With all the changes in technology, you may be surprised to hear that paper clutter, specifically, mail clutter, might be a huge problem in most households today. Junk mail, promotions, bills, and other offers are some of the most common pitfalls of the average American household.
Paper Mail Still Exists
After a long day at work, the last thing you want to do is think about your mail. These days, mail is usually bills and advertisements. You know whatever you’ve got in the mailbox, it is probably coming from someone who wants something from you- either your money or your time.
Handling Mail From the Onset:
Here are some tips for how to handle your mail before it becomes clutter:
Stop Junk Mail In Its Tracks:
You know what it looks like- its either a bogus credit card or loan offer, or coupons nobody wants. As soon as you grab it- toss junk mail immediately- shred the parts with your personal information, recycle the rest.
Keep Your Bills Separate:
Keep paid bills and bills to pay in separate folders. Or you could just pay them and scan and shred them, logging your payment.
Have a system for organizing action items:
If you can’t toss it, file it, or pay it, this may be an action item. An action item is something you have to follow up on, whether it be a phone call, adjustment, cancellation, or other questions. If you have to call about a charge on your bill, follow up with someone else, or cancel a service, have a separate place where you keep all of those documents.
How to handle catalogs:
You tell yourself that you will order from catalogs as soon as the item goes on sale, or as soon as you get your next bonus or commission check. Meanwhile, the catalogs keep piling up, and before you know it, you’ve got more than a year’s worth of catalogs for each online/offline store! Keep sales catalogs, and toss out the rest- if you think you’re going to order something later down the line, tear out the page with that item, and toss the catalog.
Credit Card Offers:
While it is tempting to have more credit so that you can buy more stuff, try to control yourself, because you will pay more in the long run. If you need a higher credit limit or a new credit card, save the promotional offers, and use them when the time is right. If you decide to take advantage of 0% APR, be sure to make your payments on time, otherwise the agreement will default, and you will be subject to the highest APR, and all of your efforts will be wasted.
Corral all of your coupons in one place, and organize them according to expiration date. How many times have you had a pile of coupons only to find that the majority of them have expired? Do you find yourself saving coupons for items that you don’t even want or need? Nix the habit, and only save the coupons you want. If you see a $0.25 cent coupon for paper towels or toilet paper, do yourself a favor, and don’t even bother clipping it.
Other Ways to Prevent Mail From Piling Up:
Look For Deals Online:
Although paper coupons are a long standing way to save money, many retailers will email you coupons where you can pull up the bar code at the register on your phone, eliminating the need to print the coupon. Also, many online deals allow you to enter a coupon code to get the benefit of the discount without having to process yet another piece of paper.
Select Paperless Options:
One benefit of paperless options is exclusive discounts through signing up for an email list. You will get access to sales as well as coupon codes that are exclusive to the list. Just mark the sales in your calendar, make a cup of coffee and start shopping, and you’re good to go!
Unsubscribe From Mailing Lists To Avoid Paper Clutter:
There are some direct mail campaigns that you can unsubscribe from via email, mail, or telephone. Take advantage of those options to avoid unnecessary pile up in your physical mail box.
Tell us in the comments below:
How do you deal with mail clutter?
What problems are you having with your mail clutter right now? Does it easily get into your house and cause you problems, or do you get rid of it right away- let us know in the comments below!