Friday, March 30, 2012

Ode to Mail!!

When I was a kid I loved going to the mailbox to get the mail. Everyday was a great surprise especially because my mom loved catalogs and everyday she would get one or two or three or ten. Getting the mail was even more exciting when something was addressed to me. I went by "current resident" and sometimes people would spell my name "current occupant". Except this one time I was doing a report of Russia and my mom contacted the Russian Embassy for information on the county. Well that week I hit the mother lode. The Russian Embassy sent me the biggest package full of maps and brochures. I was awesome!!

Fast forward 30 years and now I hate mail, (no offense to any mail carriers reading my blog today.) But I have to admit I dread the slow walk to the mail box each day. Many days I don't even pick it up so I end up finding an overstuffed mail box a few days later.
I like some of my mail, the few magazines I subscribe to are exciting to receive. Every once in a while I will get a wedding invitation or a baby announcement and of course Christmas time is always a great time to receive mail. It's just that for the must part these exciting bits of mail are overshadowed by grocery advertising, credit card offers, public notices from the city, political ads and of course bills. These daily bits of paper have weighed me down and I'm sick of it.
Here is my current - mail/catch all command center. I have my Everything Binder, my clipboard, pens, letter opener, scissors and post it's.

I also have a basket full of mail. I should be cleaning this out every few days, in an ideal world I would have handled each piece of mail the day I get it but you can't be organized when you have no system. 

Off to Target in search of a system. I found a great metal organizer in their office supply section. I also picked up some hanging file folders (which it turned out I didn't need. Note to self - check before heading to the store) and regular file folders that will match my Everything Binder.

Aren't these beautiful folders, they are so pretty compared to the plain folders that used to be your only choice.

So here is the completed set up. I decided to not label my folders until I was actually going through my mail. This way I was able to create a folder as needed without having to assume my needs and end up wasting labels because it wasn't right.

Here is my finished mail command center. Here I've added a calendar, a daily devotional book, my "paid" stamp, address labels and of course my "new" filing system.

Since my container is made of metal I was also able to add some pray cards using a magnetic picture frame and I have my Easter envelope ready for mass. 

The files I have created so far are: one each for both kid's schools (those are the crossed out ones, I didn't want to share the name of their schools.) A folder labeled "To Be Paid 1st to 15th". This will hold all bill due during the beginning of the month. A folder labeled "To Be Paid 16th to 30th", for bills to be paid at the end of the month, a file for Jim, catalogs, brochures and A things to file folder. I have several more folders to use and as I keep accumulating more paper I will label the  folder as needed. I hope you enjoy my new system and that it helps to inspire you to create one that works for you.

Do you have ways to tame the dreaded mail beast? If so I'd love to have you share. Feel free to leave a comment.

Until next time,
I hope that organizing your mail gives you have more time to treasure.

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