MINIMALISM: how to declutter + organize your computer

In all the tidying-up books I’ve read, I don’t think I’ve actually seen a chapter dealing with decluttering your computer. Or tablet, laptop, etc.

So here I am today, with tips on how to

  • declutter files
  • organize your files
  • share your files if needed
  • declutter your apps

Let’s get started!

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  • I know how hard it can be sometimes to delete a file… “But I might need it!”
  • But a very simple trick I use is this: did I use this file within the last two weeks? If yes, you probably need that file. If no, or if you know that you don’t need the file, get rid of it!

Tip with WordPress: If you use photos in your posts (headers/graphics/etc.) you can delete them from your computer once you’ve uploaded them to WordPress!They’ll stay within WordPress’s media storage, and won’t disappear from your posts unless you delete them from WordPress storage.

Photos

  • And when it comes to photos, it’s a huge struggle. But let’s face it: how often do you actually put on a slideshow, or flick through your photos?
  • If there are any photos you’d really like to keep, by all means do, but look at it realistically. Is there something more important that could be taking up photos’ storage on your computer?
  • If you’re particularly concerned about any photos, you can always send them to the people featured in the photos. But don’t get into a habit of this, though – only send the best photos, or the really important ones. We’re trying to keep clutter to a minimum for everyone.

Downloads & Documents

  • A big storage-eater is your downloads folder. Scrutinize this area of your computer – often when you download something, you only need it temporarily.
  • You documents is a place where people often store files with large memory – class essays, school projects, stories, etc. If you have old school/work assignments in your documents – unless they’re current work, or you’ve been told that you actually need them – delete them.

Videos

  • Again, unless they’re extremely important, delete them.
  • I know that family/home videos are tricky, but really, how often do you call a family video night where you just watch old home videos?

Quick Tip: If you want to go the extra mile, why not have all your home videos converted into one DVD? I remember my dad did this with his childhood home videos, and it was really fun one night to sit down at the TV and watch him as a wee young lad 😉

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So now that you have the minimum amount of files that you need, it’s time to organize them.

Photos

  • You can either arrange your photos by date (e.g. 20 August 2015) or by category (e.g. 2014 Holiday, Dog, Kids Playing, Birthdays, etc).
  • I recommend sorting by category, because it’s unlikely you’ll remember the exact date of an event.
  • But if you do want to sort by date, I recommend dividing your files by month e.g. July 2017.
  • If you’re sorting by category, try not to be too specific, but still mke sure there’s some sort of precise system.
  • For example, instead of “Polly’s 8th birthday” you could have “Polly’s birthdays” and stick in all the photos from Polly’s birthdays.
  • Another tip would be if you have a certain category, make sub-files. For example, if you have a “Family Holidays” folder, you could add a folder within the folder called “Spain 2014.”

Documents

  • When it comes to documents, organize them by topic.
  • For example “School Projects” “Essays” “Book” (if you’re writing a book) “Management notes” “Business Ideas” etc.
  • You can then ceate a few large folders and drop the other folders within them.
  • These large folders are very general – “School” “Work” “Home” “Current work” etc.

Videos

  • Ideally, you wouldn’t have too many videos on your computer – they take up a lot of memory that could otherwise be used for more important things.
  • I would recommend purchasing a simple 2/4GB USB key to store videos if you have a lot.
  • Otherwise, you can use the same filing system as with photos and documents.

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Even if you have a PC, I’d say there are a few apps you could get rid of.

  • Evaluate your everyday computer work – is it for your blog, book, business, or just fun?
  • If it’s for business/work, go ahead an uninstall all those computer games. In fact, do it anyway, because they turn you into a mindless slug.
  • If it’s for your blog, check your photo editors. I’d say one would be just fine, or two if one has features the other doesn’t.
  • If you use your computer just to browse social media, read articles and watch YouTube/Netflix, delete all those useless apps for money, analytics, etc. Why not try installing an app such as Deezer to listen to music?
  • If you have a Windows laptop/tablet like me, you can click here to learn how to uninstall default Windows apps such as Camera, Voice Recorder, Messager, etc.

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I hope you enjoyed reading this post! Sorry if it ramble a little – I was listening to this song while writing 😉

I’ll see you on Thursday with a book review for All The Ugly and Wonderful Things ❤

MINIMALISM: Goodbye Things – simple living in body & mind

If you’re in any way a minimalist, you may have heard of the latest minimalism sensation – namely, Goodbye Things. This new bestseller was written by a 35-year-old Japanese man called Fumio Sasaki. Here he is:

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Mr Sasaki was not always like this. He was once a maximalist, collecting CDs, books, hobby items and much more. He drank too much, gained weight, and generally was unhappy with his life.

But now?

He has thrown away most of his possessions, to live a real minimalist life. Now he can simply pick up his wallet, watch, keys, & phone – and head out the door to wherever he pleases.

This is his wardrobe, consisting of barely 20 items (including socks):

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He says he is aiming to create a signature uniform, similar to Steve Jobs. If you look beneath the clothes, yiu can also see the futon mattress that he sleeps on. In the morning he rolls it up and puts it away to use his bedroom as an eating/living space:

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And this is how the small room looks when he sleeps:

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Sasaki now wakes up with the sun streaming into his 20-sq metre Tokyo apartment, whereas previously (in his maximalist life) he hit snooze on an alarm.

If you would like to read a little more about Fumio Sasaki, click here to read a news article, and here to watch a CNN insider video.

One of the many reasons I admire Sasaki’s lifestyle is the simplicity. I too am aiming to achieve a simple, clutter-free life, but in my large family it can be a bit difficult! However, I’m starting to teach my younger siblings the art of decluttering and simple living, and they seem to be catching on a bit.

I also love the flexibility of this life. When one owns many possessions, it can be extremely difficult in emergency situations. But if you own only the bare essentials, it’s relatively easy to pack up quickly and go.

“When you become a minimalist, you free yourself from all the materialist messages that surround us.”

I also like that Goodbye Things isn’t just a regular minimalism/decluttering book – it also focuses on minimizing yourself in character. Relationships, habits, thoughts, attitudes… if you’re going through a bit of a hard time right now, I urge you to pick this up and declutter your life.

There’s not really much else I can say on this book. But it does also feature some case studies of minimalists that are interesting – a single person, a couple, a family.

I highly recommend this for a bit of self-evaluation. Though otherwise, it lacks a little “spark of joy” to make it truly perfect.