Digital Clutter: 6 Tips to Manage Too Many Emails

If you’re like me, your inbox is full of way too many emails. In fact, a study by the Radicati Group revealed that the average business professional receives 81 emails every day. And of those 81, only 68 are relevant to them. That means we’re getting approximately 13 spam emails a day!

How can we deal with all this digital clutter? I’m going to share my tips for email management and inbox management so we can all learn how to clean up emails today! Let’s ditch that email clutter and stop moaning about too many emails. Instead, it’s time to start deleting!

1. Search and Delete

The average person has 1602 unread emails in their inbox! That’s a whole lot of emails, and starting the great inbox purge can definitely feel impossible. So instead of sitting down and deleting emails one by one, use your search function to purge dozens of emails at once. 

Think of keywords that you know accumulate in your inbox. I searched “promotion,” “sale,” and “appointment.” Just be sure you look over the emails that come up before you hit delete all, so you don’t accidentally delete anything important. 

Melissa with her tablet

2. Unsubscribe From Email Newsletters

We are all subscribed to so many newsletters! Maybe you signed an online petition, you purchased clothing online, or you saw a newsletter that looked interesting and then subscribed but never read it. Some newsletters are really great and valuable, like Clean My Space’s newsletter The Dirty Dish (hint, hint), but about 90% of them are left unread, sitting in our inbox forever. 

Go through your inbox and find those newsletters. Then, think about whether or not you truly read them. If you don’t, unsubscribe and delete. Going forward, do this every time you get a new newsletter in your inbox, so you don’t accumulate more inbox clutter. 

3. Sort Emails Into Folders

Essentially all email services that weren’t created in the stone age allow you to sort your emails into folders. You can even change your settings, so emails from specific addresses go directly into a folder.

This is a great way to manage your inbox and keep everything organized. I’m someone who likes receipts emailed to me because I don’t want my purse to be full of crumpled paper. Psst, if your purse happens to be full of receipts, we’ve got a blog for cleaning your purse! However, if you save all your emailed receipts in your general inbox then your emails get cluttered. What I do is I move all my email receipts to a specific file I’ve titled “Receipts” where I can access them if I need them, but I don’t see them unless I go into that file.  

4. Use A Calendar

So many of us rely on our emails to keep track of dates. Does this sound familiar? A friend or colleague emails you to set a lunch date, and instead of writing the date down, you just keep the email in your inbox to remind yourself. 

While that system works OK if you have one meeting a month, it’s not a good way to keep track of a busy schedule. Plus, you run the risk of forgetting the date altogether. So avoid angry friends and migrate your plans into a calendar and then hit delete on that email. 

Melissa with laptop and notebook

5. Respond to Emails Within 24 Hours

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night with chills running down your spine? You bolt up in bed and exclaim, “I forgot to answer that email!” It happens to the best of us, especially when we let our inboxes get overloaded. 

Set yourself a reasonable goal; mine is I respond to emails within 24 hours, but pick something that works for you and stick to it. Then, once you’ve responded, delete the email if you don’t need it anymore. 

6. Declutter Your Emails Daily

Add deleting emails to your morning routine. Or do this in the first few minutes you start work. We all open our emails in the morning, so take a look at all your new messages when you do. I so often check my email and think, “ew, spam,” and then close it again without actually deleting the spam email!

If we all get into the habit of deleting junk as it comes, our inboxes will be much easier to manage. This goes for subscription emails too. If you don’t want it, unsubscribe right away, so you don’t keep getting bombarded with promotional material. 

Email Management Tips For Life

If your inbox is out of control, you aren’t alone. But my hope is this article helps the Clean My Space community tame their inboxes and manage their emails. Online life can be stressful, whether it’s social media or emails, but having a handle on your inbox helps alleviate some of that stress. 

Just remember that once you finish your first purge, you can avoid getting overwhelmed again if you keep up with daily email management. 

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Melissa Maker is an entrepreneur, cleaning expert, founder of Toronto’s most popular boutique cleaning service, and star of the Clean My Space channel on YouTube (but she still hates to clean!). Every week, Melissa delivers new videos dishing expert advice on cleaning products, tools, DIY substitutes, and practical, timesaving solutions to everyday problems. Melissa has appeared on the Today Show, and has been featured in InStyle, Real Simple, and Better Homes and Gardens.


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