Almost every organizing project you embark on will have that one box or drawer that threatens to stall the whole process. You may be able to tackle the whole room in a few hours, but that last remaining bin of chaos is still there. It’s important not to get frustrated by the time-consuming micro projects inside of larger projects. So, if you run into something like a bin full of old tech that will take time to sort through, consider going back to it later so it doesn’t threaten your momentum. But the sooner you deal with it the better because these stashes tend to grow!
Making Decisions About Old Tech When you’re ready to go through your collection of wires and cords, you’ll need a plan.
Gather: First, you want to gather all your gear together in one spot. Seeing everything laid out together makes sorting and decision-making much simpler.
Match: Try to match cords to devices.
Group: Group similar items together to evaluate their usefulness and the quantity of each that you’ve got stashed away.
Evaluate: Determine which ones still work.
Decide: Decide which of the remaining items you truly need.
Edit: After sorting and evaluating each item, you should have a clear idea about which ones you can get rid of. Remember, just because something is purposeful (to somebody, somewhere, for something, someday…), doesn’t mean you have to hold onto it. If you’ve got duplicates, my advice is to hold onto the best one and let the rest go.
Responsible Disposal Once you’ve got your “edit” pile, it’s important that you dispose of the items responsibly. There are a number of places where you can take electronics and their accessories for recycling. Stores like Staples or Best Buy accept a wide range of electronics, and the latter offers a mail-in service if you don’t live close to a store. Apple also has a recycling program you can opt into when you make a new purchase. If you live in the District of Columbia, residents can also take advantage of eCYCLE DC resources for residents.
Storage Solutions People keep cords because they are useful…if we know what devices they belong to. So, before you put the good ones back in the “keep” pile, make sure you bundle and label them. The last thing you want to do is have to repeat the organizing process again next year!
Here are a few products that could help you tuck them away neatly:
Velcro Cord Wraps - For organizing your cable and cord supply, first, wrangle each into a round or oblong bundle and secure with Velcro cord wraps. Then, you can put them in a designated drawer or container.
Zipping Organizer – If you don’t have too many wires or cords to store, a zipping container is a convenient way to store them.
Drawer Organizer – To make sure your drawer doesn’t become of mish-mosh of tangled wires and cords, a drawer organizer can help. Lots of things could serve the same purpose…it doesn’t have to be something specifically designed for organizing. Instead of recycling your better-quality plastic food containers, try repurposing them as drawer organizers!
Tackle Box – If you’ve got wires plus lots of related odds and ends, a tackle box style container could work well for you.
Photo Storage Box – As I’ve said before, sometimes organizing takes a bit of creativity. Photo storage boxes, for example, can be used for more than photos. They are great if you have lots of cords to keep organized!
Active Cord Management Stored cords are not the only ones you want to keep organized. You also want to keep those in use where they need to be, rather than in a tangled jumble.
Cable Clips - For active cord management, I cannot recommend cable clips enough. I call them “dots” because they are small inconspicuous circles that hold wires and cords exactly where you need them. Your desk will never be the same!
Maintaining Your New System With any organizational system, you can’t just set it and forget it. You need to regularly revisit your stored items and edit them as you acquire new technology. It is tempting to “do it later,” but the easiest way to keep things in order is to do it when you know what each wire or cord is used for. Apply the one-in-one-out rule whenever possible. I mean, how many old earbuds do you need, right?
Facing the Mental Objections Wires and cables are useful, making them very difficult to edit. If you find yourself tangled in the decision-making process, we’ve got even more suggestions in our blog post, Liberate Yourself From, “What if…?”
Got a project that you don’t want to handle by yourself? Contact Us to find out how we can help!