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Kids hoarding computer parts


Elisabet1
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My son is a computer science major..not computer engineering and not hardware. My next son plans to also go in to computer science (software) and the next says he wants to be a mechanical engineer some day. The oldest is a big hoarder. To make matters worse, so is my brother. So my brother gives my oldest son computer parts. Oldest son has started giving next son rebuilt computer things and parts. 

 

Space is finite..and in my house, also finite. I am sit to DEATH of the mess from computer parts and non working computer parts, around the house. I bought everyone new computers. Yet, the old torn up and often not working computers are around. There is no place to store these except really, out in the open where I have to see them all the time and work around them. All of our storage space overheats so nothing heat sensitive can be in there. Our closets are just not huge..except mine. And I do not want to have to see and work around the computer stuff in my closet, every single day.

 

How cruel would it be for me to just say enough, these spare parts have to go? They can even ask the grandparents to store them if they want.  Oldest likes to tinker, but the rest are just using, as computers, the spare stuff that is getting past down by older. Like, a rebuilt laptop with no keyboard...so a keyboard attached and a mouse attached because the track pad does not work. Disk drive also does not work so not like it is being used for the old disks. So basically, it goes like this. Older obtains a bunch of parts. He builds a computer. He passes that computer down to younger kids and starts building the next computer. Mostly, it is laptops and desktops, but there are some old game systems too. What limits would you find to be reasonable? I feel very bad about taking away computers oldest son built. But, I also am tired of trying to work around everything.

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Oh man, I feel your pain...dh keeps it all...it is treasure to him and trash to me...

BUT

he has used almost all of it at one point or another either to repair/tweak our own stuff or help out someone else that needed a computer and had no funds...he has saved a lot of money for us and others...this makes it easier to accept the clutter and harder to insist it all go.

 

We did agree on a finite bit of space...once the space is full he has to reevaluate what he is keeping.

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My Dad still has an old Radio Shack computer.  And several more in his collection.  Ds takes after him.

 

How old is your son?  When ds went to college (and got to play with bigger and better stuff), he didn't take ANY of it with him.  (Obviously, we missed the "repurposing his room" boat.)  Now, he's graduating from college (yep, computer science) and I'm hoping to get him to empty his room.   The bad part is that in the years between when he picked the stuff up (free) and today, they have started CHARGING to take them at the dump.

 

Could you get one of those under the bed tupperware thing for him to keep it in?

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I learned at my dad's knees tinkering with computer stuff, so I understand the appeal and the value, but I would require an agreed upon space/area (maybe a long table set against a wall with some organized boxes underneath).  Parts will become "worthless" overtime (outdated/damaged if left out, etc.) I could see setting up an area with boxes labeled for spare motherboards/hard disks/ memory/power supplies, etc. All working computers kept in one area. And they clean it (dust is not good for electronics, nor is heat).

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I learned at my dad's knees tinkering with computer stuff, so I understand the appeal and the value, but I would require an agreed upon space/area (maybe a long table set against a wall with some organized boxes underneath).  Parts will become "worthless" overtime (outdated/damaged if left out, etc.) I could see setting up an area with boxes labeled for spare motherboards/hard disks/ memory/power supplies, etc. All working computers kept in one area. And they clean it (dust is not good for electronics, nor is heat).

 

ETA:

After my parents died, I had to clean out the basement. My dad still had 8" floppy disks, yes that is 8", and a Vic computer. We ended up paying someone to haul away a ton of stuff so that has really cured me of the hanging on to stuff "just in case" (well except for books  :lol: ).

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I hear you!!!! Our oldest ds is a huge computer nut. He's finishing up his computer science degree in another state after four years in the military. I had many, many years of dealing with computer parts galore. He bought a Commodore computer at a garage sale when he was young and made a computer program that, when he entered into it any three cards from the game Set, could tell if that was a "set" according to the rules of the game. He did some cool stuff. BUT THE MESS WAS MADDENING. Once we came home from a vacation and found he'd built his own SERVER RACK in the family room. LOL. Kinda would've been nice if you'd asked first, son.

 

He did build his own work bench in the garage which helped some..but the mess flowed into the house. Is there a space in the garage or basement where they could have their own work space? It's awesome that some people have the gift and ability to build computers, write software, etc, but not so awesome that you have to trip over stuff. I would give them some sort of space limit so the rest of the family can enjoy a house not overrun by computer parts.

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you do what you need to do.  he needs to think about the various parts, and keep what is useable and get rid of the rest.  (either selling or recycling)

 

My sil's dh is like this.  their utility room was floor to ceiling - wall to wall computers and monitors.  then there were more boxes in the garage.  he used to build computers, and collected old parts.  I was helping organize things - and suggested a "museum" for his more ancient and collectable computer parts above his computer station in their home office.

 

my ds did learn lots about the mechanics of computers taking them apart and putting them together starting when he was nine.

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Do they not have room in their rooms to keep the parts? 

 

My son has a whole slew of stuff, but it's all in his room so I never see it unless it's coming in. 

 

Space may be finite, but innovation, experimentation, and fun can be limitless with parts. I would try to find a better system of organization if it has to be out in the open, perhaps a defined area and add boxes or shelves or table space. Of course, my son think throwing things in a cardboard box is organized.  :lol:

 

When I was a kid, I had papers everywhere. My dad used to bring home really nice office paper they threw out at work. I loved it. I realized the other day, I still have hoards of different papers. I figure ds will always have computer/electronic parts and that will be something from childhood he can remember fondly. 

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Can you tell your BIL to stop sending stuff over? At least stop the flow that way?

 

Dh holds onto lots of stuff. He finally got rid of an old computer this year. We have another one sitting in the closet. This house is so old we don't have the storage for working stuff let alone old. He also is hanging onto a 13" TV, also in the closet. What for?? My gift wrap holder that I deemed too short for my gift paper is full of old keyboards. Lovely lol.

 

I know it sounds mean but I would try to get it under control now (however you decide that is). Otherwise they will probably be driving future roommates, spouses nuts.

Well, my brother has stopped sending stuff. BUT...apparently...when kids move out of college dorms, they ditch the left over computer stuff and my son collected stuff there too. Perhaps THOSE kids parents wouldn't let them bring those parts home, LOL.

 

ANYWAY, I am benefitting. After years of living her (close to 7) oldest son is hooking up the speaker system in the media room that we never hooked up because we didn't know how to. College is doing some good turns out! He learned how to hook this stuff up this year.

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My son is only 12. He said to me the other day..."Hey Mom, I read somewhere that you can sometimes find computer stuff at the thrift store!" And this is not all of his computer junk.

 

 

Ah, the old blueberry Mac! Love it! We had TWO of those until I finally put my foot down LOL. If they'd still been working it would have been a different story. They just take up so much SPACE!

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My son is only 12.  He said to me the other day..."Hey Mom, I read somewhere that you can sometimes find computer stuff at the thrift store!"  And this is not all of his computer junk.

 

PDRM3766_zps352839b5.jpg

 

 

lol, I just showed this pic to dd and said, "Look! It's not just our family with computer hoarders!"

 

She laughed, too. 

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That desk looks just like my husband's desk. 

 

He's so blasted frugal!  I whine periodically about "too much STUFF", but every few months he goes out to the stash and comes in with some part, looking smug about his foresight.  Rubbermaid bins on wire shelving are the key here.

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