Digital Declutter Day 19: Communication Devices

This week of the Digital Declutter Challenge we have been clearing away some of the physical items that we tend to accumulate in our modern lives . Today’s focus is to shed unused communication devices, such as phones, printers and fax machines.

As anyone with a cell phone knows, technology changes rapidly. In fact, Apple defines a phone that has not been manufactured for more than 5 years as “vintage” and one that has not been manufactured for more than 7 years as “obsolete.” When phones reach this age, they frequently falter and are difficult to service. The result is a frequent need to upgrade. Often, you can turn in one phone to get a discount on the newer model. Nonetheless, many of us have old phones lying around for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is we simply haven’t made it a priority to properly dispose of them.

Another item to consider today is fax machines. While faxing is an older technology, it still periodically comes in handy. If you have a fax machine that you use, keep it. On the other hand, if you have an old machine that is unplugged and never gets touched, it is time to let it go. Fax machines tend to be very large, so don’t hold onto them “just in case.”

Likewise, many people have old printers tucked away in closets, basements and attics. Often they fail at a critical time and we quickly buy a replacement, but then keep the broken one with a vague notion that we will get it fixed “someday.” The truth is, once an electronic device is moved to the attic or garage, it is probably never going to be used again. Now is the time to clear away the “extras” and free up space for the devices that you use on a regular basis.

Move all items you have decided to discard to your staging area. Phones that function can often be sold or traded in, just be sure to clear off all personal data first. The pieces that are broken should be properly disposed of. Place these into your dispose/recycle pile. Tomorrow I will give you some options for where to take them.

*****

Do you have an old fax machine or printer? How about an old phone?