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Home Management Tip: Household Inbox System

There are all kinds of tools, software and gadgets available to help remind you about your household’s pending items and bills that are due, but here’s a simple system I use that keeps things running smoothly.

Household Inbox


Step 1:

Mail & Incoming: Quickly eyeball each incoming piece of mail, task or correspondence, trash the junk and toss everything else that doesn’t need immediate attention into the Household Inbox. Do this as each piece enters your home.

Things I toss into the inbox: bills, receipts, school memos, general mail items, coupons, etc. Once you’ve placed something in the inbox, you can safely “forget about it” for now.

Step 2:

Designate one day a week to manage the household inbox, it can be any day that’s most convenient for you but it must be the same day each week. On your designated day, review each item sitting in the household inbox.

Key Points

This system works very well for me since I don’t have to hold onto any “mental clutter”, I know all items that need to be taken care of for the upcoming week have been done and anything new coming into the home doesn’t need to be tended to until I next sit down on my designated day to review it. I also know where everything is (it’s either waiting in the inbox or it’s filed away).

Each household is different, but I manage to complete my inbox work in about an hour–you may need more or less time depending on your situation.

Bonus: My mail pile is never backed up and out of control, it’s always dealt with in a timely fashion :).