This article by Sherry Borsheim, a Paper Tiger Expert of Simply Productive, gives us a way to create a system for dealing with the mail and all the paper we receive everyday! How much does your stuff or clutter cost you?
Check out Sherry’s Organizing Bootcamps that will give you a JUMP-START on ORGANIZING your office, home and life. She will give you her trade secrets and steps to setting up your organizing systems, including recommending Paper Tiger filing system software for document management, to be organized and manage the paper files that you need to keep in hard copy format and other physical stuff in your life.
How much time do you think you waste shuffling junk mail and flyers around your home or office? How often do you pick up your mail and put it aside for later? But later never comes. Before you know it last month’s mail is still piled on the kitchen counter and the In Tray on your desk is growing by the minute.
Let’s be honest here, opening the mail is not exactly high on our priority list unless it’s a cheque, gift or personal card from someone. After a long day at work or chauffeuring the kids to all their after-school activities, the last thing you want to do is open the mail. I don’t know about you, but I can think of more exciting things to do. Like put my feet up and rest for 15 minutes!
More and more people are going paperless when it comes to bank statements and bill paying. Magazines are now available on iPads, but I still prefer my glossy magazine. For many businesses, paper is still around and receipts need to be accounted for. The paperless office is yet to come. And I see more paper in homes and offices than ever before as the volume of emails increase.
More and more people are making the effort to go paperless because it’s easier to manage; it reduces clutter in the home and helps the environment. According to 41Pounds.org:
What would you like to do with the extra 70 hours a year I just found for you by eliminating your junk mail? Now there’s a hidden time-waster that I hadn’t thought of before! And no more excuses that I don’t have time to work out.
So what’s the best solution for dealing with the daily mail that comes through your front door? The answer is to set up a simple system and create a habit that you and everyone in your household follow. A system is only as good as the end user! Or you can delegate picking up the mail, opening it, filing it or putting in your Action folder.
Here’s the process for dealing with the mail before it piles up and takes over your counters:
There are hidden costs, like stress and anxiety which weigh heavy on you if there is clutter and piles of paper, unopened mail, junk mail, flyers and old magazines lying around for long periods of time. And piles of paper become dust collectors which lead to an unhealthy disorganized environment.
Re-evaluate or cancel subscriptions to journals and magazines that you don’t have time to read or rarely refer to and you will dramatically reduce the paper coming into your home. Look at new options to receive your newspaper subscription, like on the iPad which has a larger viewing screen than a cell phone.
In the past three years, I’ve made a huge effort to eliminate paper in my office and in our home. For years I’ve contained magazines to one small magazine rack and when it is full, I recycle or give to a charity or hospital. Every 3 months, I purge bags of paper that I thought I needed 6 months earlier. I’ve asked my bank to only mail my business bank statements, and my business invoicing is all electronic. More and more my business processes are becoming paperless and more online. My goal is to have as little paper as possible so I’m mobile to travel and work anywhere. Overall, having an impact on the environment.
What are you doing to reduce paper in your home or office? Do you have any other resources or tips for dealing with your mail? Leave your comment below or on Sherry’s original blog at http://www.simplyproductive.com/2012/02/eliminate-your-junk-mail-and-gain-70-extra-hours-a-year/!
Sherry Borsheim is the president of Simply Productive. You can visit Sherry, access her free article archive and grab lots of free stuff at http://www.simplyproductive.com. Sherry lives in Vancouver, BC Canada with her husband (her high-school sweetheart). Reprinted with permission.