Monday, June 7, 2010

Monday's Household Assignment- How to deal with mail.
This week we're going to tackle the pile of papers that are on your desk or counter and the paper that comes into your house as mail. It's amazing how fast it all accumulates isn't it?

First let's deal with the mail. There are 3 basic kinds of mail that come into your house.
  1. Mail that is junk
  2. Mail that you need to read and then throw away.
  3. Mail that you need to keep or bills that you need to pay.
The key to dealing with the mail is to sort it as soon as you bring it into the house.  When I bring the mail in I sort it right over a trash can so that I don't have to touch junk mail more than once.  I pick up a piece and decide if it's a keeper or a tosser. If it's a tosser it doesn't pass go and doesn't collect any of my money, it goes right into the trash.
Keep and reads would be items like magazines or catalogs, or letters and cards. You read them then throw them away. 
If it is a keeper, it goes into one pile and if it is a read and toss it goes into the third pile.
Some keepers you have to keep long term like tax forms, warranties, or certificates. Some are items are temporary keepers; items that you need to pay or that have a time expiration attached to them, like bills.You have to keep them long enough to deal with them then throw away.

Once the mail is sorted, you need to deal with the keepers. I have a folder that all keepers go into and I clear it out once a week. I pay the bills and then file the  other items that I have to keep, into the correct folders filing cabinet.

Keep and reads I have ONE pile that I try to read through once a week. I love cooking magazines and always want to try some of the recipes. Instead of keeping the whole magazine, as I read each issue, I tear out the photo and the recipe and those go into a folder for untried recipes.  I try to use at lease one recipe out of this folder per week. At the end of each season, I clear it out and start new. Once I try a recipe, if it's really good, I scan the recipe and photo into a computer file and put it in my recipe folder on my computer. By getting it into electronic form, I eliminate the storing issue and it allows me to access the recipe with a few clicks instead of searching for a piece of paper or leafing through a whole magazine.

I hope that you can get your piles of paper under control this week and take back your desk!


Laina said...

these are great tips!

Nat said...

I agree, great tips! I hope that your junk mail is actually going in the recycling and not in the trash. ;)

Michele R said...

I'm with you on the mail! Plus, I just started paying all bills from my bank online (I had check fraud happen to me recently).
If you loved any of the books you read on your vacay, pls share!

Len said...

Great tips! My junk mail now goes into a paper shredder and then either to the compost heap or helps me start my fireplace in the winter.

Much better than what I used to do with it--tear it up and send it back in the free reply envelope!