The plethora of electronic devices has had a hugely positive effect on how we work in a variety of wonderful ways. What is has also done is created a tangle of cables and cords around workstations that looks like a mess of seaweed dredged up on the beach. This situation is not only aesthetically unpleasing, it can make switching devices very complicated, confusing, and time consuming. Especially if you have more devices than you have available USB ports, or have to attach various devices to your computer to download information, accommodating these changes will be much more efficient if your cords in order.
As an NYC professional organizer, I run into this issue all the time, not only with my clients but in my own life. Luckily, I’ve developed a few home & office organizing ideas to keep the cord clutter at bay!
If you require multiple electrical outlets for your devices, use double-sided tape to attach your power strip or surge protector to one side or the underside of your desk. You will have clear and easy access to all the outlets, and won’t be kicking them around with your feet. Multiple extension cords tangling up your toes? Keep them together by braiding them.
Another of my favorite home & office organizing ideas for keeping cords in order is to always identify each cord as you plug it in to your computer. One way is to use color coded tape — one piece on the cord, a matching piece on the equipment itself. An online search using the phrase “cable labels” will reveal an abundance of choices of labels for identifying your cords. This is a common problem, and you are sure to find a solution that fits your needs and your style. As you label your cables, remove and recycle any old, obsolete ones you come across. If your company doesn’t have an electronics recycling program, retailers like Staples and Best Buys have free recycling drop-off bins specifically for old cables and electronics.
If you have an overabundance of useable cables that you want to keep, wind them up individually and secure each with a twist tie or rubber band. Organize them by type (USB, modem, audio, etc.), and put them in separately labeled storage boxes so you will always have them easily at hand.
In your search for the perfect cable jumble solution, you are not limited to the offerings of the big box stores. Websites such as Mashable.com have some fun “headphone management solutions.” Fab.com has excellent desk accessories for keeping cables in order, such as the elegantly simple “Cordies Executive.“ Colorful “Cabledrops Cable Clips,” available at Amazon.com, are small and attach to any surface. My favorite site of all is www.quirky.com. Quirky is a site that develops ideas by individual inventors, then produces and sells them. Their collection of creative, colorful, flexible power strips and cable management systems is an NYC Professional Organizer’s dream, both delightful and surprising. Check out Quirky‘s single-outlet and bendable extension cords. Perusing these sites will inspire you to get your cords in order.
Have fun finding just the right accessories to solve your Cable Conundrum.