Decluttering Email

In a post last week, I wrote about making this year, “THE YEAR OF DECLUTTERING” (read in booming voice).  I forgot to mention that the commitment also includes emails.  About one and a half months ago, I had 10,000 unread emails in my inbox.  Yep, you read that right, 10,000.  Before Christmas, I got it down to about 8,000, but then with all those “buy this awesome thing” and “Christmas sale” emails, and then with the New Year’s “donate money to us before it’s too late” emails, the number had crept back up by several hundred.  Well, over the past few weeks, I’ve got it down to 5,210, as of this morning!!!

The so-called backlog happened because I used to leave emails unread when there was something important in them, when I had to go back and do something with them, but then it got out of hand.  I think I know how hoarding can creep up on you, because the emails certainly did.  All of a sudden, it became overwhelming to deal with them and I would just ignore them for a while, which only made it worse.

I used to be able to set my phone so it only showed 50 emails at a time, so on any given day, I only had 50 unread emails showing there.  That made for some sanity.  But with a new phone about a year ago, they ALL show up, and I got shamed at work when someone noticed the 9,000+ icon on the email app on my phone last November.  Yikes.

ANYWAY, I got the number down by being ruthless in getting rid of things that are sentimental, like Cute Overload emails and other things that I will probably never read or are stored on their own site that I can visit anytime.  I also put a bunch of items in mail folders, which eliminates the unread email problem yet gives me a sense of security that the emails are there if I really need them. You might say that’s cheating, but it is still a kind of achievement, I say.  Also, things that remained unread from a couple of years ago now are no longer important, so they are easy to get rid of!  HA!  : )

In addition, I unsubscribed from a bunch of lists, but that’s also hard to do.  I have a lot of varied interests, from crafts/knitting/crocheting to wilderness conservation to genealogy to current events to research topics for work, etc.  I’m afraid if I unsubscribe from a list, I’ll get out of touch, or even forget to check on events in that “world,” yet I don’t want to give any of them up.  Does anyone else have this problem?  In my ideal world, I would have a job that links all of my loves, but I don’t think such a job exists unless I can do research on wolves while fighting for wolf rights while also knitting wolfie sweaters to sell on the internet in a library where I can study genealogy when I get over-wolfed.  (Just for the record, I’m not only interested in wolves.  I could just as easily knit sequoia treeish trunk warmers for baby elephants.  I’m easy to please like that.)

Hope you have a great day and do some decluttering yourself!