4 Quick Tips to Spring Clean Your Phone

With spring just around the corner, and spring cleaning and decluttering well underway, it’s time to turn our attention to one item that probably needs the most cleaning but often gets overlooked: our trusty smartphones. A study by researchers at the University of Arizona showed that cellphones carry 10 times more bacteria than the average toilet! And an accumulation of digital clutter means they may be working less than efficiently, too. Here are four quick tips to effectively clean and declutter your smartphone.

Spring Clean Your Smartphone

Wipe it Down

Before you deal with the digital clutter on your device, get rid of germs by giving it a good wipe down. In order to avoid damaging your phone, clean your screen with a micro-fibre cloth and a non-drip gel. Give the phone a quick spritz with the gel and rub it gently to avoid scratching the screen. Don’t forget to also wipe the camera lens. 

This may also be a good time to freshen up your phone case.

Back it Up

Before embarking on any kind of digital cleaning mission, it’s best to back up your device first. If you have an iPhone, select your Settings. Click on your Name and then iCloud. Select iCloud Backup and click Back up Now. To back up an Android phone on the Google cloud, follow these instructions.

Purge Old Apps

Take a look through your apps. You may find you actually only use a few of them regularly. If you have an iPhone you can easily check how much you’re using your apps. Click on Settings, General, and iPhone Storage. There you’ll see a list of your apps and exactly how much storage they’re taking up and when they were last used. This is a pretty quick and easy way to offload old, unused apps. The apps you use daily should be on the first page of your phone. Everything else can be put into folders. So, for example, all your hotel and airline apps would go into a folder marked Travel and your Candy Crush and Words with Friends apps can be put into a Games folder.

Delete Old Music, Photos, Contacts, and Texts

It’s really tempting to never delete anything from your phone because, hey, you never know when you may need it! The reality, though, is that music and photos take up a lot of space on your device. And after you’ve played Lady Gaga’s Shallow on repeat for two straight weeks, you might just be done with it for awhile.

After you’ve backed up your phone, consider deleting older music, any blurry photos you’re needlessly saving, and while you’re at it, take a look through your contacts and texts. You don’t need those outdated message threads cluttering up your phone any more than you need those old texts from your ex. Delete, delete, delete.

We know it’s hard to let go of things, and just as you agonize over letting go of old books, clothes, or appliances, it’s just as nerve-wracking to delete digital clutter from your phone. But you’ll feel lighter for it, and so will your trusty phone.

If you have any questions about optimizing your technology, our in-store technology experts are always happy to help.

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann

Does the idea of decluttering your shoe closet or re-organizing the recycling area immediately cause you anxiety? You aren’t alone. Our lives are so busy with commitments and appointments, it can be difficult to find the time to make everything shine like a pretty penny.

For some, cleaning, tidying, and organizing the home is a chore to be dealt with. For self-proclaimed organization junkie Laura Wittmann, it’s a high she can’t get enough of! And she’s quick to share the fix.

Laura is a home organization expert and author of the book Clutter Rehab: 101 simple, practical tips and tricks to the organizational problems encountered everyday. She believes having a perfect home where everything is perfectly organized all the time isn’t what home organization is all about. Life happens, things get messy, and her practical tips help you manage it all in real life.


1. Everyone’s story is unique. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be an expert in home creation and organization?

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London DrugsI’m not the type of person who was born an organizer. But living in a small house with four people where moving wasn’t an option, we had to figure out how we were going to do it in such a small space.

Subsequently, my journey to living a simpler life really helped me see how life-changing organization can be. I started my blog to share my excitement in hopes of enticing others to get hooked on organizing right alongside me.

I love helping others experience the benefits of living a life with less clutter and chaos. From how to slow down in a crazy busy world, to practical tips like how to manage your paper piles, my blog tackles it all.

The best part is, you don’t need any special skills to reap the rewards of an organized life.

 


2. Getting organized is not a one-step process, and it can be challenging for many. Could you share any growth moments or revelations you’ve experienced while creating and organizing your home?

 

One of the first lessons I had to learn when I started out was discovering that being organized wasn’t just about throwing stuff into cute containers and calling it organized.

There is so much more involved which is why I created an acronym to help with the PROCESS. It starts with having a Plan and ends with a Smile. Decluttering plays such a huge role in the organizing PROCESS but it’s one people try to avoid. Yes it’s hard and requires some decision making; however, the more we practice it the easier it gets, I promise!

Another area of growth for me was learning how to say no. Organization isn’t just about organizing our stuff but also our time. For me, it was about learning how to slow down and recognizing that jam packing my family’s schedule was a choice I was making. My kids didn’t need to be in multiple activities and everyone was much happier when we weren’t running around constantly on overdrive.

It would be hard to go back to living that way now that we’ve experienced the incredible impact it has had on our home and our stress levels.

 


3. Do you have any guidance for those wanting to create a warm, relaxing, and organized home? Perhaps some preparation tips, tools, or mindset suggestions?

 

The problem with clutter and chaos is that it can be pretty overwhelming, that’s for sure.

One of the things I recommend is to break down projects into 5-15 minute tasks. It’s much easier to make the time for a quick organizing task than find the time to organize an entire room. Drawers can be done in a small amount of time for instance. Closets may take longer so it might make sense for you to start with shoes, then pants, then shirts, etc.

Get in the habit of doing one small organizing task a day and before you know it, you’ll be feeling much more at peace in your space. Removing the things that you no longer love or use or have the room to store will allow your home to become a beautiful sanctuary for you and your loved ones.

 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London Drugs

 


4. Do you have any products or tools you’re passionate about or find useful in your home creation and organization?

 

Oh yes I do!

Some of my favourites include cabinet shelves in my kitchen cabinets to add more space, and plastic stackable drawers for extra storage in my bathroom cabinets and linen closet.

I also absolutely love using the space on the back of all the doors in my house. This space is so often ignored but it’s prime space for hanging shoe organizers to house anything from hats and mitts to bathroom products. Over-the-door hooks also provide storage for purses and bags to even jewelry. The possibilities are absolutely endless.

 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London Drugs

 


5. We are strong advocates for living green. Do you have any environmentally friendly organizing ideas to share?

 

Absolutely!

Take a look at some of the product packaging that comes into your home. There are so many instances where these things can be reused to help you create organization.

For instance, tissue and tea boxes make excellent dividers in drawers. Simply cut off the tops and line your bathroom and kitchen drawers to create separation. This will help immensely when it comes to finding what you need.

 


6. What are a few unconventional, surprising, or quirky tips you have for creating and organizing your home?

 

People are often surprised when I tell them the goal of organization isn’t about having a magazine-worthy home where everything is perfectly placed. Instead, the goal should always be to create spaces that allow you to breathe easier, that don’t stress you out, and where you can easily find what you need.

The beauty of this is that what works for you may not work for someone else. So it’s important that we don’t compare our home to another. Make your space work for you and your family! You can start by storing stuff where you use it.

For instance, this may mean keeping dishes in lower cabinets so your kids can help themselves or put them away out of the dishwasher. Your home should function for the season of life you are in. Organization is not once and done; it’s a constant tweaking of systems to make life easier, not more complicated.

One of the posts on my blog that always surprises my readers when I bring it up is that I don’t sort my laundry. I know I’m such a rebel! Yet this area alone has been life changing for me and I highly recommend it if laundry is an area that stresses you out.

My basic advice: Simplify, simplify, simplify even if it goes against everything you’ve ever been taught, ha!

 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Organizing Junkie Laura Wittmann - London Drugs

Laura Wittmann has been working as a professional organizer and blogger since 2006. She is the founder of the blog I’m an Organizing Junkie where she provides regular encouragement and education for organized living. By providing organizing advice and tips, a little bit of tough love, and citing her own personal experiences as a mother of three, she inspires her readers to move from chaotic clutter to sensible order. Laura’s advice has been featured in numerous magazines, including Woman’s World, Better Homes & Gardens, Canadian Living and Family Circle. She lives with her husband and kids in Alberta where she’s constantly on the lookout for her next organizing “fix.” You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram. For additional tips on how to organize your home, you can also drop by your local London Drugs and talk to any of our in-store experts. 

Real Expert Interview: 6 Decluttering Tips from Home Organization Expert Jenn Lifford

Home is where the heart is. Unfortunately, it’s also where all the stuff is, too.

Spring cleaning got an early start this year, thanks to Marie Kondo. But if you haven’t started yet, we’ve got some tips to help. After all, we can’t think of a better way to spend these dark winter days than cozying up in a tidy, organized, and peaceful space. Just add good company and a steaming mug of hot chocolate!

Let’s be real though: getting our homes organized is not always an easy process – both technically and emotionally. The old adage that the things you own end up owning you is true.

That’s why we’ve asked Jenn Lifford, Mission, B.C.-based expert organizer and author of the book The Home Decluttering Diet, six questions about how she gets organized and how you can use her methods to make your home a cleaner, leaner, and more beautiful space to live in.


1. Everyone’s story is unique. Can you tell us a bit about how you came to be an expert in home creation and organization?

 

Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London DrugsI’ve always loved organized spaces, but as our family grew and our time decreased, it became harder and harder to keep up with the chaos. Our house generally looked tidy, but our drawers, closets, and cupboards were overflowing. It was hard to find what we wanted and I always felt so overwhelmed with everything.

At the time, my blog was more of a craft blog, but I started to add a few organizing projects here and there. I found that the posts really resonated with my readers and it helped encourage me to keep going with the organization process. Over time, I developed The Home Organization Diet, which is a year-long plan to declutter, deep clean, and organize the entire home. I still follow this every year (some years more faithfully than others!) to keep up with the ever-changing needs of our family.

I’ve learned that having an organized home is more about changing your mindset and adopting new habits rather than just taking some time to organize a space with pretty bins.

 


2. Getting organized is not a one-step process, and it can be challenging for many. Could you share any growth moments or revelations you’ve experienced while creating and organizing your home?

 

The decluttering process itself is often more complicated than just getting rid of stuff. There are often a lot of emotional reactions that go with it and it can be a hard task for many people.

I learned a lot about myself during this process in terms of what my priorities were and what was really important to me. I’m definitely a lot more intentional now with what I buy and bring into our home.

Throughout the whole organization process, I’ve also been working on trying to let go of the idea of perfection. In the past, I would often put off anything that I could not do exactly the way I wanted. I was always waiting for the perfect time or the perfect budget before starting. I’m now trying to focus more on just making progress and being happier with what I am able to accomplish.

 


3. Do you have any guidance for those wanting to create a warm, relaxing, and organized home? Perhaps some preparation tips, tools, or mindset suggestions?

 

Change of any kind always requires time and patience. Creating a relaxing and organized home is no different.

To avoid getting overwhelmed, focus on one space at a time and appreciate all of the little accomplishments you make along the way (even if you still have a lot of other things you want to do!) Commit to a certain amount of time each week that you will devote to getting things organized and stick with it!

I find that writing down a plan is always helpful and I like to put on a timer to keep myself focused when I’m working.

 

Organized Kitchen | Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London Drugs

 


4. Do you have any products or tools you’re passionate about or find useful in your home creation and organization?

 

While there are a variety of awesome organization products on the market, it’s important that you have a really good idea of the space you have available and what items you need to store before running out and purchasing them.

I love using clear acrylic containers for organizing (I especially love the InterDesign brand). You can find them everywhere from our fridge and pantry to our bathroom cupboards.

I’m also a big fan of Command hooks and use these for hanging smaller items such as dog leashes, keys, and jewellery.

You can also try shopping around your home for everyday items that can be used for organizing. Mason jars, egg containers, pretty bowls, etc., can always be used for other storage purposes.

 


5. We are strong advocates for living green. Do you have any environmentally friendly organizing ideas to share?

 

When you’re going through the decluttering process, it’s important to minimize your waste as much as possible. Be creative with where you donate your items.

Vet clinics are generally happy to take old towels, women’s shelters will take clothing, bedding, and unopened personal care products, while schools are often looking for craft and school supplies or educational toys and games.

If the items are beyond repair, be sure to recycle as much as possible before deciding to throw them into the trash. Check your local recycling guidelines to see what items can be recycled.

Finally, as you’re going through the decluttering process, take note of what items you tend to overbuy or purchase when they’re not really needed. Learn from these past mistakes and be more intentional about what you purchase in the future. There’s no point in taking the time to declutter your home if you’re just going to fill it back up again!

 

Organized Kitchen Command Centre | Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London Drugs

 


6. What are a few unconventional, surprising, or quirky tips you have for creating and organizing your home?

 

In general, having less stuff means having more time for the things you really love. Be sure that the items you keep are ones that you use, love, or make your life better in some way.

Get in the habit of putting items away rather than just putting them down. Taking those few extra seconds to do this will make a huge difference in keeping your home tidy. Make sure that every item in your home has a specific place to live and make sure everyone knows where this is.

The simpler the organization system, the better it will work. Items need to be easy to access and, even more importantly, easy to put away. Make sure everyone in your family knows where things go and stick with it! Over time it will gradually become more of a habit and easier to do.

 

Summer Front Entry Organizing | Jenn Lifford - Home organizing tips influencer expert series | London Drugs

Want to get more ideas on how to organize your beautiful home? Find Jenn at Clean and Scentsible, and on Facebook and Instagram. You can also drop by your local London Drugs and talk to any of our in-store experts.