Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Email Spring Cleaning

The first official day of spring was March 20th, but I always feel that the season truly begins after the Easter and Passover holidays. I also almost ran over a bunny rabbit that darted in front of my car recently, which I took as a sign: winter is over, and I have some spring cleaning to do. While I have old clothes, books, and other items to give away, I realize that the most significant reduction I must make is online. Yes, it is time for me to get rid of my emails!

I have four different email addresses, and each inbox contains more than one hundred messages, not to mention the hundreds more I have in my sent folders. I readily delete from my trash, spam and draft folders whenever possible, but there is something about the inbox and sent folders that make me want to hold on. I realize that while I have some issues with hoarding tangible items, it is the virtual clutter that really is a problem for me.

I think the reason I am holding on to all of this excess is because of laziness. When I go online, I want to do research, write emails, write blog posts, read articles, and pay bills; deleting old emails from my inbox and sent folders is something that does not even come to my mind. When it does, I make excuses for not taking the time to go through it all to make the necessary deletions. Even though I cannot touch it, I know the email clutter is there online, waiting for me.

My plan is to delete a little every day. Any new emails I receive or create will also be trimmed down in number so I do not accumulate new clutter on top of the old. For anyone who wants to get rid of their virtual excess, I would suggest doing the same, and concentrating on one email address a day, if you have multiple accounts like me.

Do you have virtual clutter? How do you handle it?

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