If your family upgraded a gaming consoles, like Xbox or Playstation, asks the ones who play the games if there are old consoles or games that could be donated or sold.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Delete a game app off your computer or smartphone – one you don’t play or one you wish you didn’t play.
Old computers and laptops can be a bit more of a bother to get rid of because you want to make certain that your information has been wiped before you recycle it … and, then, you need to turn it in during special recycling days, which usually involve making a separate trip to a particular location on a certain day. Yep, a pain.
However, a few minutes of online research to find out the when and the where – and then the trip itself, won’t take as much time as you think. If you don’t know how to clear your files either learn through an online tutorial or ask a tech-knowledgeable friend, coworker, or family member to help you.
If this task doesn’t apply to you: Organize the contents of one digital or physical file folder. Eliminate what you don’t need and keep what you do.
Outdated technology could be an old phone or old laptop. However, so many items involve electronics, that your camera or coffee maker may also include outdated technology. If you have an item that still works for you, fantastic, keep using it.
However, if you’ve replaced it with a newer item (while holding onto the old item “just in case,”) today is the day to rid yourself of these items. You community may have an electronics recycling day that you will have to wait for to dispose of these items. Then, move the items into a box that will be ready to go out the door when you hear of the next recycling day.
Do you have spare cellphone cases you no longer use? What about car holders, stands, tripods, rings, mounts, camera accessories, and all the other tempting goodies that seemed useful when you saw them; but, you’ve just never used as often as you thought you would?
You may find a friend or coworker will be thrilled to take these items off your hands.
Before buying gadgets, consider if the item solves a problem that has frustrated you or if it simply seems useful.
If this doesn’t apply to you: If you’ve asked for you name to be removed from direct mail lists, you may still get catalogs and requests for donations from companies you’ve dealt with. Go to their website or call them and ask that you not receive catalogs and offers by mail.
Do you have remote controls to televisions, DVD players, game systems, air conditioners and other electronics and appliances that you no longer have? Maybe you have a basket of remote control for your current television and control box, plus a few extras.
These items aren’t useful and the only reason you probably have them is they were simply overlooked at the time. Don’t overlook them during today’s decluttering task.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: Delete an email or three that you’ve held onto but the information in it is no longer useful.
Chances are that the charger to your old phone doesn’t work with your new phone. Either ask around to see if anyone needs the phone charger or donate it with the phone.
If the cord to an old charger has wires poking out of it and you held it together with tape, it may be time to toss it.
If you’ve purchased phone chargers for your car, toss any that you can no longer use.
Only if this doesn’t apply to you: Leave a book you’ve never read in a Little Library or “lose” it in the break room at work or someplace else.
Gather up all those mystery cords and cables and put them in a well-labeled box with today’s date. If in six months, no one has said, “Do you know where the cable to the ____ is?” then it’s safe to dispose or donate the lot.
When you get new cords and cables the next time you update electronics, attach a piece of tape and label it with what item the cable goes to so there won’t be any questions in the future.
Susan Caplan McCarthy
I'm Susan, a writer and teacher developing a second career as a Decluttering Coach.