It’s incredible to me to think about how much paper our mail carrier manages to shove through our small mail opening in the door each day. Bills, magazines, advertisements, and coupons are just some of the things that we come home to every afternoon. My husband and I would pick them up, toss them on our desk and go on with our afternoon.
As you can imagine, we sometimes had quite a large pile of mail to go through. It also seemed to take over our desk some days, which just brought back my old frustration and stress over having too many things. So I went out and bought a cute little mail organizer from Target. I soon realized that the only thing the mail organizer did was provide us with a different place to stuff all of our mail in. Our problem had not been solved, simply relocated.
This is when we began really thinking about how to effectively manage our paper. Listed below are the main strategies we have been using to stop ourselves from drowning in papers:
- Go paperless where you can! I recently made the switch to paperless for all of our bank account statements, as well as insurance, etc. Basically anything that we were receiving monthly in the mail, we now get as an email.
- Unsubscribe from magazines that you don’t really read.
- Sort through your files and discard any old paperwork. Here is a great post on what papers to keep and for how long. If it needs to be shredded, create a “To Be Shredded” pile (either shred this yourself or drop it off somewhere like Staples where they will shred it for a small fee). Going forward, I recommend blocking out a time- it doesn’t have to be more than 20 minutes- to go through your files every few months.
- Scan Recipes/Make an Online Recipe Book: You can use a site like AllRecipes.com and “favorite” recipes as you find them to make an online recipe book. Or make a good old Pinterest board with all of your recipes from different sites.
- Create a home for incoming papers. Consider a “To Be Filed” tray, or a small mailbox like this one. I recommend getting a small mail organizer so that you can’t fit as much in it. If you’re like me, this will make you sort through your mail more often. Make sure to routinely sort through and file these papers so that they don’t start to pile up.