Kondo Mania - Digital decluttering made easy
TL:DR: ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’ took the world by storm with its easy-to-follow framework for getting rid of clutter. We found it interesting, and bring you four tech tips and four digital initiatives that could help “spark joy” in your lives.
Let’s face it, mess is everywhere. It could be in our homes, our workplaces, even in our interactions with people—messiness is something that everyone encounters, but not everyone knows how best deal with it.
Enter Marie Kondo—organising guru from Japan—whose television series hit Netflix in January 2019, giving viewers a simple and structured ‘manual’ for tidying up. Like a spark that lit a wildfire, she got people clearing out their clutter and finding happiness amidst the chore.
At GovTech, we’ve got some ideas on how the KonMari method can reduce clutter and “spark joy” in citizens’ lives as well. Here are some steps to help you click, tap and swipe your way to happiness.
1. Purge with a purpose
At the start of each episode of the Netflix series, Kondo asks homeowners why they want to tidy up at that specific moment in their lives. Similarly, by being aware of your intentions and objectives, you can find the motivation for digital decluttering.
For example, you may want to spend more time having meaningful conversations with your loved ones, and that could mean switching off the mobile phone at the dinner table, deleting some of your mobile games, or spending less time scrolling mindlessly on social media pages. Putting a purpose behind your actions will help you better balance your real and digital lives.
2. Categorise and conquer
Have you ever wanted to find an app on your mobile phone but ended up wading through the murky depths of the app drawer? Like physical clutter, digital clutter can slow us down when we want to get something done efficiently.
To make things easier to locate, create folders to organise your mobile apps based on categories. You could have a ‘Social Media’ folder for Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, a ‘Games’ folder for PUBG and Mobile Legends and so on.
3. Offload to the cloud
Admittedly, there are times when nostalgia, or a fear of needing something in the future, could prevent you from deleting documents, photos, videos or audio files. If, try as you may, you’re still unable to reduce the amount of digital baggage you carry around, you can turn to cloud storage as a last resort.
Like a new chest of drawers, online platforms such as Google Drive, Microsoft’s OneDrive or Dropbox give you some leeway to hoard stuff. Having said this, cloud storage that is poorly organised is as useful as a trash heap, so remember to categorise and sort things properly online too!
4. Managing e-waste like a boss
Speaking of offload, it’s amazing how many gadgets we have these days. Perhaps it’s good to get it under control before we get the kind of mountain that we don’t need. Initiatives like the StarHub RENEW programme or the Punggol Eco-Drive allow us to drop off malfunctioning electronic or electrical items that can fit through a deposit slot. Or consider donating to collection centres if it’s working condition, so it goes to a good cause.
Besides digital decluttering, we recommend decluttering life with digital tools as well. Here are some Smart Nation products to help you get things done more quickly, with less hassle.
Does filling in forms spark joy? Probably not. Now, with MyInfo — a government-verified personal data platform — you no longer need to manually key in your personal information when applying for government digital services or certain private sector services. Simply consent and the relevant information such as your identification number and contact details will be automatically added to online documents and shared with the service provider.
If you still have a stash of parking coupons in your car, take them out, hold them in your hands, thank them for their service, then download the Parking.sg mobile app. Unlike the parking coupon system which was implemented in Singapore in 1980, the Parking.sg mobile app allows drivers to extend their parking sessions without having to return to their vehicles, even making it possible for refunds in the event they overestimate their parking duration. Having said that, don’t throw those parking coupons away just yet; they are still accepted in carparks around Singapore.
3. OneService App
The KonMari method advocates having empathy for objects and places, a principle embodied by the OneService mobile app. If a fallen tree is obstructing a road, or an elevator is not working, citizens can ‘empathise’ and help restore places and objects to their normal, functioning state by notifying municipal authorities via the app, which automatically routes issues to the relevant agencies for follow up.
4. Moments of Life
In ‘Tidying Up with Marie Kondo’, decluttering is depicted as having a transformative effect on human relationships, where people are freed up to focus on the things that really matter to them. In the same vein, the Moments of Life approach to delivering government digital services aims to streamline interactions between the government, citizens and businesses so that they can achieve their goals and aspirations with minimal friction or frustration.