Hello my friends! I hope you had a great week! We just got back from a great week away in North Carolina. Our son did the Duke basketball camp and we can't recommend it enough. It was a fantastic program and we'll be back next year for sure.
It was so great to be away for a week -- my husband and I truly relaxed and just enjoyed not doing much of anything. Except eating, drinking and taking naps. :)
Now we're back home and I'm refreshed and ready to tackle stuff at home again. I have a new energy about a lot of projects and my mind is swimming with things I want to get done.
Today though, I'm talking about another aspect of the huge purge I completed weeks ago. My biggest nemesis when it comes to clutter has always been PAPER. Can I get an amen? It's the thorn in my side, the pain in my neck, the fly in my ointment:
But you know what? Over the past couple of years I've mostly conquered it. Almost. Enough that I don't feel like it takes over our kitchen table and my car anymore.
These are my tips on mail specifically -- when it comes to papers from school, good luck to you my friend. :) No really, I do try to handle that stuff immediately, and whatever we need to address hangs on the command center in the mud room. That process does work well for me.
This is for those of you who want to try to control the paper and lessen what you bring into the house. These tips work and I promise your paper load will lighten if you try them yourself. I will address what I do after all of this in a future post.
If you can go electronic -- do it. We have already with many companies, but still have a list to go.
I'm slowly going through the utilities, investment companies, bank statements and everything else we get on a monthly basis. I used to hesitate when it came to not getting a paper statement, but I'm slowly getting with the times. I realized, how often do we really look at them? Bank statements more so than anything else -- but I think it's far more secure to keep them virtual than on paper. (I know that can be argued but in general, yes.)
Also, it takes mere seconds to log on to see a specific statement. I used to keep them all in the file drawer and that took a lot more time to dig through. Most companies will gladly switch you over and I find it far easier to keep up with. And LESS MAIL. That is our goal folks!
Step 2: Unsubscribe from catalogs and junk mail
I looove a good catalog. They are my jam. But sometimes we grow out of them, I just don't care to get them anymore, or we get on a list we don't want to be on. If this is the case for you, try Catalog Choice. I've used it for years and it works.
You have to create an account and then you can search literally hundreds of catalogs to unsubscribe. It's awesome and within a couple months they will stop coming to your door.
I made the mistake of signing up for Restoration Hardware once…and if you get them you know that their catalogs are RIDIC. I feel like I kill a tree every time they send them out. This is a great option to lessen the load in your mailbox and in your house.
Also, did you know you can opt out of all kinds of offers and junk mail? Many don't realize this but it helps lessen the paper you'll bring into your home tremendously. I use DMA Choice for many marketing mailings. Sign in and you can opt out of catalogs, credit offers and magazine offers.
Then you can go and unsubscribe from pretty much anything else at the National Do Not Mail list:
As you can see, I don't want any of it (that I don't specifically ask for)! You can get pretty specific with this one too. Can you imagine not getting a million political mailers this fall? The dream may be realized. :)
Remember you'll need to do this for each of you in the home who get mail. Marketers focus primarily on women in the household so even if just the woman does it, it will help tremendously.
Step 3: Get rid of it before you walk in the door
I keep three bins by our door in the garage -- one for recycling plastic and metal, one for paper recycling and one for shredding. My goal is to get rid of 90 percent of the mail before I even walk in the door. Sometimes it's 100 percent. ;)
I use similar bins from the Container Store:
Ours are white, not clear, and IKEA has nearly identical ones for a lot less. I like the ones with lids so they keep the items contained.
When I keep up with this -- getting rid of most of it before I even walk in the house, the paper clutter is kept to a minimum.
All of these tips work to bring you less mail and paper to begin with. You can tailor them to what you want and can alway go back and edit most of them if you change your mind. I can guarantee the paper you'll bring into your home will lessen within two to three months. And that is the first and most important step to getting control of it.
Do you have any tips when it comes to mail? I'd love to hear them!