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It's the Little Things: Challenge 16- De-clutter Old Electronics

Updated: Jan 12, 2021

Photo Source: USA Today

First a definition, planned obsolescence is the business practice of deliberately out-dating an item (much before the end of its useful life) by stopping its supply or service support and introducing a newer (often incompatible) model or version. Its objective is to prod the consumer or user to abandon the currently owned item in favor of the 'upgrade.' The results – lots of workable but unused electronics. (Source: Business Dictionary)

For example, in the US, 5 million tons of electronics products were in storage.


What is electronic clutter? Computers, game consoles, audio equipment, mobile phones, remotes and the associated cords and cables that are dead, unused or outdated.

Where are you storing electronic equipment in your home? Scour every room in your home- the utility room, living room, home office- and gather your equipment into one location to edit and purge efficiently.

When was the last time you used this item? Frequency of use or no use is a strong indicator of whether you should keep the item and if you do where the item should be stored and the desired level of accessibility.

Why was the item replaced / stored to begin with? If you have exhausted all repair options and there is no current compatibility of the technology with related products e.g. the VCR player, think critically about why you should continue to hold on to the item.

How can you re-purpose or dispose of the item? While recycling and donation avenues are more restricted than ‘developed’ countries, E-waste can be recycled or cell-phones (usable but upgraded the model) can be donated.

Before you donate or toss, make sure you remove all of your personal data. Consumer Reports offers a step by step to do so.

For related products, shop media organisers or cable organisers.

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