Marie Kondo has made decluttering the next great lifestyle choice, and our overstuffed closets and basements are grateful for it. Still, actually tidying up our homes can be a huge undertaking, so we have five apps for you that can make cleaning up and clearing out so much easier.
With spring right around the corner, the idea of spring-cleaning your home, and even your computer, is always appealing, but also daunting. It makes your home seem enormous, and the amount of things you own inexplicably infinite. These apps can help you stop the cycle of leaving the work for another time, and start tackling your clutter today.
The apps all do different things, such as categorizing and sorting your stuff, making lists and assigning chores, and even helping you sell or get rid of items you no longer need. With complimentary functions, we encourage getting all five apps together, but of course you can decide what works best for you and your tidying style.
Ultimately, all of the apps will help you declutter, more quickly and easily. Read on to see exactly how, and to get inspired on decluttering your own home and life right now.
The first step in decluttering any space is to assess what objects you already have in there. Sortly, an app designed for taking inventory of your home or workspace, can help with that.
Sortly lets you take pictures of objects in your home, and record things like the item’s value, its purchase date and its warranty expiration. You can then organize these items into categories, such as the room they live in, or, if you’re moving or putting things into storage, what box they were placed in.
Another way to organize items in the app is by material, if you’re documenting clothes or craft supplies, or by origin, if you’re documenting a lot of family heirlooms. It’s easy to move items between folders and categories if you relocate them, or decide on a new system. And all items are searchable within the Sortly app, so you can find them again easily, and make sure you don’t buy a duplicate while out shopping.
Sortly home plans are free, and lets you add up to 100 items on one device. You can upgrade to Sortly Plus for $4.99 a month, or $47.99 for the year (bringing it down to $3.99 a month), which allows you to add as many items as you want, and use the app on 3 devices, plus have web access to your account. Get the app for iOS here, and for Android here.
Once you’ve finally started decluttering, keeping track of what needs to get done can get tricky. Did you manage to wash those sweaters before putting them back in the dresser? Or was that forgotten when you realized the armoire needed to be dusted and polished? Tody is an app that lets you keep track of tasks and chores, and visually see when tasks are completed, and when they’re overdue.
Tody is primarily set up for regular housecleaning, but you can easily set it up for shorter-term decluttering and organizing projects too. You input tasks for particular “Areas,” like bedrooms and bathrooms, or in the “General” area if there isn’t a specific room for something, into the app, and provide an ideal date for that task to be completed.
Tody won’t alert you if you’re close to this date, or if you miss it; the app isn’t here to bully you into working. It merely lets you know something is overdo with a visual bar level, and it’s up to you to step up and accomplish the task. For most people, that’s a much more motivating way to clean and declutter, one that encourages a habit, rather than making regular cleaning or clearing out an agonizing obligation.
You can also assign chores through the app, giving roommates and/or family members the same visual bars and deadlines, so they know what to do and when. This can be very helpful if you want people to go through their closets before you have a yard sale, or for common areas to be cleaned before you have company over, in addition to just helping with regular cleaning assignments (where you can assign how often they should be completed on a scale).
For motivation and organization, especially with multiple people helping with a decluttering project, Tody is the app for you. Start on some to do lists and get going now by downloading the app for iOS here for $6.99, and Android here for a subscription of $5 per year.
Speaking of chore assignments, if you’re trying to declutter with kids around, ChoreMonster is a great way to get them motivated. By turning chore assignments into games, ChoreMonster gets kids excited to clean up and do their homework, and to participate in big decluttering projects.
Here’s how ChoreMonster works—parents use the Mothershp app while kids have ChoreMonster, and parents set the tasks the kids must complete via Mothershp. These tasks can be set as one-time events, or recurring daily or weekly, and they come with rewards, also set by the parents. They can be things like TV or video game time, a special pizza night, or getting a weekly allowance. There are other great kids chore apps if you want to focus solely on granting allowance for completed tasks, but we figure some parents will appreciate the other options presented by ChoreMonster. Kids mark when they’ve completed a task in their own app, giving parents a chance to confirm completion, and then issue the reward.
For a deep decluttering, it’s inevitable the kids would be involved, as their own things need to be tackled along with the rest of the house. ChoreMonster can make their involvement more fun for them, which in turn makes it more fun, and productive, for you. Like with Tody, the secret to ChoreMonster is the inspiration it gives for accomplishing otherwise annoying tasks. And after all, if you could get your kids excited about donating some old toys they don’t use anymore, wouldn’t you jump on it immediately? Get ChoreMonster for your children's devices free now on iOS here, and on Android here. For your own devices, get Mothershp, also free, on iOS here, and Android here.
(A side note: though the app design is quite child-friendly, you could, if you wanted, still use ChoreMonster with adults. The rewards can be set to pretty much anything, after all. If you’d prefer a slightly more adult design, ChoreMonster Inc. also has Landra, which is roughly the same app and also assigned tasks via Mothershp, just designed for teens and above. Get Landra for iOS here, and for Android here).
Sometimes, a decluttering undertaking is too big for one person, or for a busy family or household. In that case, you might benefit from a little outside help, and you can find that outside help through Handy.
Handy is a — pardon the pun — handy way to find house cleaning services, handyman services, or even people to help you mount a television or assemble furniture. The service finds you workers in your area that Handy has pre-screened, so you can be sure you’re getting an independent contractor of high quality that can help you with your project.
Once you find a professional in the app (Handy mostly focuses on housecleaning, so you’ll have some of the most options there), you can set a date and time for them to come work in your home, and then keep track of their progress via the app as well. Basically, you can see when they’re starting the job if you’re not home to see it, and see when they’re wrapping up. Payment takes place securely through the app too, so that’s nice and easy, as it navigating to find the kind of contractor you need in the first place.
Decluttering is pretty difficult to do solo, but you still want to make sure you’re getting help from the right people when you get it. Use Handy for pre-vetted, awesome cleaners and handymen services whenever you need them in your tidying up process. Services within the app vary in price, but the app is free to download, and you can get it for iOS here, Android here, and the web platform right here.
You’ve gone through your things, and you’ve pared down to the essentials. Now you need to know what to do with everything you’ve decided to get rid of. After all, quite a bit of it will be in decent enough condition it doesn’t need to be thrown out. And wouldn’t it be nice to make a little money off of some of your discards?
Enter OfferUp, the app and website designed for selling and buying locally. Just take a picture, set your price and people in your area will be able to see your posting, and make an offer if they’re interested. You talk to people via an in-app messaging system, so strangers don’t need to get much more personal than that by having your phone number or email. You can keep it all within the app, including any price haggling, and figuring out pick up or drop off times for items.
With everything being local, OfferUp provides a great marketplace for used items, and you can put anything on there — furniture, electronics, games, shoes, cars, collectibles. If you name it, you can probably find it somewhere on OfferUp, for a little less than market price.
We’ve written about OfferUp before, as it’s a great alternative to Craigslist, so consider using it after a big decluttering project. You’ll have items to get rid of, after all, and you never know what your neighbors might be interested in taking off your hands. OfferUp is free for iOS here, Android here, and use the web platform here. Like all of these other apps, you’ll find decluttering that much simpler once you have it.
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