4 ways to declutter your phone

I’m not great at riddles, but here’s one for ya before we tackle the 4 ways to declutter your phone.

What weighs a million pounds that you carry with you every day? … No, it’s not your purse that contains enough kids’ snacks and beverages to keep you alive for weeks…….. It’s YOUR PHONE!

Let’s get serious about decluttering your phone. Our smartphones are such cherished little tools that have grown on us and became an extension of ourselves anymore. Whether they represent a form of communication, life organizers, endless entertainment, memory keepers through pictures and videos, it’s worthwhile for everyone to digitally tidy up their phones. As much time as we spend on our phones, it’s nice to use my 4 simple ways to declutter your phone. Digital clutter can get in the way and impact our lives just like physical clutter. Clearing up our phones can also clear up our mental health. Whether it’s relaxing, decompressing, finding comfort, entertainment, or unfortunately trapping our minds, smartphones can sometimes get the best of us.  The world can easily become a competition with unrealistic ideals and misinterpretations of what our lives are meant to be through our phones.


I love what smartphones are capable of these days. From the comfort of the couch, you can order groceries online, stream music, video chat with friends and family, but it can also pose a serious danger of overuse. We carry around these beautiful (and expensive) devices to stay connected, capture the best moments with our kids, and broadcast on Snapchat our knowledge of every word to “Friends in Low Places” from the Garth Brooks concert! BUT have you ever reflected on how much you can accomplish using your phone, yet NOTHING AT ALL? They are almost like a thief of time.

When I unlock my phone to make a banking transfer to repay my mom for picking up something for me, it somehow has the squirrel effect of distractions. Whether it’s a notification alert from a social media platform (Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube) or browsing for some retail therapy.  An hour later, I’ve gotten nothing done and I still need to pay back my mama! It seems pretty pathetic when you stop and think about it.

We get sucked in. I get it! I’m guilty of it too. Smartphones are meant to make our lives easier, not more stressful. Taking simple steps to declutter the virtual mess from our phones will help free up some stress and frustration. Sometimes when I pick up my phone and look at it, it sparks stress rather than joy. Apple might be alerting me of my storage running out of space, reminders to reset my iCloud password, or looking at my apps being in an array of disorganization. It’s hard sometimes to get it through our heads that less is more, and 4 ways to declutter your phone can really give you so much more.

But how can we stay connected without feeling like we’re carrying around all this mental baggage?


You’re going to be shocked here…Defriend people on your social media accounts. (Didn’t see that one coming did ya?) Facebook clutter is known as someone whose friendship isn’t valued, and by unfriending them, it frees up space for new people and better situations to enter our lives. Odds are most of those “friends” you unfriend won’t even notice they are no longer part of your friend list. If the time comes and they notice they are not your friend, they may send you a friend request and you can revisit that decision at that time.

Don’t think you need to do this? Well visualize scrolling through your feed and seeing an old college “friend.” The first thought that comes to your mind was how fun they were at parties but was a total burnout sleaze bag.  Now on facebook, they seem to be having the “picture perfect” life. Does your gut tense up a bit? You feel all “judgey” and downright pissed. Guess what? Unfollow those people! You don’t have to defriend them if you truly keep in touch or talk from time to time, but if you haven’t spoken to them since a college party, ✔ gone! Simple mood boost! Win-win!

Here are 4 tips to help you get pitching!


1. Social Media defriending ideas to implement

    • Defriend Friday – on the first Friday of the month set up a reoccurring calendar notice and clean up those accounts!
    • Birthday reminders on Facebook – no longer keep in touch? Unfollow them on their birthday. I recently heard this one at a conference and got a big chuckle out of this. I mean, the complete opposite of a birthday gift right?! Don’t worry, they won’t be notified that you just recently crushed the long-lost friendship being broken on their birthday.


2. Turning off your notification settings!

    • This has been my savior! I don’t like seeing those red alerts tallying up like a game score. They make me feel anxious that I’m behind, or that I’m missing out on something. It also is another thing that is demanding my attention. UGH!

The top notifications that got turned off and have worked well for me:

  • Email: Anyone else receive 200 promo emails a day even though they’ve hit unsubscribe? Personal and work email notifications are off because e-mail is not an urgent alert. Everyone knows if they need to get ahold of me for an urgent matter they can call or text. Remove the noise and the red dot. Work email will get checked at work, or if I need to get in the app to send something off. The only apps that get a “ding” alert are my text messages and phone calls during “wake hours.” Everything else is turned off completely or limited notification. Turn off badge notifications with help from the Reader’s Digest Assistant Digital Managing Editor, Morgan Cutolo – also because I was too lazy to screenshot the steps…why recreate the wheel people?
  • Facebook: I don’t need to be notified every time someone comments on a post I have commented on. Nope. I’m going, to be honest with you…I don’t like Facebook. The people that are in my inner circle see pics of the girls and their big events. I don’t feel like the rest of the world needs to be notified of every post I make, and nor would they care about the regularly scheduled programming of the Kress house. However, Facebook community groups are more uplifting than most of my “feed” so I just go directly to one of those.

BONUS TIP: I’m also a big promotor of using the silence feature from 9p – 4a on any alerts, including calls and texts! In an emergency, the call will sound if the person trying to reach me has attempted a couple of times. The Amber Alerts and Weather Emergencies still alarm and jolt me out of bed, so safety is covered. Well, mostly.



3. Review your apps on your phone

    • Do you no longer crush candy? Delete the app! If you ever want it back, it’s saved on your iCloud. Try to make this a good 6-month habit. Somedays I’ll look at my phone and realize my kiddos must have downloaded some weird, random game they played once and realized it wasn’t what they thought it was! Go through that clutter a couple of times a year, so you can make sure unnecessary space is being taken up!


4. Pictures

    • Reviewing my pictures was a biggie for me. I’ve set up a reoccurring task in my email server to remind me to review the past month’s pictures. Anyone else take 3,000 shots of your kids being cute together in hopes one is good to put in a photobook someday when they graduate? Yeah. Review those babies and DELETE. Yes, DELETE those bad proofs you’ll never use. You will thank yourself when it comes time to make that photobook (which I loathe so if anyone loves making them, I will hire you to make Gracyn’s 1st yearbook that still is only an album in my Google Pics!) Bonus your phone storage just increased! Woot woot!

Our phones are great, but let’s work on running them and not letting them run us! Less clutter can help free up space, and to not be held back by old pasts or useless old content.

By decluttering your phone, you’ll feel free of the junk blocking you from being productive and keeping you from the life in front of your face happening in realtime. I hope you enjoyed these 4 ways to declutter your phone and give it a try! After some arranging of clutter, your phone will feel new again and operating it will be much easier and faster. Most importantly you’ll be spending less time on it, and enjoying life in the present.  These 4 ways to declutter your phone another item to add to your spring cleaning list!


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