Gather your phones, computers, game systems, and cords. It’s time for the March 2021 Use It Up Challenge. This month we are focusing on technology. We live in a technology-filled society. Many homes have a plethora of devices, from smartphones to game systems and computers galore. We love upgrading your devices as often as possible and this can lead to technology clutter. Chances are you have a box or drawer filled with old tech along with a few random power cords that have an unknown purpose. It’s time to deal with this clutter and ensure that the items you have in your home and actually being used.
In the first year of this challenge, we have tackled notebooks, candles, cleaning supplies, craft supplies, clothes, bath items, books, food, toys, games, sentimental items, and holiday decorations. Feel free to go back to a previous month’s challenge to ensure that you are giving your home a thorough decluttering.
March 2021 Use It Up Challenge – Technology
What is the Use It Up Challenge?
This is a monthly decluttering challenge that focuses on using the items instead of simply getting rid of them. This helps to reduce waste and also gets your money worth out of those items. Each month, a new category is chosen and we will focus on that category all month long. However, you don’t have to stop once that month ends. Keep decluttering and using up those items all year long. It will have a huge impact on your home and life at the end of the year.
If you are joining in, be sure to share your progress on social media using #IHUseItUp. I’d love to see how everyone is getting along with the challenge.
Where to start
The first thing you want to do is gather up any and all pieces of technology in your home. This includes whatever you currently use along with older models and those random wires you have in a drawer somewhere. Now, some pieces won’t be easy to grab and place in a pile, such as a TV, so leave those ones where they are – unless you know you don’t use them. Make sure you grab any adaptors or accessories to each piece.
Chances are you may even have a box of random electronics shoved away in your closet that you need to dig out.
How to use them up
Now that all your devices gathered. Take a moment to pull out the ones you use every day. This will likely be your phone, computer, or perhaps a tablet. Take these pieces along with their cords and various accessories that you know you use, and set them off to the side.
Next, you can grab the items you use on occasion. Not every piece of technology will be used daily. Those cameras or adaptors that you use during your travels will likely fall into this category. Take the time to decide if they are items you wish to keep. Those that are being kept can be set off to the side. Those that you are unsure of can be placed in a maybe pile. Maybe piles work well for items you may need more time to think about, just ensure that you set a time limit on how long that item can remain in the maybe pile.
Now comes the real challenge. You know all those cords, remotes, and random bits of technology that you have stuffed away because you can’t quite remember what they go to? Well, now is the time to figure it out. There’s a good chance that you have a few cords to items you no longer own. There is no reason to keep these. You may also find unnecessary duplicates. It’s fine to keep a spare charging cord for a device you use regularly, just in case you misplace one of them. However, if you find that you have multiples, considering getting rid of some.
This process may take some time as you test cords and other accessories to try to match them up with the various devices that you have. But it will be worth it in the end. There is no reason to keep items from old computers or devices that you no longer use and are completely obsolete.
During this time you may find an old game system you forgot about and be reunited with a game you played as a kid. In that case, plug that system in and enjoy some gaming time. The point is to ensure that whatever pieces you do keep you will use on a regular basis and not return to the closet to collect dust for another ten years.
Tip: While you are working through the March 2021 Use It Up Challenge, using and decluttering your technology, make sure to take the time to perform a digital declutter on your phone, tablet, or computer. This will allow you to tackle double the clutter in the same amount of time. Not only that, but it will help keep your devices running smoothly.
What to do with the items you no longer need
This will greatly depend on what items you have. Older game systems can often be sold for a decent amount. Some collectors aren’t picky about whether the system works or not, they merely want to collect it. Search your area or online to see if you could sell your old systems and games.
You may also know friends are family that are on the lookout for certain items. Perhaps you have an older phone or computer that still works but you have upgraded to the latest model. Many times there are people who are looking for a phone to get their kids or to replace one that broke and they may not want the latest model but an older version.
You can also donate your old devices. In this case, may sure that they are in working order and all accessories necessary are included when you drop them off.
Lastly, if the technology is truly obsolete or not in working condition, you will want to recycle it. Most cities have an e-waste program that allows you to drop off old phones, computers, batteries, and more. Whatever you do, don’t toss these into the landfill, they need to be properly disposed of.
What I will be using up
I know we have a box of electronics that I need to go through. It’s a mish-mash of old devices, spare parts, random cords, and just a bit of everything. These items will be sorted through and anything that doesn’t have a purpose will go. I think we have a few cords that we have held onto in hopes of figuring out what they go to, but it’s been a few years.
There are also a couple of old computer towers that need to go. These computers are old enough and lack many working parts that I will be recycling them.
Will you be joining the March 2021 Use It Up Challenge? What technology will you be working on using up this month?