Happy New Year! Ways To Declutter Your Life
A new year is upon us once more and before you groan while seeing what feels like the 100th New Year’s resolution on social media, there is actually one thing you should bring yourself to do before 2022 becomes 2023.
You need to declutter your life (we all do).
Regardless of how organized one is, there is always some unseen load pulling us down and taking up our space (be it physical, mental or emotional) which is why it’s good to do an annual purge.
Follow this step-by-step blueprint to start decluttering your life today:
1. Follow a no-freebies rule
If there’s one thing we Singaporeans like, it’s free gifts. It doesn’t matter if we need it - our first instinct is to accept any freebies thrown our way. Be it from events, conferences, or roadshows. Chances are, you won’t end up using more than half of these items and they’ll just collect dust in an inconspicuous corner of your home.
If you don’t need it, don’t take it. Learn to say no to free stuff.
2. Keep your physical (and virtual) workspace neat
It’s difficult to separate work from home sometimes, especially if you’re still WFH from your dining table.
For your physical space, put everything away and wipe your workspace clean. Toss out the things you don’t need. Keep office supplies in designated drawers or boxes. All you need is your computer, your phone, and maybe a photo of bae. It’s the same for your virtual workspace – clear out your desktop, delete all the unnecessary files, and sort your existing files into folders with clear labels.
3. Sort and label your belongings in distinct categories
You’ve finally Marie Kondo’d your entire home, so what’s next? Sort everything that still brings you joy into cabinets and closets. Keep them out of sight, but neatly organised and uncluttered. Start slow, do one room at a time. If you need to, label things. Most importantly, designate a spot for all the stuff you want to keep and ensure it goes back to the same spot when you’re done using it.
4. Get rid of expired items
We’ve all been guilty of buying something on a whim but forgetting all about it thereafter. Like that old bottle of fancy hot sauce you saw at Fairprice months ago. Go through your kitchen and dispose of all expired items, especially those at the back of the fridge.
1. Unsubscribe to unnecessary marketing & promotional emails
Companies make it incredibly easy to subscribe to marketing material but make you jump over hoops when you decide you no longer want to hear from them. Instead of clicking ‘unsubscribe’ periodically, set aside half an hour (without any distractions) to just comb through your email inbox and go on an ‘unsubscribe purge’. Voila, now you won’t receive 50 emails a day.
2. Delete apps that you no longer use
Is your phone becoming sluggish? Time to delete all the apps taking up precious storage space. On the iPhone, head to Settings > General > iPhone Storage and tap on “Offload Unused Apps” to automatically remove unused apps, but keep its data saved. For a more permanent solution, scroll through the list of apps under the same “iPhone Storage” page to see when you last used certain apps, then delete them.
For Android, just go to Settings > Apps & Notifications / Apps to browse through a list of all your apps installed on your phone and delete those you haven’t used in a long time.
3. Mute irrelevant notifications
When you install new apps, the app will ask if you want to receive notifications. If it’s not WhatsApp or a banking app, it’s probably best to say “no” – else you will be flooded with random notifications throughout the day.
If you’ve already said “yes” before and want to stop receiving notifications, you can! On iPhone, go to Settings > Notifications, and scroll to pick and choose apps you no longer want to receive notifications from. To control your notifications on Android, tap Settings > Notifications > App settings.
1. Conduct a calendar audit
Time to purge your calendar app of all recurring events that are irrelevant. Remove unnecessary meetings or social gatherings that you don’t want to attend (more on that later). Maybe some meetings could be shortened or replaced by an email update. But you definitely don’t need to know when your 3rd cousin’s birthday is.
2. Perform a phonebook purge
Chances are, the smartphone you’re using isn’t your first. You might have duplicate contacts, or numbers from people you’ve only met once and have never spoken to in 10 years. Clearing the clutter from your phone’s contact list will help streamline your other accounts too, making it easier to start a new chat on WhatsApp or finding someone to PayNow to.
3. Learn how to say no to social gatherings & friendships that don’t spark joy
Extend the “Marie Kondo” decluttering to your social relationships too. When it comes to your wellbeing, it’s about the quality of your friendships, not the quantity. Do an honest audit of your friend list and decide who you still think belongs in your life. Time is precious, it is better to spend the day with friends that you enjoy hanging out with.