Friday, May 10, 2013

DIY Mail Sorter

I am one of those people who always just throws my mail on the coffee or dining room table to go through later. Sometimes, it get's pretty bad. I don't like the mess, but when I am coming in the house I am usually trying to do something else like put away groceries, go to the bathroom (pregnant!!), or get dinner started. I don't necessarily want to deal with the mail right away. Some of it needs responded to, like an invites and bills, some of it needs to be brought upstairs and filed like bank statements, and some of it is just trash.

So I came up with a solution; I made a mail sorter out of a Cheerios box. It was easy, simple, and cheap. It also works! It has a place for mail that needs to be filed, as well as a place for mail that needs a response. In the front I added a spot for stamps, pens and envelopes to make it easier to deal with the "respond" section. Once I separate those things out I am left with just the trash...which actually goes into the recycling because I try to do that as much as possible.

What you need:
  • An empty cereal box (or two)
  • Glue stick
  • Wrapping paper or stationary
  • Glue gun (with glue sticks)
  • Label maker (Optional)

Cut the cereal box at an angle. I didn't measure the degree of the angle and don't think it is necessary to do so, just make sure it is even on both sides and you cut off enough that any mail you put in it will be sticking out enough to be easily accessible.

Then cover each side of the cereal box with your stationary or wrapping paper. I used wrapping paper because I had some that I thought was pretty. Make sure that whatever paper you use is thick enough or dark enough that you won't be able to see the cereal logo through it. To cover the sides I simply cut out pieces that were slightly bigger than necessary, used a glue stick to stick them to the cardboard and then folded them down and glued the edges. Then you can glue paper on the inside as well. I used two different paper designs to give it a contrast.

For the divider I used scrap pieces of cereal box I had left over from my original trimming. If you don't have big enough pieces then you may have to slice up another cereal box. There should be two pieces, one that will divide your box long ways down the middle so you have two separate compartments (you can slant it the same way you did on the outside of the box or not depending on your preference), and another to block off the front section for stamps and pens. Then you just cover each piece with your paper the same way you did the sides, and use your hot glue gun to glue them all together. Once your pieces are covered and glued together to form a "T" shape, you then run the hot glue gun along the edges and carefully insert your divider into the box.

Lastly, you need to label which section is for what. I used a label maker, but you can write it on or print off something from the computer and glue it on. For extra decoration I poked a cupcake decoration into one corner of my box because I thought it looked cute.

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