September 03, 2021 6 min read
The setup of your home space is essential for a myriad of reasons. Think about when you were apartment hunting, and all you saw were empty, cavernous rooms in which all you had to fill them with was your imagination. It all seemed full with endless possibilities of where your dresser would go, what sort of shades you would get for the windows, etc.
Now that you have settled into your home space for however long you have, it may seem that things are not as simple as you thought them out to be when the space was empty. You did not account for outlets being on the wrong side of the wall, for your friend insisting that you take an old clunky vanity that you definitely do not use enough, or for the slow yet consistent process of accumulating random stuff.
It happens to all of us, so do not worry too much about it. It is natural, but there are many reasons why reorganizing and decluttering your home space is good for you and your brain. This is especially true if your home is your primary office space. Even with this, there might be hesitancy to brave your home cord drawer or behind your computer, TV, and dresser.
To make your life easier, we have a few ideas. Read all about how to effectively organize your cables to keep them from getting more tangled (and metaphorically trapping you in their web of disorganization).
Cut down on the disorganization, boost your productivity, and free some valuable mental space by cleaning up your cords.
This is one of the all-important questions when you are trying to cut down on your cord mess and declutter your living and working spaces. All too often, we are willing to keep the extra charging or USB cord from the new Apple product we just bought even though we have three lying in wait in our drawer of miscellaneous electronic gadgets and accessories.
It is best to throw out the excess, especially for cords and accessories that have duplicates and are easily and cheaply obtainable. Keeping your drawer and living area free from excess duplicate cords is one of the easiest ways to keep your living and working area free from electronic clutter. Studies show that the average American household has 2.6 Apple products, so having 5+ charging cords may be a little too enthusiastic.
If you do not know why you have a certain cord, put it in a bag, and keep it separate. If you do not use it for the next six months, you probably do not need it. If you do, keeping it in that bag tightly wound with a Cord Burrito (which we will talk about in-depth later) is the best practice for keeping it organized.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when trying to organize their cords is keeping them unlabeled. In general, studies have shown that writing things down for identification is one of the best ways to remember even if the label itself is lost. This means that you are more likely to remember its purpose and remember it in the future just by labeling something.
This is important because the overwhelming sensation of feeling anxious when looking at a tangled mess of cords is in part due to the fact that we cannot understand where they all are from, where they are going, and what purpose they serve. By labeling your cords, looking at the cords themselves will actually create less stress about their purpose.
In addition, labeling makes any act of moving, unplugging, or changing cords less stressful and much more manageable. You will become more likely to clean the area around and under your cords if you know that you will be able to easily put it all back as it was. This is just another easy step to keep your area clean and uncluttered.
While the first two sections have talked about practices more than anything, this section will look at the gadgets that make organizing your cords much simpler.
Everyone has a different setup, so keep in mind your unique needs and lifestyle demands while reading on.
This is something you may have already implemented, but are one of the staples of cord management is the power strip. This is best used in conjunction with the next gadget that we will discuss, or else it is less effective. Power strips are essential for more than just making sure everything gets the juice in the event that you have more than two devices requiring power.
The starting and ending points of your cords will be the easiest parts of management, but they are still important. Since the cords always start in the device, there are ways to arrange the devices themselves to keep the cords from tangling. The same can be said of the power cord. Its definite endpoint gives your cord a consistent destination.
Now, let’s talk about the middle of the cord (which gets a lot more tangled in general):
Another big advantage of having power strips is the ability to unplug all devices at the same time and keep them organized throughout that process.
Cords get tangled for legitimate scientific reasons. Some of these annoying knots and tangles are instigated by heat, movement, and time. You can cut down on one of these by unplugging devices and cords when you are not using them, as they tend to heat up when plugged in.
If power strips are the most utilitarian, bundling gadgets are the most attractive item in your cord management journey. They can take many forms, but they essentially allow you to either bind cords together if they are going from the same start point generally to the same endpoint. Or, they allow you to wrap a cord upon itself to keep the excess out of the way. Either way, they are essential.
There are velcro bundling items along with rubber and a myriad of other materials. Whichever you choose is personal preference as long as you have them. The velcro-lined versions are easiest for putting on and taking off, but it is your decision.
Now, when you are not using cables is when they really tend to get tangled. It might be tempting to just keep the rarely used cords in the cord graveyard of the miscellaneous drawer (out of sight, out of mind, right?). However, there are some cords that need to be more mobile. When taking your cords out and about, look for a bag designed to carry your essentials, like the Addison.
The Addison, a full-grain leather bag, is perfect for charging your laptop in the coffee shop where you meet up with your friends. The microfiber lining and strategic pockets eliminate the awkward 20 seconds of untangling the power cord.
For on-the-go cord management, check out the Cord Burrito. These beautiful leather products look great and keep your cords tight and together to keep them from tangling in your pocket, bag, purse, or whatever else you store them in. They come in a few sizes for different size cords and are a great investment to keep your on-the-go setup tangle-free.
While it is not always possible or easy, thinking about changing out your wired devices for some wireless where possible can really cut down on the amount of management you have to do in general.
Whether this is chargers, headphones, or something else, going wireless is easier now than ever with solutions and alternatives for many different gadgets. Keep your devices in a case that allows for wireless charging possibilities for ultimate ease.
As with any annoying or hard project, having a plan for what you are going to do with your cords is going to make the whole process much easier. So, think about what cords are necessary, label those cords, then start investing in gadgets that help you organize those cords.
In the meantime, think about wireless alternatives that would make your life easier. With more time spent at home than ever and more of that time plugged into a wall, organizing your tethers to that wall will make your space feel and look less cluttered, thus keeping your head uncluttered by them as well.