Why & How: Organize Your Excess Tech Stuff

Excess tech stuff builds up everywhere. Broken computers, last generation phones, and cables galore accumulate fast. Some can be disposed of, some repurposed, and the rest stored safely. 

Step One: Gather Your Excess Tech Stuff

Take a Marie Kondo approach to your excess tech stuff and get it all gathered in one place. What’s excess? Everything not plugged in. Sure, your computers, TVs, game consoles, smart appliances, and more count as tech stuff—but if they’re plugged in and in operation, they’re not excess.

It’s a good idea to check places like your entertainment centre for cables not actually plugged into anything. If you’ve upgraded something like a TV or a gaming system, it can be really easy to get rid of the old TV but forget to remove all the cables. 

Step Two: Separate Everything That Doesn’t Work

You’re going to start a pile for all your tech stuff that is broken. If you can’t tell visually, you may have to test it. Once separated, dispose of broken tech according to your city’s local laws. Keep in mind that electronics and batteries usually can’t be thrown out with normal garbage. 

Step Three: Separate Everything That Is Obsolete 

Chances are, you have an old cell phone charger or two that doesn’t connect to current generation devices. If you’re some kind of tinkerer or overly cautious, you can store these items and cables in a container labelled “Obsolete Tech” in the back of your closet somewhere. Hey, you never know when you’ll need a tape deck or a firewire cable, right? 

But chances are you do know when you’ll need those things and the answer is never, so feel free to donate these to your local hipster. 

Step Four: Separate Everything You Just Don’t Want Anymore

If you’re holding on to your old TV (or phone, computer, or whatever) after you upgraded, ask yourself why. It’s true that having one backup doesn’t hurt. But beyond that, old technology is heavy, obsolete, and takes up a lot of space. So pass it on to someone who needs it, donate it, or sell it online. If any of these things have hard drives, ensure you wipe them first. 

Step Five: Set Up a Cable Drawer, Container, or Peg Board

Chances are that your excess tech stuff will include a lot of cables. Spare USB cables, power cords, old HDMI cables—all are useful to keep around. 

The simplest way to organize these is simply to just designate a drawer as your cable drawer and, from now on, keep all loose cables there. 

If you have too many cables for that, you can also get storage containers or baskets. Keep one near your computer or workstation, one near your entertainment centre, one in your kitchen, and one in your closet. Cables relating to that location in your home go in their designated baskets, with the one in your closet serving as miscellaneous storage. 

If you’re handy, you can even set up a peg board and hang your cables from that. 

Step Six: Designate a Drawer for Computer Peripherals 

You may have headsets, hard drives, disk readers, and other stuff that doesn’t stay plugged in 24/7. Find a drawer for all of these to live in. You’ll have a tidier workspace. 

Step Seven: Designate a Drawer for TV & Game Console Peripherals 

Game controllers and TV remotes tend to accumulate and be left out. Find drawer or space for all of these to stay when they’re not in use. 

Step Eight: Learn to Wrap Cables Properly 

Wrap your cables in a loop to keep them from tangling with each other. Follow this video for more guidance

Step Nine: Use Cable Ties

Cable ties are small bits of string or Velcro strips used to keep bundles of cable tied together. You can use zip ties for long-term solutions, but keep in mind that you’ll have to clip these off. 

Step Ten: Use Boxes

Specifically, keep the boxes your tech stuff came in if you anticipate having to store it. For example, if your kitchen has stuff like an electric hand mixer, immersion blender, waffle maker, vacuum sealer, or whatever, and you’re having trouble storing all of these things and their various components, keep the boxes they came in. You can store each appliance and components in the boxes. It’s easier to stack, move, and organize boxes in limited space compared to loose appliances, their cables, and their accessories. 

Step Eleven: Hooks

Say you have a headset you use every day at your computer desk but don’t have a good place to store. You could use a hook and hang it from the underside of your desk. 

Step Twelve: Use Charging Station

A charging station is a device that plugs into the wall and has multiple stations for charging phones, tablets, smartwatches, and other mobile devices. If your household has a lot of devices and you’d like a designated spot for them, a charging dock is the way to go.