A poll of 2,000 adults found they each have an estimated average up to £300 worth of items such as printers, CD players and camcorders stowed away which could be worth a small fortune.
In fact, some have even clung on to retro items dating back to the 90s, including Walkmans and Game Boys. But while 28 per cent want to keep hold of gadgets so their kids can use them one day, 24 per cent admit to not knowing how to get rid of tech properly.
And of the 28 per cent who have an old smartphone lying around the house, 51 per cent keep it ‘just in case’ something happens to their upgraded model.
The survey revealed more would be inclined to get rid of their old smartphones if they could get a fair price for them and ensure there was no risk to their data.
While 39 per cent want somewhere local and convenient to get cash for their unused smartphones.
More than a third (37 per cent) want to give their old tech away to friends and family, but often struggle because everyone is already well stocked up with their own gadgets.
‘A new lease of life’
It also emerged 19 per cent have a specific drawer where they discard their unwanted items, while cupboards are the most common place to stash these items.
A lack of motivation and having to wipe photos and documents are among the top reasons holding people back from having those long overdue clear-ups.
But 20 per cent even say they are overlooking the task at hand because they are not very good at saying goodbye to items which hold sentimental value.
The research also revealed that while 58 per cent are concerned about e-waste, and 55 per cent have previously recycled their old smartphones – seven per cent still throw them in the bin once they have finished with them.
For those who have either recycled a handset or are contemplating it, the price they get for it is the most important consideration, along with convenience and the eco-credentials of the recycling process.
Says Tom Moony, president international at ecoATM, which commissioned the research:
“Upgrade culture has created a world in which perfectly good technology is gathering dust in our homes.
“While many either see it as an insurance buffer or something the kids might want to play with, the fact is, these items are seldom seeing the light of day and could actually make a decent bit of cash.
“It is really interesting to learn so many are unaware of appropriate ways to get rid of their old tech – much of which can be recycled and moved on in a sustainable way.”
Most common unused tech in homes
1. DVD player
3. Digital camera
6. CD player
9. Games console
10. Tablet computer
12. Mobile phone (not a smartphone)
14. MP3 player
15. Blu-Ray player
16. TV boxes e.g. Sky Box
17. Desktop computer
18. Record player
19. Computer monitor
20. Portable DVD player
21. Video recorder
22. Bluetooth speakers
23. Polaroid camera
25. Game Boy