Home Organization: DIY Mail Sorter

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This post is sponsored from Mod Podge and Plaid.
I’ve been talking a lot about organization around here.  Binders, binders and more binders.  But today I want to talk about another nemesis of mine – the MAIL.  Ugh.  I’ve never been able to find a system that works well for us and today I’m changing that.  Mod Podge sent me some fun new products to test out and used them right away for this DIY Mail Sorter.   It’s ridiculously simple but it’s cute too!

Simple DIY Mail Sorter for Organization using an Ikea box and Mod Podge - www.thirtynandmadedays.com

I found a recycling bin at Ikea and thought it would be the perfect thing to turn into a mail space for my family.  Here in California, we have centralized mailboxes. Long gone are the cute mailboxes at your door.  The idea for this box is to get the mail, open it and label it with the due date and amount owed on the front and then store until bill paying time.  It might seem silly but we have mail strewn all over- in the car, in the kitchen, desks, etc.  Please tell me I’m not the only one suffering from mail issues!  I’m determined to have one spot and stick to it.

Here’s how I made this simple project:
Note: below is an animated image, you should see pictures rotating.  If you are seeing this in a reader, click over.  Thanks!

Simple steps on how to make a mail sorter from www.thirtyhandmadedays.com

For this project I used – Ikea recycling box, Mod Podge Sheer Colors in Aqua, Mod Podge Matte, large circle punch, scrapbook paper I had on hand, ruler, pencil.   Plaid officially launched new product this month with 9 transparent colors as well as dishwasher safe options (for the top wrack) available on their site and at Michael’s. They transparent color Mod Podge is great on glass, wood, metal and more.  I can’t wait to use the dishwasher safe version on some cups, plates, etc.  So fun!   Sign up for Plaid’s newsletter for tutorials and inspiration.  And get more ideas on their Pinterest boards.

  • Wipe down the box with a damp cloth and a dry one to remove any dirt or grime.  (hey, ya never know!)
  • Cut or punch circles out of fun paper.  I have a lot of old scrapbook paper that I searched through to find these fun colors/patterns.
  • Use a ruler to mark even lines between the dots.  I marked 4″ a part on either side and then drew a straight line across.
  • Using sponges and products, spread Mod Podge on back side of circles and align evenly on the straight ruler lines.
  • Using an eraser, carefully erase the pencil lines.   *Chalk would be a great alternative to pencil and then you could simple wipe it off after.  But it also might not get as crisp a line.  Your call!
  • Make sure to properly coat the circles underneath with Mod Podge.
  • I used the new Mod Podge Sheer Color in aqua to give it a little blue-ish tint.  This is optional.
  • Brush on one layer of top coat to seal the circles.
  • Let dry.
  • Stuff with mail.  Or school papers or whatever you like! You could actually use it for a recycling bin as originally intended if you heart desires.

I’d love to know how you deal with all the mail madness.

To learn more about the new Plaid products, you can watch these videos:

This post is sponsored from Mod Podge and Plaid. All opinions are 1 million% my own and I’m happy to be working with a company I believe in.


  1. Treshea Johnson says

    I am a “older” mama( that means my children are older I was a young mother ). I am also a grandmother. I said all that to say this. I STILL do not have a handle on it!! Thank you so very much for sharing this with those of us who depend on your amazing ideas.

  2. says

    Oh, I like that a lot! Nice job. With mail I’m either doing really great or I’m way behind. Today I went though mail for the last MONTH that I had stuffed in a bag. That was a nightmare for sure.
    When I’m doing well, I have two files in my filing cabinet, one for the first check of the month and one for the second and then as stuff comes in, I open it and put it in the right file. In a perfect world I would do that all the time. Actually, in a perfect world I would just pay stuff as it came in and then I wouldn’t have to worry about it. However, I’m not quite there yet.

  3. Christine says

    I do my best with the one touch rule. We have a shredder and a recycling bin near the counter where I open mail, which is a huge help. Then there is a Perspex 3 slot vertical leaflet display stand that I use to temporarily file the remainder of the mail. The only trouble I run into is not emptying that temporary file out often enough. That’s my next project – a good permanent filing system.

  4. says

    So super cute! I have to comment because this is one area where I actually do feel generally on top of it, and that’s amazing for me :) We live in an older neighborhood in San Diego so we actually do have a cute little mailbox right in front of our house. I get the mail every single day, just in case there is something awesome waiting for me, you know?! I love happy mail. I sort out the junk, rip up the junk really super tiny (since my shredder is broken right now) and toss it out. Then I put the bills in a neat little pile right in front of my computer monitor. I’m working on getting all of the due dates in my binder so that I have a better method of paying them (I don’t think I’m quite ready for paperless yet)… but by following the one touch rule (don’t set it down unless that’s where it belongs) I manage to keep up on our mail pretty well! So now I just need to think of what I could use that cute little polka dot box for around here… maybe to keep the money to actually pay the bills?!?! Because I do wish there was more of that sometimes! ;)

  5. says

    You are not the only one that has a “Mail Mess.” It’s one of those things that is constant, and just keeps coming! I have also tried lots of different methods and counter top filing systems. So far, no luck…. I like your idea of at least having a cute place to hide all the “stuff.”

    • says

      Thanks Stacy. I’m excited to finally have a place for it. You’d think after all these years I’d be able to manage it but nope!

    • Rae Williams says

      For me, being an A type personality, who hates handling things more than once. I have an accordion file with 35 pockets. When I open my mail, I note the due date and file it in the appropriate pocket so that when I go to pay that weeks’ bills, they are there waiting for me.