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I have a drawer that contains almost every cell phone I’ve ever owned. I’ve got flip phones, Blackberries, and smart phones. Do any of them work? Nope. Why are they still there? Well, because getting rid of electronics can be a challenge. I hesitate to sell them, donate them, or trade them in. I mean, think about how much personal data is on our phones… I don’t want that getting out. And we’re not supposed to throw out electronics because the materials they’re made from aren’t good for the environment. Oy.
Do have a drawer full of old cell phones, like me? This ancient tech is completely non-functional, yet it’s still taking up precious room in my home! No more! If it’s possible (it’s usually not), transfer any data or pictures over to your computer, and put all that junk in a pile to go bye-bye. If you’re concerned about your data getting out, feel free to take a hammer to everything before recycling, or sit it next to a giant magnet.
What’s your TV to people ratio? In our house it’s 2:1. That’s 2 televisions for each person in the house. That’s absurd. We even have a TV that was left here by the previous owners. Mr. O won’t let me throw it away because it’s the only VCR we have. Okay, fine. What about the others? There are 2 in the basement/ man cave/ play room. Really? Ugh. And they’re both ancient. It probably takes more energy to run them than it does to run our freezer. Well, it’s time to let go of these relics and reclaim our space!
CDs & Movies
Raise your hands if you’re guilty of this: It’s Thursday night, and Forrest Gump is on TV (again). You think, “Aww, I love this movie,” and snuggle in for the next 4 hours. The kicker? The commercial-free version that’s half as long is sitting in your entertainment center, but it never occurs to you to watch it instead. I will readily confess this happening many times. The question becomes, what’s the point of owning that movie in the first place?
Now, I’m not saying get rid of all your CDs and movies, but if the dust is so thick you can’t read the title, it’s time to pack them up. What should you keep? Well, that depends on you. For me it’s movies that either aren’t shown on TV (Evolution), are cancelled TV shows (Firefly), complete sets (Star Wars or Harry Potter), or movies that they show on TV, but all the editing ruins (The Departed).
Same for CDs. Keep the ones you actually listen to, ditch the rest. Let someone else get a bit of happiness from them!
Where to donate electronics
Easier said than done, many charities are getting pickier about the kinds of items they accept, especially electronics. Goodwill says nothing more than 2 years old, and it must be in working order. If you’re not one of the folks standing in line for the new iPhone every year, that probably doesn’t work for you. In that case, you’re better off recycling it. Staples has a recycling program for cell phones, tablets, computers, and other office equipment. For a full list click here. Your town may also have an electronics recycling day for any old TVs or video equipment.
CDs and Movies can be donated to your local library, a shelter for women or the homeless, or just give them away to friends and family.