The beauty of a new year lies in the exciting possibilities of a fresh, blank page. What achievements might you chalk up in 2018? Which new hobbies or relationships will you develop? Is there space for them? To make room for the new, you have to throw out the old, or so the saying goes! There’s no better place to begin than your smartphone. They hold our lives, and getting some order there will help you embark on bigger changes, as well as making every interaction through it easier and better.

Spring clean for what?

The need for speed

Decluttering your phone will speed up response times and prevent software crashes.

Lag free scrolling anyone?

Power hour

The number of applications running on your phone simultaneously can seriously harm the battery life of your device. Minimise which apps you have stored, what’s open, and how your phone accesses them, and you could increase the working day of your phone by hours.

Space case

Generally, there are two different storage spaces at your disposal: internal and external. The internal storage depends on the make and model of your phone, and is where your apps are stored.

The external storage is called an SD card. These can be purchased from any cellular company and can hold up to 32 GB of information. This is where music, photos and apps can be stored and if you don’t clear this storage out regularly, it will eventually fill up. This means no new downloads of music or movies, and no more space for photos! That, I think we can agree, would be a disaster. So how do you prevent such a catastrophe? By cleaning out your (phone) closet.

Same same but different


No space for sentimentality

Take stock of your phone and note the apps that haven’t been touched in months, if ever! Be ruthless and get rid of everything that may be slowing you down, including games and the apps already installed when the phone was purchased:

  • Go into ‘settings’ – ‘applications’ – ‘application manager’
  • Uninstall unnecessary apps by selecting them individually

Everyday I’m shuffling

If you use all of the apps on your phone, or simply can’t let any go, you can move a few from your internal storage to your SD card. Then you can simply sweep through any photos and videos and that are no longer needed and delete them.

  • Once again: ‘settings’ – ‘applications’ – ‘application manager’
  • Select each app individually – select ‘move to SD card’ option

On the other hand, if your SD card is the main culprit, back up your photos by uploading them onto your Google drive directly from your phone:

  • Select the image – select ‘share’- then ‘save to drive’

Take out the trash

The lazy way to delete junk files would, ironically, be to download a cleaning app, such as Clean Master or Go Speed. Remember to delete this once you’ve completed your spring clean! Junk files and cleared data can also be manually deleted by accessing the app’s storage:

  • Go to ‘settings’ – select ‘apps and notifications’
  • Select the ‘storage’ option
  • Delete individually


iPhones work very differently to androids. The process will be easier because you can monitor what your hard drive consumption is and see how much storage is still at your disposal. There is no hard and fast rule, but generally you want to leave about 500 MB – 1 GB of free space to prevent crashes.

Know your stuff

Using the knowledge you have about the amount of storage on your iPhone:

  • Take stock of which apps are taking up the most storage
  • Go to ‘settings’- then ‘general’

Time for a do-over

If an app is hogging all of your space, there are a few things that can be done:

  • Delete content internally
  • Delete the entire app and reinstall it
  • Deleting apps that you may have downloaded in the past aren’t using.

Squeaky clean

Once you’ve cleaned your smartphone storage, remember to wipe the device itself too. Bacteria are all over our touchscreen phones, and your skin will thank you for wiping it clean regularly!

Now that you have done your bit and cleaned up, you can enjoy the feeling of having less baggage and more space to download fresh, new entertainment until your next clean.