Technology has become an essential part of our everyday lives and homes, but unfortunately, it has also resulted in countless cords and cables cluttering up the house from ceiling to floor. To learn how to organize cords and cables, we asked expert de-clutterer Peter Walsh to share his top six tips.
Upgrading your tech devices is a regular thing these days, and the result is an abundance of cords and chargers filling up spare junk drawers and collecting dust around the house. So, what do you do when you’re almost drowning in extra cables?
If this is you, it sounds like you’re a classic “Techie Clutterer,” says Peter Walsh. I’m guessing you’re one of the first to get the latest gadgets and enjoy the role of technology in your life. But there’s a darker side to the fast pace of technological change and that’s what you’re experiencing.
Unsure whether you might need a particular piece of tech equipment again, you’ve taken the safe bet and just held onto it. That’s a smart thing to do short-term. In the long-term, though, the stuff tends to sit and simply gather dust while taking up valuable space. Here’s six de-cluttering tips on how to organize the cords and cables in your home.
Get rid of the packaging.
If you’ve had a piece of equipment for longer than a month, you probably no longer need the box. If you think you still may need information on it, take a picture of the serial numbers on the sticker on the side, then recycle all of it. All that info is now readily available online, too.
Say goodbye to cables.
In a box full of cables, the stuff you’ve most recently acquired is probably on top — the older stuff tends to be buried below. So, pull out that top layer. If the cables are part of a piece of tech you currently use, keep them. The stuff that’s towards the bottom is probably safe to part with. If you’re really worried there’s a special cable you can’t live without, sit the box in front of your TV and make a plan to go through it during the boring moments of your favorite show.
Keep a roll of masking tape and a sharpie handy. Identify what cable belongs to what and label it. You’ll thank me a hundred times later for this when you’re looking for a specific cord or cable.
Dispose of your tech gear properly.
Some items, particularly old tablets, computers, or hard drives, hold personal data and should be destroyed so no one can access it. Some towns and cities have safe drop-offs where your stuff will be magnetized and the data erased. If you’re uncomfortable with that idea, destroy those pieces on your own — grab a hammer and a screwdriver and let out any inner aggression on the old, useless stuff (but put on a pair of glasses to protect yourself!).
Recycle where you can.
Batteries, phones, or other electronic equipment shouldn’t end up in landfill. Check with your local city council about how to properly dispose of these items. You (and the future generations to come) will be very happy you took that extra step.
Manage the electronics you keep.
Label each item and use Ziploc bags to keep cords and accessories for every piece of equipment together, then store them in like categories. Find a box and make that the limit of tech you’ll hold onto from now on. In the future, with every new piece of equipment, get rid of anything being replaced — the “one-in-one-out” rule will help keep it under control.
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.