Take control of your snail mail box

overflowing snail mail box
Image courtesy diamondreporting.com

I’ve had some great conversations recently about the stuff that comes through the snail mail box at home.

At our house we receive very little in our snail mail box. We have made arrangements for most statements to arrive via email and bills are paid by direct debit.

But I know that there are reasons people still receive their bills in the mail;

  • perhaps money is tight and timing, as to when things can be paid, varies.
  • Some shared houses (eg groups of friends) rely on the snail mail to prompt “someone” to pay the bills –  I had a whole conversation around this will a young door-to-door salesman.
  • Many people like the physical paper copy to remind them to pay the bill and to file afterwards (many of my workshop attendees tell me they still print off a copy if they receive it by email).

So, how do you sort and decide what comes into the house in the first place and then what do you do with it?

Follow these tips to manage the stuff that comes through the snail mail box:

Subscriptions
  • Unsubscribe to everything you don’t need to stop it before it even gets in the house. This may include catalogues and magazines you don’t read.
  • Read what you can online – choose your favourite publications (limit to only 2 or 3) and subscribe online.
  • The Week Ahead – schedule time in your week to read your subscriptions.
Junk mail
  • Mount a “no junkmail” sticker on your mail box
  • Piles of junkmail go out of date quickly.  If you like to browse through the junk mail, make time to read it. Stand beside the mail box for 5 minutes and read what you want and throw it straight in the recycling on your way to you front door.
Snail mail
  • Automate payments  – Eg: Electricity, telecommunications, bank statements, insurance. As with subscriptions, stop the mail coming into the snail mail box in the first place.  Arrange for statements to be emailed to you. Get them all paid automatically via direct debit.  On a side note, I have spent hours working with a client just to open his bank statements and file them.
  • mail intray
    Image courtesy etsy.com

    Create a permanent home for incoming mail – As soon as you walk into the house with the mail in your hand put it in an in-tray at the front door or in your office – I found some great mail intray  ideas on Pinterest.

  • Schedule time in your diary weekly to:
    • pay bills
    • review credit card and bank statements
    • action reminders to book appointments such as the dentist or optometrist
    • action other incoming mail.

Unsubscribing to unwanted mail, setting up a permanent home and action plan for your snail mail will stop the piles from mounting. Take  few minutes this weekend to put some of these ideas in to action. Have a go and let me know the results.

Still need a hand sorting out your snail mail? Contact me here or you can book me here.

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