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Phone hack: How to organize your phone, refresh it and speed it up

By Mint Fox

Originally published September 16, 2021


Last Updated April 18, 2024

Mint Fox sitting on a chair about to organize his phone
In this article

There’s nothing quite like the feeling you get after a solid decluttering session. For whatever reason, people tend to accumulate stuff, like all the time. Not only in your house, but in your phone too…we’re looking at you random calorie tracking app that doesn’t really help. It’s time to organize your phone.

Cleaning out your closet and junk drawer can do wonders, but sometimes you just need a big, new space. Which is why we’ve paired up with Zumper to give you free rent for a year and other cool prizes like a year of free wireless service. If we used exclamation points, we would use one here. 

Zumper helps over 90 million people a year by making renting easier, faster, and more human. 

Here’s how our contest works: one grand-prize winner will receive $36,000 to use towards rent. Yes, really. Second-place winners will receive $2,000 toward moving costs, and third-place winners will receive a year of Mint Mobile service at 15GB/month. So basically everyone’s a winner. 

View more details and enter to win by 9/29/21 at

Until you can organize your sweet new place, here’s a list of helpful tips to Marie Kondo the f*! out of your phone (we said fox). In this blog, we’ll show you how to organize your phone, clean up your apps, create folders so it’s easy to find what you want, free up more storage, and speed up your phone’s performance so it’s like new…or close to it. 

First, delete old apps you no longer use

If looking for an app on your phone feels more like rifling through your junk drawer (hello awkward school photos) then it might be time to delete old apps. 

Delete apps you don’t use to keep your phone running faster, free up storage, and make it easier to find the apps you do use. If you needed one more reason to clean out your apps it’s this: having too many apps can negatively affect battery life, which we’re pretty sure nobody on this green earth wants.

Before you delete every app, you might want to check how much you use it. On iPhone, look under Settings > Battery to see, or in the settings section on most Android phones. 

Deleting your unused apps on your phone

Organize your phone by creating folders

Folders can really help contain the chaos of your home screen, and throughout your phone in general. The important thing when it comes to folders is to have some kind of system. Any system that works for you to organize your phone is best, but here are some ideas:

  • Organize folders based on usage (Most Frequently Used) 
  • By type of app (Work, Travel, Music, etc)
  • Or by action (Contact, Read, Listen). This can help you stay on task so you don’t end up scrolling Instagram when you wanted to check your banking app

Store apps like the Mint Mobile and Zumper apps under a “Saving Me Money” folder.

Tip: for apps that tend to suck you in longer than you’d like (looking at you TikTok), stash them in a folder that’s not on the home screen to keep distraction scrolling at bay. 

How to create folders on iPhone and Android

You can create folders on iPhone and most Android devices by simply holding and dragging the app icon to another app icon you want to group it with. 

Free your phone storage 

Now that you’ve freed up your phone of old apps, next clean out the data that’s taking up unnecessary space.

Let’s start with messages. The group chat’s thread of fire GIFs, memes and vids are great on a daily basis, but hanging onto years of texts and attachments is probably doing more bad than good. 

How to change your text message settings

On iOS, you can change how long your phone stores messages so by the time you’ve forgotten about that old meme, so has your phone. 

To change your message settings go to Settings > Messages > Keep Messages. Then set how long you want to keep messages. If you want to keep the text but delete attachments, go to Settings > General > iPhone Storage, and scroll down to Messages. Then tap Review large attachments. This will take you to all the big files. 

Android’s Messages app doesn’t have a setting quite like this, but you can swipe left and right on message threads to archive old threads. You can also delete old messages through third-party apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to keep your message amounts lean and toned.  

Use iCloud Storage to keep the stuff you want

Photos and videos are priceless files but keeping them on your phone 24/7 isn’t necessary anymore. Backing up your photos and videos using Apple iCloud, Google Photos or Dropbox can free your phone of hefty files that are weighing down your storage amount and adding digital clutter.

Once you’ve successfully backed them up, you can delete them from your phone. Definitely make sure you backed your files up correctly before you delete the video of your kid’s first unofficial dance party. One more way to organize your phone: check.

Clear your cache on apps

If you keep getting those pesky notifications that you’re running low on storage and you’ve already backed up your photos and deleted old apps, try clearing your phone cache. 

Podcasts, music and video apps are most likely to be the apps hogging digital data.

How to clear app cache on iPhone

If you have an iPhone, you can clear your app cache by going to Settings > General > iPhone Storage to see what’s taking up your storage. To clear out the app data, tap the app from the Storage screen and then tap Offload. Once the phone is done deleting everything, select Reinstall. 

How to clear app cache on Android

To clear the app cache on Android, just pull down the notification shade, touch the cog, then Storage. This will show you a list of all the apps on the phone and how much data they take up. To clear out app data, tap the app name and then the Clear Cache button. Voila. 

You should also clear out your downloads folder if you use an Android. Open the Downloads app (also called Files on some Android devices), tap and hold a file name, and click on the trash icon to delete the file. 

Update your software

Keeping your apps up to date is good digital hygiene overall and might be the reason why your phone is running so slow. Plus it can keep your private info safe. If there’s any kind of vulnerability, using the most updated version of apps can put you in the best position to avoid data leaks.

Mint Fox taking a photo outside at a cafe

Change your background 

Ever notice the difference between a room and a room with a fresh paint job? Yeah. Update your background for sweet new visual vibes. 

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