In all my cleaning/purging/organizing, there has been one place I've been diligently avoiding: our file cabinet. While it was never especially organized, it became a black hole for unopened mail and random papers during our move. Then it sat in storage for over a year where, believe it or not, it got even MORE disorganized. Anytime we needed something we thought might be in there we shuffled through papers and stuffed them back in without any attempt at managing them. We moved it out of storage and into our house and I've been trying not to think about the mess that was waiting for me in there. But it's been bugging me lately, so today I decided to get to it.
The only saving grace is that it's just two drawers. I don't even want to think about dealing with four drawers of this mess. Anyway, I emptied it all onto the floor, mail, papers, paid bills, receipts. I even found a coaster in a pair of scissors in there. (I know, what?) And then I started going through it, one paper at a time. Trash, recyclable, file, shred, and crap that shouldn't have ever been in there. And, as much as I felt like it was a waste of time to open all the mail, I did it. If I haven't needed it for the last 16 months, why would I need it now, right? But I opened it all anyway, mostly to make sure I wasn't just trashing stuff that needed to be shredded. And THEN! Then I opened one generic looking envelope and out fell a $25 gift card to Toys R Us! A reward from my insurance company for participating in their "Healthy Pregnancy" program. (Don't worry, the accompanying letter assured me that the $25 would be added to my taxable income as per IRS requirements. Thanks so much, right?) 10 minutes later the $25 was spent at Toys R Us online on the last of the Christmas gifts I wanted to get for the kids. Nothing like a little unexpected reward to make the work seem worth it.
If nothing else, this will guarantee I never throw away unopened mail.