Are you drowning in paper? Snail mail. Bills. Kid’s schoolwork. Junk mail. Seems like it never ends.
If so, this week’s blog post is just for you. Here are four tips to manage the flow of paper as it comes into your home.
1) Contain it at a "home base." This should be an area near where you enter the house every day. Keep a trashcan and ID guard stamp in the area so you can dispose of junk mail immediately. Also keep a mail opener, notepads, pens, a family calendar, grocery checklists, envelopes, stamps, and a bin for incoming magazines in the area.
2) Keep files at hand. At your home base, keep basic files for the types of paper that come into your home on a weekly basis. These files become a quick and easy way to sort mail and paperwork. Examples of files might include bills to pay, items to discuss with your family, pending items, and action items. Other files can be customized based on your life. Maybe keeping a file at hand for current tax items is critical or possibly a file for family medical issues.
3) Clear the decks. As your children’s art and other mementos come in, slip them into nice storage boxes you keep near your “home base.” Limit yourself to one box per child per year, so you can prioritize items to keep without having paper overtake your home. When invitations, notices and critical deadlines are on paper, add this information to your calendar and toss the paper.
4) Cut the junk. Follow these instructions, invest 30 minutes, and you’ll see a dramatic reduction in the junk mail hitting your mailbox and cluttering your home.