Monday, January 25, 2021
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Organizing and Decluttering Electronics

Do you have a drawer full of used phones and adapters? Do you hide old computers and cords in a closet? Are you afraid to get rid of these cords, adapters and old phones for fear that you “might need them”? Or, is it a matter of just not knowing what to do with them? Should they be recycled, donated or thrown in the trash?

According to the Consumer Electronics Association, the average life expectancy for smartphones is 4.7 years and for computers is 4 years. I think that’s being generous.

What it means for you is less space in your closet or drawers. It’s time to do something about it.

To tackle decluttering the electronics on your own, read on to get the electronic clutter out of your home and become e-waste-free.

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Steps to Getting Rid of Unwanted and Used Phones and Electronics

1. Sell them. A lot of phones, tablets and laptops can be sold, even if they are no longer working.

  • Gazelle.com will give you a quote, ship it for free and pay you cash for your electronics.
  • Use Amazon’s trade-in program and trade used electronics for Amazon gift cards. Like Gazelle, they will give you a quote and ship it for free.
  • Local Target, Best Buy and Game Stop stores also purchase used electronics. Ask at the customer service desk.
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2. Donate them. There are people in need that will benefit from your electronic donation.

  • Cell phones for soldiers is a national non profit dedicated to serving troops and veterans with free communication services and emergency funding. Each donated device valued at $5 will provide troops with an estimated 2.5 hours of FREE talk time. Simply print a free label to send your old phones or find a drop-off location near you.
  • Through a partnership with Dell, many Good Will stores now accept cell phones and computers to be recycled free of charge.
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3. Recycle them. Electronics contain things that are not good for the environment and should be recycled rather than thrown in the trash.

  • Dcal Services, LLC, located in St. Louis, recycles most electronics for free and charges a small fee for a few items.
  • Call 2 Recycle is nationwide and allows you to search for a drop off location near you and will tell you exactly what that drop off location will accept.
  • Many cities offer free electronic recycling days at least once a year. Check with your city to see when these events are scheduled.
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