Monday, October 26, 2015

Day 26: Email

Let's talk email on this the 26th Day of Decluttering and Organizing.

Is your inbox cluttered with email, read and unread? Are you getting emails you don't really need?

For me, it seems most of the emails I received are because of something I did. I signed up for a newsletter, I bought something online, I requested paperless statements. I'm sure the list is endless. The point is we do have some control over what we receive. And we have control over how we handle it.

I like my inbox to be as clean as possible. I definitely don't leave any emails unread. I also tend to look at my email inbox several times a day (in fact probably too many times a day...reminder to self to work on changing this habit). As a result, I'm pretty quick to delete what I see as junk email. That alone is a good first step to keep an inbox clean. Delete the obvious junk!

I've caught myself deleting the same type of emails from the same company over and over. I finally realized I need to take 20 seconds to unsubscribe from these emails. If you open the email, and scroll down to the bottom there is usually a small link to unsubscribe. Click it. It either instantly unsubscribes you from future emails, or has you input your email and subscription request, which in this case is to unsubscribe! If I find that doesn't work, which happens occasionally, I start marking those emails as spam. Yep, spam. I figure if I can't request easily to get off an email list and the company keeps sending me stuff it is now spam.

I also try to pay attention to online purchase emails. I usually only need one email, often the most current one, in regards to an online order. I don't need the confirmation of order, confirmation of shipping, AND email with tracking information. Just one is enough for me, so delete the older ones. Sometimes, I put them into a folder if I have a lot of online orders in a short period of time, then they aren't crowding my inbox. This is especially helpful during holiday online shopping. And may keep prying eyes from seeing your orders.

Take some time soon, maybe even today, to delete old emails. Unsubscribe from emails you no longer wish to receive. You can always sign up again later if you miss them. Respond or act on emails that are to be reminding you of something. Keep only the most current in a stream of emails (such as a discussion or online orders). I'd also consider deleting the trash folder if you have one. As well as your sent email folder. That one can get really big!

Once you have cleaned up your email by deleting the old, set up some folders to hold emails that you tend to hold on to. You might have a folder for newsletters, a specific group you belong to, your child's school, banking documents, or even a favorite friend who sends you emails. Grouping like emails together can make them much easier to find. Just remember to clean out your folders of old emails to on a regular basis.

I have found that deleting emails can be done while watching tv or a movie. It's also a good idea to set a reminder to take care of this task on a regular basis. At least once or twice a year at a minimum, but maybe quarterly or monthly would be more helpful and take less time.

We can have control of our inbox!

Do you have a regular schedule for deleting old emails? Did you know you could unsubscribe to emails?

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