How to declutter electricals after Christmas

Nicola Lewis – AKA This Girl Can Organise – has the perfect plan. And it’s all about your old electricals.

Feeling the urge to purge? Want to clear your mind and get organised while taking small steps? Time to challenge yourself by decluttering your electricals.

Giving jewellery made from recycled electricals is just one of the many ways we can all have a more eco-friendly Valentine’s Day. 

With the seasonal spend-fest over, let’s free ourselves of all those old gadgets, chargers, cables and other electrical bits and pieces that have outlived their use. 

And here to help you is my 5 Bags in 5 Days Challenge. 

Over just 5 days you’ll be able to purge your clutter in your own time. With Black Friday and Christmas done, it’s a great time to sort and get rid of all those items that you just don’t or won’t use, or that are broken. And all you need is a donation bag for each day.

The donation bag can be any old bag (or box). It‘s just for storing all those redundant electrical bits and pieces in one place until you’re ready to make the trip to your recycling centre or charity shop. Sounds simple but believe me, it works. 

And if you think 5 bags is a bit excessive, you may be surprised at how much electrical clutter you turn up. Research suggests the average UK household hangs on to nearly 20 small old electricals for longer than 2 years and that all together we’re hoarding more than half a billion small old electricals. That includes an estimated 31 million laptops and enough cables to circle the Earth five times.

Time yourself

Now allocate some time each day over 5 days that works with your schedule. It could be 5, 10 or 30 minutes. 

I find that setting a timer and putting my phone down helps keep distractions at bay and allows me to work through an area swiftly.

Choose your space

Now choose the 5 areas or rooms where you want to review the electricals – for example, the kitchen, bedroom, living room, garage or under-the-stairs cupboard. 

All set? Just before you start, I recommend you whack on some music or play a podcast for motivation and feel-good vibes. It’ll take you to your happy place and make the task more enjoyable.

Go for it

Now to review what’s in that bedroom, bathroom or broom cupboard. 

Ask yourself: Do I use it? Has it been replaced by a recent Christmas present? Is it broken? Have I lost the charger?  

Once you’ve identified the items that are no longer useful to you, put them in the donation bag, ready to leave the house.

And make sure that bag does leave the house – don’t just put it in a cupboard and lock the door.

Time to go

Now head to the Recycle Your Electricals locator and pop in your postcode to find your nearest recycling point. 

Then plan a day when you can drop them off. Simple.

How it works

And just so you know, at your recycling centre, your old electricals will be sorted further into stuff that can be broken down for their valuable materials or refurbished and passed on to people who really need them.

Of course, if you’re pretty sure your old electricals could be useful to someone else, try your local charity shops to donate them there.

Remember, decluttering is a rewarding experience. You’ll feel incredible once you’ve completed this 5 Bags in 5 Days Challenge, knowing your unwanted electricals are out of your house and being recycled or enjoyed by someone else.

Happy New Year!

Frequently asked questions
Find your nearest reuse and recycling point