I didn’t make any New Year’s resolutions for 2012. But if I had, I would have resolved to get my family’s mail situation under control. The sheer volume of catalogs, credit card solicitations, statements, political mailings (don’t ask!), and even the occasional personal greeting that arrives at our home each day is staggering. I don’t consider myself a disorganized person. But when it comes to mail, I am drowning in a huge, embarrassing mess.

Our typical behavior is to immediately recycle catalogs we know we don’t need, and create a bizarre system of piles on our kitchen island of opened and unopened mail not well understood (or maintained) by the other spouse. When our cleaning service comes, it all gets stacked up and shoved into a drawer, only to emerge when we “feel like” there are probably some bills due soon. I’d be lying if I told you that important things didn’t get lost in the shuffle from time to time.

So I have made the decision to fix this problem once and for all. In researching different creative and commercially-available solutions, I’ve come to realize that many won’t be functional for our home. The most logical place for the mail to come in and be processed by us, given the layout of our home, is the kitchen.Β Realistically, we can process organized, culled down mail flow on a weekly basis.

First we tried a basic vertical, office-style mail holder, resting on the kitchen island. One slot for bills, the other for things that need to be reviewed, filed, etc. Mail that another person (my husband or myself) needed to review was placed in front of the mail holder. This worked for about three days. The slots filled up too quickly, and we kept moving it or hiding it while cleaning, or when we were expecting guests. It was actually adding to the clutter, if you can believe it! “BEFORE” photos will NOT be provided…

I’ve recently done some more research and found some inspiration for a better, thoughtfully designed solution…

Better Homes & Gardens:

Mail Receptacle - BHG.com
BHG.com

http://www.bhg.com/decorating/storage/projects/daily-mail-organizing-center/

Teal & Lime:

Mail Pockets - Teal & Lime
tealandlime.com

http://www.tealandlime.com/2011/09/pretty-mail-organization/

A Bowl Full of Lemons:

Command Center - A Bowl Full of Lemons
abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com

http://abowlfulloflemons.blogspot.com/2011/01/day-17-getting-organized-challenge-mail.html

I’ve ordered some materials to create our mail organization system, and I hope to post the results here as a follow-up next week. And then again in a few more weeks, to let you know if we’re still using it after the honeymoon is over :).

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Posted by:Kelly R. - Interiors For Families

3 replies on “The Mail Organization Project: Stage 1 – Recognizing the Problem

  1. I have seen your ‘Before’ and you are right not to share! I am excited to see your results. My own dining table has become a dumping ground for unsorted mail so I can use some organization help myself!

  2. Thanks, Lindsay! My order arrived today, and I hope to post the finished solution within the next few days. In the meantime, we’re trying not to let the piles get too high…

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