The change of seasons brings with it a natural opportunity to clean things up. As we rearrange our gear from cold season to warm, it’s easy to purge and organize. If I didn’t like something last year, I’m no longer attached. Away it goes.
But… What spurs us to clean off our devices? If you are like me, your device is a cluttered mess. All the apps you downloaded and never used. Music you haven’t listened to in years. Photos from six months ago (or longer). Other than my Camera Roll, I haven’t really ever cleaned things up since I started using the iPhone in 2012. I keep the home page organized, and page two after that. The rest? A disaster.
So this week, when my iPhone failed to update to latest version of iOS normally, I decided to not fight any longer to get it restored to its pre-update condition. After my lessons the last time this happened, my contacts were backed up. All of my photos were already archived on my computer or Dropbox. Resetting the device was a great opportunity to start from scratch and clean things up.
It took a little bit of time, but now, I only have the apps I actually use on my iPhone. Not only that, they are nicely organized into folders and I can find them. My camera roll is clear and ready for new photos. My podcasts and music are downloaded and ready to listen to. My wallpaper backgrounds have been changed, which is surprisingly refreshing. The whole device feels clean and fresh.
Have you cleaned off your device lately? If not, here are some suggestions:
- Delete any apps you don’t use regularly. You can always download them again if you find you need them. I kept anything I use all the time, or have used in the last year in specific circumstances (like travel apps). I didn’t keep photo editing apps I rarely use or want to try out — those can stay on my iPad since I do most of my editing there. Only the apps I know I will use stayed.
- Organize less-used apps into folders. There are apps you use all the time and want available to open with one tap, and then there are the apps you use once in awhile, where a couple of taps to navigate a folder won’t hurt. I find it easier to navigate and find apps with fewer pages on the device with more organized folders, than pages and pages of apps. Keep most used apps on the home page where you can easily get to them with a click of the home button, and move the rest to a secondary page.
- Clear off your camera roll. Haven’t cleaned your photos off lately? Can you find anything? Archive and delete old photos to lighten the load. It makes it easier to find things! Your photo apps run better, too. Learn how to archive and delete here. Are there special photos you want to keep on your device? Learn how to create permanent albums here.
- Change your wallpaper. It seems simple, but if you’ve had the same wallpaper for over a year, you might find this visually refreshing. For background wallpaper, something subtle with open area works well so it doesn’t distract from your app icons. For the lock screen, the image can be busier as long as you can read the date and time easily. Experiment! The iPhone changes color scheme depending on the background photo, so it’s a nice way to “redecorate.”
- Update your notification settings. One of the biggest ways to clutter up the device visually is with notification badges. Not to mention it makes you feel like you are behind on everything! I’ve recently gone through and turned off badges for almost everything except phone and messaging. Lock screen notifications are limited to a few apps I want to hear from. Do I really need to know everytime I get a new email or someone likes a photo on Instagram? No! I’ll check in with the apps when I have time. I don’t need them nagging me.
There is nothing like a fresh, clean, organized room or closet or cabinet, is there? It’s the same with your digital spaces. Take a few minutes here or there to spring clean. If you do, I guarantee you will enjoy your device more!