Inside: Use these tips to declutter your phone to help you have a more organized life. Decluttering your phone can help you waste less time and have fewer distractions.

When we think about clutter, most of us think about the stuff around our house. The mail piled up on the counter, too-full closets, junk drawers, and other things that are taking up space without being particularly useful.

We’re so focused on physical clutter that we totally overlook one of the biggest clutter culprits in our lives – our cell phones.

Think about it. When was the last time you deleted an app? Backed up your photos? Purged your old voicemails? Chances are, it’s been a little while.

Even though your phone might be working just fine with all of that clutter, it’s a good idea to declutter your phone every once in a while. And if you aren’t quite sure how to do that? I’ve got you covered. 

In this article, you’ll learn why decluttering your phone is actually beneficial – for your device, and for your wellbeing – as well as some actionable tips you can use today to declutter your device.

declutter phone

Why should I declutter my phone?

Most people don’t ever think about decluttering their phones.

After all, your phone probably works just fine even with all of that digital clutter. You can still make calls, receive texts, post pictures to social media, and get the latest news. 

But there are a few really compelling reasons to clear out that digital clutter every once in a while.

1. Improves functionality

First, your device might work better. The more stuff you’ve saved to your phone, the more memory you’re using up.

And when you use up all of the memory on your device – or most of it – you might find your phone moving sluggishly. If videos are taking longer than usual to load, you’re finding your device stuck on random screens, or notice lag when you’re trying to load an app, you might need to declutter your phone to keep it functional.

phone apps

But that isn’t the only benefit to decluttering your device. Decluttering your phone will make it easier for you to use – even if it doesn’t necessarily make it work faster.

2. Saves time

Digital clutter wastes your time. When you have too much information to sort through you can easily forget what you’re doing or waste time looking for something.

Think about all of the apps you’ve downloaded that you never use. If you’re swiping through three or four screens filled with app icons to find the one you need – and passing by icons that you haven’t clicked in months – do yourself a favor and delete those apps.

Decluttering your phone can help you optimize your device and make it easier for you to use which saves you time from needless additional scrolling.

3. Reduces distractions & mental clutter

Ever pick up your phone and start clicking around on various apps without any real reason or purpose? Decluttering your phone can help to reduce your distractions so that you’re more intentional with how you use it.

Another real benefit of decluttering is one that, for most, is subconscious. Believe it or not, the amount of clutter in your life can directly impact your mood and affect your ability to think clearly.

Having to work around clutter – digital or physical – is tough and requires an extra level of effort. 

If you’ve been feeling a little overwhelmed but can’t quite pinpoint why, the clutter in your life – including the clutter on your cell phone – could be the culprit. 

declutter phone

7 Simple Steps to Declutter Your Phone

Ready to declutter your mobile device? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these simple tips, and you’ll be well on your way to a clutter-free device. 

1. Clean up any pictures saved to your device.

Hopefully, your phone is automatically syncing and saving your pictures and videos to the cloud. Saving images to your device without backing them up regularly is a risky move. If you lost your phone, or something broke, you could lose them forever.

If you don’t already have automatic backup functionality, take a moment to set it up. Then, once you know your photos and videos are safely saved to the cloud (and if you want to be extra cautious, also to a hard drive), delete them from your physical device.

You might be surprised to see just how much memory you’ve freed up. 

2. Delete any apps you don’t use.

We’re all guilty of having apps on our phones that don’t get much – if any – actual use. Our phones come pre-loaded with tons of apps most of us never touch.

And since all it takes is the click of a button to download a new app to your device, most of us have accumulated quite a few since we first started using our phones.

Take a few minutes and delete any apps you don’t use from your phone. Don’t be too careful here. If you delete an app that you eventually decide you need, all it takes is a tap on the screen to download it again. 

Unfortunately, you may not have the option to delete certain apps that came preloaded on your phone. Most devices will at least let you remove the shortcut or put them in a folder so that they don’t clutter up your home screen.

declutter phone

3. Organize the apps you do use. 

Once you’ve scrubbed your device of all those unwanted apps, take a look at the ones that remain and see how you can organize them. Don’t force yourself to swipe endlessly looking for that one app, or struggling to remember how to find it. 

Consider pulling apps you use most often to your home screen so they’re easily accessible. Organize others into folders, grouping them by type or function so you can quickly and intuitively find what you need. 

If you’d rather have them on there alphabetically because that makes the most sense to you, that’s fine too. The key is to organize in a way that is logical to you to save you time and clear clutter.

4. Delete old, unneeded voicemails.

If you’ve never deleted your voicemails, you might be shocked to see just how many you have saved on your phone. Those voicemails are taking up valuable memory space – and contributing to clutter that you just don’t need.

Save any voicemails that you need to preserve for the future. Then, start deleting – and don’t stop until your voicemail box is at zero. And once it’s there, try to keep it that way! 

5. Minimize your notifications.

Many of the apps you install come with pre-configured notification settings. Those apps want you to use them constantly – so they’re set up to ping you about every single notification or non-event.

Spend some time exploring the notification settings on your device and disable any notifications you truly don’t need. Your phone will be a lot quieter – and that’s a really good thing. 

Minimizing notifications will help you to reduce distractions in your life. It will also help you to be more intentional with paying attention to people (as well as work) instead of constantly being distracted by every ding your phone makes.

woman looking at cellphone

6. Clean up your contacts.

When was the last time you really looked at the contacts list on your phone?

You’ve probably got all kinds of numbers saved there that you don’t need at all. From old colleagues and former friends to that guy you went on a date with once, it’s a treasure trove of old memories – and a lot of information you really don’t need anymore.

Take a minute and delete any numbers you know you won’t need again. 

7. Delete your old downloads.

If you’ve ever opened up a PDF menu on your phone, chances are it didn’t just open that file – it saved it somewhere on your device. If you can find your downloads folder, you’ll find all kinds of interesting files you needed once – and never used again.

Finding the downloads folder is a bit different for every device, so do a quick Google search to see how to access yours. Then, go on a deleting spree and clear out those unneeded files. 

How has decluttering your phone helped you? Leave a comment and let me know!

I hope these seven simple steps to declutter your phone has helped motivate you to clear the clutter from your device. You might be surprised at what a difference it makes!

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  1. Okay article, gives good starting points, but it would be helpful to give direction on how to do these things. I have several senior friends that wouldn’t know where to begin doing such tasks. Not every person that has an iPhone or even a new model android is completely tech savvy. Several just have them to keep up with the times or because they were pressured from friends and family, and when they ask for family help, said family has no time for them. So if you can post a follow-up on how to’s that would be a plus for your site.

    1. Thanks for your feedback, Debbie. Unfortunately, it is pretty challenging to show specific how-to’s for each of the steps as it varies by the type of phone. They’d get better results from Googling how to do each task for the model phone they have so that can see instructions and directions specific to their device.

  2. It was good at first it was so laggy but when I tried out your thing it was like I had a whole new phone

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