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Confessions of an Email Hoarding Professional Organizer

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Hi. My name is Stacey and I am a reforming email hoarder.

Did I mention I was also a Professional Organizer?

That’s OK–laugh if you want to. I laugh every time I tell someone this story.

How did I get to be an email hoarder?

All it takes is being a very busy woman with lots of interests and one email address for both business and personal emails. Throw in two young kids, not enough time in one’s day, and being a visual person and the emails began to accumulate.

“I’ll look back at them later.” I said.

“If I put them in a folder, I’ll forget about them.” I figured.

“I’ll chip away at them little by little.” I promised myself.

Yes, I looked back at a bunch and yes, I did chip away at some but the emails were coming in faster than I could take action upon them.

By February, I had a thousand emails in my Inbox. Yes, you read that right–1000–one thousand. That’s A LOT of emails…

Organized Artistry is getting a facelift this year–a new logo and a newly-designed website and blog. My web designer mentioned that I needed to change the hosting company of my website due to compatibility issues so I did the domain transfer. The last step was to have my email flow from my old host to my new host.

So last week, I got on the phone with my new host to help me take that last step. What the person on the other end didn’t ask me was whether or not I had any emails in my Inbox. When the email was transferred to the new host’s server, it wiped my Inbox clean. As you can imagine, I almost had a heart attack. After lacing into him for this oversight I asked how it could be fixed. He told me I had to call my old hosting service for some coding and some numbers and then I had to call my new host back with that information.

I wasn’t happy, but I did it. I called my old web host and explained the problem. We accessed my inbox through ‘webmail’ and yes, all the emails were still there. He put me on hold for a few minutes so he could figure out the best solution.

While on hold with the tech guy, I had an organizing revelation–an ‘a ha’ moment. Did I really want all 1000 emails in my Inbox? The answer was ‘No.’ If I were helping a client, I would have guided them to make the same choice. It would be like moving to a new home and taking everything with you even though you didn’t need it. I felt the time had come–this would be a good opportunity to ‘de-clutter’ my Inbox. A colossal purge.

To quote the song from Frozen, “Let it go…”

Although it took me a long time and the process still isn’t complete, I sorted through all 1000 emails and forwarded one-quarter of them to an alternate email account. Over the next few days, I’ll be forwarding them to my stacey@organizedartistry.com account and either filing them in a folder or taking action upon them. I purged old newsletters and correspondence. I’ll now be filing emails I had once lost track of. From now on, I’m going to do better by incorporating one of the most important steps in getting organized–maintenance.

Although Professional Organizers are fairly organized, we sometimes experience similar situations to our clients. It’s the old saying, “The shoemaker’s son has no shoes.” Sometimes we can’t keep up, either. And that’s OK. We’re human and so are you. Please take a moment to look through your Inbox. Delete a few emails. Create folders for others and remember–even Professional Organizers need to get organized!

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SMEAD – Super Tab Folder

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Last month, I started blogging about products from a company called SMEAD. If you haven’t heard of them, just walk into your local office supply store and check the shelves. They create products for document management. If you have paper, you’ve probably seen or used one of their products.

In August, I talked about SMEAD’s ‘My Organizer’ Products/MO File System. Today, I’m going to give you a tour of another one of their helpful products…the Super Tab Folder.

Have you ever started filing your papers and realized you didn’t have enough room to write what you wanted to on the folder tab?  I know, I have. You can squeeze just so many words in a small space! I guess the people at SMEAD heard that complaint a million times and decided to do something about it.

Here is a photo of SMEAD’s Super tab folder. (The reflection is of my light fight fixture and of me taking the picture.)

This isn’t any ordinary file folder. When you open it up–it’s also a folder with two pockets! You may be asking–what is that doohickey is at the top of the folder?

That doohickey acts as a clamp to hold your papers in place while the folder is being carried or filed in your file cabinet. Here it is open:

With a stack of papers in it…

The doohickey at the top of the folder is perfect for those prone to the ‘dropsies.’ If you accidentally drop this folder, your papers aren’t going to fall out all over the floor like they would from a regular file folder. That’s great news–especially for those who never put page numbers on their documents…
By the way–if you haven’t figured it out already, THIS is why they call it the SUPER TAB folder… 
That writing area is almost twice the size of a tab on a regular file folder. Ever try and fit everything you want to write on a tab but you’d run out of room? Not anymore with the Super Tab folder! I could write a novel on that tab!
I think the concept is great–the file folder is a 2-pocket folder with a built in paperweight. The only drawback to this product is its glossiness. After handling it for a while, my fingerprints were all over it. Maybe the cast of CSI should use it to file their papers and catch criminals!
Check back in October for my next SMEAD product post! I don’t know what it will be but I’ll be sure to let you know about more of SMEAD’s helpful paper organizing products as they come through my mail slot.

Organizing Myths Demystified

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Every month I choose a new topic for my monthly Facebook Friday Tip-of-the-Week. February is Organize Your Home Office month. Every week I’ll be offering tips on how to get your home office organized whether it’s for a small business or a large family with Mom as CEO. If you haven’t ‘Liked’ or added Organized Artistry, Professional Organizing Services to your Page’s ‘Favorites’ yet, you can do it by clicking here. You’ll get my organizing tips in your News Feed every Friday!

While doing research for this month’s theme,I happened upon a great article by Lisa Kanarek of Working Naked. She is a nationally known home office expert, interior designer, and author who combines organizational and design skills to achieve functional home offices for her clients. The article is called,

5 Organizing Myths Keeping You from Getting Organized

Although the five myths discussed in the article are targeted to home office users, they can be applied to most organizing situations–kitchens, closets, paper, etc. If you’re struggling with organization in your home office or home, I recommend reviewing Lisa’s ideas and applying the knowledge to your particular situation. I think you’ll feel better about your organizing challenges and feel confident to move forward in meeting your home or home office organizing goals.

What area of YOUR life needs organizing?

Contact Stacey to Get Started!

Professional Affiliations

NAPO Golden Circle  Bergen Health and Life 2015 POWR
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