Category Archives: Paper Organizing

Manage Your Mail

Manage Your Mail

 

Even in our largely digital world, mail remains a fact of life.  And without a consistent plan for how to deal with it, mail can be a major source of clutter in the home.  Even worse, important items can get lost or deadlines missed.  Here are three easy tips for creating a mail zone that will keep things flowing smoothing.

1) Choose a mail zone space and location that is convenient for your family.  Think of a place where the whole family will walk by on a daily basis – maybe that’s right when you walk in from your garage or other entry, or perhaps in the kitchen somewhere out of the way from spaces used for cooking.

2) Determine what mail categories suit your family, it might be one folder per family member or one for bills, one for things to act on immediately, and one for things to act on that are not urgent.

3) Create a sorting system and label it based on your mail categories.  Desktop file sorters are great for keeping things contained but accessible.  But stay away from inboxes or flat trays – they just invite piles and clutter.

Bonus Tip – Don’t even bring junk mail inside!  Immediately after you retrieve your mail, do a quick sort and dump any junk mail, unwanted catalogs, etc. right into your exterior trash cans.

 

Home Base

Home Base

Every home has a “command center”— the place where all the action happens, from paying bills to jotting down reminders to dashing off notes to other family members. Unfortunately, without an organized system in place, your home base can easily become a magnet for heaping piles of stuff that make it nearly impossible to find anything. Use my secrets for creating ease and efficiency, and soon your command center will be worthy of commanding respect!

Hitting an Organizational Home Run

This Side Up: One of my golden rules is to go vertical. So many of my clients tell me that they need to see things in order to remember them; ditching the piles and hanging visual reminders can be a great cure for losing the physical—and mental—clutter.

Start by hanging a bulletin board where everyone in the house can see it; this board will house important documents that need to be referenced often. Next, install wall pockets for more transitional items (such as mail or bills) or pending to-dos; this will keep them within easy eyesight while staying neat and contained. And, for notes, consider using a dry-erase message board. The Container Store offers a great variety of boards for all needs.

Purge Those Piles and Make Efficient Files: Repeat after me: “Vertical is visible, and horizontal is hidden.” It’s incredibly easy for a pile to grow out of control and enter the zone of overwhelm. Follow the above rule, and use an upright file organizer for any files that need to be easily accessed on a regular basis.

Go Digital: Nothing feels better than purging paper and saving files electronically. You’ll feel lighter, more organized, and ready to tackle the day! (Plus, you can access needed items on the go.) To keep track of your ever-evolving to-do list, try a checklist app like Wunderlist; for other points of reference, consider using a cloud-based storage system such as Evernote.

Need some inspiration? Check out my Command Center Pinterest board!