Is your home or office littered with piles of unopened mail? Does the ever-growing pile become more and more intimidating?
Let me teach you a few tips about mail that will make you want to rush over and tackle that pile right now!
Through Thick and Thin
Suppose you have an unopened piece of mail sitting on your desk, containing a one-page bill. One page isn’t very thick, is it? But it’s folded in thirds, so it’s actually three times as thick as it needs to be. And it’s in an envelope, which adds an extra two thicknesses, plus there’s a reply envelope, which is another two, for a total of seven.
That means this piece of unopened mail is at least seven times thicker than the one page you really need to pay attention to. If there are any folded inserts, or a cover letter — also folded in thirds — you’re looking at 10 to 12 times thicker.
By opening your mail, recycling all the unwanted parts, and smoothing out the important pages so that they lay flat, you can reduce that pile of mail by 90%.
Barriers of Entry
Sealed envelopes are very intimidating. That’s why one of the best organizing purchases you’ll ever make is a letter opener.
With a letter opener in your hand, you’ll feel empowered. You will know that you are the master of your mail, and not vice versa. Even if all you do every day is reach for your letter opener and slice open each of those secretive little envelopes, you’ll feel much better about tackling that mail when you have more time.
Don’t Touch My Junk
Many of my mail-phobic clients toss each day’s mail onto an ever-growing pile. When we finally tackle it, at least one-third of it is obviously junk mail.
Don’t let the junk mail get into the pile! As soon as you bring the mail into the house, pull out the junk and recycle it.
Carnac the Magnificent
Do you remember this gag that Johnny Carson used to do on The Tonight Show? He portrayed a character called Carnac the Magnificent, who used to hold a sealed envelope up to his head and divine what it said inside.
I have worked with clients who said, “I don’t have to open that envelope. I know what’s in it.” Nevertheless, I insisted that we open it — and boy, were they surprised! One client discovered an unexpected check that was on the verge of being uncashable because she had waited so long to open it.
Another client, an attorney, thought that an entire stack of envelopes were filing receipts from a firm that did work for him on behalf of his clients. Once again, I insisted we open all of them, and to his great surprise, he discovered they were bills and that he was several months in arrears. He got on the phone and settled the amount right away.
Unless you are Carnac the Magnificent, don’t think that you know what’s in your mail. The only way to know for sure is to open it up.
. . .
Okay now, letter openers ready? Go get ’em!