A top organizing hassle you likely face is keeping electronic cords tidy and accessible. It’s common to keep these cables in areas of your home or car that are within arm’s reach. But, this creates a messy situation if you have multiple cables for your phone, laptop, and/or tablet. Unorganized cords can also become easily tangled, which makes it hard to grab just one when you need it. Thankfully, keeping digital devices fully charged doesn’t have to consume every corner of your life. In fact, organizing pros rely on household items to store those wires in a clutter-free manner. Here are three expert tips for how to organize electronic cords and cables so you can minimize chaos.
For On-the-Go Cords: An Eyeglass Case
Whether you stash them in your purse, car, or luggage, traveling with cords always seems to result in a knotted mess. The simple fix: Keep them neat and protected inside an eyeglass case. “It will easily fit in your handbag, glove compartment or suitcase, and it’s sturdy enough to keep cords from getting damaged, even if your bag gets squashed or mishandled,” organizing expert Brenda Scott says. Another cord-corralling tool she advises when you’re driving? Twist ties. “Use them to bundle cords, then hook them around a dash vent in your car so they stay secure and out of the way while you’re out and about,” she adds.
For At-Home Chargers: A Shoebox
Sure, you could buy an organizer to keep your devices and their cords sorted on your counter while you charge them, but an easier and cheaper alternative is to create your own “charging station.” To do: Grab an old shoebox (you can even cover it with pretty wrapping paper or washi tape to match your decor), and cut a large hole on one of the box’s short sides, then create a few regularly spaced smaller holes on a long side of the box. Place a power strip inside; the large hole is where the strip’s plug goes, while the cords for your devices come out of the smaller holes. Put the lid on top, and you’re done!
For Random Wires: Toilet Paper Tubes
We all have a bin of old, tangled cords out of fear we’ll need them someday. To stash them neatly, store coiled cords in toilet paper tubes, label each tube with the cord type, and place in a basket. No rolls on hand? “I’ve had clients who invested in fancy organizers, but I’ve found a simple plastic food-storage bag works best,” organizer Mary Jo Contello of Organized by MJ says. Simply coil the cord, place it in the bag, and zip it closed. Stick on a label with the device the cord is used for and the date you put it in storage. This way you’ll be able to see which cords are eventually safe to toss.
A version of this article originally appeared in our print magazine, First For Women.
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