Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Step-by-step How to declutter your Phone and Computer like it's a cup of tea + Benefits

Once again, my digital art representations are a bit exaggerated, but moving on...

Benefits of decluttering your phone:

  • more storage space available (you won't be annoyed by the no storage space pop-up/notification)
  • You have enough space to download useful apps
  • You won't get annoying and repetitive notifications from the unnecessary apps after deleting them
  • You'll basically just feel better looking at an organized, decluttered phone instead of one with app icons all over the home page and a million photos and downloaded files everywhere.
Benefits of decluttering your laptop/PC:

  • Your desktop doesn't make you resent your own PC
  • You can easily find files/folders when they are organized
  • More space for softwares, files, etc. (especially if you were running out of space before decluttering)
  • If you work on your laptop, you actually feel like being productive when you see a clean and organized desktop and folders.
now let's get on to how you can declutter your devices...


I hate when my desktop has a million of icons even if they are in a grid format. It just looks messy and unclean.  I also don't like when my folders in my drives are messed up/disorganized. Because, after a point of keeping my PC clean, I tend to start saving files in random places to save time and there are a million folders and also a million files not in folders. This is how I declutter my laptop.

Step 1 | Remove the Unnecessary

In my case, I had a lot of files and projects from when I was in younger grades. I've always loved using laptops and spent a lot of time making or downloading stuff. I always kept the files for later use but never actually used anything.
These files were already backed up in an old external hard drive with a lot of other stuff (my dad's stuff) so I deleted all of those files from my laptop. In fact, after a year or so I even told my dad to delete those files from his external hard drive because I really was never going to even open the folders.

Before I used Pinterest (a long time ago), I used to save Tumblr-y images to my laptop. Deleted those too.

Find those files that you haven't touched, nor will in the future, and delete them. Chances are, your laptop hasn't been around for so long that you have projects from when you were 9 or 10 (if you used a laptop back then) so most of the old files probably don't mean too much.

Delete recent files you no longer need like an e-book that you have already read, or files for a project you have already finished and submitted. Delete downloaded apps you no longer use. Clear up all that storage space.

If you haven't deleted anything remotely-important recently, permanently delete all the files and folders in your recycling bin. If you have deleted something that you aren't sure if you will need to restore or not (e.g. files for a finished project that isn't backed up) and you don't have too many files in your recycling bin, you can select all files except the important ones and delete them for the time being.

Delete any desktop shortcuts you don't use, random downloaded files that aren't relevant anymore, etc.

Step 2 | Organize

First of all, if you are using a laptop that is sometimes used by someone else or if you share it with someone else, create a folder for you (you can basically just make a folder with your name). Next add all the remaining files after the deletions into that folder, even the files on your desktop (leaving the shortcut icons you need and "My computer", "Recycling Bin", etc). This will clear up your desktop. If you really need some of the files on your desktop only, try to create only one or two folders and those files in there.

Inside your personal folder, create folders to segregate the categories of folders you have. If you use your laptop for work and personal use, first create two folders separating those. Creating categories will help you to remember and be able to easily locate the file when you need it.

Try creating sub-folders in your folder if you have too many folders and can group a few into one category.

Step 3 | In the clouds

What I have started doing recently is making Spreadsheets, Documents, etc. on Google Docs. Not only does that save a little (negligible almost, but still) space on my laptop, but also I don't have to worry about losing my files if something happens to my laptop.

If you have any pictures, media, etc that you don't need that much but still want to keep them, you can upload them to any cloud you use and delete them from your laptop. It can be like the basement of your house - not the most important part of your storage but still has a lot of files in it.

Smart phone

My phone always told me that my storage space was running low or that I had to delete one or two apps to be able to download the one I was trying to at that moment. I could never find the meme or picture I wanted to in time because it was drowned in an ocean of other pictures. I had so many downloaded files I didn't need. Decluttering your phone is very similar to decluttering your laptop/PC. 

Step 1 | Remove the Unnecessary

This is pretty self-explanatory at this point. Just delete apps you don't use, delete memes you have been laughing at for ages and delete random pictures or those pictures your phone took on its own when you unlocked it by mistake. Delete pictures that carry no significance either due to the amount of time the pictures have spent in your phone or because they never were important in the first place. Delete the PDFs you don't need anymore and the random notes and files and memos and all those screenshots of conversations you sent to your friend(s). You get the point.

Step 2 | Transferring and cache-clearing

Transfer anything and everything you can to your SD card. Phone storage is used up because of software updates and all those important phone files that you can't delete. So go into your settings, go to application manager, and transfer all the apps you can to your SD card. This will free up a lot of your storage especially if you are transferring large applications like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
Another thing you should do once in a while is delete cache. Large and frequently used applications usually have a lot of cache. You can delete all the cache in one go by going into your phone settings and then to "Storage". You could download an app to clear your cache in just one click, but chances are that app takes up quite some space in your storage, defeating the purpose of trying to clear your storage for other stuff.

Note: You may be tempted to also clear the "miscellaneous files" after you clear you cache. But be careful. If you delete files in the "miscellaneous files" like the Whatsapp folder, for example, you will end up deleting all the media you have received from people on Whatsapp. You don't want that unless you know 100% there is nothing important your friends/family/acquaintances/whatever have sent you. I suggest going to your gallery/files and selecting pictures and deleting them. It'll take longer, but you won't risk deleting important pictures/media.

Step 3 | In the clouds

Just like above (in the PC section of this article), you can store pictures, PDFs, etc, on a cloud app and free up some space on your phone. This is also great to do if you need to access your files from another laptop/device as you can just log in to your cloud software/online cloud website and access the files.

Step 4 | The final touches

To wrap it all up, only keep very frequently used apps on your home screen and/or make folders to make it look less crowded. If you have an iPhone you don't have a home screen but you can still organize your apps in to folders. If you have an android phone, reduce the number of pages after your home screen. You could keep a page with a calendar widget and maybe one more page but don't have too many pages if you want to keep it minimal.

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