Almost every home and business I enter to organize has a common culprit: the drawer or box of cords for cameras, phones, computers, speakers, iPods, printers, and more. If a tangled mess like this sounds familiar, here are a the steps for restoring order.
- Untangle the cords.
You have no chance of sorting the cords while they are all knotted up. One evening while you are watching TV or a movie, just dump the pile in front of you and disentangle them. You can line them like snakes on the floor or on a table.
- Determine each one’s purpose, and put similar cords next to each other.
This may seem tricky, but often there is some writing to help you figure this out, especially if there is an adapter on the end. A brand name can be the clue you need to separate camera cords from gaming cords from phone cords.
- Remove any cords for devices you no longer use.
Newer devices often have a different “end” that plugs into your device, so this can be a way to identify what is current and what is out of date. If you’ve piled up 5 phone cards, you can select the most recent one to keep, and put the rest in the trash.
- Label the cords you are keeping.
You can either use a label maker (a good label maker has a setting especially designed for cords), or even a piece of masking tape. Record both the user and the name of the device.
- Designate a storage location.
This will be easier now that you have fewer cords.
… “Active” cords can often be left plugged in, ready to use in a “charging station.” This can be anything from a niche near an outlet to a specially designed container. To minimize cord sprawl, curl them up and clip them them together with a small binder clip or cable tie.
… Cords you are keeping, but don’t use every day, can be moved to a storage location, such as…
* A drawer: to keep cords from getting mixed up, add some structure with dividers or even old toilet paper rolls.
Another option is a product like Cord Controller.
* An “over the door” shoe sorter.
* A box or container with divided sections.
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Cords are a necessary evil, but don’t let them take over your precious space. Where do you keep your cords? Have any tips to share?