What could you do with 70 extra hours each year? According to the folks at 41pounds.org, that’s how much time each of us spends annually dealing with unwanted junk mail. They claim the average person receives 41 pounds of junk mail each year, and 44% of that mail goes into a landfill unopened.

If you feel like your mailbox has become a receptacle for useless information, you aren’t alone. Dealing with everyday mail is one of the simplest things you can do to cut clutter in your home or office, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

1: Act on It

It’s okay to have a pretty basket or tray for mail that needs immediate attention. Maybe it’s a note or RSVP you need to respond to. Maybe you need to submit a health receipt. Just be sure anything in this category gets acted upon within a week.

2: File It

Some things, like bills for instance, require action at a later date. Set up a system that works for you. It may be a file cabinet in your home office, or an accordion file that you can carry from room to room. Just be sure you have envelopes, stamps and your checkbook handy to wherever you set up your filing system.

Magazines, catalogs and newspapers also tend to be put aside for later reading. Find a basket to store them in, and when the basket is full it’s time to purge. You can recycle your magazines by trading them with friends or donating them in your community.

3: Throw It Away

The easiest way to deal with your mail is to open it right next to the trash can. Then you can toss or recycle anything you don’t need immediately. Some of our clients even grab their mail and walk past their outdoor garbage can, dumping the junk on the way so it never gets inside the house!

You can reduce the amount of mail you receive by signing up for online bill pay and email statements. And, if you’re trying to go paperless, may retailers now offer e-receipts rather than the paper kind. Use them if that works for you.

You can reduce the amount of junk mail that you receive by going to dmachoice.org. Another source for opting out of credit card mailings is optoutprescreen.com. Both of these are free options. It costs $35 to utilize the services from 41pounds.org.

Want other tips on getting rid of clutter? Check out our website at lastingorder.net, or give us a call at (812) 858-2457.

Written by Lee Ann Roeder for Lasting Order