Home Organization Tip of the Week: Spring Cleaning Your Email

Posted by Bob LeSueur - April 9, 2014

Organize your life: tips for cleaning out your messy Inbox in under one week.



Home Office by Classy Closets

I’m not sure what kind of person this makes me- but, I feel like de-cluttering spaces in my home is almost as good as some holidays, better than leftover Halloween candy (for sure) and something that brings me instant calm and relief. I’m going to go with I just have a healthy appreciation for organization. (Yep, that’s what I’m going with.)

The other day I opened up my email and shuddered. It was an overload of information just staring me in the face. Work email, personal emails, ads from numerous companies, Google calendar reminders and a larger-than-life inbox bombarded my screen.   I’ve created the occasional folder and shoveled some emails, read or unread, into those oddly named folders. But, the time for quasi-organization was past and I needed to do something about my situation.

Fast forward an hour or two and, a few simple changes, later and my inbox was shiny new and so was my attitude about email correspondence.  Follow along as I brake down some ideas about how to clean out your email in seven steps.

 Monday:  Resist the temptation to go delete-crazy just yet. And, don’t start adding and deleting folders either. Today is brain-day. Today is the day to focus on what you actually use your email for and the best way to organize it. Go old-fashioned, and grab a pen and paper. Begin by making a list of what important email you receive and how you would like to categorize them. These categories will later become your folder names. Don’t merely include typical, general folder names. Categorize using names that will be more specific so that you will know, without opening, exactly what is in the folder.  And remember, keep those pesky emails that you want to delete! There is a good reason for keeping them around a little longer…

Tuesday: It’s time to create! With your organized list of folders written down, create your new folders. If you haven’t heard of sub-folders, now is a great time to learn about them. Subfolders allow you to “nest” certain folders under a main folder. For example, you can have a BILLS folder and nested under it have another list of folders like: CAR, UTILITY, INTERNET, CABLE, INSURANCE, etc. (This list will not appear until you click on your BILLS folder.)

For more information on how to create subfolders in Gmail, read here.  Outlook, read here.

Wednesday: It’s time to organize your mail into your new folders. Your mail system may feel like a bit of a mess right now, but after today’s quick task, you will be feeling much better. Move your emails around to the appropriate folder. Don’t feel like your inbox needs to be empty. I usually keep my un-finished projects and un-paid bills in my inbox so that I know what is completed and still needs to be worked on.

Thursday: There is a reason that we didn’t go delete-crazy earlier in the week. Today is the day to unsubscribe to any pesky emails that you continually get and don’t need!

Friday: Delete away!  Go through your mail and delete any unwanted junk.

Saturday: Clear up your inbox. Don’t feel like your inbox needs to be empty. I usually keep my un-finished projects and un-paid bills in my inbox so that I know what is completed and still needs to be worked on.

Sunday: Enjoy!

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