Day 14: Mail Station
This is the last day we’ll be dealing with paperwork!
But paper is a part of our everyday lives — and today’s topic, mail, is one of the biggest paper clutter contributors.
Today we’ll create a mail station that will effectively deal with daily mail and incoming paperwork as well some ideas on streamlining bill pay. Be sure to see the inspirations at the foot of this post!
But first, a reminder of what you’ve accomplished in the home office so far…
The office area is so important that we’ve split it up into 4 days as follows:
A Mail Station
Designate a bin, a box, basket or drawer that can hold up to a week’s worth of daily mail and paperwork that comes home (school, work, charitable, clubs, etc.). Deposit mail and paperwork immediately into the inbox, skipping counters, desktops, etc.
Have the inbox conveniently located where you will open mail, pay bills, calendar items and file paperwork.
Post a recycle bin near the inbox so as you bring in the daily mail, you can immediately recycle junk mail.
Schedule a few minutes daily or at least weekly to go through the inbox.
Open all the mail and distribute items to organizational systems you’ve created (bills to bill file, calendar items, correspondence, etc.).
Create a small bin, envelope, basket or tray that will contain items needed to process and answer mail (reply envelopes, letter opener, stamps, envelope moistener, pens, and so on).
Create a bill file or folder that should be kept in your Action Files. This can be a single file which would hold all bills, a 5-pocket file organized by week of bill due date or a 31-day accordion file where due dates are organized by day of the month.
Determine a bill paying schedule (monthly, bimonthly, weekly, or immediately as your process mail).
Create a bill paying calendar: online, personal financial management software, or hardcopy.
Keep checkbook up to date.
Objective: To organize daily mail and paperwork effectively.
• Designate a mail and paperwork inbox.
• Place a recycling bin near the mail station.
• Create a small bin, tray or receptacle to contain items necessary to process mail (letter opener, stamps, etc.).
• Create a bill file in your Action Files.
• Determine an inbox processing schedule – daily is preferable, but at least weekly.
• Determine a bill paying schedule.
• Collect and sort all mail into 3 piles: action, bills, recycle.
• Take action on bills and paperwork
• Congratulations! You’ve now organized your entire home office. A place for everything, a system that will work, and the peace of knowing where things go!
GET THE BOOK:
Mail Station Inspirations
Home-Based Mail Station
Mobile Mail Stations
Ikea Mail Station
Mail Center and Command Center
His and Hers