Digital Minimalism: Why deleting all my emails felt good
I am drawn to the idea of minimalism — only owning what you need and living with less seems like such a wonderful idea on the surface. In reality, I don’t know where to start.
Throughout the years I have amassed countless items of clothing some of which I have a strange emotional attachment to. I also refuse to throw away books I read as a child even though I will probably never open them again and I own one too many kitchen gadgets that after initially taking pride of place on the counter have slowly begun to gather dust at the back of the cupboard.
The benefits of minimalism are obvious to me. I can save money and feel physically lighter with less ‘stuff’ weighing me down. I will also save money by only buying and using what I need and it must be easier to keep a minimal home tidy as there are less things to clean. I’ve started selling clothes on eBay but it is a slow process that seems endless. So in order to begin my journey to a more minimalistic life, I decided to start digitally.
I have multiple email accounts (work, personal, and a random junk email I give out to companies) and the number of emails was adding up. My work email automatically deletes all messages after 30 days and I think this is a great idea- if something is not followed up or dealt with by then it wasn’t that important. My personal email account doesn’t have that function though so the numbers have been increasing. I had over 6000 emails on one of my accounts, it’s the email address I give to companies when I buy something and over the years it’s probably been sold on numerous times through various marketing agencies. Whilst I check it regularly for anything important I had let the number of emails rise.
Today I decided to have a digital clear out and deleted everything. I scrolled through the emails archiving anything important, which turned out to be a few bank emails and car insurance documents and deleted the rest.
It was amazing how much of this list was not essential or necessary. The feeling of watching the numbers fall was invigorating. I can only imagine what it will feel like to do a similar thing with personal items and I am sure I will have the same feeling — I must own lots of physical items that are not truly essential to my life.