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A Guide to Organizing and Concealing Your Cords

Published September 13, 2023 in the Lamorinda Weekly

When did cords become so unmanageable? The answer is when modern society became dependent on electronic devices. In today's world, we literally can't live without them. Research shows the average person can own at least five electronic devices and if you have a household of five, you now have at least 25 cords to organize and plug in. Considering that many devices require more than one cord, the number can escalate quickly.

Every device we own needs a cord, a password and a designated place for charging. Sorry to tell you this, but you have to manage this or you will end up with the dreaded box-o-cords!

Organizing cords is probably not your favorite pastime activity. It is not mine either, but I have a lot of experience helping my clients organize and hide cords.

Let's break this down into steps:

1. Gather, sort and purge all the cords you own;

2. Decide on a labeling system;

3. Designate a charging home for your devices;

4. Hide the mess of cords coming from the wall; and

5. Store and dispose cords.

Gather, sort and purge

Every client I have owns a huge box of "I don't know what these are for but I might need it" cords. The reality is that if the item is over five years old, you have probably updated it and the old cord is no longer useful. So, what do you save and what do you send to e-waste?

I recommend going through the box of cords, pulling out the ones you can identify and labeling them. An alternate solution is to take the entire box of cords to e-waste and get on with your life. You can usually purchase a replacement cord, unless the item is so old they no longer make them (in that case, maybe it's time to update the device).

Decide on a labeling system

There are many types of cord labels you can purchase. It's important to label all cords, especially the cords for devices that need to be charged frequently. I suggest using the same color of label as the cord. For example, a white label for a white cord and so on. It will be more aesthetic looking if it's the same color. You can search "cord labels" to see all of the options. Another way to label the cords is by the type of cord such as charging cables versus audio cables, and so on.

Designate a charging home

Years ago, we designated a charging spot for all of our devices. Now, every room has a charging station and our devices are usually within arms reach. Even devices that are used less frequently, like power banks, should have a designated storage place.

Hide the mess of cords

Cable organizers are a must! They come in various forms, such as clips, ties and sleeves. They help to bundle cords together neatly, preventing them from becoming tangled and creating a safety hazard. Velcro ties are helpful, as they can be easily adjusted and reused. Many furniture pieces come with built-in cable management solutions with hidden compartments which will keep the cords organized and out of sight.

Storing and disposing of cords

After your cords are labeled, I recommend storing them with care to increase the longevity. When you are storing cords, use the coiling system to prevent kinks and damage. Coil them into a loop, making sure it's not too tight and tie it with a cable tie or Velcro strap.

You can purchase cord containers that keep the cords separate and protect them from dust. In some cases, using a simple drawer divider or small containers within the drawer can be a great solution.

A vertical solution is another way to store the cords. You can mount command hooks on the inside of cabinets if you don't have room inside the drawer.

Disposing your cords

Disposing your cords properly is crucial. E-waste can contain hazardous materials, such as lead, mercury and other toxic waste. Republic Services offers free electronics pickup at its bi-annual Reuse Day or you can schedule pickup for a fee. Proper disposal prevents environmental harm, so it's worth the effort to follow the guidelines.

The key is to keep your cords updated, grouped, labeled, stored and disposed of in an organized way so you don't end up with the dreaded box-o-cords.


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