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Elizabeth Larkin

How do you organize your mail?

By April 20, 2014

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Bedford Lateral File Cabinet one from Pottery BarnI developed a regimen for dealing with mail years ago that I have stuck to through new apartments, different states, and varying degrees of junk mail pile-ups.

Here's how I do it:

1. How often do you go through your mail?

Elizabeth: I go through my mail about every-other-day.  On the way in the door, I quickly glance at the pile. If there's a card or something handwritten, I usually tear that open immediately--it's so nice to get personal mail!  Everything else goes into an Inbox.

2. How do you sort mail?

Elizabeth: Very quickly. I stand up in my entryway and make piles: Keep; Shred; Recycle. Keep and shred go with me to work. I go through the mail I have to respond to at my desk, and the shredding goes into the work shredder. Recycling goes right into the bin outside my house.

3. How long do you keep personal mail.

Elizabeth: It really depends who it is from; if it's from my nephew, I keep it forever. Most other mail I keep and display for a few weeks and then I recycle.  I also have a keepsake book for each year that I save a few pieces of mail in, along with ticket stubs and other small items.

4. How about mail for other people in your household?

Elizabeth: When I lived with roommates, I sorted the mail and put their pile in their Inbox. This way no one is looking for their stuff--it always goes into the same spot.

Read more on How I Organize My Mail



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