How to Marie Kondo Your Phone

Spring clean the crap out of your phone, yes!
How-toFebruary 4, 2019
Forget clothes, books, papers, komono and sentimental items – spark joy every time you look down into the palm of your hand by spring cleaning the shit out of your phone with JUNK’s step-by-step guide.

Now, you may be aware of a certain recognisable Japanese woman who recently got even more recognition for her Netflix series. She goes around to people’s homes and prescribes a method to tidy up their lives. It’s like, a way of living that gets bizarrely spiritual and shit… So since most of us have got a nice three days of Chinese New Year holiday to look forward to, here’s something to do while hunched over a little red plastic stool in the corner of your relatives’ houses, trying to disappear as your uncles/aunties/distant cousins whose names you forgot try to engage in small talk…

(And for those of us who don’t celebrate CNY, feel free to complete this and come back to work 7 February ready to gloat about how you spent your whole public holiday lying in bed doing something unnecessarily virtuous.)

Now, to begin…

Step 1

Let’s kneel and give thanks for all the great things your phone allows you to do, like messaging, taking pictures, hiring a car, ordering food, and even getting condoms and A4 paper delivered to our doorstep.

Step 2

Now, arrange all your apps by colour, not use! This will feel like a computer game of sorts!

Step 3

Preferably, you should have no more than two home screen’s worth of apps, because swiping more than once is tedious and, if you have a laggy phone, frustrating. So organize lesser used apps in folders on the second screen.

Step 4

Organise more frequently used apps at the bottom where your thumb sweeps.

Step 5

Delete apps that you thought would change your life but have not opened since you downloaded them but still keep sending you irritating notifications to remind you how far you are from your goal of becoming a modern Renaissance Man. (Learn to program! Learn to play the piano! Achieve your movement goals!)

Face it! You are Singaporean! You get back late from work, you eat some dinner, you watch some Marie Kondo on Netflix, you get into bed and the day ends. So go easy on yourself for not realising your dreams and delete those apps and their tyrannical notifications.

Step 6

Delete the phone numbers of people whose names do not ring a bell. (Literally, because you haven’t called them in years.) You know the ones that have just a first name and a descriptor – “John Teacher” (What does he teach, ah?) “Ah Ming Lights Guy” (I needed lights?) or ex-girlfriends of friends, “Alvin GF Susan”. While you’re at it, also clear out dead WhatsApp chats and all SMS. Surely nothing important comes in on SMS these days, apart from 2-step verifications and tone-deaf promotions. But save the ones that offer you betting services and dodgy loans – you never know!

Step 7

Specifically unfriend your friends who still post motivational posts on social media in 2019. Inanity is toxic. All this recycled vaguely optimistic shit has no impact on your life, and evidently has done little for anyone else. If you still have friends that post shit like the crap above, it’s time to remove them from your phone.

Step 8

Now the big one. This can take a wonderful amount of time… or not. Delete all photos in your library that no longer spark joy! The Japanese lady actually has a method of doing this and it’s all very pleasant and nice. You sit around and focus on each picture. If it sparks joy, keep. The rest, delete.

Useful, because actually, you probably can’t remember 90% of the pictures on your phone. Like that photo of a duck that you took of swimming in a lake in an ang moh country, and the seven other similar photos of said duck.

Or photos of your friend’s wedding that you went to five years ago, but you all kind of stopped talking since they had kids. A picture of your breakfast in Hong Kong.

The mysterious burst of 27 black images you took with your bum while your phone was in your back pocket.

Screenshots of bitchy conversations, long forgotten. (Okay, some of these might spark joy. Keep if so.)

Screen shots of memes. Screenshots of Instagram posts that you didn’t want to forget for a reason you can’t recall anymore. Pictures of melting ice cream cones. Photos of failed jump shots. (You never!)

Trust us, that covers close to 90% of the photos in your phone… that you will never miss now that they’re gone. Or if you’re the sort who finds joy in the #10yearchallenge… just delete everything! Will save you some time and future embarrassment!

Now, if you made it through all that and can’t find joy in your newly decluttered phone, then… jia lat.

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