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How To Declutter Your Contact List

How to Organize Your Phone Contact

In Just 15 Minutes a Day!

Day 3 of the Digital Declutter Challenge

Declutter Your Contact List

On Day 3 of the 7 Day Digital Declutter Challenge, we’re going to talk about decluttering your contact list in just 15 minutes. Out of all the days of the 7 Day Digital Declutter Challenge, this 15 minute challenge is my favorite. Why? The first reason is because I instantly see a difference. Scrolling through my contact list takes a lot less time, and I realize how much time I was wasting before. It’s instant gratification, and unlike decluttering my digital photos or decluttering my emails, my contact list usually stays decluttered for a much longer time.

Pro Tip: Before your declutter your contact list:

I use a gmail account and iCloud. I did not realize that these two things were not talking for a long time. I kept looking for contacts that I KNEW I had saved and couldn’t find them anywhere. I googled the problem and found this tutorial that set me straight. Sometimes, technology and I are STILL not friends! But if you are having a similar problem, make sure that you have all of your accounts talking first!


15 minutes declutter challenge:

Delete old contacts!

As a part of the 7 day Digital Declutter Challenge, all I want you to do for 15 minutes is delete. Delete, delete, delete. These should be quick decisions. For me, I found ALL sorts of contacts from when we lived overseas. This made it a very quick and easy process to delete. I don’t have a phone that can call those international numbers any more, so DELETE! Also, probably 75% of the contacts I had on my phone are people I would NEVER call. I’d more than likely email them or message them on WhatsApp or a similar app. I previously saved their numbers for a very specific purpose at a very specific time. Now, their phone numbers are superfluous and taking up my time. DELETE!

Don’t overthink it

I know it’s hard to think of deleting people off your phone. So be very specific about who you WANT on your contacts list. For me, my phone contacts list is just that. A list of people I would CALL. When deleting people, remember, they can’t see if you deleted them. If they are not a current person in your life…delete. You can always get back into contact with them through social media or email if you need. Try not to overthink it too much. If you find yourself spending more than 5 seconds questioning whether or not to delete a person, skip them and move on to the next!

Next Level Organization

Now, if you feel that you have already decluttered your contact list, then I would spend the 15 minutes starting to put your contacts into categories or groups. As I was addressing Christmas cards this year, I not only made sure that I had correct addresses, but I would move that person or family into my Christmas card group. That way, I have my list ready to go for next year. I tried to also make sure I had phone numbers and email addresses for their contact card. This is next level organization though, and definitely took longer than 15 minutes. For next, next, ultra organization level, add all the family members’ names and birthdays. I am not this good, but maybe this should be this year’s goal!

Ongoing Process

Once you get through the first 15 minutes of deleting contacts, you are probably going to see how you would like to organize your list further. This past fall, I was waiting at my daughter’s softball camp. I normally would be scrolling on Instagram or reading Facebook, but instead I took the time to completely declutter my contact list. I started to group them into family, friends, and other important categories like doctors and references. I like to think of my phone contact list for as a guide for who is important in my life. If something happened to me, my phone contact list would be a great place to start to see who needed to be contacted. But now that I have it organized, I probably will not revisit this until we PCS again. That’s the beauty of military life…that contact list is always changing!

Now, Go Forth and Organize!

So that’s it for Day 3 of the 7 Day Digital Declutter Challenge. Please feel free to leave me a comment to let me know how you did or if you have further questions! To take part in the 7 Day Digital Declutter Challenge, you can go back and start at day 1 or pick another 15 minute challenge that sounds good to you. If you are wanting to hear more, please subscribe to my email list for updated tips and upcoming organizing and decluttering events with me!

If you would like to read about the other days in the 7 Day Digital Declutter Challenge please read the articles here (presently some articles are still in process 😊):

6 Responses

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever decluttered my contact list. It’s a great idea. Perfect for when I’m sitting in my car, waiting. I’m sure some of my contacts are no longer accurate.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  2. Good advice for peeps with too many contacts.

    I don’t delete my contacts very often, but that’s because nobody gets INTO my contacts without some very decisive planning. If someone’s going in for a temporary reason (like I’m putting in a taxi service, hotel, or other locations trip), I put a code in front, like Z-ABC Taxi or Z-HotelLa-Dee-Da. That way, when the trip is over, I can easily delete everything with the Z appended in front of it. Similarly, if someone in my contacts is unrelated to me (like, how I list my mother’s physicians, in case I need to contact them), I put in a codeword in front of their names. It makes it so much easier to find Mom-Dentist, Mom-Neurologist, etc. than to search for the right name.

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Jana Arevalo- Declutter Coach, The Organized Military Life

Hello! I'm Jana

Hi! I’m Jana! I have been a military spouse for 18 years, and I am experienced when it comes to PCS moves, organizing new spaces, and creating more efficient systems for my family. I understand the feeling of anxiety and overwhelm that can come with clutter, and that’s why I love helping military spouses, busy moms and small business owners declutter and organize their homes, digital lives and paperwork!

I am an Amazon Associate as well as an affiliate with Share-a-Sale and List & File, Military Life Binders. I receive a small commission (at no cost to you!) if you purchase through my links. Thank you!


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