Last week I shared a few sites to help you stop unwanted mail at it’s source. Once you have limited the amount of junk mail you get each day, going through your mail can be simple, fast, and even a little fun. I know it might seem like a stretch to call mail sorting fun, but what do you expect from an organizer?
This week I am sharing my own mail sorting process via video. I’ve included steps to help you tackle your own daily mail too!
Click here to watch 3 Days of Mail in 3 Minutes on Youtube.
- Process mail immediately
- Stay focused on one task until completion
- Increase productivity by doing similar tasks at the same time
- Be decisive! Don’t put off decisions until later.
When sorting your mail, put your decisive hat on. The main cause of paper clutter is postponed decisions. When you go back and forth about what you’re going to do next, the paper tends to pile up. Each paper is a visual reminder to make a decision. This could work if the paper is dealt with the next day; but it’s all too easy for that postponed decision to become buried under another postponed decision. Eventually you end up with a huge, overwhelming pile of paper and a load of undecided next steps.
If you do need more time to think about a particular item, or if an item requires a next step, such as discussing it with someone else or checking your calendar, create a specific holding place for those items. Your holding place could be a pending file, a tickler file, or any place you can come back to at a later date without cluttering up your home. Read more about how I use my Action Files here.
- Open mail and unfold it flat so it is ready to file and store. Get rid of envelopes and those unwanted solicitations included with your bills. If you stuff mail back into the envelope, you are making more work for yourself since you will have to start the process all over again when you come back to the envelope.
- Keep in mind how much info is available on-line. If you have a ‘to read’ basket or file be selective about what makes the cut. Empty the basket often. Stagnant piles will soon become clutter.
Do you sort through your mail daily? or do you let a few days pile up? What tricks do you use to stay on-top of your paper piles? Try setting a timer the next time you sort through your mail. Challenge yourself to get through that pile in 3 minutes or less!