Remember when we all had a single-line phone at home and a home office often didn’t even contain a typewriter?
Most people now have at least one cell phone and computer in the house, not to mention all the other gadgets that keep us connected and entertained.
How do you keep your portable electronics uncluttered? More importantly, how do you keep the cords straight?
Many people opt for a charging station to keep all portable electronics in one place. This Wood Charger Station is one option for keeping everything neat and in one place. I bought one for my dad last year for Father’s Day and he loves it.
More of the do-it-yourself type? Try this design from Lifehacker. If you make one please send me a photo and I’ll post it.
Corral Your Cords
If you don’t want to use a gadget organizer, consider labeling and organizing your cords. This will make your space neater and lessen the chance that you unplug the wrong thing. You’ll also prevent wondering what cord goes with what gadget, or having a box of unknown cords in the closet that you keep for some unknown reason.
There are plenty of options for cord organizers, from the very low-cost masking tape to the still pretty cheap cord organizers from 3M. I like these because they can hold the cords to the wall, and if you have pets you know why this is important. My dog has unplugged my keyboard many times while “burying” bones and taking naps under the desk. Another plus is that the sticky side comes off the wall completely when you are done (good for renters).
A surge protector (or two) is a wise investment. Not only does it protect your gadgets from surges of electricity due to storms and power outages, it also keeps your plugs neatly aligned. If your cords are labeled, this makes crawling under your desk to troubleshoot a whole lot easier.
Donating Old Electronics
Once you start organizing your gadgets, you may run across a few that you don’t need anymore. Anything with dust is a good candidate, as are duplicate products.
In my office, I found an old cell phone and charger, and I’m finally going to admit that the camera I dropped in the sand is not going to work again, no matter how hard I try.
Here are some resources to recycle/donate/dispose of your old electronics:
- Earth911 will help you find recycling centers for all of your electronics in your zip code. I was surprised to find out how many are available.
- Donate your old cell phones to battered women’s shelters. They are still configured to dial 911 even without a cell phone plan. Be sure to include the charger.
- You can sell/give away boxes of cords on Craisglist or at garage sales. Believe me, we’ve done it.
For a list of all the April home decluttering posts, click here.
Betsy Talbot writes about carving the lifestyle you want out of life you already have. When she’s not writing, she’s paring down, saving up, and getting ready for a year of travel with her husband.