Is it even possible you ask? Why yes, yes it is! I’m going to tell you how. You can also apply these tips to other organizational nightmares you’re currently battling. Like a garage that you can’t even fit a matchbox car in, due to all the clutter. Or your closet. Or the catch all table where you drop your mail on. Or the inside of your car. Whatever it is that is a mess.
First, I would love to say that I thought these up all by myself because I am so smart and creative, but I didn’t. I learned these tips from Dean Dwyer and his Willpower Solution Program. It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it.
Now, on with the program!
My email is through GoDaddy, so I am basing these tips on their platform, so your provider may do things differently or have another name for it.
- Start a delete campaign. That means, go through and delete any junk emails, emails you’ve already handled or have had for months thinking you were going to read them, but never did.
- Unsubscribe to emails you never read. You know that email newsletter you subscribed to like 6 months ago, but never read? Unsubscribe and delete. Only keep the ones you really want and will read.
- Determine what types of emails you’re getting. For example, do you have kids? Do you get emails from teachers? Are they in sports? Do you get emails from their coaches? Work emails? Friend emails? Jokes? Chain letters? (I really, strongly dislike those). Go through every single email and write down where and why they are coming to you.
- Create folders once you determine what types of emails you’re getting. That means every email that comes in, you have a system on how to handle it. I’ll give you an example of how I organize mine. When I have a home under contract, I create a folder with that address. Every email goes into that folder, so I can find them easily and it keeps my inbox decluttered. Once they close, they go into a file on my hard drive and I delete that folder in my email. I have a folder with my son and daughter’s name. Whatever email that comes in for them that I need to keep, goes into their folder. I have one titled lender, so if I get an email from a lender that I want to keep, then I throw it into their folder. I also have one marked saved, for those miscellaneous emails that I haven’t figured out a good folder name for. It’s better to not have a misc folder tho, or it will become just like a junk drawer at home.
- Every email needs to go somewhere, even if that means the trash, so deal with them when it’s your time to check email. This will take time when you have 1000s of emails. I know from experience. I had over 7,000 emails at one time. Yikes. Talk about ADD issues. I had squirrels and rabbits coming out of my ears tackling those monsters! Also, if it’s a matter of a quick response to the sender, just go ahead and do it, then delete. Well, unless of course you need to keep it for a bit.
- Every night, you need to have a zero inbox. So if you’re finding that’s not the case, you need to figure out why and fix it. That may mean adding more folders or unsubscribing more.
- Once in awhile go through your folders and delete emails you no longer need. Don’t let the folders become the junk drawer or catch all.
So how do those tips apply to organizing your garage? That’s simple! You need to find a spot for everything. Sometimes that’s the trash, which I realize isn’t always easy. Maybe you have Christmas stuff, so decide on a permanent place for them. Could be the attic. Maybe the car lover in the family has tools all over the place, so maybe a tool box is in order. Box of books? Donate those babies if you’ve already read them and will never read them again. Go through and take inventory of everything in your garage and decide on a spot that they should go, and no, that spot isn’t in the middle of the garage. Just google garage organizers and you will get some great ideas for your garage.
Just remember when trying to organize the clutter, it is as simple as everything having it’s spot to go to. Or another way of thinking about it is, you have a system in place for how you’re gonna handle the snail mail (or email) that comes in. Of course follow through is important and actually putting everything in it’s place as things arise. It won’t magically appear in its dedicated spot. Well, unless of course you’re a Jedi, then you can just use the force.
Got any tips to add? I’d love to read about them!