How to Declutter Your Inbox, part 1

inboxesI don’t know about the rest of the world, but I have 4 email accounts (actually, there are 1-2 more, but we’re not discussing them today) and sometimes my inboxes get a wee bit out of control. Through the years, I’ve come up with a couple different ways of dealing with the incredibly overflowing inboxes.

Fast & Furious – this method is super fast and works really well for an email account that you don’t use often or gets a lot of junk that you don’t really care much about and you just don’t have the time to sit down and deal with it all.

I chose a particular date in the past, usually about one month back. If I were doing it today (November 19), I would probably go with September 30 (I tend to go in whole month increments. Just because). I would select ALL the messages from September 30th back in time and move them to a new folder I create called “to delete 093018” or something equally clever.

Now that leaves me with one month of messages in my inbox. While it can be a lot, it’s pretty easy to zip through, selecting all that don’t matter, and deleting them. Take a quick peek at the rest, file or delete as needed, and voila! Clean Inbox!!

Oh, that cleverly-named folder you created? In another month (or two or three; whenever you think of it). Just delete the whole thing. You might be wondering why you even created it in the first place. While I don’t like to hang to things I might need, there is a chance that I could need/want something from those previous months since it’s so piled up. So it’s kind of a security blanket, if you will, so that I’ll still be able to find it. And if I never needed anything? Oh well. No harm with holding onto those messages for a couple of extra months. They’d have probably still been floating around in my inbox anyway. Of course, if you like living on the edge and don’t need no stinkin’ safety net, just delete them in the first place and don’t bother with said cleverly-named folder.

Because the second method requires a bit more time, I’m saving that one for tomorrow. What do you do when your inbox is out of control? I’m curious to know how other people handle it.