Is your email inbox overflowing with newsletters than you don’t remember signing up for? Is Amazon sending you 5 emails a day tempting you to buy something you looked at a few days ago? Maybe it’s time to declutter your email inbox! Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you may think, even if you have THOUSANDS of emails to delete. Trust me, I deleted over 100,000 emails in January and it was easier than I imagined because I came up with a simple trick to make it go faster. The trick is to delete in groups.
I explain the process in more detail below but if you’re more of a visual learner, you can watch the video below.
If you prefer to read, here’s how to declutter your email inbox:
- Start with the first email in your inbox. Decide if it’s junk or something personal you want to keep. If it’s personal, file it away until later. I suggest creating a new folder in your inbox to store these temporarily. If it’s junk, continue to step 2.
- Open the email and find the unsubscribe link. Click that and make sure you are actually unsubscribed. Some companies will require you to sign in to unsubscribe while others do it as soon as you click the link.
- Once you are unsubscribed, search for the sender using the search bar in your email program. If the sender is Amazon, I suggest searching Amazon.com just to make sure you don’t get any emails that just mention Amazon.
- Select the emails that the search found and delete them – ALL of them. Depending on the sender, this could be as few as 1 email or as many as thousands. When I was decluttering my email inbox, I found one company that had sent me 2,000 emails! I was so happy to delete those.
- Repeat this process until most your emails are gone. You can also stop this when you reach emails that are a few years old. Chances are if a company hasn’t emailed you since 2013, they aren’t going to email you again.
- At this point, you can start deleting whole pages of emails. Continue filing away any that are personal emails.
- Once you are down to personal emails only, go through them and delete any that don’t make you happy. Forwards from your great Aunt probably don’t make you very happy but emails from your cousin about her new baby probably do. Does it spark joy? If so, keep it! If not, delete it. I suggest creating folders for each sender so you can easily find the emails later.
- Continue until you’ve filed the emails or deleted everything. You want an empty inbox.
- As new emails come in, immediately unsubscribe from newsletters you don’t want. This will keep your inbox clean for years to come. Personal emails should be read and replied to, if necessary, and then you delete the email or file it away.
I went through my husband’s old email account today (as shown in the video above) and deleted approximately 15,000 emails. It only took about 2 hours and that included reading through personal emails to see if anything was worth saving (very little was as this was an email account he had as a teenager).