How To Organize Incoming Mail

October 17, 2012
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Not too long ago I wrote a post called The In-Box: Methods for Corralling the Mail which outlined the various instruments one might use for capturing the mail. I did not, within said post, delve into the manner in which one might sort the mail into those holders. Recent appointments with clients have convinced me that addressing this matter is an absolute necessity.

So, then, how to (use your mail holders to) organize incoming mail:

– Refer to the afore-blogged post for guidance on products in which you might keep your sorted mail.

– When the mail comes in, immediately discard anything that can and should be recycled (this includes those spam mailers, etc). It may be helpful to keep a recycling container right by the door for this purpose.

– Sort the remaining mail into categories:

To File (this will usually include any medical/insurance documents, financial statements, etc)

Bills 

To Do/ Actionable Items (this will include any mail that-obviously- requires you to take action of some kind. Perhaps it’s a bill that you’re unclear about, an invitation you need to RSVP to, etc)

To Read (this can include newspapers, catalogs, magazines, or just general correspondence)

– (optional) To Shred (Any mail you feel contains sensitive information)

You may wish to get more detailed in your categories– for instance, you may wish to have a separate slot just for correspondence, you may want a section for outgoing mail, or for address labels and stamps. I leave the OCD factor of your mail sorting system up to you, but do recommend starting with the categories above as a base.

Your mail sorting should consistently be done in the same place, using whatever sorting device you’ve chosen. You’ll need to clear these categories out on a regular basis, both to avoid overflow, and because the mail in some categories contain deadlines. Choose a schedule that works best for you, depending upon how much mail you generally receive; perhaps once a week or bi-weekly go through each mail slot, paying any bills, filing any papers, and attending to whatever action steps are required.

Just call me the postman, cause I deliver errrrrday.

Image credits: Martha Stewart Home Design, Bright and Blithe, Martha Stewart Home Design, BHGBHG

16 Comments

  1. ashley on October 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    hahah you’re totes the postman! love this idea! we had a file for a while, but it just served as a place to stick mail and other papers we didn’t want to deal with. i try to deal with mail as it comes it, but admittedly some sits on the counter for a while…

    • livesimplybyannie on October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      As long as you get to it soon enough, so as not to be late on paying bills, etc. And thank you for being the person to acknowledge my sign off 😉

  2. Dawn {The Alternative Wife} on October 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Love this! We are in the process of reorganizing everything, including incoming mail/bills. Between your to do list sites that you recommended and this, we’re in pretty good shape 🙂 xoxo

    • livesimplybyannie on October 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Love it!!!

  3. Contrast. on October 18, 2012 at 6:28 am

    […] / 2. / 3. / 4. Share: Filed Under: A child's world, Things I love Tagged With: baskets, metal, plush, […]

  4. Angela Vaitkus on October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Greetings,
    What a great idea! I have been searching for something similar to the very top picture.
    Any idea where you would find the mail organization product in the top picture?
    Thanks,

  5. Corina on October 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Where did you find the wire one? I’d love to get it!

  6. Tanya on November 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Thank you so much for this post! Now I have some ideas how to organize my mail. Indeed those looks adorable.

  7. Perfect Pins – Organiser | Homely Creatures on November 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    […] pin of the week was photographed by live simple by annie. Share […]

  8. Friday Favorites – Home Organization Ideas on December 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    […] Mail Organizer from Live Simply By […]

  9. mamato4and1 on January 31, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Thank you! You gave me the best help I have been looking for in how to seperate the incoming mail!

    • livesimplybyannie on January 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  10. […] had many clients have success with these letter trays lately as a way to organize incoming mail. They stack beautifully, are great quality, and feature space for the addition of a […]

  11. […] Wire Mail Basket (LiveSimplybyAnnie.com) 2. Wall Hung Mail and Key Sorter (LiveSimplybyAnnie.com) 3. Fabric Mail Sorter (BrightandBlithe.wordpress.com) 4. Lid Rack Mail Sorter (MarthaStewart.com) […]

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Annie Traurig was born with the ability to see order through clutter. As a child, she spent playdates organizing friends’ closets and packing their duffle bags for summer camp.

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16 Comments

  1. ashley on October 17, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    hahah you’re totes the postman! love this idea! we had a file for a while, but it just served as a place to stick mail and other papers we didn’t want to deal with. i try to deal with mail as it comes it, but admittedly some sits on the counter for a while…

    • livesimplybyannie on October 18, 2012 at 1:57 pm

      As long as you get to it soon enough, so as not to be late on paying bills, etc. And thank you for being the person to acknowledge my sign off 😉

  2. Dawn {The Alternative Wife} on October 17, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    Love this! We are in the process of reorganizing everything, including incoming mail/bills. Between your to do list sites that you recommended and this, we’re in pretty good shape 🙂 xoxo

    • livesimplybyannie on October 18, 2012 at 1:56 pm

      Love it!!!

  3. Contrast. on October 18, 2012 at 6:28 am

    […] / 2. / 3. / 4. Share: Filed Under: A child's world, Things I love Tagged With: baskets, metal, plush, […]

  4. Angela Vaitkus on October 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Greetings,
    What a great idea! I have been searching for something similar to the very top picture.
    Any idea where you would find the mail organization product in the top picture?
    Thanks,

  5. Corina on October 20, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    Where did you find the wire one? I’d love to get it!

  6. Tanya on November 16, 2012 at 8:29 am

    Thank you so much for this post! Now I have some ideas how to organize my mail. Indeed those looks adorable.

  7. Perfect Pins – Organiser | Homely Creatures on November 28, 2012 at 7:15 pm

    […] pin of the week was photographed by live simple by annie. Share […]

  8. Friday Favorites – Home Organization Ideas on December 14, 2012 at 2:25 pm

    […] Mail Organizer from Live Simply By […]

  9. mamato4and1 on January 31, 2013 at 11:20 am

    Thank you! You gave me the best help I have been looking for in how to seperate the incoming mail!

    • livesimplybyannie on January 31, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      So glad to hear it!

  10. […] had many clients have success with these letter trays lately as a way to organize incoming mail. They stack beautifully, are great quality, and feature space for the addition of a […]

  11. […] Wire Mail Basket (LiveSimplybyAnnie.com) 2. Wall Hung Mail and Key Sorter (LiveSimplybyAnnie.com) 3. Fabric Mail Sorter (BrightandBlithe.wordpress.com) 4. Lid Rack Mail Sorter (MarthaStewart.com) […]

Leave a Comment





Other Posts You May Love