Day 28 – Phone | 31 Days of Decluttering

Hello friends! 

Oh, the phone... It's basically a mini computer and should be treated that way. Just like we did with our PCs and laptops on day 26 we will declutter our phones today.

With 97% of adults owning a phone, 53% of those being smart phones, and 29% saying their cell phone is the one thing they can't live without, it's safe to say that our phones play a major part in our lives – and that we need to take care of this part. Let's do this!

The Goal

  • an organized, efficient phone
  • increased productivity
  • more memory space 
  • faster operating phone
  • having what's relevant near at hand

Guiding Questions

What do I mainly use my phone for?
Which apps do I use regularly?
Which apps inspire me?
Which annoy / consume me?
Are there too many documents on there?
When was the last time I emptied out my download folder?
Are there any songs I no longer like to listen to?

Working Steps

1. Backup

Decluttering your phone includes:
downloaded documents

But before you start deleting anything, make sure to first back up your valuable files like photos and videos on your computer, just in case you accidentally delete more than you wanted.

2. Go through your guiding questions

Which items absolutely need to be on your phone? Which apps do you barely ever use? Which make you feel good about yourself? Which make you feel bad about yourself? Do you really need 20 selfies that look more or less the same, or can you reduce them to two or three?

3. Declutter

Before we start decluttering, identify your main use for your phone (business, entertainment, taking photos, messaging) and prioritize accordingly.

First, declutter your homescreen. Only keep the apps you use on a daily basis on your homescreen. Push the rest of your apps to secondary pages. My homescreen now only has apps that I use regularly for practical purposes: phone, text messaging, email, telegram, browser, and dictionary. Camera, music, notes, and navigator are on the secondary screen. 

  • duplicates
  • apps you don't use
  • apps that don't inspire you, or don't provide any value
  • music you don't listen to any more *
  • photos you don't need on your phone *
  • old PDFs you no longer need or like (e.g. travel documents of past journeys, a workout session, an essay for a seminar)
  • contacts of people you don't (want to) keep in touch with any more
  • old phone numbers of relevant contacts
  • old or irrelevant emails

* Remember: this isn't a final decision. You can still re-download anything from your computer.

Turn off useless push notifications that only annoy you.

Consider using a streaming service to listen to music without cluttering your phone with more files.

4. Organize & backup again

Now that you know what to keep, you can save a new backup to your computer, external hard drive or to a cloud service, and delete the old one. After backing up I usually delete all the photos from my phone (except my all-time favourites of my boyfriend, my family and best friends) to start fresh.

Organize your apps! Group them into folders such as: social media, fitness, photography, entertainment, travel etc. 

Archive emails that are still important (such as current booking confirmations, phone bills etc). Sort those in specific folders, such as: university, bills, travel, newsletter etc. Make it a habit to keep the inbox clean. So when ever you get an email, either take action immediately, or put them in a folder based on priority to get to when you have more time.

To complete the cleanse don't forget to clean the exterior of your device, too. Simply make a solution of half vinegar and half water. Dampen a cloth with the solution and wipe down your phone and phone case.

5. Celebrate

Only three more days to go! To celebrate today's success, I challenge you to keep at least one meal "phone free" today, and leave your phone outside your bedroom when you go to bed tonight. Sleep tight :*