Email Cleanup Challenge! C’Mon, We Can Do It!!!

Enough is enough, y’all!  2016 is the year that I’ll no longer dread checking my email.  So before I fix it, I have to figure out why I hate it at all.  At work, I have a certain way my email inbox is set up.  When I open it, my folders are set up by the type of emails I receive.  My daily goal is for the inbox to remain empty.  If it’s not, it should only have flagged items which are on the table or left as reminders.  Granted, my work email is through Outlook.  I am not a fan of Outlook (I haven’t figured out how to easily delete or rename folders so that’s part of it).  Also, to be fair, the reason it’s so much easier is because my work life is much less complicated.  I only have 5 or so folders I actively use at work (one for each class, one for general stuff from the university/department & stuff from previous semesters).  Now at home…Jesus help.  I know I have 15 folders in my yahoo account.  But let’s look at that more closely…

Here’s the folders I have (try to hang in there through this part):

Ads (for stores/groceries)

Bills (receipts/notifications/passwords*/disputes/customer service)

Children (school/electronic grades/projects/interests/field trips/crafts)

Church (devotionals/communications with church/articles)

Husband (sometimes his subscriptions come to the family email)

friends (invitations/events/articles/pictures)

God’s business(this is our family account, but it once housed our business stuff too.  My amazon account stuff sends any receipts-even for business transactions-to this email)



Job stuff



pics & vids


Strayer (used to work there 2-3 years ago)


TJ stuff (pinterest stuff I email myself to print/file)



As you can see, some of this is good, some downright ridiculous!!  No wonder I hate the email notification  on my phone!  Here is a montage of my stages of grief:

work2Frustrated Woman at Computer With Stack of Paperj0433180

Ok, time to clean house.  But I had to ask myself, what do I need all of these folders for?  Do the folders I have really represent what they should?  For instance, do I really need an ads folder AND a grocery folder?  I know I have some grocery ads in that ad folder.  I’m not even going to look and embarrass myself.  So I’ll think about consolidating those 2 folders.  But you know how it is, when you need a grocery ad from this week, you don’t need to be shuffling through Best Buy & Harbor Freight Tools crap.

So you’ll never believe this…I just found out I can create (drumroll please):


Oh, it’s ON!!!  But still, before I jump the gun, I want to see if I can get down to 5 main folders & who cares how many subfolders.  And I want/need a way to clean out this stuff at least once a month.  Why?  I have 3075 UNREAD messages in my folders.  That’s not counting the inbox.  Oh yeah, did I mention that I have 4 email accounts beside the work one and the home one?  Yeah, those are our business email accounts.  I have another for when I want to sign up for something to get a discount code but don’t want the tsunami that comes afterward (aka-girl, just unsubscribe after you get the code!)

Ok, so after looking at the plethora of folders, I’m going to narrow it down to these:

Ads (subcategory: grocery, groupon, store)

Bills (subcategories: utilities, receipts, subscriptions, customer service)


Church (devotionals,receipts, communication)

Friends (invites,communication, family)

The Husband folder will be scoured then scrapped.  I’ll forward him the emails then unsubscribe.  He can update his email address with them & take it from there.

The God’s business folder is tricky.  I buy all manner of stuff from Amazon, so I can’t just change the email with them.  I’ll go through message by message & figure it out.

Jobstuff is critical.  My mom taught me to keep a CYA folder.  This is it.  I could put it on a flash drive as well just in case.  You never know.

Junk-um…why is this here??  Junk should be in the trash!  I’ll go through that one too.

Misc-see, this is too suspect.  Search and destroy.

Pics & vids-sort to subfolders

Recipies-will probably keep this as is.  Or maybe do a subfolder from grocery!  All in one place for when I need stuff for the recipe!  Neat!

Now that I think about it, I’ll probably make a “family” folder and keep kids, church, grocery, bills, recipes, pics & vids, taxes & ads.

Strayer will be a subfolder of jobstuff.

Taxes will be a subfolder under bills.

Voicemail will be a subfolder of God’s business.

I think that’s everything.  I’m tired.  I haven’t even done anything.  But sometimes, making the plan is enough work for one day!  Next time I’ll focus on an auto filter so I can get my inbox into a manageable state without dropping and dragging all those messages every time I open my email.

How do you sort your email?  Is it working for you?


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