Whether you set New Year’s Resolutions or not, you wouldn’t mind if your mailbox chaos, the endless school forms, and the medical appointment reminders magically organized themselves. Or simply disappeared altogether, right?! We hate to tell you that there’s no magic bullet, but we can assure you that there are a few guaranteed ways to beat paper procrastination once and for all!
Deal with it Right Away
If you live in an apartment building or condominium, you’re probably already a couple steps ahead of the rest of us. Many modern mailrooms come equipped to help you manage your mail. There are blue boxes to dump flyers and local newspapers you don’t have time to read; there’s a shelf or basket to drop off any mail that’s not addressed to you. Some of these high-end luxury mailrooms even have shredders(!) so you can deal with confidential paperwork. If you live in a house, promise yourself to deal with every piece of mail right away! Junk goes into the blue box; ALL of your bills go in one spot; return to sender items get ‘wrong address’ or ‘moved’ scribbled on them; magazines and newspapers you don’t have time to read get cancelled.
Deal with it the Right Way
We don’t mean to be redundant or cliche, but the only way you will ever conquer the paperwork treadmill is by believing in these five words: only touch the paper once. You see, the right way to deal with mail is you only touch it once. You don’t put it in a pile, somewhere, then go looking for it, then put it somewhere else because you got a phone call and you got distracted. When you misplace important paperwork a lot of things go wrong: your bill payments are late, you miss the opportunity to cash in on rebates, your kids don’t get into their favourite camp (the waiting list never clears), and worse, there are piles of paper on just about every surface and every drawer in the house.
Deal with it Again and Again
We won’t candy coat the long-term mentality needed when dealing with furniture, toy, and hardgoods catalogues that make their way into our mailboxes. Sure, you can toss them in the recycling bin, but if you’re a deep green environmentalist at heart, you’ll want to go the extra step to cancel the delivery altogether. It took one of our clients almost two years to stop getting a thick catalogue in the mail. She called the customer service centre every SINGLE time the glossy monstrosity arrived. If your mailbox has a ‘please save the trees, no junk mail please’ sign on it, but you’re still getting junk mail, call the company and demand action.
Photo by Andrys