How to De-clutter Your Smart Phone

Smart phones have a lot of places to hide clutter. It's worth finding and removing the clutter so that your phone can serve you in better ways.

1) Let's go through the contacts. Look through the names for people that you haven't called or texted in over a year. It can be sooner if you know you no longer need their info. Begin deleting these contacts. If you find yourself having a hard time letting go of people who are no longer in your life, think of it this way: they are gone in form, now you can complete it by letting go of their names.

You also might notice a person that you are still in contact with whose presence agitates or drains you. For the moment, reflect on your relationship with this person. Is there anything you need to express to them? If you have expressed it already, do you still want to be in relationship with this person? If not, delete them.

2) Let's take a look at your phone's apps. Sometimes we'll download an app and either not use it, or just use it once or twice. You may say, "But I want to use it" or "But I spent money on it." I have found that the best gauge for whether something is part of your life or not is if you're actually using it. Trust your behavior.

3) How about the bookmarks? If your cell phone has web access, go through your bookmarks and simply delete any you no longer use. You'll probably be surprised at how many you no longer need. Just so you know, no clutter is too small to bust. It's common for a lot of little things that no longer serve us to add up to a heavy burden.

4) Let's take a look at your music. Take a look at what's in your music library. Is there anything you used to listen to a lot and now you don't anymore? I know I certainly have. I felt relief when I let it go. This also includes videos and movies.

5) Let's consider the photos. It's hard not to take a lot of pictures when you have a camera in your phone. It's also easy to forget about pictures you took a ways back. Take a look through your photos and see which ones you no longer care to look at. Again, clutter is anything that you no longer love or use. If things are sitting around unused, like in a storehouse, they create a stagnant affect which interferes with what's an enjoyable and active part of your life. Also, when you want to download your photos from your phone to your computer, go through photos and ask, "Is this picture really special to me, or can I delete it?" You want to prevent your computer from being a photo warehouse of every picture you've ever taken. The less clutter on our computer, the more peace of mind you'll feel when you're using your computer.

6) How about the phone itself? Our cell phones are mini-computers. It's like taking the office with us in our pocket. They can be great at particular times. But we do ourselves a favor by taking cell-phone-free moments. When you are heading out, and you find yourself grabbing your phone, occasionally stop and ask, "Would I be okay if I didn't take my phone with me at this time?" I do this for myself at times and find a great peace of mind in being out and about without the phone. I also encourage you to put your phone on airplane mode or shutting it off altogether before you go to sleep. The presence of a ready to be used smart phone by your bed at night doesn't promote rest. Trust that you'll be okay.

7) What to do with old cell phones. Many of my clients still have their old deactivated cell phones. Old unused electronics have a way of sucking energy out of a space. I would recommend donating these.

8) Let's talk about getting a new phone? We're encouraged by the cell phone companies to buy the latest version of their phone. They make ownership sound life changing. And it would be exciting to own it - for about a week. But what if you kept using your current phone instead? It's still a good phone. It takes care of your needs. Plus, you end up not spending any money. I have an iPhone 5 from about three years ago. I'm doing just fine without the iPhone 6.

9) Driving while using your smart phone. Phones have become such a part of our lives that we often use them while driving. It seems like the natural thing to do. However it's clutter because it puts our lives in danger. It reduces our attention while driving. Looking at or typing a text while driving can feel doable, but five seconds of attention taken away from what's going on on the road puts your life and the other people's lives in your car at risk. I saw a video once that demonstrated this. They showed the driver's view of the road for about ten seconds. Then they blacked out the screen for five seconds. I could feel the panic in my body at being blinded from the road. And then I thought, this is what happens when I text. So now I bring my phone with me when I drive, but turn the ringer and text notifier off, and face the phone away from me. I'm a lot more present as a result.