How to Declutter Your Phone, ‘Marie Kondo’ Style

Reading Time: 3 minutesScreentime is powerful. It can connect us with people and ideas all over the world! However, with so many services, apps, and ideas vying for our attention, our time spent staring into cyberspace through our phone has become a little bit chaotic. Here’s how to declutter your phone, Marie Kondo style.

I’d been using my technology so much that it had become cluttered the same way a tiny apartment you rarely leave becomes messy and overwhelming to be in.

mum and her child using a smartphone

So, I decided it was time to spark some joy and get back on track using some of Marie Kondo’s principles to declutter and bring some much-needed digital order to my life and my phone.

In case you aren’t already familiar with the magic that is Marie Kondo, she is a Japanese organisational expert who is known for helping people tidy up and “spark joy” in their homes and lives by introducing a simple, yet compelling method of organisation – also known as the KonMari Method – that focuses on decluttering.

Here is how I Konmari-ed my smart phone.

Step 1: I Deleted Apps on My Phone That No Longer “Sparked Joy.” 

This was definitely the most overwhelming step, but it was also a fun trip down memory lane. As I perused each and every app on my iPhone, I was able to not only delete apps I no longer needed, but at the same time, I was able to think through the events in my life that led me to those apps and the times that I’d needed them for one reason or another.

All in all, I deleted about 50% of my iPhone apps, ranging from ones that no longer applied to my life to ones that were so old that updates had long since stopped coming out to support them.

Step 2: I Folded My Apps Like Marie Folds Her Shirts.

With my remaining apps, I folded them neatly into categories like “Live Long.” It’s wonderful to see your apps that helping you along a goal cheering you on like electronic elves. “You can do it!” says my Zero app.

I even took it one step further and lined up all of my app folders at the very top of my iPhone screen. Having folders just along the top of my screen makes for the simplest way to see everything and flip through my apps quickly. Also, it has the added bonus of allowing me to actually see the beautiful background image of my family (which has been covered by apps for years!).

Finally, I folded those kid apps and moved all of the games and other things my youngest child uses on my phone to a single page – making them easy for her to see and easy for me to avoid.

three children playing on a phone

Step 3: I Organised My Apps To Support Good Habits

Using some of my favourite principles from James Clear’s Atomic Habits, I made the apps that are part of my personal and family goals (I call them my “Veggie Apps”) “frictionless” and made my distraction apps (I call them my “Candy Apps”) very hard to find or “full of friction.”

In life (and on your phone), you always want to declutter enough to light the way to those crucial, helpful tools and habits, and put up as many barriers as possible to the things that bring distraction and chaos.

Now, rather than serving as a weapon of mass distraction, my iPhone is a newly sharpened samurai sword for productivity and peace in my life!

I don’t feel overwhelmed or distracted, but instead like I can conquer the world (or at least my daily schedule) with my trusty phone in my pocket. Next Up: I’ll be helping my kids ‘Marie Kondo’ their iPads. Wish us luck!

This article was written by Arcadia Kim for and is republished here as part of an editorial partnership. 

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