It’s not just your office space that might feel cluttered, or that one closet in your home littered with random stuff.
Our smartphones can look disheveled, too.
As our iPhones and Android smartphones accommodate more apps thanks to generous storage upgrades, we’re piling up downloads from our preferred app stores.
And even with all the folders, widgets, and other tools available to help us keep track of our apps, our phones can still feel like a hot mess. I’ve got enough apps on my iPhone that I sometimes forget I’ve downloaded something, scrolling through multiple screens on my own app scavenger hunt.
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But it doesn’t have to be this way.
There are tricks to controlling the chaos and giving yourself a more tidy smartphone. Here are some tips to declutter that iPhone, Samsung Galaxy, or any smartphone you own.
Delete apps and clear the decks
Go through and clear out any apps you either don’t want or still like but want to pull from your screen as a shortcut.
On iPhone, press and hold on an app until a popup appears with multiple options including delete the app or edit the home screen. When you edit the home screen, you’ll see all the apps shake. Tapping the minus sign will let you either delete the app or send it to your app library, which means you keep the app but get rid of the shortcut on your screen.
While still in the edit home screen mode (apps are still shaking), when you click the dots along the bottom of the screen, you can delete whole home screens to speed up the process.
The process works similarly on Android smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy, tapping and holding an app to remove the shortcut or the app itself.
Organizing your phone apps
Here comes the fun part: figuring out how you want to organize your apps. Here are a few options:
If you prefer having as few screens to swipe through as possible, folders are your best bet. On both iPhone and Android, tap and hold on an app, then move it with your finger on top of another app to create a folder.
Then you can name it whatever you choose. For example, you could have one folder for gaming apps, another for social media, and another for shopping apps.
Widgets offer a view
The plus side to widgets is you can get a quick glance at information without having to open the app. For example, you need a view of the weather, or the next appointment appearing through your calendar app.
To add one on iPhone, you return to that edit home screen function, then hit the plus sign in the top left corner. This pulls up all the available widgets you can add, ranging in size from smaller squares to rectangles that can span the width of the screen.
On Samsung devices, tap and hold on an empty spot on the screen, then choose widgets.
Themed home screens
Combined with widgets, you could have separate screens each carrying a specific theme. You may have a “work” screen, for example, where your office email and related apps reside, then a separate “fun” screen you can swipe toward to get to games or other digital diversions.
Follow Brett Molina on Twitter: @brettmolina23.