Daily Declutter: Phone

If you think getting rid of your physical stuff is tough, wait until you try decluttering the “soft” stuff. I’m pertaining to the documents in your laptop, apps in your phone, photos and movies in your hard drive, mp3s in your iPod – basically, all your files. What makes these hard to delete is because of its non-physical property. Just because there’s no hard evidence that it’s there does not mean it’s not taking up space.

I’m guilty of being a hoarder of the soft stuff, especially when it comes to my mp3s. I’ve been holding on to songs and albums in my iPod that I haven’t listened to for years now. Up until this day, I find those hard to delete because of “just-in-case” days when I suddenly feel like playing my #TBT/#FBF tunes. Anyway, I’ll write about my mp3 player in a separate post as I feel this will be a huge life-changer for me. But for today, I’ll focus on decluttering another EDC: our phone.

People who have tinkered with my phone have consistently described it as very organized. To give you an idea, here’s how my homescreen looks like:

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Check this out – there’s only one dot at the semi-bottom part of my screen. 

Since I started using a smartphone, I’ve always hated flipping through countless screens just to look for an app. Smartphones are supposed to make our lives easier, but it has been doing the opposite. Our cluttered devices prevent us from becoming more effective because it is full of apps that distract us from what we intend to do. Instead of making us feel more in control, we’re more out of it because we have access to all this digital freedom which, sad to say, is used irresponsibly.

This realization has enabled me to create a system that will make my smartphone more value-adding. Here are the things I keep in mind whenever I organize my phone stuff:

  • Starting with my wallpaper, I make sure the background is simple (design- and color-wise) so the app labels are readable even when I’m mobile. I try to avoid using bright-colored images as it is too distracting especially when I use my phone at night.
  • After choosing the wallpaper, I create folders that are aligned with my daily activities (finance, health, messaging, navigation, productivity, social media), and interests (music, photography). All the apps installed in my phone are classified based on these categories
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There’s an “outcast” folder I named Pre-Installed. I prepated that just in case Apple rolls out an option to FINALLY get rid of useless apps.
  • For the contents of each folder, I make sure I only retained those oftenly used. I shortlisted this by going to Settings > General > Usage > Battery Usage. From here, I uninstalled apps that do not consume my battery life aka unused apps. It all boiled down to the Pre-Installed apps.

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  • We have this tendency to keep useless apps especially those connected to our hobbies/interests. In my case, this will be music and photography. To make sure I’m not wasting storage space, I only install 1-2 apps per hobby/interest.

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I only have Spotify installed in my laptop. I do not have it in my phone as my iPod has more than enough songs for me to enjoy. This also helps me manage my phone bill, enabling me to spend less on data as what I originally budgeted. I kept Songkick because I want to real-time updates on gigs/concerts happening nearby.

As for my photography apps, VSCO is the only thing installed as it’s the one recommended by my #LifePeg, Ta-Ku (hahahaha). I also kept Google Photos as it automatically backs up the photos I take, allowing me to delete photos saved in my phone. This gives me more space again to take photos.

I hear a lot of complaints about the 16GB iPhone, mostly revolving around its small storage space. To be clear, my phone is the exact same model. But despite all these negative reviews, I’m over the moon satisfied with it.

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I still have 3.2GB worth of free space, which I feel is more than enough for me to get by day to day. With less apps installed in my phone, I get to manage both my phone memory and data charges.

My phone is no longer a distraction. Instead, it enhances my real-life interactions – I pay attention to the people I’m with and the happenings around me as I don’t get sucked in the Bermuda Triangle of videos, memes, and newsfeeds in my device. If I do use it, I only whip it out to capture moments I want to remember forever.

My phone declutter has significantly improved my daily routines. By simplifying my digital life, it has helped me worked smarter – exactly what it’s purpose in our life is supposed to be.

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Daily Declutter: Sharing is Caring

Coming from a super hectic week, I only found the time today to clean up and inventory the stuff I’ll be giving out from my last declutter session.  Originally, I was supposed to put them up for sale using a some sort of “name-your-price” scheme, but I realized this was not aligned with my values.

As much as I want to earn extra income from my stuff, I realized I want to share the things I used to find valuable before to people who would find them valuable today. After all, the feeling I’d get from sharing my stuff to people who would appreciate them means more to me than profiting from it. I know I sound so preachy, but whatever. This is what makes me happy, so I hope you’ll be happy for me. 🙂

Anyway, here are the stuff I’m sharing to all of you. I’m putting this up for grabs to my Facebook friends. I’ll upload an album on Facebook and those who comment first will get first dibs on the item.

BOOKS

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(L-R) Marley and Me, The Comforts of a Muddy Saturday, The Birth of Venus, Never Mind the Bollocks: Women Rewrite Rock, Way Past Cool, My Sister’s Keeper

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(L-R) Cross, Secrets of Angels and Demons, I’ll Be Seeing You, Fruitcake, Rant, Until You

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100% Official Justin Bieber – First Step 2 Forever: My Story

CDs

IMG_6917(L-R) Crash by Dave Matthews Band, Pulp Freakshow by Various Artists, Mantra by Agaw Agimat, Elemental Chill Vol.3 by Various Artists, Tell All Your Friends by Taking Back Sunday, Morning View by Incubus, Five Stories Falling by Thursday, A Crow Left of the Murder by Incubus, Scarlett Walk by Tori Amos

IMG_6920(L-R) Full Collapse by Thursday, Techy Romantics by Techy Romantics, Guilt Show by The Starting Line, Tugish Takish by Pedicab, 4th Degree Burn by Slapshock, Marquee Moon by Television, Grace and Dragging Her Wings by Don’t Forget Clementine, Suwerte by Narda, Kitsilano by The Roman Foot Soldiers

TOYS

There you go. I’m giving these all away. Will arrange a meetup, and I will use this as an opportunity to catch up with you over coffee. 🙂

Daily Declutter: One In, Two Out

From my declutter session 2 weeks ago, I found two unused clothes that have been sitting in my closet for almost a year now – a black buttondown shirt from Everlane and a black dress from Uniqlo. I remember buying those because I said I had to build the basic elements of my wardrobe.

Was I wrong. I never even removed the tag.

If you’re asking if they’re part of my give-away/resell list, unfortunately no. I decided to keep them because they perfectly fit my three-point “keep list” criteria:

  • They’re within the grayscale color theme of my wardrobe
  • They’re classic-cut pieces, and
  • They’re easy to transition from formal to walwal

I feel this situation can be somewhat considered buying new stuff since they are practically unused. I felt guilty, to be honest. I’m down to just 191 items (175 clothes, 16 shoes) and by keeping these 2, I’ll be up again to 193 (if you round that up to the nearest hundred, that’d be 200).

But then it dawned on me. If I’m really keen on keeping it, and if I feel it really has a place in my closet, then it should actually replace more than one existing item. That’s when I thought of this new principle that can make my decluttering both manageable and intentional: One item in, two items out.

Putting this into action, I immediately raided my closet again and looked for replacements for the two new items. I challenged myself further actually. To put a place for the Everlane shirt, I took out 4 tops. While for the black dress, it took the place of 3 mini (!!!!) skirts (echoserang frog).

This is actually not only applicable to newly-bought stuff. It can also be applied to other existing pieces in my closet – like for instance, I have 4 gray sweatshirts right now. I technically don’t need the other 3 since 1 can do the job. This mini-declutter session has brought my item count down to 186 from 191. Congrats, Tima. 🙂

I keep on saying this in my previous posts, but it’s very liberating to become intentional even in the littlest things, like knowing what the purpose and value of that gray shirt in my life. The whole point of minimalism is having the perspective and knowledge of what is important, meaningful, and aligned to who we truly are. Because we are removing the clutter, our human bandwidth is shifted to the things closest to what we aspire in life.

Daily Declutter: Wallet

My previous post might have been too radical of a change for those in the early stages of minimalism. With this, I thought of starting this mini-declutter series called the Daily Declutter as a way to help those who are still half-hearted in trying to get rid of their unneccsary stuff.

For my first post in this series, I’ll start with everyone’s EDC: the wallet.

Just a semi-quick backstory to better understand where I’m coming from. I’m not a fan of bags like most women. I’m not saying bags are overrated. They’re great for storing your belongings especially if you’re mobile and your pants don’t have pockets. But for me, I try my best to not bring one when I’m out. Just ask my mom – up until this day, I always put my wallet and phone in her bag everytime we go out for Sunday mass.

My indifference towards bags just became firmer when my family and I became victims of the notorious Quezon City holdupper/rapist back in December 2014. We were having dinner in this burger joint a few days after Christmas, and out of all the days I decided to bring a bag (because I just bought a new one to *finally* act like a proper adult), this unfortunate and traumatic thing happened. To cut the long story short, I was able to save my bag and its contents from the holdupper by hiding all my stuff inside the bathroom trashcan.

When this happened, my wallet was the typical, massive, hollow-block type most women own. It measured 3.5″ x 7″, big enough to actually serve as a weapon during this ordeal. Inside this wallet, I had approximately 3 ATMs, 5 credit cards, 4 membership cards, 6 ID cards (government, school, office), calling cards, graduation and 1×1 photos, and a whoooole lot more. Imagine, if that guy was able to get my bag, he would have easily accessed my identity, savings, and credit line.

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I think this was already 10% of my weight. And apologies for my scattered photos, I’m just covering some confidential stuff.

From there, I’ve decided to significantly cut down my EDC, starting with my wallet.

There was only 1 thing I considered when I trimmed down its contents – I made sure I was liquid enough to get me through the day. Keeping this in mind, I was left with just the following:

  • 1 ATM – the one where I deposit money for everyday expenses. I left my savings and checking ATM cards at home.
  • 2 credit cards – those that have the lowest credit limit.
  • 2 IDs – driver’s license and UMID.

I immediately changed my wallet as well. From the half-a-foot wallet I used to have, I transitioned to a simple cardholder measuring 2.5″ x 4.5″. This is how my wallet looks like now.

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Just putting it here for size comparison.

Guys, promise, ang sarap ng feeling – physically and financially. The 70% decrease in content and wallet size has helped me A LOT.

  • I don’t withdraw and store excess cash (only what’s needed for the week)
  • I don’t purchase big ticket/expensive items impulsively
  • I easily keep track if I’m within my budget
  • I don’t fumble around when I have to pay for something or surrender my ID
  • I carry less items so if things get lost, I don’t feel much loss
  • And many others, etc., et. al. I can go on, but I’ll just stick to these for now

So there. You can start with this simple pero rak decluttering exercise if you’re not yet ready to leap to the big things. I swear, it may not seem much but it’s very very very impactful. Once you’ve started with the small things, it will be easier to let go of those items that actually don’t add any value to your life.

Hope this was helpful. I’ll be posting about my shoe decluttering soon. Stay tuned for that.

Babayuuuuu.