Smartphone declutter l Digital minimalism
Social media Food
instagram • uber eats
twitter • deliveroo
prettylittlething • groupon
shein • fever
To begin with I haven't had Facebook since 2013 and never joined tiktok. But I was consumed by instagram, snapchat and twitter at some point in my life. Instagram was the most toxic which I decided to delete in 2020. Snapchat became boring so this was deleted in 2017. Twitter was not problematic however keeping up with celebrities and politics wasn't my priority anymore so I left the app in 2020 also. I use my phone significantly less since being free from social media by focussing on improving my life. But a small void was filled with Tumblr. When Tumblr became addicting I uninstalled the app. Now I blog from my laptop when necessary.
Luckily I prefer to eat healthily and also enjoy cooking and saving money. This makes it fairly easy not to be a regular customer for food delivery services like just eat and deliveroo.
As a recovering shopaholic the main purpose of my smartphone evolved to an online shopping device. Instead of scrolling on someones feed or timeline, I was wasting hours scrolling on fast fashion apps. I just recently decided to quit fast fashion which helped me overcome my shopping addiction. No more shein, prettylittllething or boohoo apps or paying attention to the plethora of email alerts from stores.
Being a conscious consumer meant trying to find the most affordable options for things by using services such as groupon or wowcher. However, this created a habit of wanting to pay for unnecessary things since being priced so cheap. As a result, I uninstalled the app and will decide to use when searching for discounted luxuries. Similarly, the app called fever lists fun events taking place in the city. This made me unhappy as I could rarely afford these tickets and would be required to spend months saving up for it. Despite valuing experiences, I prefer experiencing the simpler things in life which are often free.
The consequence of being free from social media left me feeling uninspired. Pinterest was a helpful source of inspiration until it starts to have the same affect as instagram. The scrolling is endless. So, I uninstalled this and resorted to my laptop for quick pinterest inspiration. Youtube was also a source of inspiration especilally when trying to become more of a minimalist. However, the time wasted on YouTube in order to learn about minimalism was counterproductive. Therefore, I felt the need to delete the app. However, due to safari, YouTube was still accessible and taking up alot of time. Additionally safari was very consuming due to my constant curiosity and drive to learn things. Googling new things continuously had to stop. I now reach for my phone less and am forced to be productive.
This post is personal and specific to me. Everyone has their own likes, dislikes and habits. Where I notice an addiction arising I realise it and try to improve. My ultimate aim of decluttering my smartphone apps was to gain maximum productivity during the day by utilising the 24 hours we are given. If 1 too many hours are wasted on a small screen I evaluate my habits. Not owning a smartphone in the modern world can be challenging and inconvenient, so I'm trying to use this device wisely and healthily by decluttering digitally.
Living with maximalists
Patently waiting for the day I have my own apartment to live my own little minimalist lifestyle. To walk in to a neat and clear entry way and cook in a kitchen with organised cabins and lounge in a living room decorated so simply then unwind in a bedroom that isn’t so uncoordinated
- The struggle of trying to adopt minimalism in a household with a whole family with you who are maximalists. I can’t wait to have my own room for once. Minimalism has still been possible but it gets a little suffocating
How I quit wearing makeup | minimalism
Unsubscribed to beauty bloggers
Unfollowed social media influencers
Deleted social media
Gradually limited my makeup routine from 5 products a day to 3 to 2 now 1 being lipgloss (happened over the course of a year)
Decluttered all expired makeup
Replaced all comodogenic products
Decluttered unused products
Decluttered all the wrong shades
Sold eyeshadow palettes online
Sold cosmetic organisers online
Sold brushes collection
Decluttered lip stick & lip liner collection
Transformed makeup desk to skincare desk (barely anything on display)
Transferred the reduced makeup in to 1 cosmetic bag
Only wear full makeup for occasions or for myself when bored at home
Things I never plan on buying as a minimalist
Car & driving lessons: Uncomfortable with being in front of a wheel due to hazards, but it’s also unhealthy, expensive, slow, & bad for the environment so I prefer walks & transport
Alcohol and drugs: Something I’ve never consumed or ever will for religious reasons
Television: this would be a useless waste of space that collects dust as I don’t watch any shows. When I’m bothered I watch old movies on my laptop but do plan to buy a projector for movie nights. I’m against a tv which promotes time wasting on screens. Prefer having conversations than to turn on the tv for background noise
ipad/tablet: A useless invention when I already own a smartphone and a laptop that has all the same features as an iPad or tablet
AirPods: Another useless creation when earphones exist that are cheaper and don’t require charging (wastes energy on bills) and eats up data while in, as well as reducing phone battery life thereby forcing one to charge phone more wastimg further energy on bills
Smartwatch: Not only is this a very unattractive watch but it’s pointless multi functions almost defeat the purpose of a smartphone. One smart device is already more than enough.
Alexa: A way to bring clutter in to home, waste money and promote lazy unhealthy habits. Not for me.
Designer items: Serve no higher purpose compared to unbranded items. These are unnecessary and simply a waste of money which is something I can never justify or understand. Suggests insecure behaviour by gaining some self worth from a label.
Music subscriptions: Spending money on the phone itself, data allowance, probably AirPods, maybe insurance, WiFi service, now music subscriptions too. As long as music is available on YouTube for free I’ll never pay for music that’s accessible on the internet.
Books: I’m a book lover and a firm believer in borrowing books from the library. Once I read a book there’s absolutely no reason for it to bring clutter in my home so I hope to never buy books as long as libraries exist. I read more frequently knowing there’s a deadline that needs to be met and love the extra walks to the library
Quitting social media | digital minimalism
I deleted facebook 8 years ago, snapchat 5 years ago, instagram 3 years ago, twitter 2 years ago and gladly never made tiktok
I was influenced by beauty bloggers very badly which led me to have multiple identity crisis's and change my style many times. Shopping was a lifestyle and hobby for me since I never made space for saving any money. As a result my wardrobe was exploding in clothes that I wore once or twice or never even had the opportunity to wear. This was the pivotal moment that started minimalism because I had no choice but to get rid of my clothes and start decluttering.
Changing styles and experimenting with appearance was difficult to portray online due to fear of judgements. Through the years I had many different phases and would completely erase my feed and start from scratch for every new era. This made me worry about what others will think about my inconsistency
Going broke to look rich
Funding for the lifestyle for a perfect feed was expensive due to outings, diners, and mainly outfits. It seemed on the surface that I was wealthy but the truth was that every penny was spent on the image with nothing being saved or spent wisely. I would see a photo of a blogger and try to replicate it by buying a similar outfit and going to the same location
I was constantly comparing my appearance to that of others even though they have gone through plastic surgeries. I would spend hours contemplating going through these surgeries to feel as beautiful as them.
My makeup obsession stemmed from my insecurities however social media encouraged me to be dependent on makeup. The perfect image meant I felt the need to wear a full face of makeup every time I left the house in order to be picture perfect every second. This made me feel worse about my true self and more insecure when bare faced. Now I only wear makeup a few times a year for occasions and I can confidently be natural outdoors. There's no more pressure for selfies.
Maintaining a certain style or aesthetic became exhausting and was draining my energy because I felt like I trapped myself in to one aesthetically pleasing box
I no longer wanted to deceive everyone by only sharing best moments when my reality was the complete opposite in every way from my appearance and makeup to what was really happening behind close doors. My life was far from perfect so I felt fake by presenting it as if it was
Jealousy and envy
Posting regularly and so perfectly invited jealousy and envy which negatively effected my life. A private life has become a much happier life. I don't trust that everyone wants the best for me and is happy for my successes so I keep everything to myself.
Poor time management
Every minute of the day was about taking pictures to share online in order to seem interesting or aesthetically pleasing. This wasted a lot of time and cause problems by missing things or running late. Especially getting a daily selfie before leaving the house.
The lack of productivity was terrible. I never achieved anything for several years until I quit social media and focussed on improving myself. I now fill boredom and spare time for good habits. As a result I've studied 3 courses, joined 3 classes, read 15 books within 6 months, and take morning jogs a few times a week
It was part of my routine to check the pages of my favourite celebrities and show them some love. This love turned into idolisation and consumed me with their lives and drama. I would passionately speak about celebrity gossip in majority of my conversations. Now I'm oblivious and focus on my life and better it.
I was having less conversations by being more focussed on taking the perfect photo instead of talking with the friend infront of me which made the quality of our time together worse on my behalf. I view this as inconsiderate behaviour now and give my full attention to everyone.
Since I don't know what my few friends are up to and they don't know anything about me either I'm required to reach out and directly make plans together. This has made for better real life experiences that no one needs to know about through posting it online. I'm in the present moment.
The addiction to blu light exposure was apparent in my tendency to mindlessly scroll until the sun would rise. Scrolling had no time limit which made sleep very challenging. Getting out of bed and getting tasks done also took a lot of effort due to scrolling on apps. Now I fall asleep quicker and get out bed faster.
Minimalist beauty hacks
Vaseline: can be used as a lip balm, skin hydrator, highlight and brow gel
Lipstick: can be used as a blusher and lip product
Eye shadow: can be used as a highlight, contour, bronzer and blusher
Oil: can be used as a hair mask, body moisturiser and makeup remover
Moisturiser: can become a bb cream/tinted moisturiser by mixing it with foundation
Hair straightener: can be used as a hair straightener, hair curler and clothing iron
Things that I stopped buying | minimalism
Fast fashion clothing
High heeled shoes
Consumer habits I avoid | minimalism
Buying a clothing item in all its colours
3+ step skincare routine
Buying a new outfit for every event
Owning multiple foundations for each look
Buying something for the sole purpose of taking 1 picture in it or of it
Buying clothes that can’t realistically be worn (fulfilling my imaginary fantasy self)
Conforming to the latest technological trends (AirPods, iPad, smartwatch)
Acquiring a collection of anything (i.e; perfumes, sunglasses, books)
Owning a dressing table / makeup desk (encourages cosmetic consumption)
Food delivery apps
Car ride services
Quitting fast fashion |minimalism
I promised myself to only buy second hand clothes from now on (it’s been 4 months)
Alternatively I could shop at ethical clothing stores but none cater to my style
My wardrobe and shoe collection is now a lot more unique
I love helping people who deserve my money unlike the exploitive fashion industry
everything I’ve bought second hand is extremely cheap while in good quality
I love the feeling when people buy from me online so I’d like to do the same for others
My mind is at ease knowing that I no longer contribute to the consumption of fast fashion
Deleting mainstream shopping apps was a huge relief
Physically shopping disciplined me to never get tempted to buy from fast fashion stores
I no longer fall for trends as I’m blind to them since deleting all social media & shopping apps
skin diet | minimalism
my skin type: combination / oily / dehydrated / sensitive
cleanse moisturise SPF
cleanse or scrub moisturise
Images do not belong to me
I only wear makeup occasionally which makes skincare a lot simpler
I use a chemical scrub every other night as my aesthetician recommended for my congested skin
I only use dermatologist approved products
I stopped using serums, toners, Essence, daily oil cleansers as it served no long term change for me
3 step skincare saves me more time, more space, and more money
Quality over quantity; Less products of high quality compared to tons of skincare products
Everything I use comes in large bottles so I only buy it once a year rather than wasting money multiple times throughout the year
All of the products I use cost under £12
Instead of skincare I'm clearing my skin from the inside out by taking vitamins such as zinc & magnesium
I've realised that no topical product can cure my skin as it is an internal issue due to suffering from polysistic ovaries syndrome
Quitting makeup | minimalism
Growing up as a makeup junkie I took pride in owning the most and the most expensive products in order to look or feel my best at all times and decorate a luxurious vanity desk. Makeup for me was purely a reflection of my physical insecurities. The biggest insecurity being my skin.
However I’ve recently learnt the viscous cycle of buying products to cover my problems rather than curing the real problem. So naturally the makeup obsession evolved to skincare obsession. I still try to keep this simple.
Removing social media and unsubscribing to makeup channels was a huge factor that made me embrace my natural beauty and learn to live with dark circles, pores and hyperpigmentation. I no longer wear makeup everyday or rarely ever besides lipgloss. No concealer, or eyeliner or eyebrow product. No taking ages to get ready and apply heavy makeup. No money wasted regularly on the trendy cosmetics.
I no longer feel the need to take a selfie every day for Snapchat or Instagram. I am free from the capitalist trap. I take care of my skin as minimal as possible; cleanse, moisturise, sunscreen & a treatment if needed.
This led to a pile of unused makeup and tools over the year which I threw away as most were expired and unused while the rest were decluttered to others or sold online. As a result my cosmetics fit perfectly in 1 little bag and there is nothing on display besides the daily skincare used. I also decluttered all my cosmetic organisers and pots by selling online and noticed a huge relief
Love yourself & delete other forms of social media. You’re not ugly society is.
repeat after me; focus on what you do have instead of what you don’t have
I’m not homeless
I have a bed and blankets
I have food
I have clean water access
I have a big family
I have nice clothes
I live in a 1st world country
I have internet access
I can excercise in the gym
I do not have a physical impairment
I have all my 5 senses
I have free healthcare services
I have strict safety & security systems in the country
I have a lot of spare time
I have blessed genes (weight, hair, physique, face features)
i have some savings money
I have quality education access
Minimalists read more books
since starting a minimalist lifestyle, I’ve noticed a significant amount of free time. this ultimately came down to removing unhealthy habits and distractions mainly being technology. Refer to my digital minimalism post on how I minimised my life digitally. The last time I physically read a book was nearly a decade ago - until I changed and suddenly had free time. Resisting the temptation to resort to technology out of pure boredom was a success.
Not only did I give up reading fictional books but this opened the door to non fiction books that were predominantly self-help based. In the span of 6 months I read 15 books, so this year in 2022 I aim to read at least 25. Initially I had a small list of books I wanted to go through, and assumed that that would be the end of my reading journey. However reading one non fiction book led to many other areas to spark my interest.
I’ve come to the realisation that non fiction books are knowledge and knowledge is endless. We will never know everythhing although we can aspire to. I would never be in this position if it wasn’t for this new minimalist lifestyle. What makes it easier is the access to public libraries. Never in my life have I paid for a book just to hoard on an aesthetically pleasing shelf. Nor have I invested in a kindle or paid for e-books. There is no need when libraries exist. Not only is this a financial advantage but also promotes more walking and outings that serve good health benefits.
Above is the collection of library books I’m currently starting the year with.
Minimal vanity desk | what I decluttered
Multiple makeup brushes
Unused lip liners
Expired face makeup
Duplicate makeup products
Wrong coloured foundation
Wrong coloured concealer
Dried nail polish
Lessons I've learnt as a new minimalist
Only buy second hand clothing unless unsanitary (e.g; underwear) or impossible to do so because it helps small innocent businesses & is much cheaper
Repair much loved items instead of repurchasing it brand new because it's usually more affordable
Attempt designing & crafting some clothing, accessories, bags by yourself or ask someone to (e.g; mother, aunt) because you can utilise a creative skill/hobby which also costs less
Only buy things that are timeless or vintage as it will never go out of style because these last a lifetime unlike trends
If you'll only use it once, try to borrow it from someone else instead of wasting money on buying it because it saves space & money
If you experience all 4 seasons, no more than 8 pairs of shoes are necessary.
Create your personal unique uniform in 1 colour palette. (i.e blouse & skinny jeans or sweaters & mom jeans...) Make it your signature style despite feeling repetitive.
Instead of buying artificial hair masks, serums, weightless oils e.t.c improve hair naturally with routinely organic oil masks
If all of your makeup can't fit in to 1 cosmetic bag it's maybe too much. No more than 1 (maybe 2) of each product is necessary.
You can wash clothes by hand & ditch the washing machine because it saves space, time, & money
You can toast bread on a stove & ditch the toaster because It wastes space while the stove can serve the same/similar function & at a faster rate.
Take pictures of the things you love if you're ready to get rid of it. This way it'll always be with you & cherished without the clutter of owning it
Always tidy up after yourself immediately. Do not delay this & allow mess to pile up for more than a few hours. Wake up a little earlier if necessary to allow more time
Make use of decorative candles (evening during the day time, only rely on natural light rather than switching on light bulbs to save money on electricity bills
Take quicker showers to save more money on water bills
Write down your day's plan/to do list a night in advance to save on a lot of time
Don't allow the things you own to own you
How I declutter things like a minimalist
1. Selling online
I sell trendy or popular items that are usually in good-perfect condition and sometimes still have the tags on that I think will sell quick.
2. Charity donation
If something is way out of fashion and unlikely to sell then I opt to donate to charity. If an item doesn’t sell online within months then it also gets unlisted and donated to charity.
3. Recycling bin
If something is broken, damaged, ripped or permanently dirty therefore cannot be sold or donated only then is it recycled (in the correct bin).
4. Hand down to friends or family
If I think someone I know will like something of mine then I will announce that I’m having a decluttering spree and hand it down for free if interested.