Tuesday, May 20, 2014

My Ingenious Mailbox Solution!

On Pinterest, TV, and in magazines, I see houses with the cutest mailboxes. Tall posts at the end of a lawn, beachy lighthouse shaped beauties at the curve of a driveway, even those adorable envelope shaped mail pockets from Pottery Barn - they're all so awesome!

But in the real world, where I live, it's a little disconcerting to have your mail out where anyone can look through it (or take it). Identity theft is real, peeps! And it can take YEARS to climb out from that mess.

So what are my options? A mail slot in the door is one - but then that leads to security issues. Not just the break-in fear, either. I have fears you didn't even think about. Like what if someone drops something stinky, poisonous, or dangerous in the slot? What if pets or children eat it? Nope, no mail slot in the door.  

How about a locking mailbox, you say? Yes, that could be an option. But guys, I've lived in apartments and condos for almost ten years. Which means I've had to unlock my mailbox and get my mail out for a long time. Which wasn't terrible, but it wasn't optimal, either. And it means I'd let the mail pile up for days before I'd drag my lazy self to get it. Is it too much to ask for a secure mailbox that is easy to collect from?

Nope. So, here's my ingenious solution. Mailboxes.com sells these awesome mail drops that mount right into the wall of your house. They're large enough for packages, they come in multiple colors, and they have an adjustable flap stop so that you can change the opening size. 

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This picture is pre-paint job, so please don't hate on my ombre yellow wall. 

So, now you have a mail drop, but what happens to your mail on the inside? It drops. To the floor? To a basket? To one of these hanging folders? If it's not going into a secure place, you still have a situation where someone could drop undesirable or dangerous items right into your house. And if you choose a hanging folder, it's not the most attractive look for the other side of the door, is it?

My ingenious solution was inspired by my parents. In my their house, they had a custom cabinet built in for the mail.

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In my house, that cabinet would have directly impacted my kitchen design and layout. So, I just incorporated it.

Instead of using a corner cabinet, I had a regular 24x24 inch cabinet installed at the end of my peninsula and had the mail slot lined up with it. 

This is what it looks like to the unsuspecting eye - looks like island storage.

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This is during construction, so please excuse the mess. 

And this is what it looks like open.

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You can see the slot and even a letter that was delivered. I may add a basket in there to corral the mail, but for now, I'm just so happy having it hidden, safe, and secure.

I had them add the top shelf, to better utilize the space. I think it would be a good place to keep dog leashes, though I can't think of what else I would keep there. Any ideas?

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