Best tips on how to declutter your smartphone?

Our smartphone is something that we use on daily basis. Either for taking photos, shooting videos, calls, texts, emails & whatnot. Nowadays, it’s an integral part of our lives. I won’t be exaggerating much if, for most of us, a smartphone is the first thing that we see after waking up. But have you ever felt that it is a mess & less organized to a point that you need to declutter your smartphone?

Because I am sure you don’t want to see a messed-up home screen, every time you unlock your device or get distracted by useless notifications, popping from apps that you don’t even recognize. Well, if you are in this situation & you really want to get things organized, then you are definitely in the right place. I have been in the same situation for quite a long time. So I went through this process of decluttering my smartphone & surprisingly, it went pretty well. Now I am much more productive, and less distracted by useless notifications while saving some space on my smartphone.

Here is how you can declutter your smartphone by following a few simple things regularly.

1- Remove Unwanted/Useless Apps

I love to test apps so that later I can post a detailed comparison of these apps on this blog. But by doing so I do leave a lot of apps on my phone that I am never gonna use again. And I believe each one of us has a couple of apps that they will never use again. So the easiest way to start the decluttering process is by looking for such apps & uninstall them right away. If it’s hard for you to find, which app you should be uninstalling? Start with uninstalling those apps you haven’t used in the last 3-6 months. 3-6 months is enough time to judge the importance of an app in your life.

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Also, sometimes you might come across actually useful apps, but you haven’t got time to invest in exploring such apps. And now that you know, you have to, you can keep such apps in front of your eye, by placing them on the main home screen.

2- Turn Off Unwanted Notifications

Suppose you are working on something important & you get a notification on your smartphone. You thought it might be a text from your loved ones, so you went ahead to pick up your phone just to find out it was a notification from a shopping app. I don’t know about you but for me, it’s the epitome of distraction. Now it will take some time for me to get back to what I was working on.

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But don’t worry, if you face a similar situation regularly & get distracted by these notifications. The easiest way to do that is by turning off notifications that you believe are useless & you really don’t need to get notified for. You can either do this by turning off notifications of those apps from the notification settings option or by interacting with the notification directly. (Usually long pressing the notification will get you into it, where you can disable/turn it off completely) Both Android & iOS has native feature inside Settings to help you with notifications management.

3- Delete Unwanted Media Files

Have you ever seen how many selfies have you taken, just to capture that perfect pout? Or how many WhatsApp videos, gifs, or images, your phone has that you are not gonna need ever in your life? Surprisingly, most of us really don’t bother much about such things & later cry about our phones being slow or showing low storage warnings.

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If you don’t then you really should bother about this. Do a regular cleanup, once in a while deleting every media that’s as useless as it can be. If finding & deleting such files is a hectic task for you then you can use apps like SD Maid or Unseen Gallery to delete them. They will help in curating everything together so that you delete such files manually.

You can also disable Auto-media downloads on your instant messaging apps. Remove yourself from useless IM groups as most of the time they are sources of such unwanted media files. By doing this, you can not only get close to what really matters on your phone but also will get some extra space to add more useful apps & files.

4- Hide/Uninstall Addictive, but Unproductive Apps

Out of everything, this was one of the most challenging things to do. To actually find which apps you are addicted to, but they aren’t adding value to your life. These kinds of apps do waste a lot of your time & you will not even realize that. But as the experts say, to get rid of one addiction, you have to get addicted to another. Following that approach, you can actually get rid of all the unproductive apps by switching to apps that are actually productive & providing some value. In this way, you will spend less time on your phone & get more out of everything else that matters.

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A simple tip that you can follow is that, make a list of apps that you use regularly or can’t live without. Prioritize them based on the value they are providing & then get rid of unproductive apps one by one while going through this process.

5- Organize your Homescreen with Productive Apps

Imagine yourself in a situation, where you are coming back home from vacation & the first thing you see is a messed-up room in front of you. How dreadful does it sound? It’s an instant turn-off. Similarly, Our smartphone’s home screen is the first thing that we see after we unlock our phone every time. If that is messy for some reason, then it will definitely affect you. It’s always better to keep your home screen tidy, with apps & widgets that you really need to use regularly. Keep your home screen off of addictive apps. The easier you can find them will intrigue you to open them. You can also look for minimal home-screen setups tutorials on YouTube to get an idea of how you can achieve this. (only for advanced users)

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If you are an Android user, just keep everything inside your app drawer. If you are an iOS user, then define each home screen for a certain group of apps; like essential apps on the default home screen & throw apps that you are addicted to, in the deepest & darkest place on your phone. (Just don’t let such apps easily get in front of you)

6- Track Your Smartphone usage

So now you have done everything to declutter your smartphone. You need to make sure that this stays the same until the point of decluttering becomes a part of your lifestyle. To help you with this, you can actually use some of the apps on the AppStore/PlayStore, that can track the way you use your smartphones. (One such app is YourHour for Android) These apps can give you insights into, how you are using your smartphone & what apps you are spending your precious time on. You can examine every then & now, to ensure that your phone stays decluttered & you are actually following the whole process efficiently. These apps will also help you in setting a daily goal so that you can limit the amount of time you are spending on your phone on daily basis.

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Wrapping up: how to declutter your smartphone?

Decluttering your smartphone can be a lengthy process, based on how messy your phone is. But you can achieve this by doing one thing at a time. Nevertheless, it’s never too difficult to declutter your smartphone. While I was in the process of decluttering my smartphone, I really enjoyed the fact that I am filtering out things that I don’t need on my phone. And doing this regularly does help me focus on what really matters.

I hope by following this, you can achieve the same & as a result, get a more organized phone, just like your life.

How did you declutter your smartphone? Do share your experience via a comment.
Good day.


About the author

Anubhav Bhatnagar
Anubhav Bhatnagar
Your friendly neighbor who likes to spend most of his time learning and sharing what he has learned with everyone. A nerd who loves observing, exploring, and critiquing. He fancies good design, and it trying to find his way somewhere in between minimalism and essentialism. You can connect with him @AnooBav on all social platforms.


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