Declutter Your Tech (Part 1)

Photo by OVAN from Pexels

This two-part series focuses on how to declutter your technology. This month covers tips and tricks to safely declutter physical tech items, while next month will focus on digital decluttering. We’ve included a handy checklist you can stick to your fridge!

  1. Start with your tech drawer/cupboard of old computer and media-related content (everyone seems to have one). Once you’ve identified these items, divide into three piles: sell (give yourself a deadline to make sure you get rid of these items) keep, or scrap/recycle. Look out for:
    • Old cellphones
    • Power cables that no longer fit your current computer or laptop
    • Gaming devices
    • Well-worn cameras that you’ve replaced with a newer one
    • Unused computer speakers
    • Controls for devices you no longer use, like old TVs and DVD players
    • Tapes, CDs, floppy disks
  2. For items you decide to keep, ensure they are stored in a designated space like a closet or drawer, preferably in either a protective cover or in a drawer organizer. Don’t forget to label them so you can easily identify the item when you need it.
  3. How to recycle:
    • Speakers, gaming consoles, and small electronic devices can be recycled at large retailers like Best Buy that have a recycling program.
    • Most large grocery stores provide cell phone recycling.
    • If you have an old Apple device, you should be able to not only recycle but also gain credit or trade-in value. Go to www.apple.com/recycling for more info.
    • CDs and DVDs cannot be recycled in your regular bin. Instead, they need to be donated to thrift stores, or sent away to safe recycling programs like GreenDisk (www.greendisk.com).
    • Your city or state may also subsidize tech recycling. Check their website for more information.
  4. Old photos. Digitizing is the best way to ensure your valuable old photos are backed up and saved. You can scan each one yourself, or pay a service (try ScanDigital.com or ScanMyPhotos.com) to do it.