Daily Challenge: Unclutter Your Mailbox(es)

How often do your check your email? How about your mailbox at home?

For the majority of people, it seems like we check our email at least once a day, if not more. Some of us are constantly connected to our inboxes, with our cell phones in the palm of our hand nearly 24/7. As soon as a message pops up, boom, it’s opened, read, or deleted.

And let’s face it, most people open their mailbox at home on a daily basis.

What common denominator do these things have? Both are oftentimes filled with junk.

A couple weeks ago, I realized that I don’t even read half of the emails I receive. I’m not interested in them. They’re newsletters or advertisements from companies that I guess I signed up with at one point or another; but is it worth keeping around if I’m deleting literally every piece of mail from them? Nah.

So I undertook a project to unclutter my inbox. Rather than just quickly brushing through and deleting those “I don’t care about this” emails, I opened some of them. I scrolled through and found ways to unsubscribe from a lot of them, and boy, it makes a difference. Now, instead of getting some 50+ emails daily that I never open and send straight to the trash, I get far fewer, and it feels better.

It’s also interesting how difficult some places make it for you to unsubscribe from their lists. Some are easy – just a simple click of the link at the bottom of the email, and you’re done. (Sure, it can still take a few days for you to fully come off the list, but it’s an easy, one-step process.) Some are more difficult; you have to click the link and then complete a survey about WHY you’re unsubscribing before they’ll let you off.

And one I’ve encountered is even stickier; it’s an online survey site that makes you login to your account, delete your account and then unsubscribe from there. Considering I can’t remember my username or password, that’s…. too much work.

The same goes for your physical mailbox, too. At one point, I was coming home DAILY to credit card offers from Chase. Literally, every day, I’d find another – often the exact same mailing.

Initially, I just recycled them; I knew they weren’t something I was interested in, and didn’t care to waste my time even opening them.

One day, though, I got absolutely fed up. It was a waste of my time to get them; a waste of the mailman’s time to bring them, and an absolute waste of paper (my biggest concern, to be honest, even though I was recycling them.) I opened it to find a handy-dandy little phone number to call in order to remove your name from receiving unsolicited credit card offers. Huzzah! It’s a number from the federal government, I called, and it got me off scot-free for a few years.

I haven’t gotten any junk mail like that in weeks now, and boy, does it feel good.

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