Decluttering – The ONE Place You Have Likely Not Thought Of

I’ve seen a few different articles and videos the past few weeks about getting rid of clutter, purging all the excess from closets, storage lockers, filing cabinets etc. There’s a few reasons for this purging:

  1. Helps to create space for new things in your life – physical clutter and mental clutter are connected. If your mind is full, if your home is full, there is no room for new things (either emotional or physical) to show up. Danielle LaPorte wrote a fantastic blog on this (read it here).
  2. Helps to get you out of feeling overwhelmed – if you are feeling overwhelmed, that could be a sign that there is just too much stuff in your life. Take a look around, is your physical space cluttered, is your work space cluttered, is your mind cluttered? Where can you get rid of some stuff?

The other day, as I was sorting through my emails, I realized another place to purge. All of the email subscription lists that I belong to. I tend to belong to two types of email lists, information emails and daily deal emails.

For the information emails, I’m not reading them, haven’t for months. So instead of giving me useful information, they become this thing in my inbox that keeps hanging over my head as something that I should read.

Getting emails about local daily deals sounds good. But the reality for me, is that they just temp me to buy stuff that I don’t need (because it’s such a good deal). More stuff to clutter up my life.

So as you think about cleaning up the clutter, I encourage you to also take a look at your inbox and get rid of anything that is not serving you now.

11 thoughts on “Decluttering – The ONE Place You Have Likely Not Thought Of

  • Absolutely! Email as well as the files on your computer. I schedule time every quarter to do this. Hitting delete is awesome and choosing to unsubscribe is empowering to my time.

    In the last year I have subscribed to less and have used my social media as my source for content. I go to it on my time and my email is reserved for more critical things and people I want to follow closely.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Social media is fantastic for content! I do the same. It’s such a quick an easy way to short list the things you actually want to read more about.

  • This is helpful and a great reminder of where we have clutter. I totally agree with your points and am continually clearing many areas including my inbox that…kind of like my closet…I think I will wear the clothes someday…I think I will read those great tips in my inbox one day but with so much information coming at me daily, I’ve realized it is just becoming clutter. Thanks for inspiring me to do some more clearing today!

    • Hi Maribel,

      “I will read those tips in my inbox one day.” SO TRUE! I think another piece of this whole conversation is to have faith that the information you need, at any given time, is available to you. We don’t need to keep everything just in case, someday, maybe, we just might need it.

  • I am so glad you brought this up because it has been a nightmare for me. If I go 3 days without deleting email because I am on a trip or can’t get to it for other reasons, I can easily have 300-400 emails and it turns into this big chore to get through the email list and sort it out. Even daily, it becomes a time consuming chore. I have tried to unsubscribe from list, but it seems that in a few weeks or months, the same list is sending me emails again and some of these places send 2 or 3 emails a day, every day! It may be good information, but come on- I don’t have time to read and process it all! I try not to do that to my followers. I’m very careful about not sending too many emails. I also don’t give me email to any store when I purchase something. I have recently set up a new email and am keeping the old email just to subscribe to lists to get free gifts or register for teleseminars.

    • An email just to give to stores – YES

      An email just for subscribing to lists to get free gifts – great idea! I hadn’t thought of that and it makes a lot of sense. Then you aren’t bombarded with those list emails in your day to day inbox.

  • I’ve actually stopped accessing email from my phone! Because I use gmail, I LOVE the feature of sorting into primary, social, and promotions. It really helps me keep a handle on everything. Since my phone doesn’t do the same, I’ve given it up. The phone email was actually creating MORE confusion in my life because I wasn’t sure if I had dealt with an email or not and key emails were getting missed in all the “stuff”.

    • I’ve been thinking about ditching email on my phone too. I’ve often wondered how many times a day I actually check my email (on my phone or computer). I shutter to think of how often I do. The idea of only checking my email a few times per day (say morning, afternoon and at the end of my work day) feels really freeing. Hmm…might have to try a little experiment.

  • I agree! Email boxes can be a huge hindrance to our productivity and effectiveness. I created an email address for merchant sign ups and those with freebies and others I want to follow *on my time*. Those people or companies I want to keep a closer eye on I use my primary email address. I set time aside every week or so to peruse my ‘other’ email box. This was a huge time saver for me.

    • Great suggestion Tandy. I like that you use your primary email for those people that you want to keep a closer eye on and a separate email for all the other ones. Sounds like a really simple way to have your emails filtered for you.

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