In college, Mark and I were drowning in paper. We had stacks of mail that were piling up so high I thought they might one day reach the ceiling. Junk mail was popping out of the woodwork. Important notices were disappearing behind letters and invitations. Let’s just say we had a major paper problem.
I could have blamed the people in offices all over the country who were sending me advertisements, notices, bills, etc.. but I needed to figure out how to organize my paper, because people are still sitting in offices somewhere plotting to send me more “junk mail.”
Here’s what I learned about mail:
- Deal with your mail once.
- As soon as you check your mailbox start walking to the trash can. Discard of all junk mail immediately. You’ll be amazed at how quickly your mail pile goes down.
- Create a “bills” folder, drawer, or box. Immediately place the bills in this designated folder so you will always know where they are. You will be able to keep track of them and create a system for paying them on time if they are all in one spot.
- File other important papers right away.
- Create a drawer, box, or folder for personal letters you wish to keep. If you don’t want to keep them, throw them away with your other junk mail.
- Write down the information you receive from an invitation in your planner so that you don’t have to hold onto several different pieces of paper.
For more tips on dealing with paper you can read chapter 10 of Smart Organizing by Sandra Felton.