Friday, January 29, 2010

Organizing that Mail Mess

Do you struggle with a bunch of mail that ends up in a pile? Or can you just not seem to figure out how to organize it so that you can find what you need when you need it? Interested on learning how to better manage that mess of mail? Please read on…


As a mentor for a teen mom in a local organization, the blessings just flow. Not only do you get to be there for a struggling young mom and help her through the tough times and celebrate the good, you get to see her grow into a mature and even more lovely young lady. You see her learn about life, love and often even transform into a new person, reach her potential. One of the many side blessings in this programs is that as you sit along side her once a week at Lifeskills Workshops, you can’t help but learn a few things you can use in your own life!

This week Amber of Amber’s Organization, LLC so graciously gave us her time to talk about general organization of items in the home.

As an overview, she taught us about an organizational system developed by Julie Morganstern with the acronym “SPACE.”

S- ort items into categories

P- urge what you don’t use or need

A- ssign a home “everything has a place”

C –ontainerize to allow for easy retrieval

E –equalize (over time re-evaluate your system, is it working? What do you need to move or change to make this a better system for you?)

Amber used a mail exercise to demonstrate how this system works. I personally cannot wait to try it out!

First of all what kinds of mail do you get? Here are just a few examples…

bills, invitations, magazines, registration forms, greeting cards, catalogs, insurance papers, bank statements, credit card applications, court papers, registrations confirmations, ads, tax documents, brochures, medical statements, newsletters, photos, greeting cards, correspondence

With these examples, you can come up with some action words for different categories of mail. What do you need to do with each of these? How about…





decide/discuss (if you have multiple decisions makers in your home)


Guess what? Now we have just created the categories needed to sort! And guess what else? You can make sorting easy. In our home, we have tried a “one box” system in the past, and that just did not work very well. We’d have one pile, or one box of “important” mail. But all sorts of action words had to be done within the pile. So instead, why not “assign a home” to each category? Label files for each of your actions and then find a container (containerize) that works for you to hold your files.

I personally like the idea of the desktop hanging file folder container.


But another option is the cascading hanging file system. It’s all a matter of preference.


The above two photos are from The Container Store.

I cannot wait to get my new system up and running and say goodbye to the unorganized mess of mail.


  1. Great tips!!! I am the world's worst at organizing paperwork!! I took a look at the folder system you have shown - it's perfect!!!

  2. Wow great ideas. I have such a hard time with my mail and bills. I love the hanging folder system need to check it out.

  3. I so need to do this.
    I am desperate!
    There is ALWAYS a pile on the island.

  4. Do they still sell these at the Container Store? What do they call them? Thanks for the GREAT info!


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