"I tried to 'digitally Marie Kondo' my phone with the help of an expert. Here's how it went."

I currently have over 25,000 photos and 5,000 unread emails on my phone.

Does that stress you out? It stresses me out.

If you didn't watch Tidying Up With Marie Kondo, here's the trailer so you get the picture. Post continues after video.

Video via Netflix.

I've never been great at organising. I've gotten much better at home (as my boyfriend has to live with me too) but my phone is a hot mess.

To make it more manageable and stress-free, I spoke to Australia's first certified KonMari® consultant (trained in Marie Kondo's tidying method), Gemma Quinn, to hear her top tips to "digitally" declutter my phone.

Here are her five tips and whether they actually worked for me.

1. Always ask, does this photo or video spark joy?

Gemma's first three tips focus on photos, and GREAT. As I shared above, I have 25,000 of them and daily reminders that I need more storage (go figure).

Gemma says there is one simple question you should ask yourself before keeping photos in your camera roll.

"When you're looking through your photo collection, you should always ask yourself 'does this photo or video spark joy?' It's simple, if the memory does not spark joy, delete it," she said.

2. To make the most out of your photos and videos, collate and create short videos of them.

After you cull unnecessary photos, Gemma suggests finding an app that can turn multiple images of one memory into a video. Therefore, creating a highlight reel, while also saving space.

"There are some great apps out there to get the most out of our favourite memories. I use GoPro Quik, which does all of the work for you," she said.

"It lets you easily share existing content from anywhere on your phone and groups your content together to make a professional compilation highlight. The perfect way to cherish those 'keeper' photos and videos."

3. Organise your photos and videos around curated memories.

Let's be honest: it's very easy to take too many photos of the exact same thingGemma suggests we cut it down to no more than 10 at any occasion.

"Whether it be your baby’s first steps, a fresh haircut, Friday cocktails or the neighbour’s puppy, choose between five and 10 images to keep of any particular event - no more," she said. 


"You’ll notice you are more likely to reflect back on the memories if they are easier to find."

4. Look at how you manage your apps.

My apps are very messy. There is no real structure to where they go; some have homes (folders), others don't.

Gemma has a tip for this.

"Organise your phone screen like you would your home. I recommend having three app pages:

  • The home page for apps that spark joy 
  • The second page for personal apps
  • The third page for apps you need for work or business

"You can simplify it further by grouping your apps into folders under the relevant categories," she said.

5. Keep your inbox clean.

The other area that's out of control: my inbox. Here's how Gemma suggests managing it.

"Whether it be texts, a WhatsApp group or an email inbox, you should tidy your inbox, as you read," she said. "I tell my clients if they receive a text message that sparks joy, and they want to keep it, take a screenshot of it, and think of it like you would a photo. 

"Many of our texts may not necessarily spark joy, but instead require an action (think: add milk to the shopping list). To keep all of my actions in one place, I either email the action to myself or write it down on my to-do list. 

"Not only does this allow me to keep my text messages clean and tidy but it ensures that I don’t forget to pick up the milk!" she said.

How these tips went for me.

As I've detailed above, my phone was a complete mess beforehand. 

Here's the before:

Before. Image: Supplied.


AFTER! Image: Supplied.


Implementing these minor changes has honestly made the world of a difference. 

The biggest help was considering I actually needed in my camera roll. When I thought about what photos "spark joy", I knew there was plenty I could cull. Plus, getting my inbox down to zero quite possibly made my week. 

11/10, highly recommend a "digital declutter".

Have you tidied up your phone? What tips helped you? Let me know in the comments.

Feature image: Supplied.

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