Today I am sharing our Organized Mail Station on my YouTube channel.
I used to have something very similar back in the day, but things moved around (as they do in this house), and the mail system went out the door. We were back to putting the mail in a basket as it came in and then not having a system or designated time to deal with it all. It was time to get it back together. I went back the system I learned all those years ago from Toni at A Bowl Full of Lemons. I used less categories and updated the look a little bit, but the function is pretty much the same.
The other thing I did this time around is set a designated day each week to go through each folder and clean it out. This is a MUST for me.
Receipts get shredded once I make sure things have posted correctly and I know we won't need to make a return.
Any papers that need to be filed get filed.
Coupons are checked to make sure they haven't expired.
Sale Flyers are checked to see if in date and still needed. The rest are tossed.
Very simple, but effective. No more piles on the counter or baskets stacked full to be rummaged through.
All of the details can be found HERE on my YouTube Channel.
Keep reading to see my original version form 2012.
Originally Written in 2012 on my old blog.
I am not super organized by nature. I have to work at it! But, being organized really does make life so much easier.
Last year around this time I read so many great blog posts about family binders, command centers, mail stations, blah, blah, blah. I really wanted to get organized, but we had just moved into a house that had so much to be done reno wise. I didn't get to do much that didn't involve removing wallpaper, a paint brush, caulk, or grout. Here we are a year later. The reno dust has settled (mostly), there aren't as many walls that still need to be painted, we have a better idea about how the rooms in our house actually function best for us, and it is time to get it together.
I started with our mail center. We originally had a tray on the desk where our mail "landed" until dealt with, but it never seemed to be completely empty. Even after my husband "dealt" with the mail. I'm not the one that handles the mail (or bills) in our house, but it still bugged me that the tray was never empty. I knew that some revamping was in order. The other problem was where to put the weekly grocery ads. I normally meal plan and like to use them when I put my meal plan and grocery list together, but I couldn't seem to find a good place for them. They had a "home" in one of my kitchen drawers, but they always seemed to attracted other random paper clutter. Not good.
I started stalking the archives of some of my fav organizing bloggers and came up with a plan. I knew right away that the mail station that I came across on a Bowl Full of Lemons was just the right fit. I went to Target and purchased this metal file holder. Our desk is close by, but I really wanted something that I could use at my kitchen counter while standing up, and then could tuck away in the cabinet when we had company.
The categories that I use are grocery ads, coupons, incoming, outgoing, to file, to pay, and then a file for each family member.
Grocery Ads - the current weekly grocery ads
Coupons - take out coupons/store coupons - not grocery coupons
Incoming - where the mail gets put initially if not sorted right away
Outgoing - all out going mail that needs to be taken to the box
To File - holding place until filed in desk
To Pay - holding place for bills until paid and then filed in desk
Family Member Files
the mr. and mrs. - holding place for magazines, things we want to go back and read or stuff that needs our attention
Cade - holding place for Bible Bucks, memory verses, and artwork that needs to be stored (this is working great, b/c my counters and table used to be covered in all of his masterpieces that he creates throughout the day
Henry - holding place for things that need to be put in his baby book
I am happy to report that after using this system for a month it is working very well. I don't have piles of paper on my counters. The other great thing about the metal file box is that it has plenty of room to hold our new family binder. (more on that in another post) It doesn't take up much room on the counter and it fits nicely in a cabinet if I want it out of site when we have company.
I couldn't just leave the tabs plain. I cut a piece of scrapbook paper to size and added a label with my label maker. I didn't even stick the label to the paper, I just slid it in the clear sleeve. This way it's easy to change out if needed.
I make sure to go through all of the folders each week and file things as needed. I also have a shredder right next to the counter so that I can take care of all of the junk mail right away.
Do you have a mail system? If so, what works for you?
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