UNITED STATES—Ugh, I sometimes get so much junk mail in the mail that it absolutely drives me crazy. A few months ago, I took an entire day and shredded like a year of junk mail that had been accumulating that I just didn’t have the time to get to. It felt so great to get rid of that junk and declutter the home. However, the junk mail continues and continues and continues.

So, I’m now back to where I was just a few months ago, and I’m asking myself yet again how did I allow this to happen. It is simple, laziness. Sometimes, when you get the mail, it’s not just about looking through the mail, but you actually have to trash, rip, shred what you know is not important. It is so easy to stash that junk in the mail holder, place it in a box, put it in a bag, on the counter or in a drawer until you cannot place anymore into the area.

Sometimes that junk mail comes in the form of bills, which some would argue is not junk mail. I agree, but the difference is I actually look at my bills. With a paper bill you know what you owe, what you’re being charged and you can immediately spot if something is inaccurate. When you deal with that paperless billing you are less likely to review your bills. At the same time, I don’t keep more than 2 months of a bill as a backup because any more than that just increases the amount of paper that you have to store.

Yeah, I know what people are going to say, you need to think about the environment and the earth, but I’m not ready to not have a review of my billing each month. The vast majority of my junk mail are requests to get me to sign up for new credit cards. I get at least 10 per week, which is bonkers when you think about it. I mean I already have a few credit cards. I think 3 to 4 is the max a person needs, when you get to like 10 or more, it’s like what the hell are you doing?!

I have seen people with like 15 credit cards, and I’m not referring to retail credit cards, actual credit cards that can be used anywhere across the world. Just because you get a request doesn’t mean you have to sign up for it. In addition, you do have to review your mail. There are sometimes things that you suspect to be junk mail that can be quite important. This happened to me once, where something I thought was junk was an actual check. Yes, check, free money that I was not expecting from my student loans.

Was I surprised? Yes, I thought it was a scam at first, but it was not, it was a check for several hundred dollars. Now just imagine if I tossed that mail in the trash. Hundreds of dollars would have been gone as a result. We can become flippant about the things we receive in the mail and yes, 90 percent of the time, it is junk things we need to trash or get rid of, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a few moments to review the things placed in the mail slot or mailbox, you may realize that there are some important things in there.

At the same time, don’t place yourself in the same position as me, where you find yourself frustrated or dreading have to shred loads upon loads of paper that you let accumulate that could have been taken care of with just 20 to 30 minutes in your day.

Written By Jason Jones