We have a love-hate relationship with our mail, don’t we? Sometimes it brings happy news but mostly it’s just bills and junk mail. With the Memorial Day holiday this weekend, store circulars add even more clutter to our mailboxes.
My clients frequently ask me how to manage mail and keep on top of it. Letting mail accumulate risks losing important information such as bills — or checks made payable to you!
Conquer your mail in these 5 steps.
1. Designate an area for your new mail station.
2. Decide your major categories and whether to use trays, folders or different product to put papers. Label them. Ideas for labels are Action, Bills to Pay, Pending, Read, File, Scan. The size and placement of the trays (or other container) will determine the amount of space.
3. Sort mail into the proper trays and recycle, toss or shred the rest. Have nearby a recycle container, trash bin and shredder.
4. Process mail on a regular basis, meaning daily or every other day to prevent piles that become too overwhelming to deal with. (Being away from home for periods of time is an obvious exception.)
5. Review often the papers in your trays to make sure you accomplish what you should on time and nothing is forgotten. Move papers among bins as necessary. For example, pending items likely become action items. Things to read, well, need to be read. Papers need to be filed. Recycle circulars by the last sale date and magazines when the next issues arrive. This system is not permanent storage!
Using your new system, consistently, for 28 days should create your new habit.
To significantly reduce junk mail, here are 4 options:
http://www.dmachoice.org (includes registration for the deceased, caretakers and more)
https://www.optoutprescreen.com (for offers of credit and insurance)
Be patient. It takes time to process these requests. You will be glad you took action to reduce unwanted mail!
Product of the Month
Free Emergency ID Service
ICEdot.org, a free emergency identification service, can be a life saver. ICE stands for In Case of Emergency.
Imagine that you or a loved one has a serious automobile crash. A bright yellow ICEdot.org decal on the rear window of your vehicle alerts first responders to check the glove compartment for your ICEdot.org profile. The profile contains the medical, identification and emergency contact information they need.
In addtion to the free service, a premium service is offered for $10 per year which adds more levels of protection plus the ability to purchase products to have on you when away from your vehicle. Examples include wristbands when playing sports and stickers to put inside helmets. To complete your profile or for more information, go to www.icedot.org.
While on the subject, in a previous edition of Timely Tips I suggested programming your cellphone with ICE for your emergency contact(s). For more than one contact, use ICE-1, ICE-2 and so on. First responders should be trained to look for ICE in your cellphone.
Quote of the Month
That which we persist in doing becomes easier – not that the nature of the task has changed, but our ability to do has increased. ~Emerson