Two weeks have passed since my last Simply Living post. Life has been busy, to be sure. Almost to the point of my NOT simply living! It’s amazing to me how much longer it takes me now to return to routine than it did just a few years ago … and I’m not sure that I like that feeling.
In our past Simply Living posts, we have talked about scheduling, storage, and calendaring. Today, I want to address the Mail Monster, no pun intended! I call it a Monster because these days, it rarely serves to keep us in touch with family and friends, and to remind us to pay the water bill, but it seems to be more than overwhelmingly full of junk. I think that is because many people do online banking, and use e-mail to stay in touch with family and friends. All that is left in the mail is the junk.
So today? It’s about attacking the Mail Monster!! I hope you will glean a few tips from how I deal with that ugly thing, and I also hope that you’ll leave your own tips and tricks in the Comments section. Don’t forget that it is all set up not only for comments, but also for RESPONSES to comments … almost like a forum! Coolio.
Here we go …
· Tackle the mail as soon as it comes in the door. Don’t just lay it on the entry hall table, or the kitchen counter, or the couch. If you do, it will be there at 10:30 PM after you’ve made dinner, bathed the kids, done three loads of laundry, and made tomorrow’s lunches! Who needs to deal with junk mail at 10:30 PM?!
· Junk mail goes right into the recycling. Don’t waste your time or energy looking at it unless you know for certain that you will take action on it. (Think: Grocery Ads!)
· Put bills directly into their appropriate files and make a note in your planner as to the due date.
· Have a designated place to put mail that anyone else in the house must see and act on.
· Put kids’ mail in their rooms.
· Put mail that needs a response (such as invitations, announcements, personal notes) in a file or in a specific location where you will be prompted to take action on it. Make notes in your calendar to respond.
· Take publications, newsletters, and magazines in the car to read when you are waiting for kids, waiting for your doctor’s appointment, or … just waiting! Those accordion files are really nifty to use for this, and they make beautiful file folders now, too. I have a leather tote in my van between the front seats where all that stuff goes. If I get to school early for pickup or if I drop Ben off for batting practice two hours before a game, I always have reading material.
· Make addresses changes immediately in your planner. Then recycle the envelope!
· Make notes in your planner for RSVPs and events. Make RSVPs ASAP! It seems to have become commonplace in our culture to ignore the RSVP acronym. But please don’t! An RSVP is requested so that the host can properly prepare for guests and it’s rude not to respond. An RSVP can simply be, “We would love to come to your retirement party, but I’m not sure if we’ll be able to make it or not.” It doesn’t have to be a positive or negative unless the invitation clearly states, “Regrets only”, in which case, you would only RSVP if you couldn’t attend.
· When the sports teams’ schedules and academic schedules come out, immediately put them in your planner. There are no surprises that way!
Those are a few of the things that I do to keep the Mail Monster tame … what do YOU do?