Friday, December 16, 2005

Mail Organization

A dear friend and I were talking briefly about home-making and how we find ourselves in a similar position of finding balance & purpose in our home-making. She mentioned that it was dealing with the mail that left her stumped. Well, first of all I want to say that she must be a wonderful housekeeper if such a minor thing as the clutter of mail. I am still at the baisic steps of dishes, laundry and keeping my bathrooms clean. But I was thinking about that today and thought I would write a few suggestions.
1. Electronic billing – we receive 90% of our bills through email and also pay them electronically. We also view our bank statements online – eliminating a great deal of paper-files.
2. Unsubscribe to unread magazines – I have stopped receiving magazines altogether simply because I had stopped reading them. In our entire household I think we get maybe two magazines both of which are free and both come quarterly.
3. Take magazines to the Library – Most of the Librarys that I go to have a magazine exchange, this would be a good place take magazines which are no longer needed.
4. Create a magazine box – When I was growing up my pack-rat parents (I say that with a smile) had a box in the garage in which we kept old magazines to be chopped up later for school/art projects.
5. For those magazines you want to keep, you can create a binder for easy, neat shelf-storage. There are items available to purchase for this purpose.
6. Correspondance – I rarely receive letters in the mail anymore. Those that I do receive I put in a plastic organizer which hangs on the side of my refrigerator and contains my address book, stationary, pens and other misc. paper stuff. I keep old letters in an old gift box in the closet, and periodically sort them into large manilla envelopes for storage.
7. Lastly, one of the most helpful ways to deal with mail is to deal with it as soon as it is brought in. Daniel brings in the mail in the evening on his way in from work. He hands me my mail and I deal with it on the spot, or put it in my daytimer to be dealt with in the morning. I throw as much of it away (or recycle, if the option is available) as I possibly can.
I am hardly consider myself an authority on this subject, the paper-mess of our modern lives is crazy! I hope that these suggestions are helpful to you!

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