blogtober, Minimalism, organization

15 Things You Can Do To Downsize Your Digital Space

I declutter a lot of spaces in my home, but one area I feel like we all tend to glance over is our digital space. Although it is not visibly taking up space, it is taking up memory storage & in our mind. So, I say we should all spend some time cleaning out our digital footprints for our storage & our sanity. Here are 15 Things You Can Do To Downsize Your Digital Space.

  1. Social Media Detoxes: Our lives are very heavily documented online in this day & age. We are constantly scrolling through our feeds, glancing at photo after photo, comparing ourselves to the people we follow. It can become rather exhausting keeping up with the expectations placed on us from these so called picture perfect lives. For our wellbeing, we MUST step away from social media & take breaks to focus on our lives off the phone screen. I personally have learned to take multiple breaks from my phone & accounts to enjoy the real world. Whether it’s saving a few hours in the evening or even taking month long hiatuses from social media, you must take care of your mental health & put the phone down as often as you can.

2. People You Follow on Social Media: My rule of thumb is if a person I follow doesn’t resonate with me or provide positivity, I don’t follow them. On my personal accounts especially, I don’t care the number of people I’m “friends” with on social media because it’s not a true indication of my friends in real life. I try to keep my friends lists to people I really see on a day to day basis now or people I truly want to keep in touch with. I don’t need to be friends with every acquaintance I went to highschool, middle or even elementary school. I don’t like how in today’s society you can’t run from your past as easily as you did back in the day. I feel like if I kept my friends from these stages of life & don’t see them on a regular basis, it keeps me sedentary in that time frame. I’d much rather move on to the next chapters of my lives & grow without these reminders of my past holding me back. I don’t even keep yearbooks anymore for this very reason.

3. Social Media Pages: Have you ever gotten that notification for your Facebook memories? Boy, that can be a cringefest, let me tell you. I recently went through & deleted old statuses, photos, & comments that were just so damn embarrassing. This includes going through old tweets & Instagram posts or photos on your phone. Whatever isn’t a good representation of you at this very moment, clean it up.

4. Photos: I used to be the queen of having 1,000 photos on my camera roll. A huge group of selfies just staying on there because I had to have the perfect shot. It might seem like a daunting task at first, but let me tell you, it’s well worth it in the end. I spent a few hours deleting screen shots of restaurant menus, thumbnails I made for my blog posts, duplicates & pictures I didn’t like anymore. I’m actually pretty old school when it comes to my photos. I still love printing them out & putting them in albums. But the ones I do store digitally, I have a few folders on my laptop organized by year, season, or event. But on my phone’s camera roll, I try to limit the number to about 100.

5. Unsubscribe: Whether it’s hundreds of spam emails, store subscriptions or notifications, my email’s inbox used to be flooded with them. I used to think with spam emails, all you had to do was delete them & they’d go away. Nope! You have to unsubscribe from those too. Not getting notifications from Ulta or Nordstrom also helps me from spontaneously shopping. Yay for sticking with my low buy year!

6. Delete Apps You Don‘t Use: My phone holds literally one page of apps. I hate having pages & pages of apps I don’t use on a regular basis. Don’t get me started on folders either. If I don’t use an app, I delete it. They say some apps, if left unused for a long period of time can cause problems to your phone anyway.

7. Music You Don’t Like: I used to download so much music. I don’t even think about doing that now with Spotify & Youtube. But I still have music on my Apple Music account I seriously need to just delete. I never use it! And it wastes so much space.

8. Declutter Files, Bookmarks & Documents: I’ve been out of college for a while now & I still have assignments from like 2010. I found a paper I wrote my sophomore year of highschool! Go through your documents & delete ones you will never reference to again. Some articles I wrote for the newspapers I kept & my theses from college. But it felt really good to delete the rest.

9. Delete Your Trash Can: Please remember to clear out your digital trash can on your laptop & email inbox. It’s something I always forget.

10. Clean up your Desktop & Wallpaper: Don’t keep a ton of folders on your laptop screen. It just looks messy. Whenever I see a laptop like this it makes me feel stressed out just looking at it. Also, change your wallpaper to something calm & minimalistic. It creates a workspace that will provide you some clarity.

11. Reevaluate What You Post: Your social media platform is like a digital newspaper. You have to ask yourself would you want this plastered on the front page? Even I have to stop myself from overly sharing. Especially with the blogging community, where I find it to be a job, I’ve now limited myself to how often I post on Instagram or Tweet. You have to think quality over quantity. Something I learned for Facebook, is if I have something to share, I wait until I have a quality profile picture to go along with it. I don’t like changing my profile picture that often, so it teaches me to post once or twice a month instead of weekly or even daily.

12. Set A Time For Use: By limiting a block of time where you are allowed to scroll through your phone, is crucial. Most of my “work” on social media occurs during the day. So in the evening, I try to block out a few hours where I can spend time with my boyfriend in the evening, read a book, eat dinner, or have some self-care “me time” before bed. The light from your phone keeps you awake anyway, so it’s best to take a break from it a few hours before sleep.

13. Turn off Notifications on Your Phone: This changed the game for me. My phone used to *ding* constantly with notifications. By turning this function off, I’m able to be more present & productive in my daily routine. I’m not distracted by messages constantly. I can view these things on my own time.

14. Organize Your Files: Do this as you go. When you are finished with a task, file it properly in a labeled folder. This helps you find things later easier & it’s far less overwhelming. I don’t keep hundreds of folders either. I have a blog folder, a few folders of photos, academic documents & my resume.

15. Your Phone: I could do a seperate post on what I keep on my phone. But basically I keep the bare minimum. I don’t keep games on my phone or excess apps. I have a page with Facebook, Messenger, Instagram & PicStitch (photo editing app). I don’t keep Twitter on my phone, I only check that on my laptop. And other apps I’ll add to my phone as I need them, but quickly delete once I’m done.

blogtober, blogtober

31 Posts in a Month?! Let’s Do This! Happy Blogtober…

Happy Blogtober everyone! I’m so glad to be back posting original content. I’d like to thank the few bloggers who sent in guest posts for the month of September. Be sure to check out those posts here & go follow those lovely bloggers!

7 Simple Living Habits To Live A More Meaningful Life Voureen

Essential Oils To Use While Decluttering Your SpaceAlex Jean

Seasons ChangeNatalie

Those guest posts truly helped me out during my month long hiatus & I’m so glad my readers enjoyed them! I’m excited to get back to a regular blogging routine & share all the content with you this month.

It’s insane to think I ditched the idea of posting 25 blog posts in December for Blogmas & replaced it with a more complicated challenge of 31 blog posts back to back in October; but here I am doing just that! If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know I absolutely LOVE Halloween season.

As a child, my parents would throw the most epic Halloween parties for my brother, friends & I. And for some reason we began this tradition of just loving every aspect of the holiday. To this day my family & I try to have either a lunch/ dinner on the holiday in our most festive shirts or visit the local haunted town I’ll be talking about tomorrow. I guess in a sense, it’s one of the holidays that doesn’t incorporate much stress or expectations from anyone else. It’s just good ol’ spooky fun!

What To Expect….

So, obviously you’ll be getting a new blog post EVERY SINGLE DAY through Halloween. Can you believe I started preparation for this challenge back in July?! Yes, while most people were basking in the sun at the beach [ me included], I also had spooky season heavily on my mind.

I understand posting everyday for a month will be a lot. And I really hope you don’t get sick of seeing my content on your feeds & social media. But I’m looking forward to immersing myself in the blogging community & all the content that is to come.

I also plan to stay intentional during this challenge & balance my time of social media & enjoying the fall season outside blogging. I plan to have at least one day where I catch up on reading other bloggers posts / return comments. This is a reminder to all bloggers who are participating in Blogtober to don’t forget self care & have balance. If you miss a day or feel overwhelmed, it’s ok to take breaks. This is all for fun!

Are you participating in Blogtober?

I’d love to know if any of you are going to participate in Blogtober this year. I’m looking forward to soaking up all the fall / Halloween content & supporting other bloggers in the community like always.

You Might Also Like: 31 Blog Post Ideas for Blogtober

See you all tomorrow for local ghost stories!

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Why I Only Use Social Media For Blogging

Creating social media platforms for my blog felt like I was going backwards. I was finally at a place in my life where I stopped prioritizing my “digital” persona & started to be more present in “real life”. But owning a blog & NOT having an online presence was like owning a store with the closed sign always on the entrance. I wasn’t going to get anywhere without it. 

    Let’s go back to 2016 for a second. This was the height of my “Instagram addiction”. And yes, I dramatically call it an addiction because I was always looking for the next best photo op. I was living for the photos instead of living in the moment. And honestly, looking back I wish I had closed my IG account sooner because those years between 2014 to 2016 were prime years of going out with friends & not having a care in the world. But all I prioritized was my outfits, makeup & whether I would get those group shots with friends so I would have something to post the next day. Because we all know we HAVE to prove to the world we have a life. 

    Social media platforms like Facebook & Instagram are so unhealthy. All it really did was fuel my FOMO & cause me to have low self esteem. When in reality a photo speaks 1,000 words & most of those words would be different from the reality of what went on that day. But regardless of the amount of times I told myself not to compare myself to others or feel left out of an outing I would have regretted going to, I would soak all those images in & start molding myself into those cookie cutter feeds. 

    So in 2016, I deleted my Instagram, Twitter & SnapChat. No more worrying about aesthetically pleasing feeds, ambiguous tweets & embarrassing videos from drunk night outs. I did choose to keep Facebook because I didn’t want my boomer family members to think I left the face of the Earth. I kid. 

     With the platforms I did keep, I just went through & did a proper digital declutter. And in previous blog posts, such as my Minimalism Guide to Digital Declutter, I can’t stress enough how important it is. My friends list was cut in half, removing those highschool acquaintances from my home town I never see & keeping only the ones I see regularly or truly want to keep in touch with. I removed or untagged myself from any embarrassing photos or statuses. Thank you timehop for the cringey reminders. And now I try to only post when I want to change my profile picture which is looking to be twice a year. 

     But when it came to my blogging “career”, I knew I had to be on social media to create a brand for myself. And unfortunately, old habits don’t quit because I went back to my addictive self with a snap of my fingers. I really felt ashamed of myself. I was so caught up in the numbers game & posting the best images & having the most perfect feed. There was no professionalism whatsoever. You live & you learn. It took me a few months to realize I needed to make a change. 

     So recently, I decided to think of my blog as a brand & what I wanted to showcase to the world. As a minimalist I want to teach other people the benefits of stepping away from social media more often & not putting so much pressure on your digital self. And for someone who uses these platforms to gain traffic to their blog, it’s definitely become a balancing act. 

 In my personal life, I don’t miss Instagram at all. If I want to share something with someone, I will text them. I no longer post those incredibly long birthday shout outs or even relationship devotions for the world to see. I actually have learned to enjoy keeping parts of my life private & a mystery. Who do I hangout with? How’s my relationship going? What am I doing with my life? You’ll never truly know through social media. And I kind of like it that way. Plus, my friendships are a lot more genuine now that I don’t reply on social media to maintain them.

  I only have 130 Facebook friends. I primarily follow bloggers & other creators on my blog Instagram. I block the accounts that are too toxic & don’t bring me joy as Marie Kondo would say. The majority of my photos on my camera roll haven’t been seen on social media. 

I’ve really grown as an individual. Treating my blogging Instagram & Twitter as a business & still keeping my life private is healthier for me. Recently, I decided to keep my feed professional with digitally made images, stock photos & a few photos of my day to day in a more artistic flair. I actually created a spreadsheet dedicated to my IG feed so I have more of a schedule & purpose to what I post. At the same time, I try not to worry too hard at maintaining any sort of perfectionism. I still want to be authentically me & still see it as a creative outlet. Not to mention, I’ve connected with so many like minded creative souls these past 7 or 8 months. And in rather isolating times, I’m grateful to have such technology at my fingertips. The bottom line is I don’t want social media to dictate how my life outside the digital space is going. Social media is only one very small side to the story.

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