Made a return trip this afternoon to my friend's house, whose office photos were in the blog a couple of weeks ago. She had de-cluttered the closet in the office and now can even store her vacuum cleaner inside of it.
We created a mail drop zone on a newly cleared surface in the office, setting up a small "to do," bin and larger bins for mail to recycle or shred. Instead of putting the mail on the kitchen table she's going to try placing it on this surface, since it's in the office where paperwork is handled. While we were in the office we went through about 14" of bills and statements, taking merely 60 minutes to go through the entire batch, and she finished the job with only two items in her to do bin and lots of discarded papers in the other two bins. Toward the end she said, "It sure goes faster when you have two people." She made all the decisions and I simply put the papers she handed me in the correct spot.
We categorized the papers by vendor (like Verizon, Anthem,) so specific information could be quickly found. Temporarily, she's using a bunch of two-pocket folders she had on hand to store the papers from about 16 different vendors until she determines whether or not she and dear hubby like the system. She was amazed that we finished that thick stack of papers in a very brief period of time.
The family's primary recycle bin is kept in the kitchen and we discussed compacting its contents by having her kids stomp on empty cereal boxes, plastic milk jugs and other air-filled receptacles to flatten the bulky items. We also discussed using a tall bin for recycling, rather than a short, rectangular one supplied by the waste management company, which takes up valuable floor space.
Managing mail can really bog us down. Is your system working for you?