Broken Tech: Should You Fix it or Replace it? (Infographic)

Spring is in the air, and with the weather warming up, you’ve got renewed energy to clean around the house. But what do you find? A whole bunch of broken personal and household items. While it may be easy just to gather them all up and throw them out, it would be wiser if you look through them and weigh out the pros and cons of ditching or repairing them.

According to consumer relations experts, the general rule of thumb is that repairing a broken item shouldn’t cost more than 50% of what you paid for it. That would be more challenging to determine if the item in question has been in your possession for years. So, instead of trying to find the receipt for it, here are some questions you can ask yourself to come up with a better decision.

Is it easy to repair?

There are now a ton of YouTube tutorial videos that can teach you how to repair anything from a broken electric fan to a non-working microwave. If you’re handy, you might want to check those out first and see if you have the skills and the right tools to do the repairs yourself.

Alternatively, if it’s a tech gadget (such as cellphones and tablets) that you need to repair, you could look for a reputable repair service shop in your area via Yelp or Facebook reviews. For instance, if it’s just a cracked screen on an old cellphone, but it’s still working, a shop specializing in screen repairs could easily fix that for you. More often than not, they only charge a minimal fee, and you would have a working cellphone again.

Is it easy to dispose of?

Some landfills won’t accept big-ticket items such as TVs or computers. For these items, called “e-waste,” you might have to go to particular waste management sites. These sites will take apart the items and recycle what can still be used. Most towns have their own recycling center that does this, but the problem arises when yours doesn’t. Check local listings within your area to find one that is nearest to you.

Other items like washing machines or refrigerators are usually accepted at landfills, though, you might be charged a small fee for the disposal. Go to your local city hall to find out how much these fees are (and if there are even any).

Does it have sentimental value?

Perhaps the most important question of all. Does the item remind you of a deceased loved one? Did it belong to someone who mentored you? And as a famous organizing consultant, Marie Kondo, would ask, “Does it spark joy?

If it’s still in good working condition, perfect. Simply find it a more revered resting place where you can use and admire it from time to time. If it’s broken, see the above two questions. This should help you decide on whether sentiment trumps logic.

Minimalism, organization, and order in the house seem to be the buzzwords these days. We’re all for it since a more organized space means a more organized life. After all, sometimes, decluttering your physical space is beneficial to decluttering your mind.

Meta title: 3 Questions to Ask Yourself About Broken Electronics

Meta description: How do you know if you should repair or throw out that broken gadget or appliance that’s just gathering dust? Here’s your guide.