Saturday, December 5, 2009

Little victories.

With my many adventures last week - including wearing the same sweater twice in one week, splitting my thyroid pills with a knife because my prescription is up and I don't have a doctor's appointment until next week, and pretending that I'm a good girlfriend even though My Guy basically planned his own birthday celebration (including ordering and buying the tickets to the comedy show he wanted to see) - well, with all of this in mind? I'm opting for a low-key, low-effort weekend.

Actually, today is my favorite day of the holiday season. Today, I went shopping for the family I adopted. Because shopping for toys for a 9-month-old is fun. And I know the mom didn't say he needed clothes, but there was the cutest little sweatsuit at Target, and spending another $8 isn't going to make much of a different to my finances but will make my heart glad.

So, there's that.

And I've been picking up around the house, including the pile of mail that threatened to destroy us all. My name is Cha Cha, and I have a problem dealing with mail.

And I'm ashamed.

I flip through it to see if there's anything good. Then, I pile the remainder and ignore it until a massive mail effort, like tonight. I watched White Christmas and dug through a mail pile where I found the typical two-month-old mail. And also a receipt from getting my car serviced in December 2008.

Any suggestions for dealing with mail? I have used the "toss it in a bowl" approach for most of my adult life, but that's obviously not working. Ideas?

In exchange for your kind suggestions, I offer you the fruits of my most recent labor - downloading photos off my camera. There were 99 photos, and 86 of them were of Foxie Doxie and Lil' Frankfurter.

Again? I realize that I have a problem. I do.
But can you deny the cuteness?
No, you cannot.

But the mail - seriously. What works for you? I need to be adequate in at least one area of my life.


Unknown said...

I deal with it as soon as I bring it into the house - recycle, shred, to be dealt with, which are usually bills. I use online bill pay, so I enter the bill within a day or two and then put it in my 'file' pile. I only file about once a month.

sherilee said...

We have just recently been dealing with this at our place--a bit different in the actual issue, as I tend to sort and stack asap, and then husband wants to know "what did we get in the mail?" and it's already whooshed away... so I have come up with a three pile system of review, toss/recycle and "handle" and we'll see if that works... still seems like a mass of paper every week... good luck with your org challenges, and you don't have a problem, really, you don't. Those dogs are adorable!

If it makes you feel any better, I file bills/statements once a year. Yep. Once a year. It's a big pile, but two hours later it's done. Beats 10 minutes every month, to me anyway.

Iron Needles said...

Let's not talk about mail. Let's talk about White Christmas! It's a tradition with my kids. The Bing Crosby/Danny Kaye version. I am not sure if there is another...

Niki said...

A few months ago i came up with a positive reward system for myself that i call "Gold Stars for Grown-ups." Basically there are tasks that i need to do everyday and frankly some of them i always ignore - like taking care of my junkmail (dude, the pile on the table by the door would get so huge it would paper avalanche before i took care of it)- so now when i do things in a timely fashion i earn a gold star. Once i hit 150 gold stars i get to go to my massage therapist for a 1.25 hour appointment of self-indulgent bliss. I keep track of the stars on my blog so that my friends can see how i'm doing and there is accountability.
Junkmail sorting and filing is scheduled for once a week and since i started the system the pile hasn't been more than half an inch tall.
Good luck to you.

Mary @ Giving Up On Perfect said...

Ah, the mail. Or, in my house, the PAPER. Because the mess is not just contained to things that enter through the mailbox. Sometimes I bring them home from work. Or print them off of the computer. Or whatever. But the paper - it overwhelms me.

For many years, we would let it pile up and then Mark would insist I do something about it (What a taskmaster! Kidding. He was most often washing a kitchen full of dishes when he made that request.), so I'd toss everything into a box.

But then the cats would pee in the box. And that's just annoying. As you know.

So now I try to just deal with it at least once a week. I throw out junk every day (or try to), and then file the stuff I need to keep once a week or so. But it's the to-do-something-with pile that still gets me.

Anonymous said...

D has one of those 16 pocket accordion file folders--it works for him.

gertrude said...

I currently have a giant Trader Joe's reusable grocery bag holding several months' worth of mail instead of being used for groceries. So really, I think I'm more of a cautionary tale...

Laura said...

Chiming in late here . . .

I have this problem myself. I have come up with the following half-ass solutions. First, switch to ebills whenever possible (double points - eco friendly and less paper in means less to deal with!) Next, I try to deal with it every day or two - recycle junk mail, pull out important stuff into two piles - one for filing and one for action.

I gave up on actually filing and bought a basket with a lid big enough to hold an unfolded sheet of paper. I throw everything for the year in there. I figured out that I spent more time filing or dreading filing than I did actually looking for something I needed, so now I just throw it all in one place and then once a year pull out what's needed for taxes and anything needed long term. I shred the rest and start clean each year (or about February when I get around to it.)

The other pile (action pile) I force myself to deal with once a week - pay bills, respond to invites, charity stuff, etc. After that it goes in the file basket or in the recycle bin or shredder.

I still have too much paper, but it's getting better.

hope505 said...

Y'know what helps me with the Mail? A SHREDDER! Shredding unwanted ads, paid bills, and other crap that comes in the mail is one of my greatest pleasures! You'll find yourself actually looking forward to going through a pile of unopened mail, because whatever you don't want, you can SHRED. Shredding is also good for stress-relief, boredom, eye-hand coordination,and low libido.
* : D