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Dealing Efficiently With Junk Mail Clutter, and Other Paperwork Around the House

Updated on January 15, 2020

Junk mail and paperwork when not dealt with immediately or on a timely schedule seems to multiply and grow quickly. For myself, I start out with good intentions, files for specific bills (example: utilities, insurance, book clubs, etc.), and have a good plan on paper or in my head. I may spend a couple of hours setting my system up, and getting ready to dispatch the mail as it comes in, both hard copies, and for online billing through my email. It is best to have both systems with the same catagories.

Now, the best thing to do with junk mail that comes via the U.S. Postal Service is to tear it up and put it in the round file (garbage) immediately. If you bring it into the house and set it down to look at later, later usually ends up being days or weeks and you miss the deadline anyhow. If you need anything they are offering, chances are you have already seen an ad on some form of electronic media or searched it out yourself, so why clutter your space or fritter away your time sorting through old junkmail when you could be doing better things with your time. Junk mail brought into the house usually gets set in a few different places even though you ideally have a designated area for it. The same thing goes for bills, etc., if you don't open them and deal with them right away, you take the chance of misplacing them and/or having them spilled upon, torn, or used for scratch paper when they are the only thing in reach when you need to make a quick note.

I know from experience that these things happen regardless of how good your intentions may be. The key to handling your junk mail and paperwork is to work whatever system you have set up faithfully. If circumstances delay your dealing with it, do deal with it as soon as you possibly can. It's when you start stacking and putting it off that you run into the problem of feeling overwhelmed with the task at hand and wind up with late bills, misplaced paperwork, and a growing pile of clutter. The sooner you get back to your routine, the easier it will become a good habit. The good intentions I spoke about in the beginning of this article will do you absolutely no good unless you have follow through. You'll find that when you dispatch your paperwork in a timely manner, you will be less stressed and have more time for yourself or to spend with your family.

Now email junk mail is much easier to deal with. Just set your spam settings to delete immediately, and very little junk mail gets through to your inbox. Again, you need to set up folders to sort your inbox because there are always some articles or emails that you want to keep and refer back to. You need to designate time each week to clean out your inbox if you don't dispatch the emails as you open them. Like hard copy clutter, if your emails are not sorted in a timely manner, you will waste much time trying to find that picture or cute poem that fits your current circumstances. Take the time to read and forward or sort your email and you won't end up with hundreds of emails to get through when you've neglected your inbox for awhile. I, personally, have folders for pictures, inspirational emails, bills, jokes, etc. to make sorting and finding that particular email easier. I'm also careful to add approved contacts to my contact list to insure the emails I want to receive get through, and I take the time to report any spam that does get through. If you use the tools available, your email experience can be a lot more satisfying rather than frustrating.

In conclusion, the best way to deal with any junk mail or paperwork is right away or as soon as possible so it doesn't have a chance to multiply and add to the clutter that exists in one form or another. I hope my suggestions will be beneficial for someone. I know I feel much better when my junk mail and paperwork are in their designated files and not growing by leaps and bounds.


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