Thursday, January 26, 2012

Organizing your email inbox

I have had many people tell me lately that they have hundreds of emails in their inbox. Does this sound familiar? If so, here are some ways to organize your email inbox quickly and easily. Your inbox should only contain emails that haven’t been read or require immediate action and response. All other emails should be either deleted or saved in a folder.

Like your filing cabinet, you should have 5-6 broad category folders in your inbox. If you make too many, you will forget where you put things, so keep them general like household, vacation, school, soccer, etc. Once you have these folders set up, you need to store emails accordingly. When I say store, I don’t mean every email you get. Only keep that which has pertinent info. And if you have a series of emails going back and forth with someone, only keep the last one since you can just scroll down to read the entire conversation.

Once you have your inbox cleared out, get in the practice of keeping it that way. When new email comes through, read it and delete what you can. Respond to the rest and move what you can to the appropriate folder. If the email requires something immediate like an RSVP or information returned, let the email sit in the inbox until you can get it done.

Keeping your inbox cleaned out will help you to avoid losing emails, forgetting to respond to emails and keep you from having to search through hundreds to emails to find what you are looking for.

Meagan Farrell, professional organizer, is the owner of Clear the Clutter organizing services. She can be reached at (360) 631-7268 or at Check out her blog at

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Weather the storm in your pantry

I keep hearing about snow storms blanketing the country at this time of year, followed by news of packed stores full of people trying to stock up before the storm hits. The truth is that 90% of Americans (okay, I made that number up, but I am sure it is close) have enough food in their pantry to feed them for a good week without missing a calorie. So here is my advice: avoid the crowds at the store and just take inventory of your pantry. Get creative and put together some meal ideas using what you already own. Save money, time and stress by simply shopping in your own home's inventory. Enjoy the season!