For someone who is a Mac Consultant by trade and curator of a Mac centric website by labor of love, nothing is more prone to clutter then my Applications folder. Whether it is downloading and installing software to replicate a client’s setup or something to write about here to report to you, it is one of those things I am obligated to do that flies clearly in the face of everything I believe in and espouse here.

Because of this, every couple of weeks or so, I find myself going through my Applications folder and cleaning house. I throw out anything I have installed that does not meet a specific personal need and, while there, taking the time to question everything else as well. The internal dialog usually goes something like this…

Me: Do I really still need Firefox even though I have switched to Safari?
Me Too: Well, I do some web development for clients so I need it for testing.
Me: But can’t I just delete it and download and install it again when I need it?
Me Too: Sure I could but that takes time. What is more valuable, my time or that disk space?

I think you see where this is going. My point being that every need is different and can be apparent and fluid all at the same time. As I have said before, if you need two browsers to get the job done (or three, or four) then it makes sense to have them – but never be afraid to question that decision. In fact, do so as often as it makes sense. For me, and the amount of apps I install on a regular basis, that is once or twice a month. For most, I argue that should be at the very least once a year.

Do it now. Go through your Applications folder. Anything that came with your Mac, leave pretty much without question. For everything else, have this internal Q&A with yourself as you look at every other application you have installed:

Do I need this? When was the last time I launched it? Why? Is there another app that can do the same thing? If I delete it, would it be easy to install again should I need it?

There are no right answers here – unless it is an application you no longer use and have no plans to use again. In which case, the answer should be obvious.