How I Finally Purged My Inbox from 39K Emails to Zero


Unread emails. I know you have them. I had them, too … 39,667 to be exact, across four different email accounts. And these emails did more than just clog up my inbox, they burdened my sanity.

That number — 39,667 — in all its red bubble notification glory lit up my cell phone’s home screen like some sort of shameful scarlet number. I know, I’d think. I need to clean this thing out.

Time and time again, friends and family — heck, maybe even a few almost-strangers — would take a quick glance at my home screen and gasp in horror, “Oh my God! You have so many emails!”

Again: I KNOW.

There I was, wading through tens of thousands of product press releases, sales promotions, and spam emails daily in search of the really important stuff, like emails from my kids’ schools, shipment notifications, travel itineraries, and yes, those coveted 40 percent off promo codes at Loft. The daily email dig was exhausting, infuriating, and downright depressing. So in the spirit of spring cleaning, I recently decided to put on my big girl pants and tame the wild beast of nearly 40,000 unread emails.

And I did.

Day after day, hour after hour, and even sometimes through blurry-eyes, I organized and deleted my inbox down to ZERO. It wasn’t easy. In fact, it really sucked. But I survived it, and you can, too with these inbox spring-cleaning tips learned the hard way.

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