Creating a Minimalist Home: Day 7 – Inbox

Remember a few posts back when we cleaned up our workspace, but never actually looked at our computers? In Creating a Minimalist Home: Day 7 we’re diving into digital and cleaning up our inbox!


We are overwhelmed with emails, notifications, tweets, and texts nowadays, it’s a wonder how anyone gets anything done. I will have checked my email and emptied my inbox the night before, and when I wake up, I’ll have 35+ emails (…and I wake up at 5:30am!). I think to myself, “who the heck is sending emails between the hours of 11:00pm and 5:00 am?! Mail Chimps, bots, subscriptions, and maybe your relative that lives overseas and had no concept on time zones…

That “Welcome 10% Off” doesn’t seem all that great now that your inbox is being filled with promotional materials. But do you know what all of these promotional emails also have? An unsubscribe button!  It will be small… it will be at the very bottom of the message… but it will be there…your pathway to inbox simplicity!

Decide which promotional materials actually interest you. If you’re constantly printing off coupons from your grocery store that are sent to your email, don’t unsubscribe from these. But if you’ve only shopped at store once or twice, and only signed up for their mailing list to save a few bucks, click that magic little unsubscribe button and tell those emails where to go! (You’ll keep your life simpler by having less temptation to buy items ‘because they’re on sale’, keeping all the rooms (1. Closet, 2. Linens, 3. Bookshelf, 4. Workspace, 5. Five things, 6. Bathroom), you just worked so hard on, …minimalistic!)

If you find that you actually use a lot of the social/promotional/update emails, but you don’t want to see them in your main inbox… just like your morning coffee, filter them (or send them straight to the archive!)


For my personal inbox, I use Gmail in which you can create labels to automatically have your messages filtered to!  

In the search bar, search a common sender (like twitter for example…) Highlight one of the emails, and then click the “more button” and “filter messages like these” or “create filter”.


Choose how you want Google to determine how to search and filter these emails by adding who it’s from or some key words. Almost done! Press the “Create filter with this search” button and then choose where you want these messages to go.


For my Twitter emails for example, I’ve chosen to filter them to a label. You can create these by clicking “apply to label” and “new label”. Also choose your category “Personal, Social, Promotion, etc…”


I’ve created an ‘umbrella’ label called “Social Media” and nested my socials like Facebook/Twitter/Pinterest, etc under this. 


You can them search these by finding your Social Media label on the left sidebar, then clicking the little arrow next to the label. 

And voilà! Whatever you’ve labeled and categorized will now be found under than label/category and out of your important inbox!



Want to try an app to streamline this process? My friend Nicole just introduced me to Sortd. which is an extension for chrome. #notsponsored

From the website: “Sortd. expands your Inbox into a flexible set of lists for important email and other stuff. Your emails, tasks and priorities now live together in one easy-to-use drag and drop workspace. It’s still good ol’ Gmail, only so much more!”


It seems like a great app that allows you to set parameters to filter emails, much like the settings in Gmail.



Have you tried any proven-to-work methods to minimize and prioritize your inbox?

Do you have any questions about filtering your email? 


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