The One Thing Everyone Has at Home But Really Doesn’t Need

updated May 3, 2019
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
(Image credit: Liz Calka)

There’s clutter that’s obviously clutter: junk mail in stacks on the counter, toys with missing or broken parts, duplicate kitchen tools that never get used. And then there are the things that seem important or that aren’t as easy to get rid of as, say, tossing in the recycling bin or loading in the car for a drop off at the donation center. These things sit in our homes and take up valuable space in our drawers and in our minds when we encounter them.

One such clutter problem, that I bet we can all relate to, is the collection of excess cords, chargers, and accessories for devices we don’t use anymore, along with the devices themselves.

At this very moment I have micro SD cards (I don’t even know what they originally went to), replacement stylus tips for an outdated phone (RIP Galaxy Note), a bunch of never opened earbuds, and a tangle of cords in a basket that I fish through when I need one to charge something I actually currently use.

It’s time to get rid of the electronic clutter:

Collect all your errant cords and out-of-date devices from around the house, and get ready to sort through them.

First things first: You obviously do need to make sure that you hang on to the charging cables and accessories for the devices currently in use. Put those in a place where you know where they’ll be when you need them.

Then, you need to decide if any of your old devices themselves are worth keeping for practical reasons. For instance, we keep a couple of old phones for our older kids to play on when we fly, along with the chargers for those and a set of headphones for each kid. Beyond that, everything can go.

Take those no-longer-needed devices, plus the tangle of leftover cords that belong to who knows what, and get rid of them. That’s another little hiccup, though…

(Image credit: inspire finder/Shutterstock)

How to dispose of old electronics and cords:

We know we can’t just throw our electronics away and we vaguely know we’re supposed to take them someplace special, but we never quite seem to take that next step to find out where we can drop off our electronic castoffs.

That ends now. One easy solution is to find a local store that sells electronics and see if they have a recycling kiosk. All Best Buy stores do, and if you don’t have one in your area, check with Staples or another similar store. Another option is contacting your local schools or youth programs to see if they’d like the devices for STEM projects.

Getting e-waste out of your home and then organizing and storing only the cords and accessories you actually need will drastically simplify your electronics collection and save you from wondering what in the world all those cords connect to anyway.

Keep the decluttering energy going by joining our spring cleaning email series, which kicks off April 1 (no joke!):