4 steps to organize your mail mess in 2014


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Isn’t it grating how fast mail accumulates? A few catalogs here, magazines over there, bills strewn on the counter, takeout menus scattered about.

Did you know, though, that your mail does not need to take over your home? A few quick and easy tips will bring you to clutter-free nirvana.


Create an inbox

Designate a basket or mail organizer where all the mail is sorted, stored or disposed. If you live in a home with multiple people, have more than one inbox so you don’t accidentally throw something out that’s not yours.


Toss it out

Keep a trashcan and/or shredder near your inbox so you can throw away unwanted catalogs and flyers right away. Only hold onto items that need attention, such as bills, or special cards and letters. Make sure to shred sensitive documents that contain any personal information, and recycle when you can.


File it

If you’re a paper person — a good rule of thumb is to hang onto bills for only one or two months, unless needed for tax purposes — then shred older copies and toss. Or, try scanning in copies to get rid of the paper clutter altogether. (Better yet — sign up for paperless billing!)


Make time

Spend a few minutes every day sorting through the mail, or designate a time each week, say Saturday mornings, for this simple chore. It will make a big difference in the long run if you do not have to walk through your home, collecting piles here and there, and disposing of massive stacks after a longer period of time.