Housekeeping is something that we keep putting off as many of us find it hard to delete something ‘just in case I need it’ (Murphy’s Law).  General housekeeping is very important as this helps to organise your work effectively and helps keep your storage within the limits.

In this blog I will be showing you how to housekeep your Outlook Mailbox.   As an IT support technician I use to have this conversation with many a staff, who would always point out to me that “it is necessary for the job”, or “it is requirement by law”, or “I may need it”, to which this is not a problem, however, the items that did not fall into those categories, why are they kept?  The simple answer to that is, just don’t have the time.

I tend to use an analogy of the weekly refuse collection.  At home we get a variety of post and keep the important mail items and dispose of the others.  Each week our dustbins are collected and therefore we don’t have excess of post in the house.  In the digitial world we become complacent and as we cannot see the amount of space that this takes up, we just keep everything.

If you carry out the following steps you will achieve good housekeeping:

Delete your deleted items – Once you delete an email it is moved to your Deleted Items folder.  This contributes to your overall mailbox storage quota.  Often people do not empty this folder and therefore exceed their storage limit unknowingly.

To delete your deleted items:  Right-mouse click on your Deleted Items folder and click Empty “Deleted Items” Folder.



This to me is what the refuse collector does every week.  I have my mailbox set that each time I exit/close Outlook the deleted Items folder is emptied.


Delete your sent items – After you have sent an email, a copy is placed in your Sent Items folder.  After a period of time these build up reducing your overall storage capacity.

Note:  Be selective about which emails you delete as you may need to reference them in the future!

To delete individual sent items: Click on your Sent Items folder and hold down the Ctrl key, then use left-mouse click to select emails (See Fig.2).  Then simply right-mouse click on the selected items and press Delete. Don’t forget to delete your deleted items after this step.

To delete all of your sent items: Click on your Sent Items folder.  Press Ctrl+A, this selects all emails.  Then simply right-mouse click on the selection and press Delete.  Don’t forget to delete your deleted items after this step.

Create folders – Creating folders within your inbox helps to organise your emails.
To create a new folder:  Right-Mouse click any folder and select New Folder.  When the Create New Folder Dialogue box appears type in a Name and select where to place the new folder, then press OK. The new folder then appears as a sub folder.
Managing attachments – Managing attachments will help you keep the size of your Email account under control and enable you to refer to documents quickly.
When you receive an Email with an attachment, right-mouse click on it and go to “Save As…”.  Save the document to you a location in My Computer or network drive.  Once you have saved the file you may want to delete the email afterwards to save space.
You can see how big email messages are by clicking on the size header in your inbox.  This will arrange emails by size from either smallest to biggest or vice versa.  This will give you a good indication of how much space is being used up in your mailbox.  Microsoft Outlook categorises emails according to size:
How big is your Mailbox?
To see how much storage you are using you can right-mouse click on your Mailbox and click “Mailbox Properties”.  Then under the general tab click “Folder Size”, then you will be able to see your total Mailbox size including subfolders.


Read of my blog of 11 June all about size (Bits and Bytes).
KITT Consultancy can help your business by educating staff on best practices to ensure you get the most of your investment in IT.
1 Comment
  1. Outlook Housekeeping is very important for the user because many usefulness mail come in the inbox. Delete mail, create folder is known as good housekeeping.

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