No matter how many mailing lists you unsubscribe from or how many accounts you switch to paperless, it still seems as if junk mail has an annoyingly persistent way of finding you. Then, it's the same old routine: Get mail, sort junk mail into a pile, intend to shred said pile, unintentionally let pile build for weeks and weeks into a cluttered mess.
Organizing expert Peter Walsh knows that routine well, but he also knows a surefire way to break the habit -- without needing a paper shredder. You can use Walsh's trick right at your mailbox, before ever bringing the junk mail into your house.
"Here's a little tip that works for me," Walsh says in the above video. "I immediately go through my mail, deciding what's junk and what's not. Whatever's junk, I tear into a few pieces... Some, I throw into one trashcan, some into another."
By separating the torn junk mail pieces into different receptacles, Walsh gets the same effect as a paper shredder in a much more immediate way. No fuss, no procrastination, no cluttered piles of paper inside the home.
Of course, some people may still prefer the extra security of shredding junk mail, but Walsh stresses the importance of keeping those useless papers outside.
"You might like to shred your junk mail, but whatever you do, just don't let it in the house," he says. "That's really important."
You can take a more proactive approach to handling junk mail by opting out of prescreened offers of credit and insurance, as well as using a free service like Catalog Choice, a nonprofit which helps people opt out of receiving catalogs, coupons, phone books, circulars and more.
Looking for tips for spaces inside your home? Try these brilliant room-by-room organizing tricks to help clear more clutter.