Sunday, January 6, 2013

Decluttering the Mailbox

Every day when I get home from work, the first thing I do is sort the mail. I would say that 99% of the mail we receive is junk - credit card offers, catalogs, other nonsense. I would much rather open an empty mailbox than go through all of the junk we get every day. I recently found this great post on Pinterest about decluttering the office and it mentioned some great ideas for decluttering the mail.

First I created an account on Mail Preference Service. This is a site that manages direct marketing mail, like coupons from businesses. There are several options, you can even go through an exhaustive list of businesses and choose only those you would like to receive coupons from. I prefer to get my coupons online, so I selected "remove from all". Hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, we will be seeing fewer coupons in our mailbox!

Next, I went to Opt Out Prescreen, run by the Consumer Credit Reporting Agency, to opt out of those pesky credit card offers that come in the mail. Every year when I check my credit report, it is littered with credit card companies requesting my information to send me offers. Well, I don't know about you, but we have enough credit cards and we really don't need any more. If I want to sign up for a new credit card, it certainly won't be through a pre-screened offer. On this website, you can select to opt out of all offers for 5 years, or permanently. You might be thinking "well obviously I would select permanently!" They don't make it easy. You can opt out for 5 years with the click of a button, but you need to mail in a signed form to opt out for life. I filled out one of these for both my husband and myself and sent them away in the mail the other day. It should take a few weeks for full effect, but I am certainly looking forward to a decluttered mailbox!

So what is next for organizing the mail we do want? My husband gets tons of mail that he waits days to deal with. I hate seeing it laying around the house, so I went in search of a letter sorter. I went to Etsy and quickly found exactly what I was looking for. Below is a picture of a beautiful vintage letter sorter that is currently on it's way, found Here.

My plan is to refinish the wood stain and affix new labels with my name, my husband's name, and a label for "Outgoing" mail. Will update when it's finished!

Party Hats

New Years Resolutions - Everyone has one, but how many people follow through? Every year when January 1st rolls around I try to think of a resolution that I know I can accomplish, something a little more creative than "go to the gym". The idea dawned on me when, while getting ready for New Year's Eve, I found the party hat from NYE 2012 in my closet. Yes, a paper hat from a bar in my closet from a full year before. I woke up on January 1st and looked around my house thinking, "why do I have so much crap?" 

As a twentysomthing, for the first several years of my adult life I moved from place to place every year. Dorm rooms, mom and dad's house, college apartments, etc. When I married my husband and we bought our house, we didn't anticipate the amount of things people can accumulate when they stay put for a long time. Moving forced me to throw away so much of the junk I didn't need simply because I didn't want to move it! However, in a house we have a tendency to just throw things in a box and stick them in a closet, or the basement, or the attic, or the corner, or under the cabinets... the list is never ending. 

I decided to do something about it. This year my New Year's Resolution is to get rid of all of the "extra", all of the stuff that we don't truly need, or truly love. I am going to organize all of the little things that fall through the cracks and into the bottoms of drawers. Our house will be a peaceful haven, rather than a chaotic mess. This won't be easy; I have already discovered that parting with my things is harder than it seems. However, it is necessary. Below is a list of things I hope to accomplish, but maybe more are on the way?

  • Sell all of the extra furniture from college that we do not use
  • Organize all of the bathrooms and stop storing old, partially empty beauty products
  • Throw away all of my old college documents and papers and organize the ones I can't bear to part with
  • Clean out and organize our bedroom closet
  • Completely re-organize our kitchen and get rid of anything we don't use
  • Sell all unwanted items on Craigslist and use the money for something awesome

This is my mantra for 2013, wish me luck!