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Spring Cleaning and Your Phone

spring flower

March 4, 2019

Spring is in the air! I know that may be hard to believe with snow piles lingering and cold temperatures still in the forecast, but I promise you…spring is coming! The signs are here: we spring forward on March 10; the official start of spring, the vernal (or spring) equinox, is March 20; and the spring cleaners are already filling their donation bags and have their dust rags ready!

This year’s spring cleaning looks a little different now that tidying queen Marie Kondo has taken the world by storm! She has taught us how to tidy up with the KonMari method and what it means to "spark joy,” and she has moved millions to clean their cupboards through her Netflix show. However, there is one topic that she hasn’t gotten into yet―tech.

Our smartphones can get just as cluttered as our closets. So, while we're sifting through a year's worth of old mail or thanking our old gym shoes before recycling them, why not take a good look at some of the apps and files on our smartphone?

 Here are a few tips to help you spring clean your smartphone: 

  1. Take a close look at ALL of your apps.
  • Do you use them?
  • Do they “spark joy”?
  • Do you need them for a specific purpose?

Smartphones makes it very easy to quickly download an app, use it once to get a discount or try out a suggested game, and then forget about it. These apps take up space both on the screen and in your storage. It might be time to thank the app for its help and let it go!  

  1. Organize your apps.

After you've gone through every app, it's time to think about how to organize them. As you went through your apps, you may have found a really helpful app that you'd forgotten about because it was on your seventh page of apps.

  • Group similar apps together in folders.
  • Name or rename folders so that their content is easily recognizable.
  • Arrange your apps on different homepages based on things like:
    • Frequency of use
    • What you need them for (work, home, food delivery, etc.)
    • When you need them (morning commute, weekend down time, etc.) 
  1. Consider your files.

Not everything that clutters up your phone is an app. Sometimes we forget about the files we've downloaded, pictures we've taken, and videos we've shot.

  • Look at your downloaded documents, and just like with the apps, check to see if you really need them or if they “spark joy.”
  • Clear up even more space on your phone by moving photos and videos to cloud storage options.
  • Arrange your photos and videos in albums and organize them by things like:
    • Date
    • Location
    • Special event or holiday
    • Type (screenshot, selfie, nature, etc.)

If you feel like you need a little extra help understanding cloud storage or working with the photos and videos on your phone, the Library has programs for that! Check Beyond the Books or search our events online to see when an MCPL branch near you is offering Cloud Storage or Managing the Photos on Your Smartphone (available starting in May)!  

I hope that these tips and tricks can help you tidy up your smartphone right along with your closets and junk drawers during this year's spring cleaning!

Paige L.
Electronic Resources Department

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