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:

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.


  • 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.

2 Things I Learned from a Month of Minimalism

I’ve dabbled with the minimalist lifestyle since 2014, but it was only a month ago when I¬†had the courage to live and breathe it. I started with decluttering my stuff, aiming to own a maximum of 500 items, including my car, undergarments, shoes, books – basically, everything. I purged more than 50% of my belongings¬†in a span of three¬†weeks with the end goal of getting more sleep on a weekday.

It has been a month since I did this exercise, and¬†I’ve been seeing nothing but positive changes in my life. Not only was I able to get more sleep; I also had more time to do things I’ve always felt were impossible to achieve before. I’ve had the time to reflect on my life so far, leading me to¬†shortlist 2 things I’ve learned from my month of minimalism:

Time is the only asset that will make us rich.

We’ve all been brainwashed to believe that money is the only thing that can augment¬†the quality of our life. Most of us do¬†this by buying things.¬†I know this because I was in the exact same situation.¬†During my early 20s, I used to hoard clothes and shoes to impress my colleagues and be the trendiest person in the office. It came to a point wherein it took me almost 2hrs to just prepare to work.¬†My mornings were spent thinking about how it wouldn’t be obvious to my co-workers that I repeated the same shirt from last week. It was hella stressful, I swear.

But now that I’ve significantly cherry-picked my wardrobe to just the essentials, I can finish prepping in a matter of 20mins.¬†Since I started trimming down my stuff, I have more time¬†to do things that add more value to my life.¬†I’ve been exercising, reading, writing, and even interacting with people who share the same passions before my 8am call time to work.

This time surplus¬†has made me richer, qualitatively-speaking. My wealth is now defined by having a healthy, meaningful lifestyle aligned to my values and the things I deeply care about. I’m improving myself and the different aspects of my life with the endgoal of helping and becoming¬†more valuable to the people around me.

We are all equally given 24 hours in a day to do the things we want. If spent wisely and¬†meaningfully,¬†I’m sure we won’t be living in regret. Money is only an added bonus; it won’t even be used if we don’t have time¬†spend it.

Decision-making is now easier because I know who I am and who I’m not.

A major pre-requisite of my minimalist journey was establishing my taste based on my personality and values. Because I’ve set a system to identify¬†what best represents me as an individual,¬†it’s now easier for me to make decisions especially those involving material things.

During a workshop I attended for work a few weeks back, the concept of decision fatigue was brought up. The speaker mentioned that¬†we make approximately¬†35,000 decisions on a normal day.¬†Unfortunately, the quality of our decisions degrade as we go about the day because we get tired physically and mentally. Studies also show¬†that major decisions are best done in the morning because that’s when we are in out optimal mental and physical state.

The fact that I have significantly improved on my morning rituals is a very comforting feeling because I know I’m saving my best self to things that matter most. I’m reserving my precious human bandwidth in making the best decisions for my work and education.

In just a matter of 4 weeks, I already felt notable improvements in my life РI have deeper conversations with friends, I sleep better and exercise more frequently, I get to enrich myself by listening to podcasts and reading books/essays/articles that will help me become better in my craft. By owning less material things, we are given the chance to allocate our time, money, and energy on relevant, memorable, non-depreciable stuff that we can take with us even to our deathbed Рrelationships, health, passions.

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. ūüôā

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.



(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


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


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


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


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. ūüôā

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 Рa 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. ūüôā

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.