Daniel ‘Mamba’ Odoi

On Decluttering Your Device

Published about 1 month ago • 5 min read

Reading time: 4-5 minutes

Hey legend,

Have you ever had this notification pop up?

I'm sure you have.

We all have at some stage.

So don't worry - you're not alone.

During our latest Storyteller Sprint Check-In call, Dulare shared an update relating to her "digital declutter" key focus area for our January Sprint.

For background - she was feeling overwhelmed with the volume of unused content (photos & videos) taking up storage space, mentioning that at one point, she only had 3GB left on her 128GB iPhone.

You might relate to this...

Fair to say, that we were absolutely stoked that for her latest update, she shared that she had deleted 75GB of "hoarded or forgotten" content, solving the storage bottleneck she was facing.

Amongst the celebration and recognition of her massive feat, a few of the Storytellers confessed to how outrageous their smartphone device's storage stats were:

I was #shook when I saw these chats come through.

But I also realised it's more common than not.

So if you fall into a similar boat and use your smartphone as your primary content creation device - then this is for you.

I've compiled the best tips I've come across when it comes to decluttering my device and reclaiming storage space, so I trust this will serve you well.

Note: I'm going to be referencing my iPhone device so if you have an alternative smartphone model, the overall steps will be similar but you'll just need to look for the equivalent sections/features in your device.

Step 1: Overview

First, you need to audit the breakdown of your device's storage space

Go to “Settings” -> “General” -> “iPhone Storage"

Here you can now see:

  • How much space you have left; and
  • What is taking up the majority of space

Now that you've got an overview, it's time to start offloading.

Step 2: Offload

Here are 3 ways you can reclaim (a lot) of storage space on your device by offloading major storage fillers.

1. Apps

From the "iPhone Storage" screen, the apps will be listed in descending order of space occupied.

Go through them each and decide:

If you use the app occasionally: Select Offload App

If you don't use the app at all: Select Delete App

For more information on each of these options, check out the descriptions provided underneath each option (see below)

2. Messages

If you exchange a lot of media (i.e. lots of photos and videos) via iMessage, then your storage can fill up quickly without you realising it.

For iOS devices, you can set your iMessage conversations to automatically delete after 30 days, instead of keeping them forever.

Go to “Settings” -> “Messages” and select “Keep Messages”

  • 30 Days (highly recommended)
  • 1 Year
  • Forever (the default setting)

3. Photos & Videos

These are most likely going to take up the most space so here's what to do about it:

🔄 Duplicates

If you’ve ever taken a few versions of the same photo and never bothered to review and delete those extra photos, then make use of the Duplicates feature.

Go to “Photos” -> Scroll down to Utilities -> “Duplicates”

Tap on Merge to let your device identify and combine all identical photos on your device, freeing up space from all the unnecessary duplicates.

🗑️ Recently Deleted

Even when you manually delete photos or videos, they’re not immediately gone from your device.

Apple has a default feature that keeps them in a "trash can" on your device for 30 days before automatically deleting them.

You can speed this process up if you've got a lot of media sitting there

Go to “Photos” -> Scoll down to Utilities -> “Recently Deleted”

Then in the bottom right, tap on the circle with 3 dots and then Delete All to clear your trash can.

Image Capture app (on Mac)

Now, to bulk offload all of your photos and videos, use the native Mac app called 'Image Capture.

This will save you dozens of hours of having to individually select and AirDrop your media to your desktop computer.

You just need your lightning cable to connect your device to your Mac and then open the Image Capture app:

Then, tap on the circle with 3 dots on the top right, and check the box that reads Delete after import so it'll automatically clear them from your device.

Then, once you've highlighted all of your photos & videos to import (and delete), click on the "Download" button in the lower right and let it get to work!

Step 3: Organise

Now that you've offloaded your device, it's time to organise the photos and videos that you've just imported to your desktop computer.

I recommend just 2 steps:

  1. Choose where you'll store it
  2. Create a system for storing it

Here's how you can do it:

1. Choose Your Storage Method

(i) External Hard-Drive

If you prefer a more physical or "tangible" solution to store your files, then invest in an external hard-drive from a local office & tech supplies store (see below for examples).

External hard-drives have become very extremely affordable, portable and long-lasting and affordable, as you can pick up a 1TB (= 1000GB) drive for < $100.

(ii) Cloud-Based Storage

Alternatively, if don't want to carry additional computer accessories, then you can opt for cloud-based storage, assuming that you'll have access to high-speed and reliable internet.

Nowadays there are lots of easy-to-use, free (or highly affordable) cloud-based platforms, such as Apple's native "Files" app that includes 5GB of free iCloud storage

As an Apple-native user, I use it as it syncs across all of my Apple devices.

But if you're not an Apple user or want a little more space, you can also consider:

2. Use A Folder Naming System

To avoid going insane, I highly recommend taking the time to establish a simple folder naming system that you can easily reference and organise for the future.

Here's the approach I use for my folder name system:

📂 Theme - 📂 Year - 📂 MMDD Event, topic or location

In the case of organising folders for your content, it would end up in an orderly layout like this:

📂 Content
-- 📂 2024
----📂 0121 Rental Promo Video
----📂 0123 Bellroy Tokyo Work Bag
----📂 0128 Nose-Strips Review

That way, if I ever need to search for specific content, I can either reference the month and date ("MMDD") or the keywords of the event, topic or location.

So in summary

  1. Overview: Identify how much space is left and what's taking up the most space
  2. Offload: Use the list to deal with the apps, messages and photos/videos taking up the most space
  3. Organise: Decide where you'll be storing your media and create a consistent folder naming structure

I hope this serves you well and I'll see you in the next update,


PS: Whenever you’re ready, here are 3 other ways I can help you:

1. Tools - My recommended tools to streamline your digital business and content creation.

Masterclass - Enrol in my Digital Rebrand Masterclass to refresh your digital headshot, colour palette, fonts, logo, bio and links.

3. Sprints – Join our next cohort of digital storytellers to scale your digital influence, impact & income.


Affiliate Disclaimer
: Occasionally, I'll share referral or affiliate links for products or services I'm absolutely in love with. If you decide to click on those links and make a purchase yourself, I earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you)

Daniel ‘Mamba’ Odoi

Your Digital Storytelling. Simplified

Simplicity scales, complexity fails. Join the community of digital storytellers scaling their influence, impact & income with smarter systems.

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