Learn how to declutter and organize your Instagram collection folders, DM inbox, and following count with these quick and easy tips.
Raise your hand if Instagram has become the new Pinterest for you? You spend hours and hours scrolling, liking, saving, and sometimes screenshotting all kinds of inspo for your home, meals, closet, and weekend plans. But how many times have you went back later to find what you thought you saved, only to waste 30 minutes and come up empty handed? I got this question from Katie and wanted to answer it here on the blog so you can get your IG just as organized as she’s about to get hers.
“I save a lot of posts on Instagram but I have a hard time finding them again later. All my folders are labeled but sometimes I forget to assign a post to a category and other times they just get all jumbled. Do you have advice for organizing saved IG posts? Also, I’d like tips for my DM inbox and people I follow to show up in my feed. My Insta is a big fat mess!”
Organizing Saved Instagram Posts
First things first, let’s talk about saving posts, videos, and Reels. The save feature is super handy, but unless you’ve got a good system, you’re setting yourself up for a mess. You may have some folders (IG calls them Collections) in place already, but I want to challenge you to get more specific. Instead of “home ideas” or “yum”, create more detailed folders like “living room” or “brunch recipes”.
Another cool trick is that you can save an Instagram photo to your Pinterest account. So if you typically reference your Pinterest boards for ideas, here’s how to save an IG post to Pinterest: click the three dots in the top right corner of the post, then click “share to”. A list of apps will come up and you can choose Pinterest (as long as you have the Pinterest mobile app installed on your phone) then choose the board you want to save to. Easy!
I also want to discourage you from screenshotting some images and saving others. This isn’t an effective way to organize your inspo and will cause you a lot of confusion. Plus, screenshotting doesn’t allow you to see the whole caption or product tags, which you may need in the future. Saving within Instagram or Pinterest is always best.
Organizing Your DM Inbox
Ugh, I wish there was an easier way to organize Instagram messages. The search bar at the top is pretty much useless unless you remember the username of the person you talked with. It doesn’t pull up keywords in the search, only names, so you can’t really count on the search bar to help you much.
If you have the option to divide your messages into Primary and General, this can help a little bit, but in my opinion it just makes finding past messages even harder. Now I’ve got two inboxes to sift through.
My best advice for keeping your DMs cleaned up and as neat as possible is to delete any messages you don’t need anymore (like Story reactions from random people) and flagging important messages.
If you are having a conversation that you think you might need to revisit later and don’t think you’ll remember the username of whom you were talking to, you can slide the message to the left, choose “more”, then “flag” the message. You can use the message filter function to show only flagged messages which will help narrow down your search.
Getting Someone To Show Up In Your Feed
I’m no algorithm expert, and Instagram changes all the time, but the best way to get someone’s content to show up in your feed and story bubbles is to interact with them more. Send them DMs, respond to their stories, and comment and save their posts.
This tells Instagram that you’re interested in them and the algorithm makes sure to serve up more of their content. It’s so frustrating to find someone new and follow them, then never see their stuff in your feed again. As long as you engage with the accounts you want to see more of, they’ll stay in priority order.
A Note On Your Following Count
If you’re following 5000 people, there’s no way you can actually keep up with all 5000 of them. It’s impossible for Instagram to make sure you see everything from everyone. That’s why they prioritize your most engaged friends in the first place. So I want to encourage you to only follow people you’re interested in and not just follow people back because they follow you.
Keep your following list narrowed down to the ones you enjoy seeing, and don’t follow random accounts just for giveaways or because they’re a celebrity. Following celebs is great, as long as you enjoy their content. But if your fave movie star has an account but only posts photos of his cars and you don’t care about cars at all, you don’t need to follow.
Want More Digital Organization Tips?
Here’s a post about how to organize your Pinterest boards, and here’s one to declutter your Gmail inbox. Have a question about organizing your home or digital life? Send them here and if it’s a topic that would make a rockin’ blog post, I’d love to answer it right here for you!