That pesky mail just keeps coming and tends to pile up or get scattered around the house. Having a good system for handling your incoming mail and paperwork is key to keeping your life organized. There are some simple steps you can take to help keep the mail under control, make life simpler and reduce the chaos. These easy steps will only take a couple of minutes a day and save you hours every month.
Five Easy Steps to Manage Your Mail:
- Set up a specific place to handle your mail and paperwork with all the items you need within easy reach.
- Open and Sort the mail as soon as you receive it into these suggested categories:
- Shredding bin – any documents/envelopes with personal information that can be discarded immediately
- Recycling bin – for sales adds, magazines, and envelopes without personal information that can be discarded
- To Read bin – magazines, sales ads, newspapers, etc. to be read later
- To Do/Follow-Up bin – for action items that need further attention
- To Pay bin – bills and invoices to sort into folders by due date
- For bills/invoices if you don’t pay them on line, set up 4 file folders: 1) 1st -10th, 2) 11th -20th, 3) 21st – 31st, 4) Next month/Future
- Place bills in these folders according to their due date.
- Check the folders 5 working days before the first date on the folders (take into consideration holidays and weekends) and process the bills. For example: the 11th-20th folder you would check on the 6th of the month and process the bills/invoices in the folder.
- Distribute Next Month/Future folder’s bills/invoices into appropriate folders when you process the bills/invoices for the 1st -10th.
- Set specific days and times to deal with the mail on a regular basis, minimum of once a week.
- Adjust this system as needed to meet your individual needs, or try a different system if this doesn’t work for you.
- Being consistent with maintaining the system is key to making it work.
Dealing with the mail on a daily basis prevents more chaos and piles, which take even more time to deal with. When you keep up with the paperwork you will feel less stress, pay fewer late fees, and have more time to enjoy life.
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“The contents of this post are intended to be purely educational in nature, and are not intended to be used as legal or financial advice. In all legal matters, consult an attorney, in all financial matters consult with an accountant. Use of these examples without due diligence is at your own risk.”