Decluttering and Organising Wires and Electrics.

By small electricals I mean everything smaller than a dishwasher that has an electrical component to it. Which includes, but is not limited to, old phones – both mobile and static, old laptops and computers, tape/disc players, television sets, broadband units (you’d be amazed at how many of these I find stashed away in houses!), lamps, clocks, microwaves, juicers, and anything else that is powered by electricity or batteries and that we haven’t already covered.


As you can see, this is quite a big category! I don’t necessarily expect you to bring everything into the same place, but I do expect you to make a note of them and where they are so that you can see how many you actually have and see if that is the amount that you truly need. As usual, everyone’s amount will be different.


Remember to make positive choices to keep things rather than hanging on to things “just because”. We no longer have a landline or broadband, but we do have 2 4G units – one for the house and one for my office. Without these 4G units, neither my husband or I would be able to work from home. The one in the house is a bit beefier and is unlimited as my kids use it as well, whilst the one in my office has a lower limit and is quite wee. I can take it around with me though! Fully charged, I can use it as a mobile hotspot anywhere where there is signal, and I can even take it overseas.


As an aside, although it may have been cheaper to roll all the networks in to one, we have chosen to have them on different networks and we’ve done this as a bit planning. Some days a network goes down, and if we’re all on that network, then we’re stuffed. However, being on different networks means that if one goes down, the other is usually still available.


It is rare to find a donation point for old electricals (most charity shops won’t take them), but it is often possible to sell them. Most dumps have a small electrical recycling area and places like Apple will take your old phones and laptops. Do make sure that you wipe your data from them though and reset the factory settings – you don’t want your digital information ending up in the wrong hands! If you live in Aberdeenshire, you can send your electrical items to Destiny Partnerships, a social enterprise. Find the link on my website under sustainability.


Wires, in particular, seem to breed. Almost every time a new electrical item comes into the house, it brings with it a profusion of wires, but when the electrical item is replaced with a new one, the item itself may go to recycling, but the wires seem to stay. So off you go on a wire hunt – collect the (unused) ones from all over the house and bring them back into a pile. Categorise them by type and truly look to see how many you have. Ask yourself if you will actually need that many wires in your life (particularly Ethernet cables!) because the honest reality is that you really won’t. Perhaps keep one spare for the (hugely unlikely) instance that the one in use stops working. Otherwise, just let the poor wires go. They can go to small electrical recycling and be recycled and the bits of them used. Far better than sitting in your drawers! Those that are kept, label clearly, wrap up so that they don’t tangle everything else, and put in safe place where you know where to find them.