Last week on the Mindful Monday post, I shared how to sign up for a free service from the USPS to get an email of your mail prior to delivery. Using Informed Delivery helps me to stay organized and go through the mail stack quicker. This week, I will be sharing different ways to sort, organize and tackle the paper monster....of mail.
During one of my recent video consultations I was reminded of how mail can become overwhelming very easily. Many of you have multiple roles, you aren't only the Chief Executive Officer of your homes, but you also have side businesses, run non-profits, and so many other facets that require correspondence.
Here are a few ides of how to sort & view your mail.
As you grab the mail immediately recycle the junk mail.
Create a "Mail Basket" in an easy access spot. Put all the mail in this basket during the week and don't open it yet (at least the bill/company letters). When I see a personal letter it makes my day so I always open those quickly. Next, schedule yourself two days a week to go through the mail for 15-20 minutes. You can recycle, shred and file mail during this time. Create a file or another location for pieces of mail that require action or attention, but don't act on them yet. Then, schedule another day to take 15-20 minutes and work through the "needs attention" mail. This process may seem long at first, but as you start to create the habit it will go faster and easier. For example, Tuesday you would file/sort mail at 3-3:20pm, on Thursday at 1 pm you would complete your to do file of paperwork (phone calls, bill pay, etc.), then on Sunday at 7pm you would file/sort again. Maybe this schedule can be done in two days rather than three? But if you have a large amount of incoming mail three days may be good to start with to incorporate old piles of mail laying around the house.
Rather than using a filing cabinet/system you can scan documents by using the Scanner Pro App on a tablet or smart phone. When you use this App you can save it in two places; in the App and in your GoogleDrive. Then shred or recycle the paper.
Another option is to get the mail only when you have time to go through it immediately. This is my favorite way to get through the mail. Quickly toss the junk mail in recycling, open any documents that need filing, scan them and save them in my Google docs. The paperwork that needs attention or follow up could be put a file/notebook. Then, schedule a time during my week to address the items in the notebook.
Whichever way you choose to tackle the mail monster, be sure it works for you. Every family operates differently, sometimes an idea sounds great, but in reality it doesn't work in your home and that is OK. If it doesn't work, then it isn't a good idea for your home. I have tried many methods and depending on the season of life I use different organizational systems. Try different methods to find out what works best for your family, then create a habit
of streamlining the incoming mail.
Now, go write someone a letter to brighten their day!