Organize + Energize: Email Clutter During the Holidays
Tuesday, December 05, 2017
Kristin MacRae, GoLocalProv Organizing Expert
During the holidays, we see extreme activity in our email inboxes. The important emails get mixed in with the non-important ones and you get overwhelmed. How many of you are stressed out by the number of emails you’re receiving every day? You can put an end to this right now and get your sanity back.
Here are 5 tips you can use during this time.
Delete, delete, delete. Don’t have a use for an email that arrives in your inbox? Delete it immediately. Don’t let it hang around in your email inbox. It takes one second to delete an email, but so many of you choose to let them linger in your inbox.
Set up a separate email account. This is handy for the holidays. If you subscribe to your favorite stores, during the holidays you’re going to get bombarded with emails. If you’d like, you could create a separate email. Use it for non-work related emails, retail emails or your favorite newsletters.
Unsubscribe. Now is the time to take action and unsubscribe from any emails that you know you never want to receive again. You may be seeing emails that you don’t recognize. Tackle it now before it gets out of hand.
Create folders. Remember, you want to use your inbox as a to-do list. Leave emails in there that you want to be reminded to do. If you have a bunch of retail emails that you want to act on, create a folder and move them over to be viewed at another time. Be sure to remind yourself that these emails are in there so you don’t forget to refer to them. You can use your planner or alerts to remind you of expiration dates.
Maintain throughout the year. Stay on top of your emails and the process won’t be so overwhelming. Start this process now, and you’ll have a handle on your emails.
Don’t let email clutter add to the stress of the holidays. Stay on top of these emails and work on maintaining your emails. This will be one less stressor you have to deal with every day and during the holidays.
Need more motivation on organizing your emails? You can watch my segment on GoLocalProv LIVE with Molly O’Brien.
Kristin Carcieri-MacRae, is an organizing & efficiency expert and owner of Organizing in RI. Kristin teaches her clients that living an organized lifestyle will save them time and money, decrease their stress levels and help them become more efficient and productive. Her articles have been published in local and national magazines. She has also given over 70 presentations throughout the state. Watch Kristin LIVE every Thursday at 3pm here on GoLocal LIVE with Molly O’Brien.
Paper in any form
This was the most challenging space! 91% of people surveyed stated paper was their biggest headache. Just because we are in this digital age, people think paper is going to disappear. As long as we have mail, and paper at work, kid’s school papers, etc., paper is going to be around for a very long time. We need to develop systems to organize and maintain our paper clutter.
To stay on top of an organized closet, you should be emptying your closet twice a year. Switch your closets in the spring and fall. This will force you to take inventory of the contents of the closet. You’ll never know what’s hiding in the back corners of your closet unless you take everything out.
When was the last time you emptied your entire food closet down to bare shelves? I asked this question at my last presentation and not one person could remember. Some said the last time their food pantry was empty was when they first moved in and others stated it had been years. Have garbage bags on hand. In every kitchen I organize, we throw out at least three garbage bags of expired food.
This is the black hole of the house. If an item doesn’t have a home, it usually gets thrown in the basement on a shelf. You’ll walk into the basement one day and wonder how did it get so bad? The first thing you need to do in the basement is declutter, then categorize items and then decide how you want to function going forward. Measure your space and choose shelving units that will fit what you need to hold. Block off 3 hours and don’t leave the basement during that time. Staying in the room will keep you focused.
The garage is an area similar to the basement. The garage tends to be a drop spot for outdoor items and usually there isn’t any organization. Most tend to regret not organizing the garage when they find they can’t park their cars in the garage in the winter months when it’s snowing. Put this project on your to-do list this fall.
Office at work
Most will say they don’t have time to tackle this area, but think about the time you are wasting by not being organized. The office can be challenging for some because you have paper, closet space, desk space and bookshelves. Most get overwhelmed and stressed just thinking about tackling this space. They think it’s easier to function this way than to actually tackle the project.
If your kids are over the age of 6, incorporate them in this process. If you don’t have the skill set to help them get organized, call in a professional to work one-on-one with them. If your kids are craving structure, it’s time for them to get organized.
Another one of those black holes like the basement. You rarely venture into the attic and you continue to toss items in there that don’t have a home. The garage, basement and attic are really challenging areas because you don’t spend much time in them. Think about how you want to function in these spaces. Streamline and maximize this space. This room should have a purpose.
When items are just thrown into this closet without being contained, chaos will ensue. Empty the entire closet, categorize, itemize and then measure the space. Purchase containers to match the space and what you have to hold. It’s all about maximizing space in this closet and being able to put your hand on something without moving five other items out of the way.
This is a tough project even for people who are organized. Memorabilia items and photos are a challenge because as you go through them, you tend to reminisce. Save this for the last project on your list of areas to organize. Once you begin, just focus on tossing and keeping and then reminisce when the decluttering process is completed.