As time goes by local email database becomes larger. Thunderbird start to struggle with large database. most evident issue is it slows down, but occasionally, database corruptions occur.
There is archiving option that could help solving an issue but it needs some improvements:
It is big limitation that user must actually select messages to archive. If user has messages sorted by number of folders (usually with some filtering rules) it is nuisance to the level of not being usable - one has to open each subfolder, select messages and archive them.
It wold be good to have option to run archiving on folder, but with some date based rules, so for example, user can have all messages older than two years moved to archive without need to find them and select each of them manually.
Next improvement would be option to run Archiving automatically, similarly to automatic deletion. Almost the same principle may be applied: option to set archiving rules for each folder based on message age.
Actually, I would repurpose automatic date based deletion rules with archiving. That means, messages could be automatically archived date based, and some of them deleted on another date based rules.
I do not know inner workings of Thunderbird but it looks to me like simple duplication options for automatic deleting messages but instead of deleting, those rules would move messages to Archive.