Last week’s organizing focus was on keeping your counters clear. Seeing how popular this post was and how many emails and responses I received I am guessing that counters are a common trouble spot for a lot of you. I’m not going to pretend that there is never a stack of mail on our counters, but I am going to let you in on my secret to keeping the mail off the counters. Ready? The mail is sorted immediately. Revolutionary, right? No, not really. But it works!
Here’s my super simple process – I bring the mail in and sort it on the first little counter in our kitchen:
- JUNK MAIL- recycle or shred
- BILLS – toss/recycle/shred envelopes and other unnecessary inserts. Place bills in bill paying basket.
- MAGAZINES and CATALOGS – recycle those that I don’t want – if I want to keep them I place in my magazine basket. Another clutter key is that if my magazine basket is full I make myself purge magazines and catalogs so there aren’t piles and piles of magazines. I only keep what’s in the basket – everything else has to go.
- INVITATIONS (anything that needs a response) – toss envelopes (unless I need the return address) and put in organizer on the little counter.
- COUPONS – put in organizer on the little counter.
- You might think that the obvious secret is to go paperless or paper light, but there is still mail on a daily basis. I like to pay some bills with a check or at least have the paper bill and then pay online, so yes, I will always have mail. The REAL secret is to deal with mail right away and to have a place for everything.
This process takes less than 5 minutes a day and you can start it TODAY. So this week add keeping mail off the counters to your routine with this ‘secret’ and you’ll be well on your way to clean counters for good.