Caption: An empty Gmail inbox. Trust me, it’s a good feeling.

While some people hate to admit it, checking our email is something that we all have to do eventually. Whether you are contacting a teacher, waiting for college admissions news, or looking for an order receipt, having a clean and organized email is a good idea. The problem is, maintaining organization requires work, and inboxes have a tendency to fill up very quickly. As someone who is recovering from a chronically terrible email organization, here are some of the tricks that have helped me clean up my inbox.

The first thing to do is filter the emails you receive. Well over half of my emails are promotions and newsletters that I never read. If you find yourself repeatedly deleting unread emails from a company, just unsubscribe. Gmail has a useful feature on some emails that allows you to easily unsubscribe with a button at the top of the email. Otherwise, newsletters are legally required to have an unsubscribe link at the bottom.

Unsubscribing to emails will save you a ton of time in the next step: regularly clearing out your inbox. I found that keeping a clean inbox makes cleaning up and checking my email much more pleasant and manageable. I recommend trying to clean out your inbox daily. I guarantee that it is less of a pain to spend a few minutes each day than having to scroll through endless emails later. The best way to clean out your email is to just delete as much as possible. For most emails, you probably won’t ever need to see them again. If you do plan on finding an email again later, I highly recommend using folders, or labels in Gmail.

While this process seems simple, I have found it helps immensely. It’s not too late to make a New Year’s resolution, and maybe these tips will help you keep a more organized life in the new year.

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