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Are You A Gadget Hoarder?

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Most people like getting their hands on the latest and newest technology, but for some, letting go of the old is hard to do.

Nicole Wakelin is delights in trying out new technology and owning the latest gadgets but she, like many, has trouble getting rid of the old.

"I have everything from phones that I haven't used in five years that are still in a pile, various versions of the iPads that also sit in a pile that don't get used," said Nicole.

Nicole says her gadgets have grown on her—and she's attached.

"It's hard to part with it. You know, it means so much when you buy it," said Nicole.

Dr. Christina Villarreal is a behavior therapist who specializes in hoarding. She says gadget hoarding is becoming more prevalent.

"Gadget hoarding is a form of hoarding disorder, which is a person having persistent difficulty with parting with their possessions, regardless of their value," said Dr. Villareal.

For serious hoarders, staying current can be a financial drain.

"I've definitely seen patients who struggled with feeling the need to accrue electronic devices, in spite of their ability to afford them. It's definitely becoming an increased area of concern for many people," Dr. Villareal said.

But is keeping a collection of dated devices a sign you need help?

"Holding onto old cellphones or old laptops isn't necessarily hoarding or a problem, as long as it's not affecting a person's work life, home life, relationships, and ability to function," said Dr. Villareal.

Nicole said she's not that far gone and points out a practical reason for holding on to old electronics.

"We haven't gotten rid of them because there's that sense, 'What if something happened that I needed this as a backup?'" Nicole said.

However, she does admit some emotional attachement to her collection of gadgets, something Dr. Villareal believes is not uncommon.

"Some people hold onto electronic devices because they used them during a special time in their life. Maybe they had cellphones from college, uh pagers that they used in particular work settings," said Villareal.

Whether the motivation is sensible or sentimental, if you've got gadgets galore, consumer guru Andrea Woroch has some advice.

"Consider selling them so you can help pay for some monthly expenses like your cable or electricity bill," said Woroch.

Woroch says letting go of the gadgets could lead to some serious cash back in your pocket.

Nicole knows her gadget stash could probably bring in some spare cash, but she's holding onto it—at least for now.

"Gadgets are probably my big weakness. I try not to hoard anything else," said Nicole.

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