The Best Digital Declutter: Gain Back Storage & Control!

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be sharing my tips and tricks for periodically doing a digital declutter. If you are anything like me, you feel much more relaxed and put together when your belongings are organized. A couple times a year I like to go through everything I own to figure out what I actually want and what I can live without. It is hard but I can let out a big sigh of relief when it is completed. So I figured why not do the same thing with my technology! We can’t get around the fact that most of us spend a good bit of time on our phones (and/or laptops). I’ve found that I like to treat my phone the way I’d treat my other possessions and declutter it – which is how I came up with this Digital Declutter. Not only does this allow me to get more storage back on my phone, but also become more organized. In turn, I end up spending less time on my phone because there is less to sort through with each use. Get comfy because my Digital Declutter has many steps! You can participate step by step or read through it in its entirety first and then give it a try! With all that being said, let’s get started! 

1. Go Through Apps

The first step in the Digital Declutter is to sort through my apps. I find that a lot of times I see an ad for an app or see my friends using them, so I download them to check them out. But then, if I don’t end up finding it necessary I just let it sit there. Very rarely do I delete an app after downloading it. So when I am going through my phone I go page by page, app by app to decide which I use regularly enough to keep. 

Organize Into Folders

Organization is key! I typically have three pages on my phone, the first page is a lot of the apps that came with my phone. The second page, my main page, is organized into different folders for categorizing my apps. Some examples are “Shopping,” “Blog,” “College,” etc. Certain apps I don’t like to have in folders or they don’t fit into a category. Those apps are scattered throughout my phone. For me, my phone is organized perfectly, but to someone else it may look like there is no rhyme or reason. The key to organizing is that it works for you! 

Take a look at some of the folders that I have created for my main page!

Check App Subscriptions

This is super important!! Automatic subscriptions are convenient, but dangerous. During this time, I like to click through apps that charge my account to decide whether or not the cost is worth it based on how much I use it. This step is entirely up to you, but as a college student I am trying to save money where I can!

2. Contacts

My contacts app isn’t one that I use on a regular basis but it is nice to have it organized. I don’t know about you, but I have so many random contacts saved from different events. If I’m being honest there are plenty of people I have saved that I know I am most likely not going to be in contact with. I like to go through and narrow down who I have and get rid of the ones I don’t need. It may be a little harsh, but it is the truth! I also like to add some key words to peoples’ names so I know the association. For example I might put “from Duquesne” at the end of somebody’s name so I don’t confuse them with someone from work. It’s the little things that help to keep me more organized. 

3. Photos

I will fully admit that I am a photo and video hoarder! This step takes me a LONG time, but I go through all of my pictures to get rid of ones I don’t want, need, or have duplicates of. I usually go through the screenshot folder, the video folder, and then my entire library. It helps me a lot to go through the screenshot folder first because I have SO many useless screenshots that I don’t delete after I send them to somebody else. Another part of my photos that I go through are my albums. I make a lot of albums for temporary uses and then I never get rid of them (that seems to be a big theme for me)! I like to keep the amount of folders I have to a minimum so when I open up my photos it isn’t too cluttered. 

4. Notes

The notes app is a life saver for me and very easy to quickly sort. There isn’t much to say about this other than I like to take the time to delete notes that I don’t need anymore. This way it is much easier to find the notes that are important to quickly have access to!

5. Emails

Tied with the photos app for most time consuming, my email is my most dreaded app in the Digital Declutter. I get so many emails everyday that I rarely open. When I do this Digital Declutter I go through and delete SO many unopened emails. A quick tip for deleting emails more efficiently in the app is to go to the search bar in your inbox. Then click unread messages and from there type in keywords or people. That filters the results and you can get rid of big groups of emails at a time from one sender very quickly!

This displays how I filter through my email to quickly find what to delete

But deleting isn’t the most important step in my opinion. I think it is more important to take a look at who is sending the emails that I am deleting the most. This is when I go through and unsubscribe to so many different email lists! I like doing this for a lot of reasons. Most of my emails are from different stores promoting their products and sales. By removing myself from the email list, I am removing the temptation to online shop. There are still some email lists that I am loyal to, but a lot of them I get rid of because I was only receiving them because of one time purchases.

6. Safari

This tip is quick, easy, and self-explanatory. I open new tabs all the time rather than using the same one. So during the Digital Declutter I go through and delete tabs that I don’t use/need. I also usually delete my history to clear up storage. But just a warning, sometimes when I delete my history it gets rid of all my tabs, so if you have important ones open maybe bookmark them, just in case this happens to you!

7. Social Media/Notifications – A Digital Declutter Must!

My favorite part of the Digital Declutter is to go through my socials. I take the time to unfollow or mute people/accounts that are negative or I no longer enjoy following. This makes my timelines much more refreshing and it removes anything I don’t want to see. You should only follow pages that you enjoy, like Life with a Pop 🙂 

I also go into my settings and make sure my notification preferences are set to what I want. I don’t really like getting many notifications for most of my apps because I don’t like the distraction. Again, this is totally up to you, but I have found I am checking my phone less now that I am not constantly getting notifications.

The Digital Declutter is completed!

We have come to the end of the Digital Declutter! Thanks for taking the time to read this, I hope you liked it and found it helpful. If you give it a try, let me know how you liked it. Also let me know in the comments steps/tricks you use to organize your technology! As always, please share this post so we can grow the Life with a Pop community. Don’t forget to follow along with my life on my social media and subscribe to my email list on the sidebar. PS: I don’t send emails everyday, so this won’t be one you’ll want to unsubscribe from 🙂 Thanks again for reading and I’ll talk to you in the next post!

(3) Comments

  1. Elizabeth Holly says:

    This is great information! I definitely need to do a lot of these because clutter is overwhelming.
    I have about 8 emails and need to go through my main ones as they are so backed up.
    Awesome tips here, I will be using some of these. Thanks

    1. Lizzie says:

      I’m glad you like the tips! I hope you find them helpful!

  2. I am also a photo hoarder and have to force myself to sit down and go through them every now and then. I can usually get rid of a TON of photos just by going through and removing all duplicates, keeping only the money shot that I had been trying for all along lol

Let me know your thoughts!