Our world is already jam-packed with SO MUCH: news, people, things, tasks, etc. So it’s no wonder life can feel super overwhelming at times.
So maybe this is why all the talks of decluttering and minimalism have been soaring this past couple of years, compounded with the 2018 Netflix show, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, showing the masses the world of decluttering and sharing the satisfying results it brings us. There really seems to be a movement of ‘less is more’ brewing amongst us.
With that said, decluttering has lots of great benefits. Not only does it create more physical space, but it also helps us mentally. That is because clutter is a major source of stress and can affect our wellbeing and productivity.
But I know sometimes it’s not on top of our to-do list because we simply don’t have enough time. Luckily, decluttering doesn’t have to be a day-long commitment.
Sometimes all you need is 10 minutes or even less!
For beginners, here are some areas you can start tackling. So set that timer and start decluttering:
Phone (texts, apps, photo album)
We spend a tremendous amount of time on our phone, so it’s bound to have racked up a ton of crap that we actually don’t need. To start off, you can start with these:
Texts: go through your texts and delete all the spams, messages from wrong numbers, etc. Anything that’s not even a bit related to your life can go.
Apps: you know the apps you downloaded to order food once, or to play that one game… you know what I’m talking about. Delete them. Even if there are apps you used frequently in the past but they no longer serve a purpose, gotta go as well.
Photo album: my photo album is a collection of all kinds of crap. And I must admit a good chunk of them are accidental screenshots, selfies that look no different from the rest, etc. Yup, you guessed it. Go through them and delete those pics. I personally like to use the Google Photos app, where all my pics from the photo album gets automatically transferred onto the cloud. That way I can bulk-delete pictures without having to think twice because I know they’re safely stored in the app. Consequently, you can also free up a ton of storage this way.
It’s time to clean up that timeline/feed. This means unfollowing people that you’re no longer interested in, unfollow the brand you no longer associate yourself with or silencing that friend of a friend you met once at a work party that posts too many memes. I know it sounds cold we all know it must be done.
Nowadays, social media has gotten a lot smarter that they automatically hide people you don’t frequently interact with, and with the interest of keeping you on the site longer, showcase what they deem you are more interested in. But that doesn’t mean that they’re gone forever. Personally, I just like having a more organized list of friends/people I follow and getting rid of what no longer serves me.
Emails & snail mails
I’m one of those people who cannot stand the red number hovering over my email app on my phone. So I try to tackle those pesky notifications as soon as possible whenever I can.
Go through your inbox and delete the unread emails. These include coupons, newsletters, notifications, etc. You can also delete read emails that are completely irrelevant now.
Next, unsubscribe from mailing lists to stop receiving emails that you don’t even read! This might take a few extra steps, but it will be a huge relief for you and your inbox.
While you’re at it, let’s go ahead and also get to that pile of unopened envelopes sitting somewhere in your home. My husband and I have been pretty diligent about switching from paper to email notifications/bills, however, there are still a few random mails and coupons that find their way into our mailbox. We know most of them don’t concern us but why is it so hard for us to just discard them right on the spot… (sigh) This is the perfect time to tackle that annoying pile before it grows even bigger.
Computer desktop, browser
I’m one of those people who like to have dozens of tabs open at a time - you know, just in case one day I feel like reading that article that’s been sitting on my browser for days.
If you’re anything like me, it’s time to be firm with yourself and delete those opened tabs. Because deep down, we know we’re not going to revisit those tabs again. We won’t even remember what they were about. (as with most stuff we’re decluttering here!)
While you’re at it, have a look at your desktop as well. If you’re anything like me, your desktop will probably be plastered with random files that don’t really belong anywhere else but the trashcan. Delete. Oh, this is what my wallpaper looked like?
One look into my bag, you can get a good idea of my purchasing history of the past few weeks. I’m talking about the pile of crumpled up receipts, candy wraps, movie ticket stubs, etc. I like to dump everything out every week or so and get rid of the unnecessary trash. Now you can look for things inside your bag without having to pull out all kinds of crap with it.
Now that you’ve tackled these areas, you will feel so much more satisfied and even feel accomplished. It’s like taking a look at your room after you’ve cleaned it. This is such a good habit to develop because it will help you keep your life constantly organized and clutter-free.
What would you declutter in 10 minutes or less?
Like what you read? Also check these posts out:
Why your mental health can benefit from minimalism
How to build good habits for your self-development journey