Handle the mail–daily.

Because we subscribe to e-statements, we very rarely receive mail–other than junk mail.  And we get junk mail almost daily.  And I hate it.  And I declared war on it last year.

Did I win?  I guess the answer to that question depends on your definition of the word win.  The junk mail coming into our home has been reduced.  But we still get junk mail.

To make the mail easier, have a procedure for processing it, and handle it daily.  All junk mail with our personal information (names + address) goes in the shredder.  All junk mail sent to “Current Resident” or “Our Friends at” goes into recycling.  Unsolicited catalogs go in the recycling other than the cover with our address, which, again, is shredded. Telephone books don’t ever make it into our house; I take them straight to the recycling can.  Anything important we receive in the mail is scanned and then processed and possibly shredded.  For example, if I receive a medical bill, I scan it, verify the amount due with the EOB, pay it, and shred it.  If I receive a renewal reminder for my daughter’s Ranger Rick magazine, I note a date two days before the expiration on my calendar as a reminder to renew it; then I shred the mailed reminder.  If I receive an offer for less expensive vehicle insurance or to refinance our mortgage, I place them on our bar to discuss with my husband when he returns from work.

In short, we have a procedure for handling just about any piece of mail that arrives here.  These procedures are the way to keep mail and paper from piling up in our home.  I urge you to develop your own system.  You’ll probably never be able to stop mail from coming to your home, but you will be able to reduce it, and you will be able to keep it from piling up if you implement a system like the one described above.

More tomorrow on how to curb some of the mail coming in.

Time required:  Less than 5 minutes a day.

One more thing:  Keep working on sorting through your paper stack until it’s gone!


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