Personalized home organization
Entrepreneur, mom, & wife
We talk a lot about organizing our homes and how it improves our lives and families. But have you thought about doing the same for your phone? We spend so much time on our phones but don’t consider how the disorganization there is affecting us.
As parents, we only have so much time to find things either in our homes or on our phones. Need to find the app for your kid’s school? You want to find that quickly. Not to mention, when our phones are cluttered, it clutters our mind. Outer order leads to inner calm (Gretchen Rubin). Another space you look often but don’t think about is your phone. When your phone is organized and less cluttered, your mind will be less cluttered!
When organizing our phones, I want to focus on one way to digitally declutter, decluttering your apps on your phone. This can make a huge difference on the daily use of your phone and your mental state after using it.
As like many organization projects, the initial session will be the longest and most difficult, but then it is a lot easier to maintain!
When you start going through your phone, it helps to evaluate the apps you use regularly and those that have become redundant. I first just want you to decide which apps have value to you. Do you still have an app from your kid’s old daycare? Probably don’t need that anymore. Anything that you know on the spot you don’t need, delete it!
As you evaluate, consider the relevance of each app to your parenting and family needs. In our family, a calendar is essential! Managing three kids and their activities plus being able to keep my husband in the loop on what’s going on. We have a shared calendar where we put relevant events for each other. He puts early meetings on the calendar so I know he can’t take the kids to school. I put weekend meetings with friends on the calendar so he knows he’s on the kids.
As you go through, triage your apps. Think through which ones are the most important and most relevant to you and your life right now. Think through apps that are not your favorite (hey Instagram!) but you don’t necessarily want to get rid of it. If it helps, write down the most important apps for you to be able to find as well as those that you use every day (also hey Instagram!).
Once you’ve gone through your apps and deleted the obvious, look at those apps that you don’t use often (or don’t want to use often) and delete some of them. These are apps that you kept the first time because “maybe” you’d need them. This is the same mentality of keeping kitchen items that you may use one day. Except, apps are even easier to replace!
When you delete an app, it’s not gone forever. You have two options: you can delete from your phone (which is still easy to bring back) or delete from your home screen.
The apps I delete from my home screen are those I don’t use on a regular basis, but still want to have access to. Examples of these kinds of apps include our pediatrician app, our trash collection app, and the peloton app. I want to have these on my phone, but I don’t use them all the time.
When I go through my phone, apps I completely delete are those I do not need at all right now. Sometimes, that’s Instagram. I delete the Instagram app occasionally to keep myself from going on when I don’t want to go on Instagram. I also deleted the app from my eldest’s summer camp. He’s probably going back next summer, but I won’t need it until then. It’s easy to reinstall when I need it.
Unlike decluttering physical items, that sometimes can be more difficult to reacquire if you made a mistake in decluttering (doesn’t happen often, I promise!) reacquiring apps is really easy. You just redownload the app if you decide you want it back. Just make sure you have a spot for it!
When it comes to organizing your apps, like everything, there are a lot of different ways to do it. As a busy parent myself, I find grouping apps on a page by use is the easiest way to find what I need.
As you thought through your apps, you should have an idea of what kinds of apps you use the most. Those should go on your first screen. Those are the ones you will be clicking most often when you open your phone. Examples I have on my first screen are my kids’ school apps, kindle, podcast app, safari, spotify, weather, notes app and email. At the bottom of the screen, I have prioritized the apps I use and would like to use the most. These include text messages, calendar, and audible.
I don’t put email at the bottom because I don’t want to click on it the most often. I would rather default to an audio book or even check my calendar for what else I would like to get done.
The key to organizing your apps is making sure you can find what you need. The second screen is some lesser used apps, but still relevant for my life. This includes some work apps for me like quickbooks and my label maker app. I also have instacart and our ADT app here. I don’t use these every day but do use them often enough.
That’s all I have! Any other apps that are used less frequently aren’t on my home screen. This keeps my home screen less cluttered and I can always search for apps when it’s not on my home screen and find it pretty easily.
After you organize your apps, look through them again. Make sure those that are most easily accessible, as those that are most relevant to your life. Think about what you need to run your day to day life. I have my calendar, notes app and task management apps most easily accessible so I can use them when I need to. I also use the voice memo app often when I think of something in the car!
Keep all of these apps on the home screen so they’re easiest to find when you need them. Then, when it’s time for those other apps that you don’t need as often, you can search for them quickly without having them cluttering up your home screen!
When it comes to any organization project, the key is having regular maintenance. Just like your home, your phone will not always be perfectly decluttered. You need to maintain it. I like to put on my calendar once a quarter to audit my apps. I do the same process I just walked you through, but it goes a lot quicker.
I also like to do this randomly when I have time, so my quarterly audits go even quicker. I like to do this when I have a minute in the doctor’s office or waiting for another child appointment and they happen to be entertained. I take a look through my home screen and make sure those apps are the ones I want to click on the most or need to click on the most.
Even though people don’t think about it often, it helps your daily life to declutter your phone. Not only does it make it aesthetically pleasing to look it, it also makes your phone more functional. Now, when you get on your phone, the first thing staring at you isn’t the app that sucks you in. Now, it can be the app you got on your phone to use in the first place!
As parents, we’re always searching for ways to reduce stress and this is one that can definitely help!
As you’re decluttering, if you need any more help, check out our decluttering guide for your home and utilize the same practices for your phone!
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Wildely Organized 2024
Based in Houston, TX, Wildely Organized offers compassionate, professional in-home organization services that empower families to live functional lives in a space they love.
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