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One of the constant battles of adulting (especially this time of year... hello Black Friday junk mail!) is keeping track of mail. It really is one of those things we just didn't address in school. That pun just slipped out but I will take full credit for it.
In my How To Run a Household series on Tik Tok, a commenter requested that I make a video on how to handle mail, and I thought that was an incredibly important and overlooked aspect of figuring things out in the adult world. Here are some useful tips I've learned over the years, as well as some mail storage solutions that will make like easier (and your home more beautiful!)
1. Have a spot.
We hung the leather envelope (top left corner in pic below) in the entryway, so right when we walk inside we have a place to hang keys, store wallets, and put mail. Magically, we stopped losing our keys and the kitchen counter became a lot less cluttered. If you have a designated spot to keep your mail (right next to the door you bring it in), you will instantly feel organized.
One of the things I have learned over the years is organization is important, but if the system is too complicated I just won't use it. Having a designated spot that mail goes in ensures I don't lose important things and reduces clutter (more on the next steps below).
Mail Storage Solutions:
2. Don't Let The Junk In
The junk goes right in the trash. Don't even put it in the mail spot. Save yourself the hassle and send those ads straight to mail jail.
3. Pick a Day and Time
On Wednesdays when you get home from work, you go through the mail pile and take care of business. Or Saturday mornings over coffee. The time doesn't matter, but the routine does. Schedule in a time that you go through all the mail, respond to what you need to, pay bills, etc.
You can open the mail as you bring it inside and put it in the mail spot or put it all in the spot unopened until your weekly mail ritual. Nothing could be that urgent, they sent it to you via USPS for goodness sakes.
4. Know What To Do Next
Junk goes to Jail. Bills are sent off. But what about the paper trails? This is where we have a system that we are really going to use. We are going to bring out a filing system (I like accordion style, i'll link some below) and stow important papers away.
Here's how I like to label and organize the filing system:
-Medical (after paying a medical bill i'll write the date I paid and stow it away)
-Auto (insurance, you can also keep anythign else car related in this file as well)
-Taxes (any tax documents or records you may need come tax season)
-Kids (label for each kid. You can also put school stuff in there)
-Sentimental (cards, letters from loved ones)
A note on coupons: If you are like me and save snail mail coupons (not that you ever use them... they are left forgotten with the reusable bags at every grocery store trip), here is what you are going to do. You are going to take a regular envelope and stash the coupons in there. Keep them in your purse, wallet, or car where you will actually use them. On mail routine day you cut the coupons and put them in this envelope.
5. Have a Mail Response Supply Spot
I have a designated drawer across from the kitchen table with mail supplies. I keep envelopes, stamps (still trying to make it through the Santa ones I bought three years ago), and a stamp with our address on it and an ink pad and the check book. Everything I need to return correspondence the ol' fashion way on mail day.
I'd love to hear in the comments any requests for the Run Your Household series! And please subscribe below to make sure you don't miss any of my posts or free resources!