You’ve done your spring cleaning. You’ve organized your medicine cabinet. You’ve labeled everything from cleaning supplies to spices. And your fridge and oven are spotless.
You think you’ve really nailed this whole domestic goddess business until you look behind your desk, your TV, or your music system.
All those cables, chargers and cords are telltale signs that our plugged-in world has gotten the better of you. Not only are they a tangled nuisance, but they make it hard for you to clean, which can lead to a buildup of allergy-aggravating dust.
Personal organizer Janine Sarna Jones, who agrees that organizing cords and wires is a major issue for many people in our modern age.
Also, no matter how clean you keep your home, if there are jumbled cords and cables dripping from behind desks and entertainment centers, or pushed into big balls in the corner, it will make the entire area look messy and unkempt. There is also the added concerns of trips and falls, not to mention a potential fire hazard when dealing with an overrun of wires and cables. Here we’ll discuss the subject cable management and how to organize chargers and cords like a pro.
The best way to organize wires is to avoid them in the first place. Before you buy any new device, consider going wireless. Wireless printers, for example, can be hidden away in closets or discreetly placed on a shelf, which may not be possible if it needs to plug into a computer.
But don’t expect one purchase to fix all your wire woes.
“Although several people are moving toward wireless technology, most look to this option only when they are renovating their space or moving into a new home or office,” Sarna Jones says. “So, despite the new wireless technology, more often than not people struggle with a rat’s nest of wires and cords.”
Get rid of what you don’t use
Oftentimes, when we get something new we simply add the power cord to the bundle we already have. This can result in an abundance of cords that aren’t even being used. To solve this problem easily, get down and look at each cord and track what it’s connected to. If you find a few wires that don’t have a ‘Ëœhost’, remove them and store them all in one central location. Then, if you come across something that’s missing a cord, you’ll know where to look for it.
Rethink what you have
You can organize chargers and cords by simplifying what you use. For example, if you have several family members who all charge their cell phones individually, you can minimize cord confusion by investing in a Powermat. This one mat can power several devices at once and keep everything in one convenient spot, without cluttering the area with cords and wires.
Reconsider some of the electronics you have hooked up in an extremely crowded area and ditch what you don’t use. How long has it been since you watched a VHS tape? Seven year? Maybe ten? Then you may want to consider removing the VCR and relocating it to another area of the home where there’s more space.
Creating a dedicated charging station is the best way to keep all those wires in one place and under control. If you are in the market for a new desk, opt for one with a built-in charging station.
If you are working with what you already own, however, consider using twist ties or tubes (even toilet rolls attached to the back of a desk leg can keep cords together) so that all your wires are going in the same direction.
“Traditional power strips can also be switched out for power strips that accommodate different sized power adapters and plugs,” Sarna-Jones says.
The entertainment center can be quickly taken over by cords, cables and wires. From the television to the DVD player, the cable management box, and the stereo system — everything you use in this area requires some type of power connection. To organize this space, try these tips:
- Keep media devices as close together as possible and use the shortest cords available.
- Hide/Organize computer cords and cables
- Bind cords tightly together and use an inexpensive cord manager to form one central cable.
- Keep loose cords out of sight by stapling them to the backside of (or underneath) furniture. Use a staple gun specifically designed for wires and cords, such as the Arrow T-25.
- Use a surge protector to eliminate power surges and spikes from damaging electronics.
- Prevent tripping hazards by covering floor cords with cable covers.
Stop Cord Slip
You all know this moment. You’ve just turned off the bedroom lights, you reach around on your bedside table to plug your phone into the charger, and you realize the charger has once again slipped off your bedside the table and gone behind the bed. Ugh! To keep this from happening again, get a weighted cord holder that keeps your chargers where they need to be. Or, go DIY-style and clip a large binder clip to the back of your bedside table and slot the cords through the silver clips to keep them in place.
Cut It Out
If you’ve followed the tips above and still find yourself with a pile of cords or power strips, consider buying an attractive storage box with a lid. Cut a hole in the back to feed in all those wires and outlets.
“Sometimes, though, getting those unsightly wires organized is as easy as adding labels to each end of them so you know where each one goes,” Sarna-Jones says.
So, bust out that label maker. You know you’ve been looking for a good excuse.