If you use Gmail, or at this point most email systems that are not my pathetic work email account that is always seeming to run out of storage space, you have a ton of online storage capacity. In fact, Gmail reminds me that I am only using 897 MB of my space, a meager 12% of my allotted 7461 GB.
Why only 12%? Because sometimes I throw emails away. Gmail even says to me, "Stephanie, you have insane storage capacity. Why would you ever want to throw something away?"
Gmail, you are right. I will archive for the rest of my life.
In fact, starting today, I am adopting my husband's archiving system. With his system, when he sends a message, he sets up his Gmail account to automatically archive his email. This takes the conversation out of his inbox, but keeps it easily accessible with nothing more than a simple search for a friend's name. It ensures that he never accidentally forgets to respond to an email, because he knows his inbox only contains emails he's waiting to respond to.
How do you get this Send and Archive system? Simple! Click on the Labs link at the top of your Gmail screen (it looks like a chemistry beaker). Scroll down until you see "Send and Archive. With this lab added to your Gmail account, your default Send button has now become Send & Archive.
This is a much more efficient way to clean out your inbox by ensuring that you keep the messages you've responded to out of your inbox.