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The other day I brought in the mail and noticed a letter addressed to Dr and Mrs. Palmer. Really??!! It should be Drs. Palmer. I was about to get huffy about it until I remembered the time when we received another letter addressed to Dr. and Mr. Palmer. Ok. At least we’re even. 🙂
In my last post about clutter, “Is Clutter in Your Home Keeping You From Relaxing?“, I talked about clutter in general. Today we will address the specific problem of how to eliminate mail clutter.
With two kids, alumni letters, donation requests, catalogs and credit card offers, the mail clutter can happen quickly. I’m guessing you know exactly what I’m talking about. Mail everywhere… some of it important, and some not. It comes in daily so it can be hard to control and tends to end up in the dreaded “mail pile”. There’s also that twinge of anxiety you get when you’re afraid something important will get lost in there!
So how can you organize the mail so it’s hidden from view, act on the items that need immediate attention and not lose anything important? Here are my tips to eliminate mail clutter- AND the anxiety that goes along with it!!
Eliminate Junk Mail First
Get rid of obvious junk mail. Never let it hit a surface in your home. Throw it away before you set it down. (This feels great!!) Open all other mail and IMMEDIATELY discard anything that ends up being junk mail.
Create a Mail Station to Avoid Clutter
Take note of where mail naturally accumulates in your home. Then create a “mail station” in the same room or as close as possible. Old habits are hard to break, so don’t create the station in an entirely different area. Mail will likely continue to accumulate in the same space if you do. If you are trying to eliminate mail clutter that accumulates in the kitchen, create a mail station in a kitchen cabinet, inside a pantry or even on the inside of a cabinet or pantry door. If it accumulates in an entryway or mudroom, create a station there. Secretary desks work great for this purpose! Place one in your breakfast nook or living room (if it’s close by) and use it as a mail station.
“Mailboxes” for Family Members
Within your mail station, create a “mailbox” for each person in your home. This comes in really handy as your kids get older… they become responsible for handling their own mail. Right after throwing away junk mail, sort it into the applicable mailbox. Only include items that need to be acted on immediately. That way, each person in the family knows they need to take action on the mail in their box during that week. Set a deadline for taking action and emptying the mailbox (typically a week works well). This also keeps you from being responsible for attending to all the mail. Ahhh… the beauty of delegation! 🙂
File Away Future Reference Items
If anything needs to be kept for future reference (and does not require immediate action), store it in a different location . Or, if you prefer, scan it and keep a reference digital file. Evernote is a handy app for this.
Creating a system like this and sticking to it will prevent mail from stacking up, decrease your stress level and prevent important things from falling through the cracks. It’s a MUST in a clutter-resistant home.
Want to talk more about how you can create a clutter-resistant home? Click here to schedule a free discovery call with me.
I’m Kricia Palmer, and I help women physicians let go of clutter and create beautiful, clutter-resistant homes so they can feel more peace, get more rest and be more focused.
Create a home you love that fits YOUR style, so you feel relaxed, inspired, and enjoy every space in your home.