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How to Declutter your Apps in 15 Minutes!

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Declutter and Organize your Phone Apps

This past week, my daughter picked up my phone and exclaimed, “MOM! Why do you have sooooo mannnny apppps?” Can’t you hear the teenager? Sometimes, calling yourself a professional organizer can have some real-life consequences. Like everyone in your home is swift to point out areas in your life that might be…ahem…DISorganized or, even worse… cluttered. So, I set off on a mission to declutter my apps and wanted to share my tips below.

Tips to Declutter Phone apps
How to declutter your phone apps

Why declutter your apps?

Did you know that modern humans spend about 4.5 hours a week sorting through digital clutter to find what we are looking for? While this number includes all of our digital clutter, our phone makes up a significant part. Too many apps on our home screen can lead to “app fatigue” and cause mental stress when trying to locate or retrieve a particular app quickly.

Assess your Usage

The first step is to figure out which apps you use. To figure out your app usage, you can follow these steps:

(tip: in iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> iPhone Storage -> Last Used Date)

This process will show you the date you last used your apps and their size. From this list, you can start making some decisions to see any apps that you can quickly and easily delete from your phone.

Be ruthless

Make this next part a 15-minute challenge! Take 15 minutes and start deleting and moving your apps. If you would like, you can download an app (I know, I know) to help make your phone look more streamlined and aesthetic. I used the app “Photowidget,” with a bit of help from the aforementioned teenager, and I LOVE the result:

A pic of a decluttered home screen
My new home screen!

Prioritize your Most Used Apps

For the home screen, choose only your most used apps. As you can see on my screen, I included two “widgets,” leaving only room for 16 of my most used apps. I chose to put those apps in alphabetical order. The rest of my apps are on the next screen and in alphabetical order for easy retrieval.

Use Categories

Another way to organize your apps is by using categories. Those folders are a bit small on my home screen, and I noticed it was taking me more time to try to find the apps in the folders. However, the folders can work well if you can keep your apps to a minimum. Here’s an example from the Home Edit of a color-coded home screen:

Regular Maintenance

The last step for decluttering and organizing your apps is to keep up with them! Set a time to assess your apps regularly and whether they work for you. Did you download some apps and discover you don’t need them? DELETE THEM! Did you use an app for a while, but it’s no longer serving you? Delete it! Setting a time (like the first or last of the month) is a great way to regularly evaluate your app usage to make sure you are not overwhelmed by your digital clutter!

How do you organize your apps? Are you a one-screen iPhone app organizer, or do you like to see all of your apps spread out? Let me know how you organize and if there is something cool that I need to know about.

Read more about the 7-Day Digital Declutter Challenge here, and check out these articles all about digital decluttering:

Declutter and Organize Your Digital Photos

How To Declutter Your Email

How To Declutter Your Contact List

Digital Detox: 5 things to do TODAY

7 Benefits of a Digital Detox

Graphic for Creating Spaces: Decluttering Tips for Military Spouses, a private Facebook group

Happy Organizing, y’all!

16 Responses

  1. Great info Jana, I like keeping my apps in categories, and your blog today is a reminder that I need to go through some of my apps and delete what’s not being used. Have a wonderful day.

    1. I found there were a lot of apps that I only use once or twice a year, and you could “remove from home screen,” as an option. This way it didn’t completely erase all your data but got it off the screen.

  2. These are clear and detailed steps for decluttering the phone apps. While reading your post, I paused to check my iPhone storage to see which apps I used regularly. Also, I identified potential candidates for deletion. I have more apps on my phone than I use. A while ago, I edited them, but maybe it’s time to do another look through and release.

    How do you alphabetize your apps? Is there a keystroke to do it, or is that something you do manually?

    1. Thank you so much! So the app that I talked about in the post automatically alphabetized it for me, but for other apps I just did it manually. I’ll look into see if there’s an option to do it through the iPhone without having to download an extra app. 😀

  3. Great tips! I went through and found that my Safari had stored 2 GB of past data. Odd. Delete… Thanks for the tip about unifying the color of the iPhone. I’m going to check that out. I may have my daughter help me with that one. =)

  4. I like to see all my apps, so even though I love folders, I don’t use them on my phone.

    I have moved my most frequently used apps to my first page. It’s sort of like a grocery store, in that I learn where apps are, and anytime I make a change, I sort of have to find them all over again. Therefore, I don’t change their location often.

    That said, I noticed just yesterday that I have an app I never use. I really should just delete it. You’ve motivated me!

  5. Excellent and clear steps! Your new home screen looks very sleek and color-coordinated, but if I had all of my apps in one color schedule, I’d never remember which one was which. I notice them by color and position, as I’m usually only using the non-phone/text apps when I’m walking, and then I’m not wearing my glasses! 😉 But my clients might really find Photowidget interesting, so please thank your daughter for us!

    I used to keep fewer apps on my phone, but I got tired of reinstalling them each time I traveled, or went to a restaurant, or needed to more than the basics (usually, when I’m out of town). Now, I keep anything I use, even if rarely. I group similarly-themed apps in a row if I use them all the time (financial ones, or all the socials; everything I use less often go in folders (food, shopping, travel).

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Jana Arevalo

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 some AMAZING military spouse businesses. When you make a purchase using my links you are supporting my small business and I am so grateful! Thank you!


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