Are you ready for lesson one of our organizing plan for 2009? What arrives 6 days a week no matter the weather. Sometimes it is only a small amount and other times it is a pile but each day it continues to grow. If left unattended it can cost you time, money and really add stress to your life. Know what it is? That’s right it is the mail.
Leaving the mail in the mailbox until you have time to deal with it is NOT an option. Rule #1: You must deal with it EVERY day. Now that doesn’t mean that you have to handle each bill or invitation on the day it arrives, but it does mean that you have to separate the bills and invitations from the junk mail each day. So by following the next five steps you will be able to separate the important from the unimportant quickly and easily.
Step 1: Toss/shred/recycle anything that you know you do not need.
Step 2: Separate reading materials (including catalogs you want to browse)
Step 3: Separate bills and keep them together in one folder (To Pay)
Step 4: File anything you really need to keep (automobile title, insurance policies, etc.) or put into a TO FILE folder.
Step 5: Put what’s left into an ACTION folder.
There are several storage ideas you can use to house your mail. Vertical hanging pockets, desktop files or literature sorters work to separate and contain the mail until you can deal with it.
The second part is to now deal with the important stuff.
Rule #2: Deal with the ACTION items and BILLS weekly. Set aside 20 -30 minutes a week to handle the action items you have set aside and to pay the bills that have come in. I suggest weekly payment of the bills unless you already have a plan that insures all bills are paid on time. This is the time to make that call, reply to that invitation, or send that email, whatever it takes to handle all the items in the ACTION folder. Be sure to mark all important dates on your calendar. Clear out this folder each week and you will never again forget to RSVP, pay a late charge on a bill or have to apologize to your child because you lost their permission slip to the museum.
Here is your assignment: Decide how you want to contain your mail and set it up. Whether you use labeled hanging folders in a desktop file or pockets hung on the wall, or a literature sorter, find something that will work for you. Sort the mail each day as it comes in. Pick one day that you will deal with the ACTION items.
Let me know how you do.
For those readers in the Norwell, Massachusetts area or areas south of Boston you can learn how to Tackle and Tame Your Mountain of Paper by attending our free workshop.
Tackle and Tame Your Mountain of Paper
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Norwell Middle School Community Room
328 Main Street
Norwell, MA 02061
Call or email to register