If you’ve got a passion for technology, you’ve probably got a pretty sizeable collection of gadgets and associated items cluttering up your home. The opportunities to buy tech are so extensive and made to look so tempting that it’s hard to resist every shiny new toy, but tech also becomes obsolete in reasonably short order, leaving you with the gadgets of yesteryear gathering dust in your spare room or garage. The concept of decluttering and clearing out your life is a hot topic at the moment, so maybe you should apply the same principles to your tech.
Decluttering your tech
Clearing out old tech is just as conflicting as decluttering any other part of your life. You may not want to get rid of old games or software, but they take up a lot of space. When you’re deciding whether to keep an item or find it a new home, there are two key questions to consider:
1.- Does this item hold any emotional attachment for you?
Do you feel joy, or the warmth of nostalgia when you see this item that makes it essential to your psychological well-being? Some people have no emotional attachment to objects and happily get rid of anything they don’t need, while at the other end of the scale, some people find it almost impossible to get rid of their possessions. They might not be true hoarders living in a maze of old newspapers, but hoarding tendencies make it hard for them to part with what others would consider to be garbage.
If you’re struggling to part with your tech clutter, try inviting a friend round to help you. They’ll have an objective view of your possessions and should be able to help narrow down your collection. If you find yourself arguing passionately in favor of keeping a set of ancient floppy disks from 30 years ago, at least you’ll know that this is an item that holds interest for you that makes it worth hanging on to.
2.- Could this item be worth any money in the future?
Early computer games are now highly sought after, and there’s an entire industry based around owning, playing, and competing with vintage games. It follows a predictable cycle during which an item gains popularity, reaches its peak, and then starts to decline. In the first decade or so after their decline, these items are viewed as rubbish to be thrown away, but as more years pass, there’s renewed interest, culminating in these formerly disposable relics commanding high prices amongst collectors.
Twenty years ago, videotape and audio cassettes were virtually consigned to the tech rubbish heap, but just recently there’s been renewed interest in these formats, and current bands are even releasing new music on cassette tape. This cycle has already worked its magic on vinyl records, which preceded tapes. Not only are original vinyl records now becoming increasingly valuable, but new music is being released on vinyl, accounting for significant sales.
If the answer to your questions is no, then you should go ahead and repurpose or recycle the item. Try and avoid resorting to landfill if you can, as you’ll be adding a cocktail of materials to the environment that could be around for thousands of year. There are some highly innovative recycling and repurposing projects and ideas around, so have a browse on the internet to see if you can do something positive with your old tech.
Once you’ve decluttered, you need to look at how your tech is stored. The term tech covers a vast array of items, from software and tiny memory cards or silicon chips to large, bulky electronic equipment. The items you want to keep for sentimental reasons or as an investment need to be stored somewhere out of the way, as you’ll very rarely need to access them. Make sure the storage space is dry and secure, or your items will degrade and be useless.
Smaller items, plus any tools, supplies, spare parts, and the fascinating collections of random circuits and miscellaneous bits and bobs that gather over the years are best stored in containers and labeled to show what’s in them. If you have a lot of tech and tools, and you like to fiddle with your gadgets and electronics, then a combination workbench and storage unit could be the perfect solution. Find more info here on these multipurpose units that are secure, long-lasting, and save you space.
If you have bulky items that you want to keep, but you don’t really have enough room in your house, you could consider a storage facility. You’d have to pay rent, but if you’re a serious collector, then this is an ideal solution. You could set up the space as a gadget haven if you wanted, so, for example, you could plug in your arcade games console, or set up a network of gaming PCs. If you don’t want to spend money on a storage unit, it’s likely to signal that maybe you don’t want to keep something as much as you thought you did.
Another great tip for organizing your tech is to label all the leads and cables, so you know which belongs to what. It’s immensely frustrating to want to use a gadget and be faced with piles or drawerfuls of cables and leads that could belong to anything. It also means you have to buy yourself a new labeling gadget if you don’t have one, to make clear, stick on labels for your leads.
The bottom line is that tech clutter is just like any other clutter. There may be treasures amongst the piles of trash that need to be stored properly, and there’s probably going to be a great many items that need disposing of. It might take a day or two, but you’ll soon earn that back with the time you’ll save not having to sort through piles of tech to find what you need. Spring cleaning isn’t just for houses; it’s an essential part of living a more harmonious life