The Tannehill Homestead
Intentional Living Simple Living

What Happened When I Removed Apps from my Phone I Didn’t Need

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It seems like the majority of people are addicted to their phones, and the more apps they have the better. However, something remarkable happened when I removed apps from my phone that I didn’t need. Remarkable enough to share with you!

Most of the apps I on my phone where on there due to being what other people recommended or consistently wanting to “stay in the know” regardless of where I was.

While I know the amount of apps I had is nothing compared to other people, this is not a comparison game.

It is about the access to these things that deprive us of so much we don’t realize, because we don’t take the time to look up and smell the roses.

Since removing these apps from my phone, I remember what life was like before smartphones existed. I still cannot believe that only 10 years ago the majority of people didn’t even have smartphones.

It seems like the majority of people are addicted to their phones, and the more apps they have the better. However, something remarkable happened when I removed apps from my phone that I didn't need.

The Start of Removing Apps from My Phone

During my 30 Day Minimalist Decluttering Challenge, I removed apps from my phone that I wasn’t using, and it felt amazing!

I consolidated my remaining apps into categories such as, Be Social, $$$, Save $$$, and Apps! [the apps you are required to have and cannot remove]. Leaving me with a total of 15 icons on my home screen.

What Happened When I Removed Several Apps From My Phone | www.thetannehillhomestead.com What Happened When I Removed Several Apps From My Phone | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

I remember feeling so accomplished by being able to reduce my icons with removing an entire row of icons! However, I still felt trapped with my phone.

Constantly checking to see if someone liked my Instagram photo, if there was a comment on my blog, or if there were any important emails I needed to check.

I decided enough is enough!

I simplified my phone to get space from my phone, to remove the anxiety about checking it all of the time. So this past week, I simplified my phone even more, by removing my email app and relocated a few apps!

I was so nervous to make this change, because of my blog; but I made the change anyways. So what does my phone look like now?

What Happened When I Removed Several Apps From My Phone | www.thetannehillhomestead.com

I removed my Outlook App altogether. It had my personal and blog email set up and it was too much for me to always check.

I relocated my Safari and Pandora Apps, and removed 5 apps from my Be Social! icon: Bloglovin, Goodreads, Layouts (by Instagram), WordPress, and Twitter. None of these brought anything to the table, as far as for accessing from my phone.

Also, I removed 3 apps from my Save $$$: Shopkick, SavingStar, and Swagbucks. I did not use these apps to their full potential, and they were only taking up space.

I also decided to give my group apps icons instead of words, and have only my Phone App at the bottom; because [to me] it simplifies my phone that much more.

So what happened when I removed apps from my phone I didn’t need?

I stopped checking my phone as often. //

A result to not having as much to check, I have not checked my phone as often. I do not have notifications going off, unless for phone calls or text messages.

There is less interruption during my day, and a peace of mind that comes with it.

It is no longer an additional body part. //

I used to have my phone on me at all times. However, since removing these apps that created that need to have my phone, I have found myself leaving it by my bed for most of the day on the weekends, or in my purse while at work.

I usually only have my phone in front of me if I am needing it to talk, text, take pictures, or occasionally check up on Instagram.

I have realized a smart phone is a privilege. //

Ten years ago, I had a Motorola Razor [best phone ever invented!]. I did not have internet and I certainly did not have a quality camera on that phone. So why have I felt these things are a necessity now? Well, it isn’t!

Yes, I really enjoy sharing my pictures on Instagram and Facebook, and I do not plan on changing to a phone without internet. It is a privilege that I chose to have!

I do not feel bad for not responding immediately to something. //

If something happens on one of my social media accounts, I do not have to respond immediately. It will be there when I have the allotted time. Plus, the person that commented on something does not expect me to reply immediately.

Sure there are times when it is convenient to reply right away, but more times than not, it can wait! My rule of thumb is to respond within 24 hours when it is social media, and hopefully no more than 2 days when it pertains to my blog.

I live more in the present. //

I try my best not to have my phone in between a conversation with a real person. It takes away from the present moment when trying to multitask the two.

It is also inconsiderate of the person or people in front of you who care about you enough to crave your full attention. I will be honest and say sometimes I am not successful, but it is something I have worked very hard to change.

So far, I really enjoy not having something to distract me when I am accompanied by someone.


Do you struggle with any of this? What would happen if you removed the apps that distracted your everyday life?

I challenge you to see how far you can go with simplifying your phone! Let me know in the comments what you think you can remove, and if you already removed the apps that distract you, how do you like it?

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20 Comments

  • Reply
    Lindsay Rosasco
    June 22, 2016 at 7:42 am

    I don’t really have many phone apps, and only got a smart phone 1.5 years ago, can you believe it?? I can see how minimizing your phone could make a HUGE impact on your daily life though.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

      Sometimes I wish I did not have a smart phone, but I love taking pictures and sharing them with friends on Instagram and Facebook. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment, Lindsay!

  • Reply
    Nellwyn
    June 22, 2016 at 8:50 am

    I really want to take my email off on my phone but I have no other way of getting my work emails when I’m at home.. Which wouldn’t be a problem for most people but I work from home a lot! For now I’ve settled for reducing how often my email pushes through.

    Nellwyn | http://www.thecardinalpress.com

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 11:37 am

      I completely understand that Nellwyn! I would love to remove Pinterest and YouTube from my phone, but I use them a lot for recipes and how tos when it is not convenient to use my laptop.

  • Reply
    Georgiana
    June 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Erin…such wisdom! I really need to do this, also. It’s so true that most things can wait. It’s easy to get addicted to the apps, especially when you have a blog. And the buzz is like a mini-high–lol! I’m lame like that.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 2:34 pm

      Georgiana, that is not lame at all! I am the same way, and that is why I removed so much over the course of several months. I want to focus living in the present more and living life to the fullest. For me, that means less time on my phone and scheduling out my day better.

  • Reply
    Dia All The Things I Do
    June 22, 2016 at 12:25 pm

    Such a great post. When I got my current phone I decided I wouldn’t be uploading a bunch of apps and it not only is less stressful but saves space on your phone.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 2:36 pm

      I agree so much with that, Dia! I love taking pictures with my phone, so the less apps means more space for photos. I do transfer them to my computer often to avoid low storage space on my phone. I also love the simplicity of my phone now. It is not alarming to look at it compared to when I had several screens of apps.

  • Reply
    Kim
    June 22, 2016 at 12:31 pm

    I love the idea of this so much. I feel like my time is better spent if I have an allocated time for my blog and social media, say an hour or two a day. I feel like I’d definitely live more in the present, which I’m always striving to do! Loved reading this post! XO -Kim
    http://www.thethirtysomethinglife.com

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 2:39 pm

      Thank you, Kim! I agree with what you are saying! Living in the present is so important, and for some reason, so difficult to do now days. Thinking of the generation growing up with advanced technology scares me, because they will not understand that as much as we do. For me, I am learning technology is a tool, not another limb on my body.

  • Reply
    Justine Y @ Little Dove
    June 22, 2016 at 2:30 pm

    I love this. I actually haven’t had the Facebook app on my phone for awhile now, I think since I got my new phone almost 2 years ago. The constant updates and chimes were just too much. I just open Facebook in my web browser when I want to check something.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 2:41 pm

      Do you not love it that way?! I love not having to have multiple apps for the same social media, and I do not miss having them! I also like it when I log out of Facebook, because I have it set up as a two part system to log back in so that I am conscious about using it. I can easily become addicted to scrolling through Facebook!

  • Reply
    Cara
    June 22, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    I love this so much Erin! a. I didn’t know you could group apps- very cool! and b. I completely agree with you times have changed so much. I remember the old school days of myspace and only being able to check things once a day (if that) and for maybe 1-2 hours max and that was it. Somehow I wish it were simpler times like that still where society wasn’t always so connected. I’ve been trying really hard to put the phone down when I’m at home and not treat it as a body part either. Great tips and advice!

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 3:13 pm

      I’m so glad I was able to teach you something new, Cara! I did not know about it until I read a similar post. I am so thankful for being able to group apps, too! Those were the good old days! I have been working on leaving my phone inside when I go out to check on my farm animals and work in the garden. So far, it has paid off, and no dire situations have come up while doing this. I wish there was a way to turn off the internet to my phone at certain points in the day and only have calls and texts. That would definitely be a blessing!

  • Reply
    Crystal // Dreams, etc.
    June 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm

    I regularly go through my phone to delete apps and I always find myself holding off on deleting some. But then after a few rounds of deleting apps I finally do and I don’t even notice a difference since I wasn’t using them. I need to be more ruthless when simplifying my phone. 🙂

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 8:51 pm

      That’s my situation to a ‘T’ Crystal! I think I have finally gotten down to the apps I need or can’t delete, but we shall see. A month from now I may decide otherwise.

  • Reply
    Christine @ The (mostly) Simple Life
    June 22, 2016 at 8:19 pm

    Good idea Erin! I don’t have a smart phone, but I have an iPad that we use for all kinds of things. Sometimes I find myself checking it way too often and get sick of it.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 22, 2016 at 8:56 pm

      Thank you, Christine! I have thought about not having a smart phone, but regular phones don’t have the greatest camera. For that reason and to have SnapChat to talk with my cousins is why I have a smart phone.

  • Reply
    Sylvia @ Frolic through life
    June 26, 2016 at 11:12 am

    This seems like such a great idea but I think I would have trouble doing it at the same time.

    • Reply
      erin@thetannehillhomestead.com
      June 26, 2016 at 11:23 am

      Sylvia, it was definitely hard to commit to doing the first time, but since then, I have loved being able to tell what was only taking up space on my phone and what I actually use. Also, removing distractions has helped incredibly in my day to day routine. I dare you to give it a try for at least a week! The worst thing that could happen is you revert back to how it was!

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