Clear Your Clutter: iPhone Edition

One of the really cool things about being the “organized” friend is that friends are always coming to you for advice.  While this might seem annoying to most, I actually really like the challenge.  My friends are usually the ones that spark organizing ideas for me since they put areas in front of me that I usually wouldn’t even think about.  One of those ideas?  Cell phone clutter.  One of my good friends recently asked me for advice on how to talk her husband into decluttering his cell phone.  This is something I haven’t approached before because I’m one of those people that is driven insane by the little red notification icon, so I’m constantly decluttering my phone.  This forced me to evaluate my everyday habits and see how I’d explain them to someone else.  Here are few tips:

First Time Clear-Out

#1 First and foremost, look at your apps.  Those are the first things you see when you open your phone.  Clearing out the ones that aren’t used immediately gives you a sense of accomplishment that will inspire you to keep going.  It’s a mental game, ya know?

  • Scroll through all of your apps and really take into account which ones you use and which ones you don’t. 
    • If you live in Austin, don’t travel much, and have the Uber app, go ahead and delete it.  We can’t use it here anyway.  All of your information is still saved in their system, so you can just re-download it on your next trip to San Francisco (obviously speaking from experience.)
    • Do you have multiple photo editing apps?  Do you really use all of them?  Delete the duplicates.

#2 Organize your apps into folders.  Some people (ehem, my husband) hate the thought of using the iPhone folders.  I will never understand this.  They’re SO nice for categorizing to make things easier to find.  Group like apps into folders to keep them together.  Possible folder categories:

  • Photography – Camera app, Photos app, VSCO, Snapseed, Boomerang
  • Navigation – Maps app, Waze, ridesharing apps
  • Music – Pandora, Spotify, Music, Shazam
  • Financial – bank apps, credit card apps, GoFundMe, budgeting apps
  • Tools – Calculator, Voice Memos, Compass
  • Work – Outlook, LinkedIn, Starbucks (I have this in work because I use it to by coffee for work), Square, Gmail
  • Home – Nest, Nextdoor, Realtor, Home, alarm apps
  • Travel – Southwest, airline apps, ridesharing apps, Yelp
  • Food – OpenTable, UberEats, Favor, restaurant apps
  • Entertainment – YouTube, Pinterest, Audible, Podcasts, HBONow, games
  • Social – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat
  • Don’t Use (these are the apps that you want to delete, but can’t/don’t) – Find iPhone, Find Friends, Wallet

#3 Go into each app, and clear out unwanted content. 

  • Go through your photos!  Delete duplicates, accidental photos, unflattering photos, old photos of things you might not care to remember, etc. 
  • Go through old reminders/tasks and delete things you’ve accomplished. 
  • And for the Good Lord’s sake… DELETE YOUR EMAILS.  This doesn’t even have to be done on your phone if it’s easier for you to do it on your computer.  Unsubscribe from emails you never open or don’t want anymore.  Create folders to move those that you need to save into.  Respond to those that warrant responses.  Get that red icon out of here!

Regular Maintenance

#1 Set up push notifications to notify you of emails.  As you receive these notifications, delete what can be deleted.  Unsubscribe as you receive unnecessary emails.

#2 Delete pictures as you take them and only keep the ones you’re happy with.

#3 Go into your Message Settings and get your phone to periodically delete text messages.  I have mine set to 30 days.  Messages take up SO MUCH SPACE on your phone.  This helps keep things current and clear.  Yes, you’re going to eventually lose your meme conversation with your best friend, but you’ll probably live.

#4 Don’t download apps unless you really need them!

#5 Delete voicemails as you listen to them.  I keep a few – from my grandma because they’re precious, from my cousin because they’re hilarious, and from my husband (one) because it’s adorable.  Other than that, you don’t need them!

Now, get going to try this out!  You can apply the same method to your iPad, and it’s probably pretty accurate for an Android, too.  Have questions about how I’d organize a particular portion?  Leave me a comment!