Old cellphones can definitely clutter up your space, but no matter how much you want to get rid of them, don’t throw them away! There are so many ways you can make use of old cell phones, from converting them into home security systems to selling them for some extra cash. Here are 14 unexpected ways you can make use of your old cell phone, iPad, or other unused devices.
1. Alarm Clock
You can turn your old phone into a permanent bedside sidekick with an app that can both help you fall asleep or wake you up in the morning. The app CARROT Alarm has a fun twist to the regular alarm clock with songs, witty dialogue, and a wake-up system. Pzizz is another app that can help you get into that deep sleep and then wake you up gently in the morning. Since there’s no need to carry around that extra cell phone with you all day, keep it at your bedside charging.
2. Home Security Camera
Use that phone’s built-in camera and your Wi-Fi to turn it into a security system. There is an app called Presence you can use, or set up a Skype account on, then set it to accept incoming video calls automatically. This way, you can call home from anywhere and check in on your pets without paying for complicated software.
3. Baby Monitor
Old cellphones can be a great baby monitor when travelling and want to check in. There is an app calle Dormi that once hooked up to the Wi-Fi, the app will send a notification to your phone if the baby starts making noise. You can also soothe the baby remotely by talking to them through your phone.
4. Accessible Reading
You can download a reading app to your old smartphone and give it to your children. They will be able to enjoy looking like daddy or mommy while they keep learning.
There a lot of organizations that benefit from selling your recycled or refurbished device. You can donate your phone to Cell Phones for Soldiers that can buy prepair international calling cards for troops and give emergency funding to veterans. They can wipe your phone clean of all personal information first. You can also try HopeLine from Verizon to benefit survivors or victims of domestic violence. They will accept phones in any condition from any provider.
6. Make Your Own Fundraising Campaign
Are you looking to earn money for non-profits? You can sell your old devices as an easily manageable fundraising program. Sites like gazelle.com can help you create your own fundraising website and encourage people in your community to trade in used devices. They can get cash for them and your organization can earn up to a 15% commission.
7. Help Spousal Abuse Victims
Centers for spousal abuse can distribute cellphones to victims of an abusive situation so they can use the phone to get help. This works since all phones allow people to dial 911, even without a service plan. You can call your local police and find out where and how to donate.
8. Sell Your Cellphone
If your old phone is in good condition – even if it’s not – it can be worth a few bucks. You can try selling them directly to somebody through eBay or Craigslist to get the most cash. Other sites like sellcell.com or even Costco and Best Buy have buy-back programs. You can even get more money if you still have the original cables, cords, and packaging.
9. Mp3 Player
You can set up your old cellphone as an mp3 player. Then if you are by the pool or at the beach you won’t have to worry if it gets sandy or wet. You can also use it as a radio and stream music through TuneIn Radio from all over the country.
10. Turn It Into Media Library
An old phone can be a great media library or even a server to store music, TV shows, or movies. You can then stream all of your content to other devices in your home. A service called Plex can allow you to access every file stored in that old phone from other devices.
11. Easy Word Processing
Set up your phone or tablet to run Pages – a word processing program. You can even plug in a keyboard accessory to have a portable tool at your fingertips.
12. Find Your Car
If you keep your old phone on a very cheap service plan you can hide it in the back of your car – make sure it’s always charged. It is a great idea to have a backup cellphone in case of an emergency and you can track your car if it gets stolen.
13. Take Photos
We understand newer phones have better quality cameras. However, you can give your old phone to your children so they can start to practice. They can learn how to edit photos on the app Snapseed. You can later back the photos up to another device.
14. Recycle Recycle Recycle
No matter what you do, do not throw your old phone in the trash. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates 772 lbs of silver, 35,000 lbs of copper, 33 lbs of palladium, and 75 lbs of gold can potentially be saved if one million phones are recycled. You can visit EPA to find out what to do and where to go.
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