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Emily Ley Blog

Simplifying Life in a Crisis #13: Digital Decluttering

March 23, 2020

Hi, friends! Well, we're all spending a lot of time on our devices these days, aren't we. If we're not checking the news for updates, we're connecting remotely with co-workers or sending email or maybe distracting ourselves with online shopping / feed scrolling. I thought now might be a good time to share some tips for digital decluttering -- specifically on your smart phone. Here we go.

  • Sanitize your phone. Good Housekeeping has a few good tips on how to properly do this. Essentially a Lysol wipe will do the job. Allow to air dry.
  • Edit your apps. Delete those you never use.
  • Organize your apps. I prefer to organize my apps by color. When we go looking for an app, we're often searching for the app's color or symbol rather than its purpose. Group apps by color and name the folders with emojis in that color. I keep 8 folders (black, blue, green, orange, red,  purple, white -- and then I have one folder just for kids apps, in case I need to distract a kiddo out in public). Move the apps you use every single day to the home screen. 
  • Edit your contacts. Delete anyone you no longer call. Edit your favorites and assign photos for those contacts.
  • Update your wallpaper. This is the image that shows behind your apps. I cringe every time I see someone with a photograph of their kids or a quote behind their apps. It's so visually complicated. I prefer a solid color, like the ones that are default options on your iPhone or a simple gradient. Here are a few beautiful options from Simplified.
  • Update your lock screen. This is the image that shows when you first pick up your phone, before unlocking it. Consider changing this image to something soothing, rather than a photo of your children or family. Why? Because this helps your brain separate your phone from things you love dearly and might help you stop picking it up so frequently. Here are a few options also from Simplified.

Once you're feeling good about your phone, it's time to use these same tactics on your computer. Apple has a default option for your desktop wallpaper that I just love (and use on my iMac and MacBook). It's a gradient that shifts from cool tones in the morning to warm tones in the evening. Empty the trash on your computer to free valuable space and organize your files. I use Dropbox personally and professionally and organize files (including photos) by topic, then by year. 

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I hope you found these tips helpful! As Launch Week approaches, we're all excited to explore some positive, fun content that isn't COVID-19 related, but still relevant. PS: Did you hear that we CHANGED IT!? We moved Launch Day up to April 1! The world needs a little more joy, and we're here to deliver. Check out our line-up (and details on a new format for these) here.