When I say the word “clutter,” you probably envision a desk covered in papers or overflowing kitchen cabinets, right? But clutter isn’t just physical – it’s virtual, too. And virtual clutter tends to be the type of clutter that sneaks up on you the quickest!
The biggest culprit of virtual clutter? Your email inbox.
I know you know what I’m talking about. One day, you’ve got four unread emails, and the next you have 143. It happens to the best of us! That’s why I’m giving you three my best tips for getting email clutter under control…and then keeping it there.
Empty the email clutter in your trash and spam folders
Let’s start with something easy, shall we? We’ll chat about decluttering your inbox in just a minute, but first, we’re going to look at your trash and spam folders. Both of these folders take up a lot of memory, especially on your phone, and there’s no use in wasted real estate when the contents of those folders aren’t serving you.
This task can be accomplished in a matter of seconds – every few weeks, I recommend you open both folders, click the “select all messages” option, and click “Delete!”
Use folders to help declutter your inbox
As much as I love my PTouch Cube Plus, I can’t use it to label my emails. That’s where folders and subfolders come into play.
Personally, when it comes to folders, I think there’s a balance between having too few and too many. My advice is to start by thinking of broader categories (i.e. bills, social media, travel, etc.). Then, based on how many emails you typically get in those categories, determine if you think subfolders would help. Referencing the examples I just provided, I like having a subfolder for each of my utility providers, each social media account, each airline, etc. It makes it quick and easy for me to find anything I might need to access.
Once you’ve got your subfolders created, it’s time to file the email clutter away. This can be daunting, which is why I recommend doing it over time. I gave myself a month and went through 200 emails every morning. Each morning took about 10 minutes, and I finished my project with only 6 emails total in my inbox!
Once your inbox is organized, it’s time to actually keep it that way. The biggest thing you can do to help?
Unsubscribe from emails that aren’t serving you
Isn’t it crazy how brands find their way into your inbox? I swear I get a surprise marketing email at least once a week, never knowing where they got my email address from in the first place.
Unsubscribing from emails not only declutters your inbox, but it also helps save you money. When you’re not seeing all the online promotions for meal delivery or clothing, you’re not thinking about placing an order in the first place.
If you want to make this process easy on yourself, I recommend using the tool unroll.me. Unroll.me provides you with a list of all your subscription emails, and you can easily uncheck whichever ones you no longer want to receive.
If you’re not into the idea of using a tool, I’ll say exactly what I did about filing your inbox away – do this process over time. I also gave myself a month for this, and every morning I clicked into each email I didn’t want and manually unsubscribed. Now, I only receive the subscriptions I want – except for those random pesky ones from time to time – and I can honestly say checking my inbox in the morning is way less stressful.
Email clutter can be overwhelming. With our inbox being one of the first places we visit every morning, let’s aim to minimize the stress that it induces!
Have more questions about email clutter? Get in touch!
Cover photo by Unsplash