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Mail Organization Hall of Fame: How Readers Deal With Their Daily Mail

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This week's challenge was all about mail organization, and making sure that you both kept track of your incoming mail and also your outgoing mail.

create a home mail organizer center challenge
To do this the mission for Organizing Mail Week, as part of the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, you were asked to create a home mail organizer center to keep track of the daily influx of mail and other papers every home receives.

Many participants took this challenge and shared what they'd accomplished with me, and I've shared what they've done below.

If what you see inspires you, I'd love it if you'd take the challenge too.

Once you've tackled this week's task take pictures of the organizer or center you've created or set up, and share them with me in the Home Organization Hall of Fame. I'd love to add your accomplishments to this page too!

So, without further ado, scroll down to see the ideas shared by other participants in the challenge.

Real life examples of how people organize and keep track of their incoming and outgoing mail {part of the mail organization challenge on Home Storage Solutions 101}

Top photo courtesy of kla4067, and second photo courtesy of Luz

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Daily Routine For Organizing Incoming Mail

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The most part of mail organization is developing a daily routine for sorting your mail.

This does not need to be complicated. In fact, it should be simple and only take a couple of minutes each day or there is no way you will actually stick to it.

If you want to read my suggestions for this routine, check out my article about creating a daily routine for organizing incoming paperwork here.

How to create a daily routine for organizing paperwork to keep paper clutter at bay

In addition, here are a couple of suggestions from readers of how they deal with their mail daily to give you ideas for what you can do:

Lorie's Daily Routine:

My husband brings it in when he comes home from work.

I quickly go through it, and if it's a magazine it goes to the appropriate person, bill goes into the organizer on kitchen counter (it has 4 slots - one for medical, one for home bills, one for medical referrals, one for important info), save the weekly fliers for the 2 stores I shop, and everything else goes into the recycling bin.

It takes 2 - 3 minutes.

Angelina's Daily Routine:

I go through the mail as I pull it out of the mail box.

Junk? It goes into the recycle bin outside.

Bill? It goes on the counter in the kitchen. Once bill is paid, they go into appropriate folder.

Magazine? If it's the ones we have a free subscription to they go on the table. Otherwise, they go into the recycling.

The Key Is Dealing With It Daily And Keeping It In A Designated Location

As you can see from these example routines it is important to quickly sort, toss (or recycle), and then place items in their correct location.

Part of this week's challenge is to create the designated area for where to put the mail you need to actually deal with later. The submissions below show ideas for how to containerize that mail.

But remember, as a reader, Christine says, keep it simple. She said: "Mail is either 1. Trash; 2. Action now; or 3. Action Later. So you only need a folder, pouch or tray for the Action Later. Keep it simple."

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Declutter & Clear Spot To Hold Mail In One Place

#Declutter and clear spot in your home to hold all of your incoming mail {a #Declutter365 mission on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

The first step in the process of organizing your mail is to clear a spot somewhere in your home to hold all that mail in one place, and if you already have such a place, to get it decluttered and ready to use more efficiently now.

Below you'll see lots of ideas of people's decluttered and organized spots in their homes for this exact task, with lots of variations depending on what they need and can fit into the space.

In addition, here's a before and after set of photos from a reader, Karla, who already had her mail organizing center set up in her home, but used this challenge to get it decluttered.

Karla said, "My counter tops are already part of my daily routine, but the family mail center is the exception. I took care of that little bugger today!"

Before and after when #decluttering home mail organizer center {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101} #MailOrganizer #Declutteruse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

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Five Drawer Organizer For Incoming Mail

by Bec S
(Adelaide, Australia)



Bec from 2012 - The Year Of Challenges worked on this week's challenge and came up with a solution which she described as a "300% improvement on dumping the papers on the bench, and much better than the 1 basket system."

Previously Bec had been like many of us, and when she came in the door she just dumped the mail onto the kitchen table or counter and it got out of control.

Therefore, the first thing she tried was a single basket on top of the microwave (see the third picture) where she would place the papers, making a designated area for them.

That was better than just indiscriminately tossing them places, but it still became a jumbled mess.

So when this week's challenge came along she decided to get a five drawer sorter and use that to further sort the papers as soon as they came in the door.

She explained: "I have labeled the drawers so we know what's to go where. The top drawer has pens, pencils, scissors, sticky tape etc. The next one is Nigel's mail. The 3rd one is my mail. The 4th one is junk mail and the last one is miscellaneous/papers to be actioned."

She and her husband got on board, together, with the new system, and whoever comes in with the mail is supposed to immediately sort it into the correct drawer.

What she didn't mention, but obviously is a major part of any mail organization system, is then a designated routine time to go through all these papers and deal with them -- pay the bills, file, toss, or take other action on them.

This is a great start though Bec! Awesome job.

Here are some similar organizer items you could use if you like Bec's method:

File Organizer Trays {Referral Links}

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Home Mail & Important Numbers Center

Home Mail Center

Home Mail Center

Stephanie sent in the photo above of her mail organizing center. She said:

"I was really excited to check out the mail center ideas because I'd tried one a few years ago and it didn't succeed very well. So I clicked the link and the mail center was just like the one I'd tried before, but with different file organization. So I got mine back out, did some relabeling and we're in business!

Also, there's a phone board below the upper cabinets. I had scraps of paper with important phone numbers lying everywhere that I was afraid I'd lose (they were the only copy in some cases).

I kept wishing I could hang a corkboard, but the area was too small and awkward for one. So I found some 6x6 cork squares at the local craft store and hung them with the double-sided foam tape that came with them. I cut one in half to create a few 6x3 tiles and an awkward space is now a great storage area.

I also relocated our battery charger to this area. While not normally a kitchen item, this area is away from food prep and I had a small lower drawer there that was not being used. Now I store extra batteries there so they're all together and off the countertops."

Great job Stephanie!

Below is another photo, sent in by a reader, Roberta, who also used a similar mail organization system. She said, "Part of my paper clutter problem is that my filing system is upstairs. When I sat down to deal with mail/bills, (call me lazy) I didn't want to go upstairs to then file them. So they just piled up! No More!

Now my short term filing (current year) is in my NEW mail center and long term files remain upstairs. I also brought my shredder down to the new mail center, so I could deal with those papers immediately. It's working!"

Here's her photo:

Home mail organizer center, including small file box and home shredder {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

Great job Roberta!

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Mail Basket To Collect Letters & Other Papers

Ali says: "Found this basket a few months back - works great for holding my project folders."

In addition, the photo below was sent in by a reader, Jen, who said, "Our apartment is kind of small so our family command center is in 3 places all within 10 feet of each other. Here is our mail and key baskets area on our kitchen counter."

Key basket and mail basket, on the kitchen counter, to keep items that you walk into the house with organized {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}

If you'd like to use a basket for holding your mail, here are some that are available:

Mail Baskets {Referral Links}

Top photo courtesy of ali edwards

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Our System For Organizing Mail In A Large Family

by Judy J.

System for organizing mail in a large family {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101}use this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Judy says:

Organizing mail coming into the house has always been a challenge. However, in a large family it is overwhelming, especially when the children start getting their own mail.

Our system is kept in our foyer where everyone comes and goes.

We use a large basket/organizer with plastic file folder labeled with each person's name, family bills, and a large folder for receipts.

Everyone has been instructed on getting and dispersing the mail in the family mailbox.

Everyone has gotten used to looking for their mail in their "mailbox" (folder).

There is also room for monthly magazines, etc.

This has revolutionized our family mail. I go through the bills and my mail usually 1-2 weeks.

I have nearly all our bills on automatic payment which has helped with no more late fees!

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Use A Door Organizer If You Don't Have Counter Space For Mailing Supplies

Door organizer, mounted inside pantry door, to hold mailing supplies as part of the home mail organizer center {featured on Home Storage Solutions 101} #MailOrganization #PaperOrganization #OrganizeMailuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

The photo above is from a reader, Cathy, who uses a door organizer to help her organize her mailing supplies.

Cathy said, "I don't keep any phone books. I do keep school directories, current and past. Current ones I keep in a door organizer on my pantry door. I keep mailing supplies there, too."

If you don't have counter space for organizing and holding mail, then you can get creative and find other storage areas, including hanging on a door or wall.

Here are some door organizers for files you could use:

Door Organizers For Papers {Referral Links}

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Organized Mail Center For Letters & Supplies

by Megan



Megan at Life of the Lorenzens shared her organized mail center.

She explained that there were a couple areas on her kitchen counter that seemed to accumulate clutter quickly, and one of those was her mail area.

She said: "This spot tends to collect papers, projects and items that need to go downstairs or be put away. Mail that doesn't require my immediate attention gets put in the mail holder and builds up. It gets cleared off regularly, but I thought it could use a little sprucing up."

So what she did was add some cute card stock to the picture slots on her office supplies holder, which has a mail slot in the back, just to have everything labeled and nicer looking.

Has This Inspired You To Get Organized Now?

organized home challenge
As you can see from the submissions above, there are lots of ways to organize your mail within your home.

But whatever method you choose I hope you've been inspired to put it all in a designated place and sort through it regularly.

Once you've taken this week's challenge I'd love for you to share the pictures of your home mail organizer center, and I'll add the best ones to the page or site. You can share your pictures and ideas here.

Further, I'd love it if you joined the 52 Week Organized Home Challenge, where every week we take on a different task that, over the course of the year, will help us organize our entire home from top to bottom.

Get This Paper & Filing Decluttering Checklist + 32 Other Decluttering Checklists For Your Home

Right now you're decluttering your papers and files, and there's a lot of types and varieties of these around your home.

Get your 2 page paper and filing decluttering checklist, plus 32 other decluttering checklists, to help you declutter your entire home here.

Get this paper and filing decluttering checklist and 32 other decluttering checklists for your home {on Home Storage Solutions 101}

I've done the hard work of breaking down these tasks into smaller more manageable steps for you, so you don't get overwhelmed or worry you're forgetting a task, and you can go at the pace you want, whether that's fast or slow.

In addition, you can tackle these decluttering tasks in whatever order you want when you use these checklists!

Click here to learn more about 33 Decluttering Checklists Pack

Mail organization ideas for your home, with a place to hold your incoming mail as well as mailing supplies {on Home Storage Solutions 101} #MailOrganization #OrganizeMail #PaperOrganizationuse this Pin it button to save to Pinterest

Some links on this page are affiliate links, meaning that if you purchase a product through them I receive a small commission which helps me provide this information to you for free, plus support my family. My integrity and your satisfaction are very important to me so I only recommend products I would purchase myself, and that I believe would benefit you. To learn more please see my disclosure statement.

Related Pages You May Enjoy

Getting Rid Of Paper Clutter Hall Of Fame

How To Declutter Your Entryway

Go From Mail Organization Hall of Fame To Home Page

Comments for Organized Mail Center For Letters & Supplies

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deal with it weekly
by: Janet

Sounds bad, but I pile all the mail in one corner and take care of it every Thursday morning. That's the only day I have to get up at 4 am. 99% of it is magazines or junk. I also write out my bills, cut coupons, plan my weekly food, bonus is I am ahead on credit cards and my student loan.

my routine
by: Carrie

Most of my bills are paperless. The rest of the mail gets sorted (trash thrown away before it enters my home). What does come in gets filed right away. The sale ads come in and the old ones go outside by the grill.

what should I shred?
by: Anonymous

What does everyone do with their name and address info on inside contents of mail and address label? I remove anything with my name and shred.

reply re question about what to shred
by: Taylor

Here's my article on what you need to shred versus what you can just trash (or recycle) when dealing with mail or really any papers. Hope this helps!

Mail, bills & file storing methods!
by: Deb (Madison, AL)

I live in apt complex, so while at mailbox, I toss what junk mail I don't want or need before it makes it into my home.

When I get home, I have a wooden slotted holder on top of my desk. I actually don't use the #'s (31 days), just the slots to hold mostly bills & a few items "tasked". If a bill needs to be paid soon, I angle it downward, as a reminder.

Since I'm on SSDI, I only get paid 1x month. I usually do all my bills on one day. So I go through my "slots" to pull bills that come in the mail. However, I've signed up for most bills to be either auto-pay and/or paperless. Saves time, stamps & space.

If paperless, I have a "bills" folder in my email. So on the day I pay my bills, I go to that folder to check that all bills are paid (i.e, credit card, electric, phone, internet & etc).

For mail that I want to "file" ...I take care of it first (i.e., follow-up phone calls, schedule appointments & etc.). I try to write my notes on that mail, if no one needs to see it, but me. Then when "task" is done, I scan it to a folder on my computer & toss or shred. That helps to eliminate paper folders.

NOTE: These items that are "tasked" for follow-up, I also put in the slotted bin on my desk, also angled down to remind me. If it's angled up, that means it can wait until the day I choose to pay all my bills and/or do follow-up phone calls & such.

If I don't scan right away, that "pile" can start to stack up, so I do have a "scan" pile that I try to go through every couple of weeks. I'll scan, save, shred or toss afterwards!

I'm also very slowly going through old files to scan & toss out papers too, as a way to minimize in organizing. This includes medical papers & documents, car/home insurance papers, tax information & anything I deem "important" to keep & that's not too bulky to scan in. My goal is to only have a 2-drawer file cabinet or less ...not hundreds of file folders.

Things I find necessary to store in a file cabinet are large instruction manuals, Medicare booklet, prescription drug plan booklet (though all of these can be found online nowadays, but I do better with things like this in my hand day I may be able to rely solely on digital versions of manuals).

I also save receipts for possible returns and/or warranty purposes. I keep one folder with small envelopes labeled "short-term receipts" -usually 90 days or less; "long-term" receipts for warranty purposes (i.e., electronics & such); pet coupons (toys that are returnable, supplies & etc). I periodically go through my receipts & either shred or toss.

So these are just some ideas ...sorry I went share tow different "topics" here ...but they kinda go hand-in-hand!

Mail Sorter
by: Analuisa

I used to get my mail and leave it on the table and then it would just pile up.

I have a cabinet and shelves next to my dining table. We have the printer there too. So I just got some stackable paper organizers and labeled one for sorting mail and the other for my sister who lives with me.

The first drawer under the printer has three boxes, each box is labeled one for my dad, my brother, and my other sister. Apparently they still send mail for them here lol so far It's worked good.

I also designated Thursdays to sort my mail and shred any papers in the shred box next to the paper organizer.

No Mail is best mail
by: Anonymous

There's only 3 types of mail - bills, junk, and cards/letters from family. It's 2020, you honestly shouldn't be getting any kind of paper mail anymore.

Bills? - Should be paperless/auto-pay.

Junk? - Find the company's website/phone number and request to be removed from their mailing list. If it comes with a return envelope, write "remove from mailing list" all over the paperwork and send it back to them on their dime. Write "return to sender"/"remove from mailing list" on it and put it back in the mail until the idiot company gets the hint. Google "opt out of junk mail", there are several registries you can sign up for (no pre-approved credit offers, etc.)

Cards/letters from family? - Nice to get, but can be done electronically. Only send a physical card/letter if you're sending money/gift card.

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