How to declutter old electricals

28th March 2024

Decluttering extraordinaire Vicky Silverton shares her top tips for decluttering your home of old electricals, and how to get organised to sell, donate or recycle them.

Written by decluttering expert, Vicky Silverthorn 

The key is to get started and stop seeing your home as one giant task that you have an urgency to complete. Chipping away at your home is a great way to declutter, so start with something small like a drawer or a shelf, nothing more.

People often get disheartened when they don’t initially get rid of as much as they’d have hoped to. Don’t worry if you feel like that. Letting things go can be a really emotional process. You can feel really attached to things sometimes, even if they’re just functional items with no sentimental attachment. Always revisit areas you have worked on days or weeks later and you’ll probably find you pick out additional items to go

#1 Get organised

If you are having a clear out of your home, get your rubbish bag, recycling bag, box for charity and box for any electrical recycling at the ready. You need somewhere to put things so you’re not tempted to just shove them back in the cupboard. If you are selling old electricals, be realistic as to how much time you have to get this done. You don’t want to end up storing bags and bags of resale belongings which you simply don’t have the time to sort, list and post.

#2 Small wins are better than no wins!

It doesn’t matter how much you get through, as long as you follow a simple rule – only start an area you can complete. Work on it, complete it and then stop. If you leave an area unfinished at the end of the day, it can leave that defeated feeling and you may not want to begin again. The aim is to finish on a high – even tackling small areas can give you the biggest buzz.

#3 Don’t let tech stop you in your tracks

What to do with old technology often makes people stop in their tracks when they’re having a clear out. Why don’t we want to get rid of it? Perhaps because it could still be useful or it cost a lot? See the potential if we donated or recycled old technology. The alternative? It will sit in a box for the next ten years when it could be having a second life. Don’t forget to remove batteries from old electricals! These should always be recycled separately, as otherwise they can cause fires in the waste stream. 

#4 Don’t make ‘bin’ your decluttering default

You may be surprised that the majority of things you clear out can be reused or recycled. Do some research and check out Recycle Your Electricals  website for information on what to do with your old electricals – did you know anything with a plug, battery or cable can be recycled – including the plugs, batteries and cable themselves? Clothes, shoes, books, wood, toys, ornaments, batteries, other small electricals – there is somewhere for all of it to go and you’re likely to have a drop off point near you – just check out the Recycling Locator which has a whopping 22,000 places you can recycle your electricals. 

#5 A simple snap can save a lot of space

Did you know a photograph of an object can spark the same memory as the actual object itself? This means you don’t always need to keep an item you are holding onto sentimentally! This is especially useful for bulky items you are only keeping because they have memories attached to them. Try taking a photograph and see how it makes you feel. It may help you let go and clear the space.

Remember, anything with a plug, battery or cable, and it’s made so easy by using Recycle Your Electricals’ Recycling LocatorHappy decluttering!

Frequently asked questions
Find your nearest reuse and recycling point