Managing Your Mail

Most of us are drowning in paper these days. For many of us, a large piece of the paperwork puzzle is the stuff that just keeps coming – the mail! Don’t get me wrong, some mail is good, but if you’re like most people, you get more mail than you need or want. If you don’t have a good way to manage and maintain it, it will just keep piling up. Here are some tips to make your mail maintenance quick and easy.

  • Make time everyday to open and read the mail.
  • Open mail in one mail center area with all your tools and supplies.
  • Have a wastebasket, recycling bin, and shredder nearby to toss the mail in as you open it.
  • Make decisions as you open the mail…

Scan the contents of each piece and process it appropriately. Immediately:

  • Recycle/toss/shred all unwanted solicitations
  • Recycle/toss the outside envelope and inserts that come with every bill
  • Scan each catalog and if nothing interests you, recycle it.­

Take the remaining pieces and sort into the following categories:

  • To Pay
  • To Do
  • To File
  • To Read

A desk top file is a great way to contain your follow up categories – just be sure to regularly set aside time to take the follow up action. Take time each day to maintain your system and you’ll never be drowning in paper again! And stay tuned – I’ll be back next time with tips for reducing your incoming mail.

Sarah Brooks is a Professional Organizer with Organizing Boston, providing hands on help and creative solutions to organize all areas of your home, office, and life. Visit us at or call us at 617-744-1429.

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