessary unless you truly have your eye on something. If it's not a product that you normally buy, you probably won't use it this time either. If it's a freebie or a great deal, put it with your grocery list and use it next time you go to the store. Go through your coupons and throw away all of those that have expired. Don't hang on to too much "stuff" since it depletes your energy and takes your time.

What about cards and letters from friends?

If you're sentimental, put them in a box, name it "precious memories" and store it in a safe place. Don't forget to take this box out once in a while together with a friend or family member to reminisce and think about the great memories and fun times.

By taking these steps, you'll quickly reclaim lots of surrendered space from useless paper in your home.

By Ginger Myers

Here's a post where you can learn how to organize office files to have a happier and stress free life. You can also learn how to organize your homeschooling classroom furniture in creative ways.

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