How to De-Clutter Sustainably – Part 2

Do you have old phones, laptops, tablets, and other electronic devices that you no longer use but you don’t know how to get rid of them? In this day and age we all do! Clearly those can’t be thrown away, so what do you do with them? Are they worth selling? Can they be recycled? What method is the most sustainable?

We found ourselves asking these questions lately as we upgraded to new computers, tablets, and phones. We had two laptops, not very old, and in fairly good condition. We also had several old phones. At first we attempted to sell these items, but it was such a headache dealing with flaky strangers. Eventually they just sat in our closet. Until one day, we heard that our local Rotary club was travelling to Uganda to visit children we sponsor, and they were collecting laptops to take to a school in Uganda to add to the computer lab. We in turn donated our laptops, and even old phones that were universal and could take sim cards from any country.

They are now being used by people who truly need them, giving an education to children. Sustainability at its finest!

Below are some options you have when upgrading to newer devices.

Sustainable Living Tip(s) #4:


  • Donate them
    • Find a local or even international project
      • You can reach out to your local Rotary club, or other nonprofits and ask if they know of any family or children who could use them
    • Find the local schools in your area that are high poverty and ask the schools if they would take the donations and distribute them
      • If not, see if you can find a family who would benefit from receiving your electronics; you could even donate them anonymously like drop them in their mailbox or on their front porch with a nice note

Organizations we recommend using to donate:

World Computer Exchange


National Cristina Foundation

  • Sell them, but donate the money to a charity/non-profit/program for education/etc.
    • You could hold your own auction and auction the items clearly stating where the funds are going
    • eBay also has a program where you can sell your items online and donate 10-100% of the funds to charity –


Important steps to take before you donate or sell:

  1. Donate as soon as possible, the value decreases with age.
  2. Clear all your content and data including documents, apps, passwords, photos, etc.
  3. Include all necessary accessories such as charging cables, keyboards, cases, etc.


If your device is no longer usable and can’t be donated, find the right recycler in your area. If you can’t find one in your area then try contacting the manufacturer directly for recycling programs. You’d be surprised with the number of places you can recycle cell phones if you just look! If you need any help or advice on how to get rid of your devices, please contact us and we will point you in the right direction.

A good referral guide we found useful is here:


We wanted to point out that for this post, and all of the posts in the de-cluttering series, any links and information provided we are only providing from experience and to help you, not to earn a profit. There are no affiliate links associate with this info, it is all solely to build a toolbox of sustainable methods to reduce your amount of “stuff” and waste!

Good luck, we know the struggle to de-clutter and we wish you the best!

Happy “de-cluttering” from the two wives!

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