Organizing the Mail

Want to know a secret?  I am horrible at organizing important documents.  Here’s proof:

Papers on the rolling kitchen cart, fridge, kitchen table, and the ledge between our dining room and living room.

And I’m not the only one to blame, my husband isn’t any better!  We needed a way to organize the mail as soon as it enters our home, because I hate having piles of paper that I have to sort through to find a gift card, coupon, receipt, or bill.  It’s such a time waster.  Plus, it makes our house look messy even when it isn’t.

We needed a change; one that wasn’t too involved that both of us could follow.  So I looked on Pinterest and found these ideas:

Different ways to organize your paperwork in your home

These ideas gave me a start for discovering my own organizing system.  For us, it’s easiest to sort mail when we walk in through the garage into the kitchen.  So I thought about where my system would be convenient, unobtrusive, and hidden.  Our door from the garage opens to the kitchen (as I stated earlier) and immediately to the right is the side of our fridge.  I know not everyone has the same layout, so you’ll have to make some modifications depending on your situation.

I decided to follow the envelope system idea but tweak it just a little.  Instead of using manila mailing envelopes with hooks on the door; I used accordion folders (from the dollar section at Target) with Rare Earth magnets (from  I labeled the four accordion folders the following; file, coupons, bills, and burn.  Since I often make my own greeting cards (more on that later), I could use the same tools to make the labels.  These tools are pictured below.

I used letter stencil stamps that I purchased a while back from Michael’s, but you could write them yourself or print them. After stamping and cutting (via the lovely Fiskars Shape Cutter), I glued everything on the folder.
My labels all glued on their respective folders. Aren’t they lovely?

Next is the task of gluing the magnets on the backs of the folders.  I needed strong magnets, and these small but strong little buggers worked the best.  These are Rare Earth Neodymium magnets, clicking on the pictures will bring you to their Amazon page

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For strong magnets you will also need strong glue. I tried using my trusty glue gun, but it failed miserably.  So I used this glue (Amazing E-6000 Craft Adhesive, link attached) and let them dry overnight:


Presto!  It’s done!
Here are the beautiful results:


The nice thing about the accordion folders is that they have multiple separators within them so you can keep sorting!  I haven’t added labels to the inside just yet, but it would be helpful.  For example, our filing system is sorted as follows: Health (insurance information, receipts, copies of bills, etc.), School (loan information, receipts of books and other necessities), Credit Cards (account information and any mail we receive pertaining to our cards), Home (homeowners insurance, closing information, window records, etc.), Cars (receipts of work we’ve had done, car insurance information, etc.), Isaac’s work, and Janell’s work.  I’m working hard to make our system better, because then it will take far less time to sort through things to find what I need.

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. I love this! Organizing all the mail and important papers seems to be a big task for just about everyone I know. I like the idea of making the folders fit your home (style). Thanks!

    1. Janell says:

      Thanks! I feel like everyone says we live in a paperless world, but we don’t!!! At least not in my house.

  2. Looks like a great way to keep filing pretty and handy!

    1. Janell says:

      It really is working. We’ve been using it for over 2 months now and have no papers cluttering our house! It just takes an organizing technique that you’ll actually use, plus making it a habbit 🙂

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