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4th Annual Clutter Challenge – Week 3: Electronics April 19, 2018 Tags: , , , , ,

Earth Day is coming up (April 22nd), so this week we’re tackling the clutter of electronics. With the exponential growth of technology, it seems that today’s innovation all too quickly becomes tomorrow’s garbage. What can we do with all our unused and/or outdated electronics? To begin, we have to define what “electronics” actually means.

“Electronics” includes any and all devices that use power (corded or wireless) to convey a certain technology. Some examples include:

  • cell phones/home phones
  • CD or DVD players/radios
  • copiers/printers
  • laptops/computers/tablets/monitors
  • digital cameras or recorders
  • hair dryers/rollers/curling irons
  • alarm clocks
  • hand-held video games
  • batteries

4th Annual Clutter Challenge - Electronics

Also known as E-Waste, electronics are quickly becoming a landfill staple…unfortunately. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Many local municipalities now offer e-waste recycling programs, and all it takes is a quick Google search to locate a site nearest you.

Additionally, there are various options when it comes to addressing our unused electronics, and they follow similar guidelines to most of the other aspects of de-cluttering:

Recycle, Repurpose, Reuse… or Repair.

4th Annual Clutter Challenge - ElectronicsRecycle: Recycling outdated or nonfunctioning electronics is the easiest way to address the build-up of devices in your home. A few tips:

  1. Always be sure to remove your data from any devices first.
  2. Check with your local waste disposal organizations to find the appropriate recycling location, by item.
  3. Detachable cords can often be saved as replacements – keep one or two, just in case

4th Annual Clutter Challenge - ElectronicsRepurpose: Repurposing electronics can be a little bit more challenging. In addition to conventional ideas, like donating old computers to schools or organizations in need, you can get creative with your repurposing. One idea is to check with local theatre organizations to see if your items could be used as props. Indeed, there are prop companies all over the country that source dated electronics for use in TV, film and other media venues. It’s worth looking into. And, as with recycling, be sure to remove all data from any existing devices.

Reuse: Just like detachable cables, many items can be reused in whole or in part. Can your old smart phone be reused in a new way? Yes – in most cases it can. Without being actively attached to a cellular network, most smartphones can still access the internet through wifi, or simply serve as a storage device for music. You can even use an old iPhone that is no longer connected to take pictures on your next trip, or give it to a child to play games without having to be online.

Not all technology is obsolete when we replace it with the latest model. Thinking outside the box extends the life of your investment, and positively impacts the environment.

4th Annual Clutter Challenge - ElectronicsRepair: Finally, there is an increase in interest in repairing electronics that no longer work, such as toasters, electronic kettles, radios and other small electronics, that don’t necessarily use technology. If you can fix it, why replace it?


We hope this week’s topic has helped shed some light on the best way to address the electronics clutter in your home. Additionally, if you’d like more ideas on what you can do, we loved this article that goes into detail by category.

As always, the CMFTO team is here to help should you need assistance in editing, organizing, and/or figuring out what to do with all those items you no longer want or need.

All my best,
Claudia

PS: If you’re new to our annual event, or want more information on past clutter challenges, you can check out our archives, by category: 

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