Do you need to declutter your phone apps? I didn’t think so, not at first anyway.
Technology is fantastic. Technology allows us to carry around a phone, calculator, camera, and even a miniature-sized computer.
One of my favorite things about my cell phone is the ability to use an app for just about everything.
There’s an app for that!
Seriously, there is an app for everything.
No more searching online for your favorite retailer.
No more doing your budget with pen and paper or on a boring spreadsheet.
Want to track your food? Snap a quick picture with your phone, and the app will even tell you how many estimated calories you are consuming.
Need a guided mediation? There’s an app for that too.
My goodness, we almost don’t need to think anymore. Our phones do it all.
However, with every benefit of a good phone app, there are some downsides too.
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Too many apps come at a financial cost
It’s really not a big deal. This app only costs $2.
Hey, this app is only $5 per month!
Wait a minute, how much am I spending on apps every year?! Do you know?
Apps can be pretty cheap. Not all of them, but many of them are.
Thing is though, those small purchases can really add up over a year, and a lot of us don’t know how much we are spending on them.
Apps are like the dollar section at the front of a Target store. It’s just $1. This item is only $3. Before you know it, over the course of a year, you’ve dropped $300 on nothing more than cheap, plastic crap.
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Recurring subscriptions can really add up!
In addition to the up-front cost of many apps, many of them have recurring subscriptions. Those sneaky marketing gurus.
I know, I know. You signed up for their 7-day free trial, but you’ll remember to cancel in time. Or will you?
I get it. I get it because I’ve gotten suckered into thinking I needed a whole lot more subscriptions than those I could get for free elsewhere or never use.
Go in now and see what apps you are signed up for on a subscription basis?
Not sure how?
iPhone users: Click on Settings. Then, click on your profile name at the very top. Next, click on Subscriptions. Here you can see any and all subscriptions you have signed up for on your iPhone.
Android users: You can manage recurring subscriptions on your GooglePay account. You can find your subscriptions by clicking on the Google Play Store, click on your Google profile in the top right corner. Click on Payments & subscriptions. Then click on subscriptions.
Too many apps can lead to screen clutter
Like physical clutter, clutter on our phone screens can be really draining mentally.
I’m a sucker for the little search function on my phone. That’s the fastest way to find an app that’s buried on page 3 inside a rarely used folder.
However, life is a lot easier when I have a much more systematic approach to the apps on my phone and how they are organized.
Just like with the clutter in your home, less is more. More space, more clarity, more calm.
Not sure about decluttering an app? Just delete it.
It’s not gone forever. You can always download it again if you need it.
I go through phases with needing specific apps. It’s nothing to delete an app, like one that tracks my Christmas spending, and then downloading again next Christmas.
The same goes for food tracking apps. I go through phases where I want to track my food. However, if I’m not in one of those phases, I’ll delete it until I’m ready for it again.
Usually, the data stays with an app unless you cancel your account. You’re just cleaning up a bit. No harm.
Too many apps can create mind clutter
No matter your preference, whether you are an app queen or just an app novice, having too many can be a lot to handle mentally and keep sorted.
Look for apps that consolidate your efforts, if at all possible.
You may not need three food tracking apps, two running apps, a free budgeting app because you like how it handles one piece of the budget and then a paid budgeting app because you like how it handles another.
Pick one. Then, stick to it, learning all its functions and possibly even upgrading… on just that one.
Don’t make things too difficult either.
If you are a pen and paper gal, it’s OK to not use a calendar app.
If you are a budgeting spreadsheet person, no one will know if you use it over a really, cool budgeting app. (I’m a budgeting app gal myself.)
My point, it’s OK to not have an app for everything.
If you land on a website that wants you to download their app to keep reading their material, click the little button to X out of it or the button to “stay on the web.”
If the content is ONLY available with an app, then find the info somewhere else if it’s a one and done thing.
Like the clutter we diligently keep out of our homes, keep the clutter off your phone. Don’t fall into their trap.
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Apps can waste your time
App clutter isn’t just a visual mess. It creates a mess with your use of time as well.
How much time do you waste looking at the apps on your phone?
Yes, include your social media time.
It’s why companies offer apps. It’s way harder to pop in to the mobile website than it is to simply open an app.
Bored? No reason to read a book. Open your phone.
Line too long at the grocery store? No worries. Stare at the app on your phone rather than making conversation with the stranger in front of you.
Apps are great…until they aren’t.
They become time wasters, distractions, and suck up valuable time we could be using to learn a new skill, make a connection, or simply exist peacefully.
If you aren’t sure how much time you are spending on apps on your phone, look it up!
You can see how much screen time you are using on your iPhone and even adjust the settings for you and your family.
Got an Android? You can check out your screen time on those devises as well.
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How to declutter your phone apps
There are several ways you can declutter the apps on your phone.
The first method is pretty straightforward.
Simply scroll through all the folders and pages on your phone and delete the ones you don’t use any more. (First make sure you aren’t paying for them still!)
If you don’t have time to actually go through the apps on your phone, then automate their deletions.
You can go into the settings of your phone and select for any apps not used in the past X days to auto-delete. Easy-peasy!
If you enjoy decluttering your phone apps, try decluttering your home too!
Break a habit
If you pick up your phone and scroll through your apps simply to pass time, breaking this habit may prove difficult at first.
Don’t worry. You aren’t broken. They designed these apps with that purpose in mind.
Like breaking any bad habit, your efforts will take some time.
If you are trying to spend less time in the abyss of apps, consider setting yourself up for success by giving yourself alternatives.
Carry around a book or magazine so you have something in your hands to touch and keep your mind busy.
Go for a walk or stretch instead of reaching for your phone to scroll through another app.
Have a conversation with someone, even a stranger, when you feel the desire to reach for your phone.
Give yourself alternatives. Retrain your brain to exist, without the infinite entertainment hiding on your device.
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Declutter your apps, declutter your mind
Apps on your phone aren’t just a money and time suck. They have a huge impact on your mental existence.
Consider decluttering your apps to not only declutter your phone, but to declutter your mind. You may find you enjoy life a little bit more, and maybe save a few bucks too.