A woman carves a successful career out of her love for tidying rooms. She writes books to help people spark joy and makes a show on Netflix, which reinforces my beliefs in having less and being more.
Clickbait Youtube channels reveal her obsession stemmed from OCD, an acronym for a disorder we loosely use to describe the way we arrange our utensils in a neat row for the first time. But we don’t mind because her positivity is refreshing to watch among modern films of misery porn.
I respect Marie Kondo’s positive influence and effort. It’s easier to get famous with a sex tape these days, than with a book on thanking your clothes. I think friends and family of hoarders should have her face secretly set as a desktop wallpaper.
In a world of fast fashion, food and everything, it’s ironic how we crave the need to slow down. Just like Marie, many content creators reiterate the importance of knowing the true value of life.
Pinterest is flooded with ethical, sustainable lifestyle tips; Nas Daily made a video about how he lives out of a suitcase; 15-year-old Swedish activist, Greta Thunberg, sparked a global protest to stop global warming and climate change.
I, too, believe our lives are cluttered.
So when I quit my job last December, I spent three months repositioning my priorities. Writers might describe it as overcoming the ‘writer’s block’ or ‘getting shit together’. Yogis might call it ‘finding one’s true self and inner zen’. My Asian mum might call it ‘a waste of my breastmilk unless you marry rich husband’.
Tidying Your Digital Space
Sure, tidying my room made me feel efficient. But the more classes I attended for self-improvement, the more paranoid I became for not being productive enough with actual work. Is this what Buddha meant by not finding one’s balance through the desire of having balance?
The problem was, I honestly didn’t care much about my home decor; I needed to tidy what I spent more time on, which was my phone and computer. I needed to organise my memories and not just my cosmetic trolley. In fact, most young people are probably raised by the internet. We don’t realise the toxic, emotional debris we leave and cling onto through messages we should have erased long ago.
I was more annoyed by my computer beeping ‘Your Disk Is Almost Full’ than by a creased pair of denim jeans in my wardrobe. So, I did the most no-brainer thing: clean my digital space. I ran through my social media, folders, uncharged camera batteries that died when I tried to vlog, resolutions, inboxes and more.
- Sorted every picture and video in folders, by dates and categories (Family, Friends, Steph & I, Work, Inspiration, etc.)
- Changed my passwords and sorted my sign-in details with Dashlane, a password manager app and secure digital wallet for desktop and mobile (Dashlane uses a master password, which you should keep in a physical book in case you lose it)
- Deleted unnecessary apps
- Deleted unnecessary copies of photos/videos
- Downloaded documents in PDF and stored them offline to neaten my cloud
- Arranged my playlist by genres and moods
- Digitalised physical, sentimental items before donating them
- Created a brand guide and bullet journal to store my goals and tasks
- Separated email types (work vs personal) into different account inboxes
- Saved my classes by categories from sites like Skillshare.com and Classcentral.com (Web design, HTML, Neuroscience, etc.) and set a personal timeline
- Signed up for workshops
- Chatted up industry professionals in the field I’m working towards
Unfortunately, I didn’t reach enlightenment in two days. But, my new storage space left a greater impression on me than my new decor did. Perhaps, recognising intangible things you own is where joy is sparked on a new page.