I have a confession to make. I'm a tech hoarders and I've got a problem — boxes upon boxes of old tech gear that I'm unable to part ways with for fear I might need something obscure someday, or for nostalgia's sake. Join me as I face reality — here's what is worth keeping and what's ready to go:
Old TVs: Leave It!
If you follow our weekly Tech Deals of the Week post on Fridays, or just follow TV tech in general, amazing huge big screen flat panel TVs are cheap as anything these days. What do you want an old 200 pound 4:3 rear projection CRT TV for anyway, and where are you going to put it? Think of all the space you'll save with a flat screen mounted on the wall.
Old Computers & Components: Leave It!
As we've continually upgraded or bought new computer systems throughout the years, many of us have started to pile up a collection of outdated towers and desktops. No matter how hard you try to convince yourself, you're not going to ever re-use a component in there. Forget the video and network cards, most motherboards have those built in nowadays. That power supply is probably woefully underpowered and the fan on it probably sounds like a train. Unless you like the old school clicky clacky keyboard, just chuck the thing. Seriously, the chances are slim that you're going to re-use anything here, no matter how hard you try to convince yourself (real techies might argue otherwise, but we're also prone to buying the newest coolest stuff anyway).
Old Modems: Leave It!
Those of us old enough to remember actual dial-up modems with speeds marked as 14.4 and 28.8 might have troubles letting go of our old model collection, especially as we recall the drastic speed increases we got each step of the way. But really there is absolutely no reason at all to keep an old modem, as there's no going back from the broadband connection we're all coasting on, whether it's wired or wireless.
Old Laptops: Leave It!
I've hung on to a 15 year old laptop that still boots, and I keep planning to do something with it but never have. I would have said let your children have at it, but seriously, what are they going to learn on your barely running antique that they can't learn by bashing in your shiny new iPad/iPhone/iTech?
Old Printers: Love It Then Leave It!
Well actually, if still works and still has a full ink cartridge, you might as well hook it up and use up the remaining ink. Otherwise, invest in a high efficiency laser printer and stop blowing budgets on ink cartridges.
Old Monitors: Love It!
Computers are so cheap nowadays, and so are brilliant looking monitors with high resolutions. But monitors tend to last a long time, and they're great for sticking on as a second screen in a multi-monitor setup, or as a screen for that media server tucked into the closet.
: Leave It!
Really? All nostalgia aside, toss it. Hard. Against a brick wall like a movie scene where the guy gets mad.
Old Phones (Landline): Leave It!
Who has a land line now anyways? Get a Google Voice number and route it to your cell phone.
Old Cellphones: Leave It!
There are plenty of ways to repurpose an old cell phone, but there are many more good reasons to donate it to a good cause.
Old Stereos: Leave It!
Old Portable Music Players
New sound systems are so cheap, and most likely you're rocking a smartphone or mp3 player that's incompatible with your old system without clunky adapters.
: Leave It!
Remember the Walkman? Or portable CD players? MP3 players are dirt cheap, and again you've got your smartphone to listen to music. Transfer your collection to digital and then ditch the old tech. Who still has one of these things anyway? Although recalling old mixed tapes does bring back fond memories…
Old Remote Controls: Leave It!
You're never going to need the remote for your 1997 VCR ever again. Seriously. And even if you did, universal remotes are everywhere and can be programmed to control just about any piece of technology you'll ever need a remote for.
Old VCRs: Leave It!
Convert your VHS tapes to digital format and toss your old VHS tapes and VCRs.
Old Calculators: Leave It!
Unless your job requires a dedicated calculator or one that can get tossed around without worry, get rid of it. Your smartphone has a calculator, and if you need something fancy there are plenty of apps. No need to rock that TI-83 anymore.
Perhaps we just said leave it to most everything, but tech is ever evolving and that's what makes it so much fun. We like new stuff, and while we continue to hang on to our old stuff, it's constantly being outdated and loses its usefulness. Save yourself the trouble and just get rid of it. And by "leave it" we mean recycle it, donate it, or give it away. Waste not!
MORE HOARDING ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• How Not to Be a Hoarder
• 7 Signs You're Turning Into a Hoarder
• Organization for Hoarders
• Are You a Home Project Hoarder?
• Why Don't I Use My Apps? Confessions of an App Hoarder
• Hoarder Horror Stories = Motivation to Clean
• Hoarding: Buried Alive
• Are Children Hoarders Or Collectors?
MORE RECYCLING/DONATING ON APARTMENT THERAPY:
• Using Social Networking to Recycle, Sell, & Donate Tech
• Declutter For a Good Cause: Recycle/Donate Your Old Tech
• 5 Places To Donate Your Hand Me Down Tech
• Donate Your Old Cell Phone to Help Victims of Domestic Violence
• Responsible Ways To Recycle Your Old Tech
(Images: 1. Flickr member dno1967b licensed for use by Creative Commons, 2. Shutterstock, 3. Shutterstock, 4. Flickr member perfecto insecto licensed for use by Creative Commons)