Declutter your phone (or tablet) in 15 minutes or less.

We’ve all been there – at the cell phone store, trying to upgrade our smartphones, waiting…and waiting…and waiting…for the sales associate to transfer our data. Or, if you’re like me, you delete everything and hope it was saved somewhere else!

Most of our smartphones are made up of too many apps, months (or years) of pictures, and old contacts. Phone clutter is a tiny (but huge!) source of distraction and stress, reducing our productivity and causing lots of little frustrations throughout the day!

Today, I want to challenge you to take 15 minutes (just 15 minutes!) and declutter your phone.

Start with apps. When I’m looking for a new app, I like to download and try several different apps of the same type before deciding which one I want to use. Unfortunately, I don’t always delete all the ones that didn’t make the cut. Scroll through your phone and remove any apps that you don’t use.

Heck, while you’re at it, delete any apps that steal your time and focus from things that really matter to you. If you’re on a diet, you don’t keep soda in the house. If you want to live intentionally, you don’t keep apps that distract you from being intentional!

Quickly review your contacts. Are there duplicates? Are there people you no longer have a need to contact? Take a few minutes to review your contacts and remove any that are outdated or you simply don’t need. If there are duplicates and you’re not sure which is correct, make a note (write it down!) to track down those people later and find out which number to keep. Make a commitment to track them down this week; then come back to your contacts and finish what you started!

Photos: upload or delete? This part will likely take you the most time. First, open your photo album or gallery. Set your album to “select” mode so that you can easily select multiple photos. I have found that the quickest way to declutter photos is to make multiple sweeps through your album focusing on different types of pictures.

For example: first, scroll through your album looking for screenshots and photos you may have saved from the internet. Do you need it? Keep it. If not, delete! Next, look for multiple takes of the same shot – you know, those selfies or group photos you had to take eight times before you got them right. Delete the bad ones! Finally, delete any other random pictures you took for some reason but no longer need or want. Once you’re done, everything on your phone is now ready to upload. Note: If your phone has a “recently deleted” folder, make sure you empty it!

Next time you are near your computer, upload the photos you decided to keep. Or, if you like to use cloud storage instead, make sure to sync!

Repeat this process once a month, and you’ll never wait three hours to transfer data to your new phone or worry about lost photos again!

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