post off: where’s the first place you toss the mail?

mail bowl

The front entry of our house isn’t big enough for a table. Our kitchen has no desk and no room on the wall for a ubiquitous Pottery Barn organizer or similar contraption. So where’s a person to toss the mail when they come in? In our case, it’s the mail bowl that sits at the end of the kitchen counter. Maybe not the usual vessel to hold bills and whatnot, but at 13-inches across magazines and larger envelopes fit perfectly. (Plus, it gave me a way to give a chipped and cracked bowl a new life.) I’m guessing we’re not alone in the no center hall table, no hanging organizer and no kitchen desk so the question is on. Until you file it or sort through it, where does your mail go? — Sarah L.

From our partners
Angela M.

Oi. What a great question. It seems there is never enough counter space for all the mail we get. We pile it on low bookshelf in the living room, then move it into the cabinet in the dining room, and finally, upstairs to the office where one day we might put it in a file.

I use an Orla Kiely bin from Target (the blue one in the pic.) It sits on a small bookshelf and it serves as a catch-all for bills, papers, and random bits.

Mine ends up in a very similar place to yours, a large antique blue bowl that was my grandmother’s. It is too special to use for baking, and I like to look at it as much as I can, so it seemed the perfect place. Next to it is a small cup for pennies.

I walk straight to the recycle bin and throw away anything that isn’t of need or interest..the mags get placed on the coffee table for Sunday’s reading, the bills get put in the “Bills-to-be-Paid” cubby hole and the “to reads” gets put in my bag for the train ride in…


I look through the mail on the way up the driveway from the mailbox. Anything that’s trash/recycling hits the bins before I ever go into the house. Everyone’s mail gets put on their dresser.

Megan B

I have an adorable vintage mail sorter that my mom bought me a million years ago. It’s right at the entryway, waiting to be filled with the mail. But unfortunately, I am far too random for that. Much to my husband’s chagrin, I place mail mostly on our dining room table, where it languishes for weeks until I finally go through everything. Hence my lofty 2011 goal to be more organized.

sigh…well, *i* sort the mail, stash the important letters in a bin next to the door (an orla kiely from target too!), and put the magazines in a pile so i know which are unread.

my husband, on the other hand…well it’s anybody’s guess where the mail ends up if he gets hold of it. sigh!

Sadly, my mail ends up in a pile on a table in the entry way until we sort out the bills and toss the rest!

I bought a really fancy antique Chinese rice measuring basket and put it by the front door for recycling. I sort and deal with the rest immediately. It took me years to figure out this was the simplest and easiest thing to do rather than let it all pile up.

Who ever cones home before me grabs the mail and puts it on the table inside the door. (it’s a repurposed sofa table). When I go home I grab is and as I walk past my desk I put bills and letters down then as I keep walking to the kitchen to put my lunch stuff in the sink I toss any mailers/ trash straight in the garbage. Usually twice a week or so I go through the bills and pay and organize them.


Sigh! So smart! I have a large kitchen garbage can for recycling junk mail. The magazines, catalogues and mail we need to reply to sit on the floor at the end of the couch. Not ideal and an endless source of entertainment for our 12 month old. Every time I try to get it organized she comes over to “help” Mommy :)

Theoretically it goes in a 31 Gifts basket that I have on the table in the entryway, but realistically, Tommy dumps that all over the floor and I end up tossing it on the kitchen table.

Sarah L.

Carlynne, your response made me smile. I originally had my Grandmother’s yellowware bowl on the counter for mail, then swapped it out when someone kept throwing their hardware store parts in it.