Kelly Pratt, a professional organizer with Clear & Simple, shares solutions to help you cut the cord clutter!
Hopefully, these ideas will “strike a chord!”
Remember that safety is the first issue when dealing with cables and cords. Because we have so many electronic devices, particularly in office, home office and media areas, successful organization begins with these safety guidelines:
• Don’t overload circuits. It’s tempting to jam power strips and outlets when there are multiple devices that require power from a single outlet. Fire fighters strongly caution against this practice because fire danger rises dramatically.
• Don’t run cords and cables under rugs without cord protectors. The rough surface under the rug will eventually wear the outer casing, which can cause fire.
• Don’t use incorrect voltage matches for extension cords. Incorrect voltage matches, particularly on long extension cords, can cause damage to your electronics, short circuits and/or cause fire.
In the past few years, several products have emerged to help tame cord and cable clutter. Here are a few favorites:
The Cable Turtle
The cable turtle is a spool with a flexible exterior. It comes in two sizes: the small size is designed to shorten the slack in one cord; the larger size can hold between two and four cables. You can order this item at www.thecontainerstore.com and www.cableorganizer.com.
At the cableorgainzer.com site, you can find a greater selection of sizes and colors, so you can add a little personality to your cord organization!
The Cable Organizer
The cable organizer performs the same function as the cable turtle, but it accommodates more cords and cables. While you can sometimes find this item at local home improvement shows, the best anytime availability is through the Container Store. www.thecontainerstore.com
The Cable Zipper
The cable zipper is designed to contain several cables and cords in a linear rather than wrapped configuration. The cable zipper expands to hold several cables running from one single point to another. This particular item is available locally at Office Max and online at www.thecontainerstore.com.
Velcro wraps are possibly one of the most effective and inexpensive cords and cable management tools. Available at big box home improvement stores, you can purchase a package of 50 Velcro wraps for around $5.00! You can use these wraps in a number of applications ranging from kitchen appliances to computer cords and cables. Velcro wraps are an effective alternative to the cable zipper when placed at intervals along the length of several cords or cables running together.
If you’ve ever had to disconnect one cord among the many on a power strip, you know how frustrating it can be to guess which outlet belongs to which gadget. Unplugging the wrong cord can have unpleasant effects, particularly if you accidentally unplug the DVD player in the middle of your toddler’s favorite movie! Here are a few ways to avoid this situation.
Kableflags are plastic tabs that come in several different sets for everything from kitchen appliances to media centers. They also come blank so you can customize your tabs. You can order kableflags at www.amazon.com.
A labeler with flexible tape is a great alternative to more formal cords and cable labels. My favorite labeler is the Brother P-Touch 1950 available at www.costco.com. Not only will this handy tool label your cords, you can use it in every room of the house!
If all else fails, masking tape and a Sharpie will make perfectly suitable labels, particularly in less visible areas.
Good luck cutting the cord clutter, and happy organizing!
Kelly Pratt is a professional organizer who loves helping people establish home and office environments that accurately reflect the very best of who the are and support who the want to become. Kelly approaches organizing from a systems-based perspective so clients can not only achieve spaces they love, but can also keep them up after she’s gone!
For more information about Clear & Simple, or Kelly’s services, contact: