Feel like you own more electronic devices now than ever? If so, you’re not alone. Many of us are constantly plugged into our cell phones, tablets, TVs, computers, gaming consoles and other gadgets, especially when we’re at home. And while technology can be great, one of its biggest downsides tends to mean that more electronics means more wires (a.k.a. eyesores to look at and more potential tripping hazards if you happen to be clumsy like me).
But with a few simple steps, you can easily manage cord clutter and create a neat and orderly space at your home or in the office.
1. Untangle and Organize – The first step is to organize your cords and pair them with their corresponding devices. You may find you have cord orphans left behind after devices like VCRs (hello, ‘90s flashbacks!) and gaming consoles have been replaced or thrown out. Get rid of any cords that aren’t in use. Chances are you won’t need them in the future, and keeping them only creates more clutter.
2. Bundle and Label Cords – When it comes to organizing cords, twist ties, zip-ties and Velcro are going to be your best friends. Take the time to neatly coil, loop or bind slack cord with these tools, which you can find at most office supply and home organization stores. Binder clips are also great for bundling cords. You can wrap masking tape around the coil of cord slack, leaving a folded over tab of tape to write the name of the cord on with a marker. Labelling may seem like overkill, but it will come in handy the next time you are on your hands and knees reaching behind a bookshelf to unplug a specific cord.
3. Use Baskets and Boxes – When placed near a desk or TV, storage boxes and wicker baskets can make for great places to store unsightly wires and certain electronics. Just bundle wires together and organize them neatly inside said box or basket. Boxes and baskets also makes for great spots to hide internet routers and store chargers when not in use.
4. Buy a Cord Cover or Cable Sleeve – Most home maintenance stores carry cord covers, which are inexpensive plastic coverings that hide wires. Cord covers are great for electronics like wall-mounted TVs, and they come in all different sizes and lengths. They do require a bit of installation, but the steps aren’t very complicated. Cable sleeves are another simple way to easily organize cords, and they can also be found at most home improvement stores.
5. Go Cordless – Want to deal with less cords overall? Invest in some cordless technology. Thanks to Bluetooth-enabled devices, like speakers, keyboards and printers, you can play music, write an email or print documents seamlessly through your smartphone, without needing to deal with a mass of wires. Next time you need to replace a device, consider a wireless option if one is available.
6. Buy a Surge Protector with a Built-In Cord Organizer – If you want to keep your electronics safe while staying organized at the same time, consider getting a surge protector with organizer clips built in. There all different kinds available online, and a quick search can help get you started.
7. Use Specialized Power Strips – Power strips come in many different sizes, shapes and colors. Some even bend and fold to fit into tight spaces, like corners or around furniture legs. With the right power strip, you can avoid stretching a wire along a wall or using an extension cord. Some even feature USB ports as well as traditional AC power outlets so it can function like a charger for your smart devices as well.
The easiest way to eliminate cord clutter is to keep it from building up in the first place. Whenever you’re setting up new computer equipment or moving into a new space, be sure to carefully bundle, label, clip, stow and plug cords in neatly from the get-go. It will make things much easier for you in the long run! Plus, a tidy, uncluttered space to live in can reduce stress and make your home more welcoming.