A mail sorting system helps keep your home uncluttered. Keep an easily accessible recycling bin nearby for junk mail.
A landing strip—if you aren't familiar with the term—is the area right inside your front door, where you can unload all your junk from the outside world before entering your home. It's not hard to organize one that's conducive to an eco-friendly lifestyle, it just takes a few materials and a little advanced planning.
What You Need
Reusable tote bags
1. Find an appropriate shoe rack. We use a small basket we picked up at a garage sale. This is where you can store your slippers while you're out. When you come home, simply swap your shoes for the slippers. We also use the bottom level of our table for extra shoe storage. Taking your shoes off at the door helps keep gross, unhealthy stuff out of your home.
2. Install a hook for your reusable bags. Because we aren't too handy, and didn't want to put a hole in the wall of our rental, we chose an easily removable large-sized hook from 3M. It cost about $3.50. Having our bags on a hook at the front door has really worked for us. We never forget them on the way to the store anymore.
3. Pick an appropriate mail organizer. We found ours at IKEA. Mail that needs attention goes in the top slot. Mail that might need to be shredded before it's recycled goes in the second slot. Mail that can be immediately recycled goes in the recycle bin.
4. Place a recycle bin next to your table. We use a sturdy cardboard box. When we bring the mail in, all the junk mail that doesn't need to be shredded goes immediately into the box—making it very easy to grab and add to the rest of the recycling on trash day.
5. Some sort of dish is always nice to have. We use ours to store loose change and our BART/public transportation tickets.
(Images: Stephanie Kinnear)