Closed September 2017

How to Get Rid of Old Computers & Electronics! | Clutter Video Tip

Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto… Computers and electronics are such an integral part of our daily lives, but what do you do when you need to upgrade? Watch this video for strategies to safely donate your computers, clear your closet, get a tax deduction, help your community, and help the planet. Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto!

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about that computer graveyard in your house.

Everybody gets new computers and they don’t really know what to do with the old computers, so they put them in a closet with the cords and cables and the old cameras and cell phones and they’re not quite sure what to do with all that electronic clutter. So let’s address the first stumbling block that I hear about from people, and that is the data on the hard drives.

So there are software applications that you can get to erase the hard drives. One or two of them are free. I’ve got this all listed for you in the description of this video with links, so you can look down there for that. And then some of these are paid. They are about $30. So you can look at those and decide for yourself what would be a great option for you. And apparently they are supposed to erase your data with military grade encryption and all of that. And then I want you to know that when you donate your computer to Goodwill through the Dell Reconnect Program, the people handling those are certified to erase the hard drives, and I’ve actually watched that happen. I’ve toured many Goodwills where they do this process and so there is a demagnetizing thing or something that they use. So it’s a safe process. Of course, nothing is perfectly safe unless you have, you know, the two boys with safety glasses and a sledge hammer method of destroying your hard drive in the driveway, but that comes with its own risks and is probably only fun if you are 11.

So, you can feel pretty safe doing this, and then donate that to the Dell Reconnect Program which is a partnership with Goodwill. It is currently, as I’m filming this video, in I believe 43 states. So there are many, many Goodwill agencies across the country participating in this. You can go to to find out where in your area you can take these items. Most of the Goodwills participating will also take your old cell phones and cameras and cords and cables so you have to check with that particular Goodwill agency to find out. There are links all on that page. You can put your zip code in and find out exactly how to get that done. If you don’t have that service available in your area, you can also check, and that will give you a lot of other choices. But rest assured, knowing that your computer will be either recycled or put to good use or sold for the mission of Goodwill, which is to help people find meaningful connections to work. For example, you can find out – on the Goodwill app that just got updated recently – you can find out that your working computer can provide up to 6.6 hours of on-the-job training for someone or 5.4 hours of financial planning classes, and all kinds of other services. So your computer can do good for people in lots of different ways.

So get that new Goodwill app and you can use the donation impact calculator and find out about how your piles of clothes will impact people too. And you can also learn more about computers and how to manage all of your stuff in your home office in my book called “The Home Office Handbook.” You can find out about that on or on our site at

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

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