Clothes, furniture, decorative items and knick knacks aren't the only ones to be de-cluttered during the spring cleaning process.
As it turns out, you may have boxes or an attic full of old TVs, radios or cell phones that have been gathering dust.
Every household and office has them. Cables, chargers and adapters that may not have a use as their original gadget may have broke or thrown away. CDs and ancient cell phones, or consoles that has seen better times. Cameras, battery packs or laptops that are too slow or have outlived their usefulness.
It's the crux of the e-waste problem, but what are we to do?
Easy. Declutter with sustainability in mind. Here's how you can get started.
Decluttering old tech isn't hard-
you just need a streamlined process and enough time to do it.
Gather, Test and Purge
Small Consumer Devices. Collect all electronics that could still be useful, donated or sold, including mp3 players, e-book readers, old tablets, digicams and handheld game consoles. Push the power button- does it still work? If so, pair them up with the right charger, adapter or cable and set aside for later.
Bigger Items. Desktop PCs will need a bit more time to be tested. Do the same for old laptops and game consoles. You can save time by trying out old keyboards and mouse as well. Insert PC installation disks and open them up to see what they contain. Go online and see if the drivers are available on the internet.
Cables, Plugs and Adapters. We know micro USBs, type C's and lightning cables, but how about the odd-shaped ones for radios, webcams or other peripherals? Chances are, if you don't recognize it then it's safe to dispose. If you do happen to lose a wire, don't fret. Chances are that you can buy a brand new one at an electronics shop or online.
Batteries. Take out the remotes, power tools, hearing aids, stereos and others and take out the battery before disposing of them responsibly.
Tech Accessories. For devices that could store memory, i.e., external USB drives, mp3 players and smart watches, it's best to reset to factory settings to wipe the data completely.
Discard Unwanted Tech and Gadgets Responsibly
There are several ways to dispose of your old gadgets.
Have a nephew, niece or neighbor who'd be delighted with a hand-me-down? Make someone's day brighter and give your old tech a second life while saving the environment, all at the same time. There are sites where you can donate your old stuff for a good cause.
Sell Via An Online Marketplace
The most natural instinct on what to do with your electronic toys is to sell them online.
eBay is perhaps the most popular platform for those who want to unload and get cash back for their items. You can list almost all your unwanted tech, from old ones such as laptops, cell phones, your first gen Kindle, that iPod, game CDs, DVDs and accessories.
Facebook is another worthy mention; their recently launched Marketplace makes it easy for those who want to declutter and offer up old gadgets to their friends on social media.
If you don't have the time nor the patience to wait on buyers or meet up, you can try Plunc (United Kingdom). The site takes anything newer, i.e., Macbooks, Samsung Galaxy phones, iPhones, PixelBooks, Xbox Ones, Playstation 4s and Nintendo Switches in exchange for speedy payment once the item is received.
Give Back To Manufacturer Recycling Programmes
Handsets are made up of hundreds of electrical components, chips and processors that could be stripped down and reused for repairs or new phones. Major brands Apple, HP, Dell, Motorola, LG and Lenovo have their own recycling programmes where you can take your old electronics and get store credit or gift cards along the way.
There are recycling platforms where you can have an old tech exchanged for cash; Envirofone and Mobile Phone Xchange are two such examples in the UK. For broken phones, tablets and laptops that won't turn on, has a cracked screen or other issues that affect its function, you can take it to Mazuma and get a reasonable quote.
Give To Charitable Organizations
Don't mind giving away your old tech for a worthy cause?
Donate them to a non-profit such as a church, a school, a foundation or a kid's center within your local community. DVDs can be handed off to the British Heart Foundation, where proceeds will go on for research that can save lives; gaming consoles and titles can be donated to Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity, and Parkinson's UK accepts sat-nav equipment, cameras, laptops, iPods and smart phones.
Clutter Prevention - Have A Designated Place For Tech Accessories
At this point you'll have disposed most of your tech equipment and gadgets.
For wires, chargers and cables that could still be useful, put them in a box and label them accordingly. Separate phone chargers, USB cables, computer cables and earphones, then place them somewhere accessible. You can also divide the leftovers up according to family members, for example- Dad's tech, so they can rifle through the storage anytime.
Decluttering old tech isn't hard- you just need a streamlined process and enough time to do it. Who knows, you may discover some of these electronics fetch a lot of money online or could surprisingly be a rare collector's item.