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  • Writer's pictureJonda Beattie

Open Your Mail!

Seriously, open your mail daily or at least weekly. Unless the envelope reads “to current resident” or it is very obviously an ad or plea for money, just open the envelope and see what is inside.

As a professional organizer I often help people sort paper and old mail. Here are some of the things I have come across.

  1. Old checks made out to the recipient – sometimes 10 years old

  2. A final notice that since the speeding ticket had not been paid (notices in other envelopes not yet opened) the drivers license was being revoked – right before a big road trip for this lady

  3. Gift cards

  4. Thanks for donations form letters – that should have gone into the tax folder

  5. The car title of a car that the owner now wants to sell but she had not opened this envelope and gone to DMV to get the title in her name

  6. Credit cards and debit cards that have not been activated – sometime duplicates sent at different times

  7. Invitations to parties or weddings long past

  8. Recall notices on items purchased

  9. Warnings that utilities will be turned off if the bill is not paid because old bill were not opened and paid

Have a landing pad for all incoming mail. Immediately discard ads, catalogs, and any other obvious trash. Then open that mail daily or weekly and put the items in action folders or baskets so that all bills are in one place, all items to file are in one place, and any mail that requires an other action is in one place. Schedule a time at least once a week to deal with it. Then the mail never becomes overwhelming or fearful.

Jonda S. Beattie Professional Organizer

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