Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Mail Management

When I was a kid, I loved getting the mail. I loved looking through my mom's magazines and catalogs and I was over the moon when a letter actually arrived with my name on it. Over the years, as I was introduced to the concept of credit card bills and guilt-causing charity drive letters, and watched as unchecked catalogs and magazines have piled up into cluttery mountains in my kitchen, that love has faded into something more akin to dread and loathing.
Don't get me wrong- I still get excited when the new New Yorker shows up, or when the odd calligraphed envelope slips out with it's tidings of wedding celebrations to come.  But with the majority of my mailboxes contents, I would rather just not deal, please. And when I think of the environmental impact of all of that wasted paper ... well, that just does me in.

But it's not like me to introduce a complaint without providing a solution, is it? Happily, there are lots of things you can do to reduce the amount of unwanted mail that makes it's way into your apartment, and slowly erodes your happiness.  Cutting down on your junk mail will help save your sanity, keep you organized and help save millions and millions of trees.

1. Go online and get your name on  junk mail prevention websites. They won't prevent every scrap from showing up, but they don't hurt, either.
For credit card offers:
 Or sign up for a paid service to stop the junk:

2. Sign up for online billing statements: Instead of receiving paper bills in the mail that are vulnerable to theft and pile up and need to be shredded, sign up to get your statements via email instead. You can save them in a file on your computer for future reference.

3. Recycle, right away: When the mail arrives, walk directly to the recycling bin (do not pass GO, do not collect $200), and weed it out. Make sure you shred anything that has personal information (bank acct #s, or your social security number, for example). Get rid of catalogs immediately- this will also keep you from spending money on things you don't need.

4. Sort the rest: We use these task clips, $9.50 from Knock Knock to sort and folders to file. Something about having these clips tell me what to do really kicks me in the pants.  Keep a file for financial statements (didn't I tell you to start getting them online?), personal letters you want to keep, and tax documents. So much better than riffling through piles and piles of unsorted papers on April 13th. Trust me...


Muffy said...

It's true!! I have ALWAYS been obsessed with mail but TODAY I noticed the amount of junk mail we get is RIDICULOUS. Love those clips.

Lily said...

That company makes so much cute stuff, I sometimes have to hold myself back! Check out their website. They sell at the Container Store, too, which is like Disneyland to me.