One thing that constantly plagues my clients is the never-ending bulk pile of mail sitting on their kitchen table, or whatever surface it ends up.
I totally get it. I’ve been there. There was a time in my life when I had the Sisyphean mail mountain. I traveled a lot so it just kept getting taller and wider and scarier. Obviously that caused a ton of stress because I wasn’t on top of things, I missed deadlines and even came close to getting my power shut off because I hadn’t paid a couple of electric bills.
That was too much anxiety for me so I took control and made a serious habit change.
Nowadays, I make a habit to sort my mail every day. The way I do it is:
- Sort out all of the junk while I’m walking from my mailbox to my house.
- Put the junk mail in the recycle bin so it doesn’t even enter my home.
- Open bills immediately and toss out any flyers/ marketing extras in eluded in the envelope.
- Put bills with their envelope around the bill on a tray on my desk. It’s fake silver but looks so much more attractive than scattered on the kitchen counter
- Catalogs and magazines go in their own basket. I have to admit I get a lot fewer of these than I used to because I just don’t have the time to read them. Hello, Instagram!
- Appointments and parties go immediately on the calendar. I’ll paperclip them to my calendar if they are cute or worth hanging on to until the event.
- Actual cards and letters are placed on my desk to open and savor in a quiet moment. Those are so rare I want to take the time to read them slowly to soak them in. I do have a special basket for sentimental cards and letters that I want to save.
It probably sounds like I have 1,000 baskets in my house but really it’s all about assigning a home for everything. When you have a place to put things, you know where they go and where to find them when you need them.
This week: I want you to sort your mail.
- Adopt a zero tolerance policy for junk mail in the home.
- Get a pretty basket or bin to (temporarily) store your incoming mail. Think rectangle, open top, no taller than 3″ high.
- Unsubscribe from catalogs and magazines that you no longer have time to read.
- To remove your name from credit card and promotional mailings, go to http://www.optoutprescreen.com
- To remove your name from ValPak coupon mailings, go to https://www.valpak.com/coupons/show/mailinglistsuppression
- Make a weekly date with yourself to go through your mail and process it fully. Call it a “mail date” on your calendar with a weekly repeat. Let NOTHING hinder this event.
It’s not enough to have a place to put all of your mail. You still have to go through it. 😁