So much is going on in the smart kitchen space (I just returned from the International Home & Housewares Show and SXSW: I gave presentations on smart kitchen technology in both places), assisted cooking, ingredient recognition, artificial intelligence, voice assistants and inventory management… it’s all either already here, or on it’s way to take our kitchens into the future. But the one thing that still hasn’t been touched by tech: Meal prep. You can have a machine cook dinner to perfection, but someone still has to chop the veggies, marinade the chicken, and wash the lettuce.
So you’re finally going to retire that old phone or computer and get something shiny and new. I feel you… the promise of boosted speed, or the allure of the new and shiny is too much to resist? Same, girl, same.
But before you do a gadget cleanse to make room for the new, you’ll want to make sure you’ve taken the proper steps to prepare the old for it’s exit. Before you say sayonara to that computer or smartphone, you’ll want to protect your data, get the most out of your investment, and be kind to the environment while your’e at it.
Here’s your guide to saying sayonara to your smartphone or laptop the right way.
Back it Up
Make sure you’ve copied all the files you’d like to keep to another source, like a hard drive, or a cloud service like Dropbox, so you can easily retrieve them when you get your new device. Many external hard drives have pre-installed backup software that makes easy work of copying all your files to a new location, and Apple users benefit from having Time Machine built right into the OS, so they can back-up regularly. For phones, here’s my guide to backing up your data, so it’s ready to copy to your new device.
Wipe it clean
First, wipe the data on the inside, and then wipe the outside clean: If you’re planning on selling it, you’ll want to put your best foot forward to get the most money.
Once your backup is done, to ensure all files are deleted you’ll want to do a factory reset: Instructions here for Macs and here for PCs. And here’s instructions for returning your iPhones or iPads, to factory settings, and Android too.
Then, to make sure it looks it’s best when it’s being purchased, give the exterior a shining… just don’t use any toxic chemicals — here are a few of my favorite products to get the job done.
Sell or Donate
If it’s not too old a gadget, it might be worth something. I use Gazelle to get rid of old devices all the time, and they make it really easy to sell, ship, and receive payment — all right from their website.
In addition to being a trusted platform for buying and selling your devices, they’ll also help you recycle your device if it isn’t worth anything. A guide like this one, breaks it all down.
If you’re not selling or donating your device (or sending it to Gazelle), you should dispose of it in a way that’s eco-friendly and ethical (I just learned that some “recycling” centers just ship donated items to other countries, where child labor is used to sort through parts… horrifying).
Most electronics contain chemicals that can be toxic to the environment, so finding a service that specializes in recycling computers and smartphones properly is really important. Check out the e-Stewards and Electronics TakeBack Coalition sites for more info.
Have you had success with this process? Or do you have a drawer full of old gadgets that you’re too scared to get rid of? Let me know in the comments.
Typically, when you need to replace (or swap) your moisturizer or mascara, you head to your nearest department store or beauty boutique and pick the brain of a staffer. (Hey, how can anyone make product recommendations if they can’t examine your skin tone and complexion up close, right?)
From the Shop
Native Union CLIC Marble Case
Belkin Pocket Power Ultra Slim Portable Charger
I really meant to post before I showed up in Chicago for the International Housewares Show, I really did. But only just now getting to writing as I leave Chicago and head to Austin Texas for the SXSW Interactive Conference.
This post is brought to you by TurboTax. Thank you for supporting our sponsors who help us bring you original, free content every weekday. All opinions and words are our own.
I consider myself lucky to call myself a solopreneur—AKA I run my own business and work for myself. But the idea of solopreneurship is so romanticized— Make your own hours! Take on the project you love! No boss to breathe down your neck! Let me assure you, it’s not all laptops and lattes at the local coffee shop. At times it can be a lonely, frightening way to make your living.
Welcome to the era of programmable pearly whites. A new crop of companies selling toothbrush tech are making at-home dental care way more progressive. Think upgraded bristles, heads that rotate and vibrate with scientific specificity, and tracking capabilities that make sure you brush the right way for the right amount of time.