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These 5 great apps can help declutter your home—and your life

If being cooped up during the pandemic has left you with too much stuff, you need these tools.

These 5 great apps can help declutter your home—and your life
[Photo: Sweepy]
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Decluttering can be a difficult task for many people even in normal times. Toss in a global pandemic that kept us inside our homes for months on end, box after box arriving on our doorsteps? Something’s gotta give!

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Now that we’re slowly but surely opening back up, we’ve got lots to do (again) but not enough time. It can be hard to know where to start, and these great decluttering tools can help.

See what you’ve got (and get rid of it) with Byebye

The free Byebye: Declutter app helps you straighten up by providing a checklist of things to get rid of.

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You create lists and add to them by snapping quick photos of items. When finished, you can add context to each (how often used, cost, and other notes) to get a clear view of all you have—and may no longer need—toggling a “Regret” slider, if you’re having second thoughts about a purchase.

From there, Byebye offers a built-in marketplace where you can sell, swap, or donate your discarded items. You’ll see others’ decluttering inventories, too, and can have direct chats about items that catch your eye for, say, a future acquisition. (Let’s maybe finish decluttering first!)

This app might also save you from becoming a hoarder: The dashboard shows your purchase patterns, your regrets, and things you’ve accumulated in excess—like the dozen or so ancient, and now incompatible, iPhone chargers I’ve had stashed away.

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Keep it clean with Sweepy

Sweepy is an app that helps you create cleaning schedules to keep your home clean and tidy. It shows how to split household chores among family members, and even rewards with “effort points” to encourage a little harmless competition.

There are options for weekly, monthly, or even quarterly sessions that fade statuses from green to yellow to red over time (my favorite is the “good enough” yellow status). This allows you to keep an eye on which rooms or cleaning tasks need the most attention.

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The app ($2.49/month or $16.49/year) syncs between devices, lets you keep tabs on your kids’ chores, and features a leaderboard for the aforementioned competitive aspects.

Purge your papers with Adobe Scan

Nothing clutters up a house quite like piles of aging paperwork. To the rescue: the excellent, and free, Adobe Scan app, which uses your phone’s camera to create high-quality PDFs as easily as taking a photo.

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The app intelligently straightens out documents, receipts, pictures, and various other scannables, automatically removing shadows and backgrounds. It can even identify and convert email addresses, phone numbers, and web addresses into clickable elements.

Subdue your subscriptions with Unroll.me

Hate to say I told you so, but a big part of the reason you need to do all this decluttering is because you buy too much stuff.

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Get rid of temptation with the free Unroll.me app, which hooks into your email service, finds all the promotional mail you’ve subscribed to, and lets you unsubscribe with ease.

It does this by sending you a daily “Rollup” digest of all your subscription emails, letting you quickly peruse what’s on offer, read through full messages if something piques your interest, and sever ties with sites and services you no longer wish to hear from.

Note: The service is free because your data is used for market intelligence by Unroll.me’s parent company, Rakuten. However, once you’ve signed up, you can opt out of data usage and ad tracking in the data section of your profile.

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Thumbtack: Can’t someone else do it?

Time is money and decluttering is awful, which ends up being quite a potent combination for some people. For those of you who want to get organized but just don’t have the time, willpower, or wherewithal, there’s Thumbtack.

The free app connects people who need help with professional service providers, such as handymen, house cleaners, painters, or—you guessed it—professional organizers.

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You can see who’s available in your area, how much they charge, reviews by former clients, and more. Simply offer up a bit of information about your project, snap a few photos, and wait for the bids to roll in.