Well, it’s been a little while since my last post. Work has kept me pretty busy, we took a trip to Atlanta for a wedding (very nice time!) and really have just been trying to keep up with everything that life throws at you on a daily basis. Which brings up the topic of this post. There are some simple practices that everyone can routinely use that will keep clutter to a minimum and give you more time for, well, you.
Paper. Or, more specifically, your mail. It comes everyday in the form of bills, newspapers, cards and letters, and to be honest, it’s mostly junk. Address it every single day. It takes 2 minutes but could save you lots of time and headaches later. If it is a bill, invoice, financial statement, etc., put it in a basket or in-box where you normally sit down and write your checks so it doesn’t become mixed in with the unimportant mail, lost, or otherwise forgotten. I can’t tell you how many of my clients have discovered that their tax bill, car registration, whatever, was late because they stuck it in a drawer and forgot about it. Regardless of the item, you can pay it or file it at your convenience, but at least it will be where you can find it.
As for the junk mail: if it’s a bunch of bulk coupons (and really that’s what most of the junk mail is), clip the coupons you want and put them in an envelope or folder where you can easily find them (or they’re useless,) and recycle the rest. When you’re done reading the paper or magazine, recycle it. Do not let newspapers and magazines pile up. Sometimes if there’s a particular article I like, I’ll tear it out and file it. Do not keep the whole magazine around for longer than it takes for the next one to arrive. If it’s junk mail of a more sensitive type (like credit card offers), you should shred them.
Now all this is fine, however some of my clients are concerned with items that may have their address on them. Obviously you don’t want to just throw financial documents with personal information in with the rest of your recycled papers, however, if something just has your address on it (like a magazine, newspaper, random envelope), it is perfectly OK to recycle it along with any other random paper. No one is going to gather any more information about you from your address that is not already known. If you’re not in the phone book, you’re probably on the internet (more than you may realize). In all honestly, all someone has to do to get your address is to drive by your house. I’m not trying to be flippant or seem unconcerned, but it is one of the reasons that people tend let their mail pile up, and those fears are often unnecessary.
If you’ll follow these tips, keeping up with your mail on a daily basis, you’ll be happier, you’ll have less clutter, and you’ll thank yourself for it!