Today we’re going to take a small break from decluttering our physical surroundings and focus on our digital environment. We’re decluttering our e-mail.
Just a few months ago, before the 31 Days of Decluttering challenge, my e-mail was completely out of control. I shared a picture of it on Instagram because I wasn’t sure anyone would actually believe how many e-mails I had. The number was so ridiculous!
More than 40,000 e-mails, 30,922 of which were unread. Isn’t that insane!
I could’ve painstakingly gone through every message to make sure I wasn’t erasing something important, but I finally decided to just do huge deletions. Some of the e-mails were more than four years old. If I didn’t need it in four years, chances are pretty good I would never need it. I went through my most recent e-mails, organized them into different folders within my e-mail provider, and deleted the rest.
It took a while, and I had to restart the process a few times (probably because I was deleting way too many at once!), but when my inbox got to the single digits it was an amazing feeling.
I’ll be getting that feeling again soon because I’m back around 5,000 now. Maintenance is not my strong suit, obviously. (I’m working on it and hoping to share more about it in an upcoming post though).
Tips for decluttering your inbox:
- Create folders for the different categories and topics about which you frequently e-mail. (Examples: People, businesses, tax/school/or business info, etc).
- Go through our most recent e-mails and sort them into the appropriate folders. You can also search your inbox by category to make sure you sort and save everything you want to keep.
- Unsubscribe from newsletters and business updates you no longer wish to receive. (I hope that doesn’t include my newsletter! But… if it does I understand.) 🙂
- DELETE ALL THE E-MAILS! Anything that hasn’t been saved in a folder gets deleted. Everything! If it’s not important enough to save in a folder, it’s not important enough to keep in your inbox.
To maintain your newly decluttered and cleaned inbox, try to check in every day or at least once a week to sort, save, and delete e-mail. It’s a lot easier to handle when it’s just a couple hundred e-mails vs. tens of thousands!
If this task doesn’t apply to you, set a timer for 15-30 minutes and work on a different area of your house. Is there another space that would make your days run smoother if it was cleaned up? Any spaces driving you crazy right now? Start with those.
Alright, it’s time to make me feel better… how many e-mails are in your inbox right now? What’s the largest number of e-mails you’ve had in your inbox at one time?
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