The first thing she did was sort through our mail center. She had me remove anything that wasn’t paper to be put away elsewhere. “Nothing else should be here”, she said. All cords and other small electronics found a home in the dining room armoire, and craft supplies went into the desk/art area in the kitchen. Her first tip in organizing mail coming in was simple but what we needed to hear:

1. When mail comes in, immediately open it. Throw anything away that’s not important, and anything you need to address should go in a small container or bin in your mail center. Once a week (she suggests Sunday nights), go through that bin (together if you have a partner) and pay any bills or address any items that need to be addressed. A few things may need to be filed away, but most should be taken care of and tossed right there. There might be things that stay in the bin for a while like invitations, or items you’re unsure about and still unresolved, and that’s fine. You can keep them there and address them again the next week.

With artwork from school and preschool, we already have a pretty good system in place. Every day they comes home with a stack of artwork and schoolwork. I ooh and aww over it for a few minutes, and then we put them in a basket under the mail center (you can see it under here now). Then once month (or when it gets full) we go through with the child together they pick 2 of their favorite pieces to put in their keepsake boxes. The rest gets recycled.

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