spring cleaning

Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Electronics

Spring is finally upon us, and with spring comes Spring Cleaning. Spring Cleaning isn’t just about mopping, dusting, and tossing out old clothes, however – your electronics need a good Spring Cleaning too, and with these great tips, you’ll have a clean Comcast internet router and TV. 

Managing That Mess of Wires
The first step is to get rid of that technology clutter. For example, I bet you’re none too happy with the clutter of wires behind your computer desk, or behind your TV if you live in a home with a number of gaming consoles. There are a number of things you can do to cut down on this. For example, try these great tips from Lifehacker:

  • Make sure you have the right size cables for your needs. If they’re too long, they tend to puddle on the floor, or worse, get tangled up. If they’re too short, they stretch awkwardly and force you to position your devices in less convenient locations.
  • Try color-coding the cables. Even if you’d rather not spring for entirely new colored cables, a ring of colored tape at each end of the cord will tell you exactly which device it belongs to.
  • Alternatively, label everything. A cheap label maker can be as little as $20 and you can know at a glance which cord is which.
  • Consider buying an HDMI receiver, a single box you can plug all of your devices into with just one cord connecting it to your TV.
  • Similarly, invest in a surge protector to plug all of your devices’ power cords into one central location. This way, there aren’t cords leading every which way.

Knowing What to Keep and What to Toss
Weeding out your electronics is so much more difficult than cleaning out your closet. You paid so much for these things brand new, and you can’t bring yourself to just throw them out, or even sell them for as low as they’d go for two years later. But do you really need to keep all of those old cell phones? How about the half-broken gaming controllers? The answer is generally a resounding ‘no’. But what do you do with all of these old electronics you no longer need? The Los Angeles Times has a few suggestions.

  • Make it a hand-me-down, to a younger generation who may not need quite the same level of technology that you do.
  • Donate it. There are many organizations that connect unwanted cell phones with soldiers, for example, and other electronics have similar causes with just a little bit of Google searching.
  • Sell it. If it’s old or broken, the odds are pretty high that it won’t be worth much, but there are websites, stores, even mall kiosks willing to pay for your old electronics.
  • Recycle it at one of the many e-recycling facilities across the country.

And if you find yourself with a mess of cords that haven’t connected to anything in years, just throw them out. You won’t need them, I promise.

Take Care of What You Have
Like any well-used items in your home, your electronics get grimy too. Clean the dust and dirt off, not with a napkin, but with a microfiber cloth. A napkin may leave scratches on your phone, laptop, or TV screen. Q-tips and small artist brushes are good for the tight spaces. Alternatively, invest in a can of compressed air for the hard-to-reach places like under the keys of your keyboard. Also, spray any cleaning solution onto the cloth, not onto the screen of your electronic. DIY Life has excellent tips on how to clean nearly every electronic device you might find in your home.

You might also invest in some sort of a protective case for your electronics, as a preventative to keep the dirt and grime out in the future. That way, next year’s Spring Cleaning may not be quite so tricky.


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