Paper clutter is one of my least favorite things. If you’re an adult, chances are you have paper clutter. Perhaps your biggest clutter challenge is the mail that comes in every day. You have to hold onto a lot of it: bills, important documents, bank statements, invitations. But that doesn’t mean you can’t keep it organized. Let’s look at some ways you can beat back paper clutter by organizing your mail.
1. Create an Inbox
To keep mail organized, you first need a designated spot for it. If you can at least put it in something, it’ll all be in the same place — and not all over the kitchen counter. Just make sure it’s not so big that it can hold more than a week’s worth of mail. You need to deal with the organization part of things a least weekly, or you’ll end up with a big mess. Also, keep your shredder or recycle nearby for the junk or private stuff you aren’t going to keep.
2. Devise a Bill System
You need to keep track of bills to ensure they are paid on time. Here’s a system you can set up to help you do just that.
3. Create a Filing System
You can use whatever system works for you — one that you’ll do consistently. But make sure you have an organized place to categorize things in a way that make sense to you, and hold onto things like tax documents that you’ll need to refer to later.
4. Keep Periodicals Aside
Keep something to hold magazines or catalogs you like to look at. When you’re done, you can give them away or recycle them. But separate them from the other mail right away, as they’ll take up valuable space.
5. Let it Go
Elsa would be so proud! Let go of stuff you’re done looking at, or coupons you know you won’t actually use. You’ll save yourself a lot of clutter just by doing that. Like to camp? Save a bucket in your garage full of stuff you can use to start fires. The rest can be recycled.
6. Go Online
Many utility companies or banks allow you to receive bills or statements via email. You can save a few trees and cut down mail clutter while you’re at it.
7. Create a Command Center
This will really cut down on paper clutter. A command center can be put inside a kitchen cabinet, on the back of a door, or on a wall. It’ll help you keep everything neat and accessible.
8. Create a Kitchen File
Kitchen files like this one can help categorize mail as it comes in. Just make sure to set a reminder for yourself to go through it weekly, pay bills, and file the rest away in a permanent system.