Three ways to ‘spring’ clean your phone

It’s that time of year for some spring cleaning. Many immediately think of decluttering a closet or cleaning out a room in the house, but what about clearing out the thing we use the most… Our phones.

On average, Americans spend about five to six hours a day on their phones and devices.

“So this is a space where whether you like it or not, you’re hanging out a lot,” said Colleen Hayes, the CEO of Prezence. “And it can impact you over time.”

Hayes is the founder of Prezence, a well-being company that offers practical ways to feel more engaged and mindful. She says if your phone is crowded with apps, jam-packed with photos, and overrun with old texts, it’s time to de-clutter your device.

“Think about walking into a super crowded, messy space, it’s overwhelming,” said Hayes. “And if your phone is reflective of that type of energy, that crowded messy energy, it can start to impact how you feel every time you’re interacting with your devices.”

Hayes says your phone can add extra stress to your life if it’s not set up to best suit you. But you can change that by doing a digital spring cleaning.

“Start with apps because they take up the most real estate on our devices,” said Hayes.

Hayes suggests deleting apps you don’t use and then organizing similar ones into folders. This helps you know where to find them and also keeps your home screen looking neat and tidy.

That lends itself to rearranging your apps.

“If you are trying to build a new habit, or if you’re trying to exercise every day, or if you’re trying to answer emails, first thing in the morning, putting those things on your first screen will help you hold yourself accountable,” said Hayes.

The next tip is to delete old photos.

“So nowadays, people are taking 5 to 10 to 15 photos in one frame when we’re really just intending to capture one moment,” said Hayes. “If you have that one moment, tap the favorite button and put it into your favorite folders. And then delete the others that you took.”

Marketing texts and old voicemails take up a lot of space. Hayes says those are quick and easy to get rid of.

Trying clean out your phone all at once can be overwhelming, that’s why Hayes recommends doing a little at a time.

“Going to clean your entire house all at once is not a good idea,” said Hayes. “And it’s probably never going to get finished. So start with one room at a time. Be gentle with yourself, be easy with yourself, and setting a timer can help you have that boundary of time that you want to work within.”

Another way to give your phone a fresh look is to change the home and lock screen. A bright picture can cheer up your mood.