I have now reached my goal in less than 3 days of having less than 1000 total messages in my Gmail account.
Those 874 emails take up a tiny fraction of my total space.
It is really nice to finally have that excessive data (I guess that is the appropriate word) out of the way. Now, I take a couple of extra minutes to unsubscribe from any email I may have before signed up for, and I am hoping that eventually I won’t have to delete so many emails automatically. I have also signed up with NutshellMail as recommended by Lifehacker. It combines all your Twitter and Facebook feeds, replies, etc. into one neat email. It makes it easier than getting everyone else's replies to someone's picture, comment, etc. on Facebook in separate emails for days on end. You can even choose how many times a day you want to get updates, and what types of updates you want to receive.
My next goal is to work on my local/hard drive program’s inbox. It has a meager (*ahem) amount.
Now, the problem is that when I try to use my standalone email application, my computer’s memory is eaten up. I think it will improve as I eliminate some emails. 2000 emails are a lot for the hard drive to handle at once. I don’t dread it, though. I think I can get it done pretty quickly.
Too bad I didn't know about this nifty little tool/game called 0Boxer before I went on my inbox declutter trek. I would have smoked some people's stats out there with the number of emails eliminated in a short time frame. I don't need a game, but the program is a great motivator for those who dread the task.
Eventually I'll move to my external hard drive, which is now cluttered with things that aren't on my laptop. THAT will be a task, but as I am learning to let go of more and more physical items, I guess I am moving to becoming a digital hoarder.