Cut the clutter by getting rid of old tech

Space is at a premium in many homes these days, but it doesn’t have to be that way: you can soon clear some much-needed room by getting rid of some of the tech you no longer use.

In many cases, the best way to approach this is to look for obsolete media formats that are just gathering dust.

We all once owned video cassette recorders and libraries of VHS tapes – at least, those of us who are of a certain age – but for now at least, old videos are not a thing to be treasured in the same way that vinyl records have become collectors’ items.

Bulky old VCRs and chunky VHS cassettes are a great place to start, simply because they take up so much room.

If there’s anything you especially don’t want to lose, you can always have it transferred to DVD, or digitise it and store it on an internal or external hard drive.

Doing so has knock-on benefits beyond simply saving space, as digital copies are less likely to degrade over time, keeping the picture quality sharp compared with old, worn-out tape.

It’s not just the media – it’s also what you watch it on that counts. Old cathode ray televisions and computer monitors steal space from your desktop or living room; replace them with flat-screen models and you can free up that room for other things.

Even if you don’t think your home is suffering from any big items like old televisions or VCRs, you can cut the clutter on a smaller scale.

Mobile phone handset recycling can help you to get rid of old unwanted phones without having to dispose of them yourself.

Free postage means you should receive the full amount offered to you by a recycling site, and even if you think your model of phone is obsolete, it could still be useful in other countries where mobile phone technology has not progressed quite as far.

An even more extreme approach could be to cut down on things like DVDs, CDs and books in your home, particularly if you’re not the kind of person who feels sentimental about such things.

Online film rental services now allow you to stream the latest movies without the need for a DVD or Blu-ray Disc at all, while iTunes aficionados can make the most of downloads to reduce the space needed for audio CDs.

Beyond that, it’s all down to your imagination – take a look around your home for the things that you no longer need or use, and are not especially attached to.

While you may be reluctant to dispose of items you originally paid good money for, recognise when you’ve had your money’s worth from them, and when it’s time to let them go.

About Sarah Shenton

Sarah Shenton runs an ‘interiors clinic’, helping householders to make the most of their homes. Her specialty is a focus on 21st century methods such as mobile phone handset recycling and media digitisation to help free up space for other possessions.