As the internal storage of your average smartphone continues to expand, a new problem has emerged for the mobile user. A phone can quickly become cluttered and disorganized thanks to all those apps, pictures, games and other miscellaneous files. Eventually, finding essential information when you need it can be a hassle.
Worse, your phone’s performance can slow to a crawl as you reach the internal storage capacity limit. Managing your files is an essential part of phone maintenance, just like using an iPhone 14 case or screen protector to prevent physical damage. Before rushing out to get a new phone, try the following methods to declutter your mobile device.
How To Digitally Organize
When it comes to organization, most people think of their physical environment. Clearing spaces, such as an office desk, can revitalize your motivation to work or study. In the same vein, cleaning out a digital space, such as your phone’s home screen and app section, will also give you a sense of satisfaction.
Tip 1. Hide Apps You Rarely Use
When you first install an app, most default to automatically taking up a spot on one of your home screens. This is fine for services you use daily, but software that is only used sparingly, such as an airline app, can safely be removed from your main app screens. Keep in mind that you can still find the app by going to your dedicated apps section and searching for it.
Tip 2. Delete Apps You Never Use
It is easy to download something when you’re bored, then completely forget the app once installed. Games and other gimmicky apps should be completely removed from your phone if you never use them. This saves precious space and protects you from most apps that harvest your personal data. Do not let companies profit from your info when you’re not engaging with their products.
Tip 3. Use Cloud Storage and Streaming Services
Your myriad photos can be safely stored on the cloud and accessed anytime. Small files will upload and download efficiently. Consider transferring your old photo albums to a cloud network at least once a year. Most cloud services give a few GB of storage for free, which is more than enough to house most photo galleries. A similar strategy involves streaming files instead of downloading them. Use music services, such as Spotify or Pandora, instead of storing songs natively. Films, TV shows and some video games are also fully streamable. That way, the only thing taking up space on your phone is the streaming apps themselves.
Tip 4. Store Photos and Other Sensitive Materials on an SD Card
You might want instant access to some very large files but don’t have room on your phone. In these cases, the old-fashioned method of storing your information on an SD card will work wonders. Ensure your phone has an SD slot before picking up a card. If your device is compatible, you can easily acquire a card with more capacity than your phone’s internal storage. Once the card is inside your phone, open the file management system for your phone and drag files over to the SD directory.
Tip 5. Organize Your Home Screen/Dock With Priority Apps
Take stock of which apps you use most often and ensure they are front and center when you turn on your iPhone or Android device. You can hold down any app icon and drag it around the screen to place it wherever you desire. Common software like web browsers and social media apps should be put first. If you use an app less often, move it farther down or remove it from the home screen entirely.
Tip 6. Organize Apps Into Folders
Each app on your phone can be placed into a category folder that describes the utility it provides or the tasks it helps accomplish. For instance, you can organize all social media and communication apps into one section. Your productivity apps can be in another, while your games are separate from everything else. Not only does this make things easier to find, but you will also be less tempted by entertainment while trying to work or study. Likewise, when you sit down to relax with some fun software, your productivity apps will not be staring at you, making you feel guilty for procrastinating.
Tip 7. Clear Out Old Messages and Contacts
Text messages, voicemail recordings, and contact information will stay on your phone forever if you don’t clean them up. You likely have tons of old contacts and message threads that were carried over from previous phones. If you are no longer communicating along those channels, delete the old profiles to make room for the next chapter of your life.
Tip 8. Declutter the Appearance of Your Phone
Now that the software side of things has been cleaned up, you may still be motivated to spruce up your device. One way to do so is with a transparent phone case. You can get a see-through iPhone case or one that is compatible with Android devices. Having a clear view of your phone’s external shell is a great change of pace after carrying around a bulky cover for months.
A Peaceful, Productive Life
A lot has been written about the benefits of decluttering your physical space. The same goes for decluttering your digital life, including your mobile device. With these tips, you’ll be able to enjoy a more peaceful and productive life.