The number one habit to stay organized is to sort the daily mail DAILY. If your clutter is so overwhelming you don’t know where to begin, start with the daily mail. This may seem insignificant next to more monstrous organizing challenges, but the act of sorting your daily mail EVERY day encompasses some of the most fundamental organizing principles.
1. CIRCULATION PREVENTS ACCUMULATION. Getting organized is not about moving things to their final resting place. It’s about moving things forward in safe reliable stages. You don’t have to pay that new bill right away, but you do have to move it to a safe place where you can find it at bill paying time. This much is painless, so just do it. Now!
2. IF EVERYTHING’S IMPORTANT, THEN NOTHING’S IMPORTANT. We get more mail in a day than our parent’s generation did in a week. Now more than ever there are thousands of company’s desperately competing for your attention. You could waste half your day following up on the “opportunities” that arrive in the daily mail. Don’t! The real opportunity you have in your hands is the opportunity to eliminate as much false obligation from your life as possible. Put the bills in a safe place, put your reading material in your favorite reading place, keep the review pile to a minimum, and toss the rest NOW!
3. FREQUENCY MERITS FACILITY. Mail arrives daily, so make the disposal as easy as possible. If you care about recycling, do you have a large separate bin for paper? If you care about identity theft, do you have an easy system for shredding? Remove any obstacles. Nothing should discourage the elimination of this daily intruder.
4. USE YOUR MOST IMPORTANT TOOL. Your most important organizing tool is a clear work surface. Period. The daily mail is a perfect example of why. You must maintain a certain amount of clear space to process the many things that comes into your life. Nothing comes into our lives on a more regular basis than mail. On a clear open space, like your dining table, you can sort fast and efficiently. Start by sorting between the various residents in your home, then focus on your mail. The wide open space makes it easier to divide and conquer.
5. SAVE DESSERT FOR LAST. Sorting the daily mail needs to take less than 5 minutes or it won’t get done daily. This won’t happen if you start with your magazine and start reading an article. Just take a couple of minutes to set aside the bills and toss the junk mail. Why not use that great article in the magazine as an incentive?
Your daily mail is not a parade of opportunities. It’s poison. The sooner you get rid of it, the sooner you will be in control of your life. Don’t delay. Sort your daily mail TODAY.
TODAY’S KEY TO UNLOCKING CLUTTER: The daily mail is the first battle in the war on clutter.