5 Tips To Reduce Paper Mail Clutter
I know it might be hard to remember, but there was a time before email. A time when correspondence had to be delivered the old fashioned way, with pen (or typewriter) to paper, and a stamp from Uncle Sam. It was also a time when mail was actually something to look forward to getting.
These days, however, all mail has become an annoying chore. We deal with email all day at work, and then come home to boxes full of bills and junk mail. With the pervasiveness of social media, who sends thoughtful notes or love letters anymore? Life is very busy and I admit, with all my organizational goals, there are some weeks where my mail pile grows larger than I would like it.
But to help keep that from happening, if I am disciplined, these 5 tips help keep my mailbox from overflowing and overwhelming my already hectic schedule.
1) Put a recycle bin as close to where your mail is delivered every day. We have a slot with a drop box in our garage. I have our recycle bin directly below. This way I can quickly go through the mail and keep junk from even coming in the house.
2) If multiple family members receive mail in your house, set up a specific place where each person's mail will live AND they will be forced to see it. If you have a homework station, that would be a good place. Or somewhere else in the house that is a family hub.
3) Get your address put on the "no solicitation" junk mail list. This one: National Do Not Mail List is a good place to start. They will also give you resources to more unenrollment services. Also, while time consuming, you can keep envelopes of the offending companies and contact them directly requesting they remove you from their mailing list. If they keep sending you materials, you can file a complaint through the Federal Trade Commission.
4) Set up a bill payment station. Having a place where you can easily see what is due helps ensure nothing gets paid late. Keeping your checkbook, a few envelopes, stamps and a pen at the same location help make things easier too.
I like something like the one pictured on the right.
5) If you are starting to pay more of your bills electronically, or making donations, be sure you check the box on your account that specifies that you do not want paper statements.
These tips won't make ALL of your unwanted mail disappear, but combined, they will put a major dent in the flow through your mailbox. The rest is up to you. Don't procrastinate. Keep up on clearing out your box, and keeping down your pile, and your mail clutter will be a thing of your past.