The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up & Not Giving a F*ck
Marie Kondo’s book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up & her Netflix series “Tidying Up” is EVERYTHING when it comes to decluttering these days. In them, she offers a specific process around how to get rid of (& stay rid of) the countless clutter we accumulate in our lives.
Clothes, books, paper, sentimental stuff, kitchen, bathroom, and miscellaneous items are all tackled in the #KonMari method. The approach is about looking at each item you own and determining where or not it brings you joy. If it doesn’t, thank it for the time it had in your life and then let it go.
Doing the #KonMari method makes me ridiculously happy. Not necessarily because of the process but because decluttering helps me clear my mind. The chaos that comes with too much stuff often worms its way in to how I process life on the daily.
But there is one big piece that #KonMari doesn’t cover. The one thing that we can’t escape and probably stresses us out the most. The thing that we are more involved with than pretty much anything else on a day-to-day basis doesn’t even get mentioned in her process.
Above all else, we need to #KonMari our digital media. Phones, computers, emails, social media, texts, the final frontier. They suck us dry. This is a key step to CHANGING HABITS that will CHANGE YOUR LIFE.
1) SOCIAL MEDIA
Social Media: What Feeds Your Feed should Feed Your Soul
Social Media can take a normally cheery person and sink them to a blue abyss by the end of the day.
Take a moment and consider the kind of posts you LIKE to see. The ones that inspire and excite you. Curate the crap out of what really sparks feelings of joy for you & let go of any one who brings you down.
If there is a dear friend you want to keep up with, be sure to specifically follow them through Instagram and Facebook. Is there a person who continually sounds like Eyore or more like sadness from Inside Out? Mute Them. (You are still friends but you don’t always have to see their stuff). Is there an element of envy (however unwarranted) when you see particular people posting their “best life”? Unfollow.
Think of this as the ultimate self care.
**Edited to add from experience: Two big tactics I took this year was to let go of giving a F*ck around notifications/social likes. All notifications got turned off (which meant I opted to go see what was going on vs that visceral response to a ping that “someone said/did something & I had to respond in the moment”. I also shifted social apps to the second scroll on my phone. You would not believe how less active you get when its not right in front of you.
Do you really need that many apps?
How many apps do you have on your phone currently that you don’t actually use? We did this exercise at work and realized that of each of us had almost 100 apps currently sitting on our phones. Of those 100 apps, we were clearly able to identify 40% of the apps were ones we hardly ever (or possibly never) used. Letting go of all that extra junk, never mind the amount of data/memory it saves, is off the hook.
Important note: When you delete an app off your phone, don’t fret. You will see when you go to the app store that the ones you have downloaded previously or paid for will show open vs download. Easily accessible on the off-chance you need that missing app suddenly.
Consider the amount of time and energy you are putting into social media
Did you know that on your phone you are able to see exactly how much time you spend on social media, entertainment, even how often you pick up your phone? I have to say I was more than a bit shocked when I started keeping track of the time spent (& sucked) on my phone.
Screen Time is available for iPhone users as an integration in your settings. Another option for Android and iPhones is the BreakFree App. Becoming AWARE of the time helps you start making choices on how to change it. You can set limits to when you are able to access the apps on your phone. For me, I am consciously working to reduce the total amount spent on my phone on the daily.
**Edited to add from experience: I set my phone to go into downtime from 10pm-6:30am. It’s a simple shift (& took awhile to get used to) but I intentionally do not access apps after the shut off as much as possible. It really HAS made a difference but again, its making an active effort to not buy into the hype. YOU CAN DO IT. I promise.
Texts, Voicemails, Notifications- Clean that Sh*t up
Taking the time to go through these at the beginning of the year helps you feel like you are starting fresh. Deleting those old texts also gives you a good excuse to touch base with friends you want to. Send a quick text to stay connected and then say goodbye. Clean slate. PHEW.
**Edited to add from experience: I haven’t been able to do this yet based on work requirements but a friend has simply stated on her voicemail that she doesn’t check her messages and to text her instead. It’s as simple as that. She has established those boundaries and I know that’s how I will connect with her. Easy peasy.
Clean up your Desktop
It’s the very first thing you see when you open your computer every morning. Starting this off tidy and cleared up will help you on a plan to continue this way. If its not a program/document you are currently working with, archive it. Icloud, hard drives are perfect for this one.
Unsubscribe is your best friend
Email Newsletters are fantastic when you are interested in what the business has to say. Yet too many times, I have been added to a list without permission. My favourite game-changer is using Unroll.me. You simply sign up with the email you use for newsletter subscriptions and it allows you to determine what actually comes into your inbox and what gets unsubscribed or rolled up to check when you actually have the time. (Which of course is like NEVER, so just unsubscribe all that EXTRA).
Check in on your bills/subscriptions- They can cost you a mint.
Auto renew subscriptions will be the death of me. I actually took the extra time (which was fine because I am ahead on my taxes now), to look at the charges going through my credit card/PayPal on auto renew. Are you ready for this? I found $1,350 of unnecessary charges/subscriptions/renewals that occurred through the past couple years!!! That’s a TRIP! (& you know how much I love trips).
Do you really use cable any more? Are you reading the magazine you get? Are there programs that you once trialed that now just show up as a sneaky yearly charge? Are there now cheaper or free alternatives? (I know this might sound silly but I got hit with an $850 Dropbox for Business that as soon as it went through I was unable to get refunded. We use AirDrop now so Dropbox is hardly an essential anymore.
**Edited to add from experience: We have been working on a refuse cycle of buying into consumerism. We just don’t need more sh*t. That monthly subscription, is it REALLY something that will make your life easier or better? (Listen I get it, Wine or Sausage of the Month have HUGE benefits to your happy place so keep them if they really bliss you out.) If not, don’t buy in. The packaging, the delivery (& the cost) are just not necessary unless it REALLY & TRULY brings you joy.
Look at your habits and practices, check in to see what you REALLY need and what are items that you just need that extra push to get rid of. Then DO IT.
The Nemeses (cause I have two)
Inbox Zero & Photos
These most definitely a work in progress. I have for a number of years been working towards Inbox Zero. While I can get there intermittently, I still haven’t been able to stay there, even though I tried this Fast Company post for last year.
I will keep trying and TOTALLY open to suggestions if you have any. The unsubscribe took care of a lot of what was cluttering up my inbox but I will continue to pursue this utopia of being completely free of emails on a daily.
**Edited to add from experience: This still is my nemesis. I have yet to figure out a solution to stay on top of this sitch. Hit me up if there is ANY process that has really, seriously worked for you.
In terms of photos, I DID find a Duplicate Photo Cleaner which worked initially on sections of photos but overall didn’t recognize the full library I have with 40K+ photos. In the end I purchased Gemini 2, which is a recommended Mac Cleaner software for images. It was $20 but ultimately cleared me of nearly 6GB of duplicate photos. So lesson learned (& now I have an on-going duplicate application I can use to clean my computer each purge). Please let me know if you have other suggestions.
Learn more about our #KonMari experience (Then & Now) with KEY TIPS on how to get through this sucker and TRULY create life-changing habits by following our YouTube Playlist.
If you enjoy our information, be sure to like, comment and subscribe to our channel as more and more conversations around travelling the world and shifting into a simpler life will be unfolding.
To learn more about our story and how we sold everything to travel the world, check out some more posts on MomDadCuppaKids.