8 ways to give your phone a spring cleaning

When you hear the phrase "spring cleaning," images of dusting your bookshelf, cleaning out your backpack and finally donating those clothes you outgrew probably come to mind.

For sure, these are all important parts of spring cleaning—but why not take a crack at your phone while you're at it? Your cell is likely overflowing with unread messages and could use a bit of a refresh (plus a good wipe-down), so close that IG Reel...and let's get to cleaning.

Delete unused apps


When you wake up on a Saturday morning, you might spend a few minutes cycling through your fave social media apps, and *maybe* you take a quick look at the app your school uses.

But what about that matching game you downloaded five months ago and forgot about? Or that photo editing app that was not nearly as helpful as you were hoping? It might be time to hit "delete."

Apps you're not using are only taking up your storage and cluttering your home screen. If you notice any apps that you haven't used in three months, get rid of them to make more space. (But remember to save any important photos or notes from them that you might miss!)

Read your emails


With your school sending a dozen emails every morning and an online boutique bombarding you with messages twice a day, it can be easy to let the notifications pile up. This spring, take a few minutes to tackle them.

Read through the important messages from your school and reply if needed, then delete the ones you won't need anymore. As for the emails from that restaurant you ate at three years ago and haven't returned to since, feel free to hit that "unsubscribe" button.

It'll save you from getting hundreds of emails from brands you don't love, and the messages you actually need won't be hidden under 25 spam chains. 

Reply to texts


That little red circle on the Messages app can seem pretty daunting when the number on it just seems to keep increasing. We totally get not having the energy to text someone back right away, but letting those messages sit unanswered might make you more stressed in the long run.

Designate some time to go through your unread texts and Insta DMs and send out replies. Both you and the person you're texting will feel better, and you'll have one less thing on your to-do list.

Delete old messages and photos


Speaking of texts, you probably have a few you can delete. You likely won't need that quick text convo you had with your lab partner freshman year, and those old messages with expired coupons for your local pizza place def won't be helpful in the near future. These texts are just taking up storage, so get rid of any that you won't be needing any time soon.

While you're at it, scroll through the photos and videos on your phone and see if there are any you can go without. Yesterday's selfie photo shoot and all those sunset pics from last weekend are absolutely breathtaking...but maybe you don't need 13 versions of the same photo.

Post your photo dump on IG, pick your fave pics to hold on to in your camera roll, then delete the rest. You'll have only the best pics left behind *and* plenty of storage for lots of future photo shoots with your besties.

Unfollow accounts that don't inspire you


We love Insta and TikTok as much as the next girl, but social media isn't always the most positive space. Seeing an influencer constantly posting about their unrelatable fitness goals, or even just posting the highlights of their second trip to Europe in the last three months, might have you feeling a little down. It can be easy to compare yourself to the people on your feed and leave an app feeling a bit less confident.

Social media should be a space for you to feel inspired and motivated—*not* insecure. If someone's content is leaving you with negative emotions every time you come across it, don't be afraid to unfollow them and clean up your feed.

Set up timers for apps


Scrolling through your FYP for a bit or watching a couple of episodes of your fave show on Netflix can def be fun, but all this screen time might be getting in the way of your other responsibilities. That school newspaper article isn't going to write itself, and your set of geometry problems needs to be completed at some point, so it may be time to incorporate some phone boundaries.

iPhone users can go to Settings and Screen Time to set up Downtime and App Limits. Downtime allows you to remove access to most apps until you turn it off. App Limits let you place timers on apps like Instagram—once your daily hour of scrolling is up, you'll be kicked off the app unless you turn off the timer.

Because you'll be spending less time on your phone, you'll have more time for schoolwork *and* you'll cherish your phone time even more.

Refresh your background


The most fun part about spring cleaning your phone is picking a new background! It's time to lose the winter wallpaper you've had the past few months and choose your fave springtime pic. (We suggest a bright photo of you with your besties that exudes warm weather vibes, a pic full of colorful flowers or even a collage combining the two!)

You could also reorganize your home screen with widgets. Using the Widgetsmith and Shortcuts apps, you can change your background *and* customize your clock, reminders, app icons and more. This means you can choose a cute color scheme or theme for your phone (you can go full-on spring or bring your dark academia aesthetic to life) and tbh, that's kind of the dream.

*Literally* clean your phone


Remember when you were texting while eating Cheetos at lunch yesterday? How about when you dropped your phone on the school bathroom floor? Yep, it's time to get rid of all those pesky germs that might be lingering on your screen.

It's best practice to wipe your cell with a microfiber cloth every day, and we recommend that you clean both your phone and its case with a disinfectant wipe at least once a week (but be careful not to get any liquid in the charging port!).

Follow us on Insta @girlslifemag for *all* the spring vibes!

Want to give other parts of your life a spring cleaning? Check out these articles:
🌻It's time to spring clean your skin
🌻A step-by-step guide on how to spring clean your closet
🌻It's time to spring clean your relationships

Top and slider image: @txunamy


by Maggie Salter | 3/28/2024