Tips on How to Declutter and Organize Electronics
Editor's Note: This is the 3rd blog post in a series on organization! Read more about our guest contributor Lisa Tselebidis at the end.
As a reader of this blog I am guessing that you are interested in all things electronics and tech. Thus, you likely possess a fair amount of electrical items. New technological items are released on an ongoing basis and you might have lost sight over what you own and use a while ago. Thus, it might be time to get organized in the electronics department!
STEP 1) GATHER IN ONE PLACE
Electronics are a sub-category of the komono category (4th category) in the KonMari Method™ . At first, you want to gather all of your electronic items in one place. Here is a list of items that belong to this category:
o Cell phones
o Electronic cords
o Memory cards
o Beauty & health electrical appliances
This list is by no means complete but should give you an idea what falls into the electronics category. Just make sure to gather everything that seems “electrical” to you.
STEP 2) JOY CHECK
Pick up each item and decide if you like using it, if it sparks joy and/or if it is essential for you to have. As you go through your items, sort them into 3 categories:
2) To deal with (e.g., old cell phone with photos you want to save before you can dispose of it)
If your cords are in a tangled mess, untangle them first. Check to which appliance they belong. If you have cords with no matching appliance, get rid of them. Make sure that the batteries you own fit into appliances you still have and that they haven’t expired yet. Examine all your items in a similar way.
STEP 3) STORE YOUR KEEP ITEMS
I suggest storing all the electronic items you want to keep together in one place if you can. Boxes or bins are a great way to store. Label the container(s) with the items that are in it so that you have an easy time finding something if you need it.
If you have a large collection of electronics, it makes sense to divide into more specific sub-categories and store them in dedicated boxes (e.g., photography gear). Inside the containers, arrange things vertically if possible and try to avoid stacking. This allows you to locate things in the box at one glance.
STEP 4) DEAL WITH THE “TO DEAL WITH” PILE
Now you want to tend to the items you actually want to dispose of but you need to perform some work before you can actually do so. A popular example here are old cell phones or cameras with pictures you want to save.
Before you get to work, take a moment and really ask yourself if the photos (or other data you want to extract) are worth to be saved. Ask yourself why you have not done so already earlier and why you want to save them.
For those you decide you do not want to save, put them on the “recycle/discard/donate” pile. If there are some devices left whose contents you want to save, go ahead and do so or assign a date within the next two weeks if you do not have the time right now (as this sometimes can get tricky and time-consuming).
STEP 5) RECYCLE, DISCARD AND DONATE
Many electrical items cannot just put into the trash because they would harm the environment. If you are not sure how to dispose of certain items in the NYC area, check with the DSNY here.
Before you get rid of things like laptops or cell phones, make sure to wipe all the data before doing so. If you do not know how to do this, you can find electrical appliance stores (e.g., Staples or BestBuy) and electronics recycling organizations (e.g., LES Ecology Center) where they do this for you and then safely recycle or re-purpose your items.
If you have laptops or desktops that are still perfectly fine but you do not have use for them anymore, consider donating them to organizations such as PowerMyLearning who provide technology to low-income students and families.
Do you have any questions with regard to decluttering and organizing your electronics? Let me know in the comments below!
Lisa Tselebidis is a Certified KonMari Organizing Consultant and helps her clients create a home and lifestyle that truly sparks joy for them (website / Instagram). Receive 20% off your first KonMari tidying session with her by mentioning “GeekGirlWeb™”.