12 February 2011

Mail ART

A huge contributor to the clutter and stress in our lives is a common, everyday item: mail. Whether it's delivered by the Post Office, comes home in school bags or ends up in our inboxes, mail creates clutter and stress.  An easy way to manage the first two types is to have one place where you deal with it. It may be a tray on the kitchen bench, or a basket on the hall table. I have a little (very little) box on my desk. As your kitchen sink is to dishes, your basket is to mail. When the mail comes in, open it and then deal with it straight away.

There are three simple steps to dealing with mail:

Action - anything that needs you to do something. Pay a bill, make a phone call, sign a permission slip. Do these things straight away. You'll probably find that a great deal of your mail related stress has disappeared.

Reference - things you need to keep but don't need to do anything with right now. Put them away immediately, in the right place. It will only take a moment if you do it now, if you leave it for a week or two (or longer) it will take hours.

Trash - it's amazing just how much junk comes in the mail. Ditch it straight away. Shred any mail that has personal information on it (names, addresses, account numbers etc) before dumping to prevent potential damage to your privacy, finances or reputation.

The same steps can be applied to dealing with email too. Sit down and open that inbox. Then use the ART method of mail sorting to tidy it up.

1 comment:

  1. Not quite so simple when you work full-time. Then you need a diary or some other method to remind yourself to phone during business hours or on your day off. I prefer a paper diary, but electronic would also.work.


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