It's Finally Time to Retire These Technologies

Not only is January the month for ambitious resolutions, it's also a good time to think about rearranging your home for the better. A good way to start is by re-evaluating if you really need to keep that large collection of videotapes and that outdated VCR ("You know you're old when..."). We've all been guilty of hoarding old tech, but now's a good time to throw some of it out.

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Cassette tapes: As cool as we think they still look, if you're running out of shelf space, it's time to ditch those cassette tapes. You may still want to keep those precious audio books and old albums, and you can with some time and tools. Before you throw out your cassette player or Walkman, digitize your tapes. You'll need a cable or adapter (for a tape deck) connecting your Walkman via the headphone jack to a sound card's line-in jack. Then you can use an app like Audacity to record your cassettes onto your Mac or PC.

After you're through with grabbing all your old files, it's probably safe to donate/toss the cassette player and Walkman too.

Radio: If you still have an old FM/AM radio that doesn't connect to an MP3 or iPod device, you may want to consider investing in one that does, preferably a smaller unit with better sound quality. Here are some great choices to consider for picking a new tabletop radio.

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VHS: We're now at a time when 3D and Smart TVs are increasingly becoming the norm. And thus it's a good time to do relegate outdated media players like VCR's and arguably even DVD players to the recycle or donate bins, especially if you already own a Blu-ray player.

We've seen homes with different shelf space for all their different video watching home systems and find it unnecessary clutter. Try to pick your favorite or the player withe the largest media collection - whether regular DVD's or Blu-ray discs, stick to one. We know that some people are attached to certain classics that they only own on videotape, but it's a better space-saving solution to just purchase these shows and movies online and keep a digital library (or better yet, rent or borrow from your local library). Many movies are probably old enough to be found in the classics section of Netflix too.

Floppy Disks: If you're still keeping floppy disks, yesterday was the right time to let these go. Unless you aspire to create artwork out of old floppy disks like Nick Gentry, we suggest you pull those files onto a thumb drive (if you still need them).

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The key to reducing old tech clutter is mainly to digitize as many files as you can and store those files in one consolidated spot, like a hard drive. You can also keep files on one or two thumb drives if you have a USB port on your TV. I have one for movies and another just for TV shows, saving a lot of room I'd once have to set aside for tapes or even DVD cases.

(Images: 1. Fernando de Sousa, 2. Groume, 3. Timo Kuusela, 4. Julienne Lin)

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