Unsubscribe + Delete = Liberation.

Confession: I am terrible at keeping up with my inbox.


As in, this morning, I had 14,000 emails… 8,000 unread.

Whether they were filed, labeled, spam or whathaveyou, this is what happens when gmail allows you to have unlimited storage: complete chaos!

Today, the hubs & I met with a counselor about our debt. It was eye-opening, exhausting and heart-wrenching.
The thing is, I feel like we will actually do something about it this time. We’re focused and determined to make things work. It won’t be easy, but getting help is a huge step in a positive direction.

But when I came home & looked at the thousands of unread emails in my inbox, my anxiety sunk in again. I knew that simplification had to start somewhere. If we wanted to delete our debt, I needed to start deleting some email.

So I started searching & deleting many “shops” that send me their latest “deals” most of these emails I rarely even read, let alone shop at. Once I got off on deleting hundreds of messages at a time, I decided that I should actually click into that Kohl’s email and hit unsubscribe. Costco? How the hell did I get on that list? I’m not even a member there. Unsubscribe. Pottery Barn Kids? Uh, yeah, like we’ve ever afforded any of that shit! Unsubscribe. Victoria’s Secret too… if we’re going to follow through & pinch pennies, I definitely don’t need anything from VS either. Unsubscribe. Oprah? Sorry girl, I love ya, but weekly emails I rarely read? Unsubscribe.

You get the idea.

It was a trend that trickled down to my personal emails and is still a work-in-progress. So far, I’m loving the liberated feeling having cut my inbox in half — yes — 6,000+ emails have been deleted in just an hour’s time. Yup. I’m hoping to get down to an even more reasonable number soon.

I suppose I can add the word “Simplify” to my words of the day as well. Because I’m really enjoying this feeling of liberation. You should try it too.

What’s the scary number of emails in your inbox? Or do you have tips for helping me keep my inbox number down?

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  1. Posted February 21, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    I only have 1000 right now but when I left my last job I had 9 GIGS of stored mail… probably in the 10s of thousands of messages. but then I was obsessive about keeping things to CMA (cover my …) I think my inbox at home has gotten up to 3000 on occasion but like you have learned to unsubscribe…

    • Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      It’s crazy how fast the inbox can get out of hand, isn’t it? I think I’m going to have to start getting obsessive about it if I’m going to keep up with it. Spent the rest of the afternoon cutting it down to 2000, and that feels awesome!

  2. Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    About half my inbox automatically filters–depending on your set up it can be easy. 🙂 My best wishes with the debt reduction. I hope you gain the same feeling of liberation that skimming your inbox gave you–just orders of magnitude larger. 🙂

    • Posted February 21, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      Thanks, Valerie! I’m aware of all the filters, labels, etc I have at my finger-tips, I’m just awful at actually *using* them. Pure laziness. That will change… dammit!

  3. Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    As of right now, I have 16,975 messages in my gmail inbox-2,777 unread, 91 drafts, 763 spam. Crazy. I went through a few months ago and felt really good about unsubscribing from many companies, but obviously I need to do way more. This weekend I plan to take some time to unsubscribe and delete, delete, DELETE! 😉

  4. Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:27 am | Permalink

    A friend from church and I were talking today about how we have way too much stuff. This is book she recommended: 7 by: Jen Hatmaker
    An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess.

    I bought it today for only $6.99 on amazon.com for my kindle app on my iPad. I started reading it and I think you may like it. 🙂

  5. Posted February 23, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    I don’t even know; my email is basically like a giant spam folder and I scan it for not spam. It is OUT OF CONTROL.

    • Posted February 23, 2012 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

      I felt that way with yahoo, so I walked from that account in 2006-ish and was super geeked about gmail at first. But, the unlimited storage is more of a curse than a blessing sometimes, because I rarely delete!! I’ll “think I’ll get back” to some, but I need to organize it ALLLLL better. Where’s a pinterest board for email-organization?!?! 😉

    • Posted February 28, 2012 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      Good luck on paying down the debt – we’re in the process, as well. Slowly but surely, while still making sure we’re not totally depriving ourselves! For me, I’ve found it helpful to maintain a *totally* separate account with my “allowance” in it. Once it’s gone, it’s gone… and I eat soup for the rest of the week! 🙂

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