Thursday, January 27, 2011

Clean Out Your Inbox Week

According to Brownielocks, the week of 1/24-2/4 is Clean Out Your Inbox Week. My first thought when I read that was, do we really need 12 days to clean out our inboxes?! My second thought was, do they realize that's more than a week? But, no matter the length of the week, many of us do need that much time to clean out our inboxes.  And, some of us could use more! 

Cleaning out inboxes is a great way to start a decluttering project. It helps us feel more organized and in control almost immediately. 

The "inbox" can include several things. Here's a list of inboxes that you can clean over the next few days.  Remember that if you work outside of the home, you'll likely have double the inboxes to clean!  People that are cluttered at home are often cluttered at the office, too. No wonder it takes 12 days!  


When I turn on my computer in the morning, I get an annoying message telling me how many unread mail messages I have. It's often in the 1,000 range. It's not as bad as it sounds. Most of it is junk mail that I don't ever read. When I look at my e-mail, I scan for the important things and ignore the rest. I'd like to have the habit of deleting the junk automatically, but I don't and it builds up. It takes a couple of months to get up to 1,000, but it seems to hang there for a bit before I clean it out. I also have two e-mail addresses. My personal one and my blog e-mail. So, that's double the electronic inboxes for me to clean.

Snail Mail

How many of you let your daily mail pile up at home?  While I let my virtual mail get a bit out of control, I'm quite good at getting rid of real junk mail. I sort everything immediately. If it's junk, it goes in the recycle bin. If it's something I need, I put it in my to-do pile. It's a classic decluttering strategy to get into the habit of sorting your mail over the recycling bin. It works.

The To-do Pile

I may sort my real mail right away, but things tend to linger in my to-do pile. Still, I try to go through it weekly in order to stay on top of bills and bank statements. It could use a good sorting right now. This will definitely be on my list of things to accomplish this week! 

The Phone

When we listen to messages on our phone system, we always get the new messages first. However, if we need to listen to something again, it gets put at the end of the list. So, we have to listen to a whole list of old messages before we get to the newer one. Because of this, I tend to keep my phone inbox cleaned out. Unless I need to keep a message for reference, I delete it as soon as I'm done with it.  

What about you? Are your inboxes cleaned out? Or is this something you need to work on in the next few days? What are your goals for cleaning out one or all of your inboxes? 


  1. As far as my email goes, I have a gmail account, so all spam goes there. With a click of a "Delete" button, I can get rid of all of that nonsense. That is a huge timesaver--I don't even have to look at any of that.
    With my snail mail, I don't throw anything away unless my address has been torn off everything. So, I have to open all those annoying credit card offers to tear off my address on the inside papers, too, so I can shred them. It's a little bit of a hassle, but I have the piece of mind knowing that I am not setting myself up for identity theft. I usually try to do that once per week--it certainly does add up fast!

  2. I know I definitely need to clean out my email inbox!