My husband is the king of making a mess of our mail. Seriously, his ability to dump it on the counter day-after-day could win him an award. Even better, when he opens a piece of mail and leaves the ripped envelope next to it. But, I digress.
In order to save my sanity, I knew I had to come up with a system that not only got the mail off of the counter, but also ensured things were taken care of in a timely manner and not lost in the day-to-day shuffle.
Enter, my mail center.
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Since we often come in through the garage, I knew a small counter space with drawers and cabinets in my kitchen would be the perfect spot for a more functional organizer. This is the same area that houses our extra cleaning supplies, magazines, cookbooks, and our junk drawer. If you don’t have this kind of space in your kitchen, you could put something together on an entry table or even in the office.
Hanging File Organizer
The first thing you’ll need to do is get a hanging file organizer and some hanging folders. I opted for something bright and pretty, since my kitchen tends to be dark. I knew I wanted green/blue since those were the colors I’ve been using as an accent. I picked this one up at Target quite some time ago, which came with these beautiful white hanging folders (similar). You can find these just about anywhere, and at all different price points, but here are a few of my favorites:
Assess Your Needs
Take a few minutes to think about how you currently sort your mail when you get around to processing it. For us, we would always make one pile for my husband, one for myself, one for things we need to take action on (pay, call, etc.), one for things we need to file, and one for things we need to shred. Boom – we had our file names!
Don’t ever let your mail touch the counter when you walk in. Take it right over to your files and sort. This will take you less than 2 minutes to do. Recycle any junk mail.
Teach Those Around You
Anyone who brings in the mail (roommates, partner, older children) should be told about the system. Otherwise, you’ll just find yourself being the sorter of piles.
Tweak As Needed
You may need to make changes to your folders, add more, or eliminate some, and that is ok! We make changes regularly. Come January, we always add a Tax folder. This way any documents that come in regarding our taxes, go right into that folder. This is AMAZING come filing time because we don’t have to search all over the house for things.
I hope this helps you organize your mail and save yourself some headaches.
What is your system for organizing or processing your mail?