Updated: Saturday, 20 Jun 2009, 10:06 AM EDT
Published : Saturday, 20 Jun 2009, 10:06 AM EDT
New Haven (WTNH) - On a dreary weekend like this one, there's not much you can do outside. Why not organize that pile of mail you've been putting off before the next batch of mail arrives?
Organizing expert Lisa Lelas joined us this morning with some great tips for organizing your daily mail.
The following information was provided by Lisa:
When you finally get that pile of mail off your kitchen counter and you think you've got your household paperwork under control, another batch of mail arrives! Without an efficient organizing system to handle the constant stream of incoming paper, you'll find yourself simply buried in clutter and frustration.
Here are a few tips to help you deal with the daily task of organizing the mail:
1. Establish a mail station in your home, even if it's nothing more than two baskets and a trash can. One to stash the newspaper & magazines, the other for bills & other important mail. Try magazine holders labeled with family member's names.
2. Or better yet, have a magazine rack ready to take incoming magazines…and make sure you weed out all your old magazines every month. If there are articles you still want to read, tear them out and place them into a "to read" file.
3. Recycle junk mail without even opening it. Get in the habit of opening up the mail every day directly over the trash/recycling bin and dumping out even all the junk mail inserts inside the bills.
4. Set up a kitchen countertop tickler file system: an upright vertical file that contains about 8-10 hanging files to help quickly sort incoming papers, such as invitations, coupons, registration notices, etc.
5. If you need to file something in your permanent files but don't have the time each day, set up a 'to file' folder within your tickler system, but break the habit of starting a 'just for now' pile of papers on your kitchen counter.
6 If you absolutely don't have the time to deal with the mail every day, at least drop the mail in a designated vertical bin or even a large shallow decorative fruit bowl on a table so that it's visible as a reminder to sort and file, and not simply thrown on the counter (because paperwork dropped on any horizontal surface simply invites more paperwork to join it, quickly developing the infamous 'piles'!)
7. Set up a bill paying center in your home, preferably in your home office or on a family room desk nook. Keep the check book, postage stamps, envelopes and return labels all contained here, as well as a bin for incoming bills and paid bills.
8. The best way to clear an old pile of paperwork is to turn the entire pile completely upside down! Mail, newspapers, and other assorted paperwork is much easier to cull from the bottom because most of this is probably already outdated. Clutter is nothing more than 'delayed decisions'- you don't have time to deal with something, so you drop it onto a pile to deal with later… but later never comes.
9. Protect yourself from identity theft. Tear off the mailing labels from magazines and shred any documents that contain account numbers, social security numbers or other personal information.
10. If possible, opt for electronic subscriptions of your favorite magazines or newspapers and pay for your bills online to cut down on paper bills coming in.
11. If you want to cut down on junk mail, remove your name from junk-mailing lists by contacting the national direct marketing association at: www.dmaconsumers.org/offmailinglist.html
For more information from Lisa, visit her website at www.LifeStylingwithLisa.com.