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 email@example.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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