Day #17 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (The mail station)

January 20, 2011
Mail organization…
Once the mail comes into the house, its VERY important to have a system in place. You need to be able to go through it and organize it right away.

Today we are going to concentrate on the area where we put our mail.   I’m sure a lot of you would like for this area to be under control.  I want to share what I have found that works perfect for my house, and I call it the “Mobile Command Center”.  You do not have to make one of these, as long as you create a system that works well for you.  There are a TON of systems that will help you get control of your mail. If you don’t already have a mail station, now is the perfect time to create one. 🙂

Different systems that may work…

real simple

*Make sure to categorize and place some kind of organizer in the area, so that when you go through your mail, it has a home.  You can use mail sorters, stackable trays, etc… whatever works for you. Go through EVERY peice of mail you have stacked… and purge whats not necessary to keep.


Our goal is to go from this…


To this…


The mobile command center is what I created, and it may work well for you too!  I want to see all of your “before” pictures of your paper piles!!!  We need to see where we were in order to learn & move on to create a better system. Good luck!!
If you are new to the challenge, click on the button below to see what it’s all about and join in!




To help alleviate paper clutter and pile ups, I created a command center for our home.  

It has been a blessing to have this and really keeps the kitchen cleaner.  I purchased this calendar for $1.98 at walmart! It was a great alternative to those expensive hanging calendars that can cost up to $20. (I have to think outside the box since we are on the Dave Ramsey Plan). The file box came from Target a while back. 
My calendar isnt really this bare… but I just filled it in this week. Next month has ink on every day! 🙂 (cheer, dance, basketball, preschool, school volunteering, church, work, book club, bunko, plays, etc..etc..etc.)
I used extra hanging file folders from my office filing project last week.
I labeled each file folder according to what stacks up on the kitchen counter… so no more paper piles!

1. Incoming (unsorted) mail
2. Outgoing mail
3. To File (sorted mail or papers)
4. To Pay
5. Sign and return (kids stuff mostly)
6. All family members get a folder
7. Grocery list & coupons

I color coded each person on the calendar  and I keep a basket with the colored pens in front of the file box.
I used office clips to attach the calendar on the file container.
I chose this specific box because it had handles, which makes it easy to carry from my kitchen to my office to file as needed.

I placed file tabs at the bottom of each month for easy navigation from month to month.
Since this where I go through my mail, a paper recycle can was a must have within reach.
What kind of system do you have to keep the paper clutter away? I hope you all participate in this challenge.  It will help immensely.

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LINK UP TO DAY 17 – The mail station 


19 comments on “Day #17 ~ Getting Organized Challenge (The mail station)

  1. I LOVE THIS! I will be doing this soon!


  2. Megan says:

    I was on the search for a new calender took me about a week and i settled with the same one. I didnt like how plain it was but hey it was cheap. We are not that busy and the only mail in our mail box is usually junk mail so it does right in the trash. All bills are paid online so i dont get paper bills, less mess for us. When we do get busy like your family i will for sure use your idea! Its surly a great one. I do think i will do the little month tabs on the bottom though, that will be nice!

  3. Kelli says:

    This is a great system. I don’t have a mail station and I need to create one…I’m getting ready to start organizing all of my paper!!! I do try and go through mail right away and throw away the junk. I’ll have to look for one of these carriers…I like this idea. Thanks so much for sharing all of these.

  4. Great system!
    I’m trying to figure out what will work for me.. this might help.. I might try this..

  5. Terri says:

    These are great systems. My husband of 33 years and I have a great system… handle mail once. So that means read it, respond to it and mail it on the same day. This works for us.

  6. Deana says:

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  8. Can’t wait to try your 21 day challange for myself! The mail is one of my home’s most UNorganized things! This gave me some great ideas! Thanks!

  9. Erica says:

    Ohmygoodness… I think my heart just stopped for a moment there. I have never seen a more elegant solution for mail/paper clutter in my life. WOW!

  10. Christy says:

    Where did you find your hanging file basket? I’ve looked for one like that before and haven’t had any success in finding one. Love this system and can’t wait to try it out.

  11. Lori Craig says:

    I have been looking for the aqua blue hanging folders since I saw your post about the office filing. Can you share where to purchase those? I’ve tried all of the big office supply places, and I keep coming up empty. Thanks so much for the inspiration.

    • Kristen says:

      I was just thinking about your search for aqua blue folders and thought of two things: I would probably go on a long search to find just what I wanted and how we could think outside of the box and make our own file folder with some nice cardstock (probably a little more money but easier to find at Michael’s or JoAnn’s or even Walmart, possibly) and use some Duck tape or clear packing tape to join the pieces together to make folders, etc. Just my “two cents” (2 years after the fact as that is when I just saw/read your comment) 🙂 Hopefully, you have found what you wanted or come up with a substitute for the time being 🙂

  12. Jana says:

    I have just found your blog and LOVE all your ideas. I am getting ready to implement this mail system. I really hope it helps us keep clutter under control!

  13. Anonymous says:

    where did you find the fild folders? i love them

  14. JR Rosales says:

    @Toni – was this your system before or even during getting the Thirty one Gifts organizing utility tote?

    We don’t really receive mails since bills are paid online… What we have are payment receipts for a certain property and receipts for the kids school fees. Should I combine both in one mobile command or just put them in a binder, along with the documents corresponding to that property/ academic year?

    How do you organize your kids’ school fee – per year, per kid etc?


  15. Marci says:

    After using this system for awhile how is it still going??? Please let us know if you have changed anything or found something not effective. Thanks!

  16. Anonymous says:

    I love this Idea….I am a very organized person. I go through so much paper trail it’s insane, but I keep them detaile organized. 🙂 it’s just my style.

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