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Redefining Home Management

Monthly Archives: January 2014

Cords, Cables & Chargers

So, I have a confession to make… blogging is not my passion.  Why would a blogger tell you this? Stay with me for a minute!

 

My passion is working with clients in their homes, transforming their spaces, and impacting the way they live in their homes with their families.  Lately, I have had increasingly more opportunities to work with clients, and I love it!  So, here is the point of my confession… that is why my blog posts have been spaced a little further apart these days!  I have been thinking about my blog post, wanting to do it.  But the thoughts that have consumed my free time, kept me up at night, motivated me to work until crazy hours… are the plans and ideas for client spaces.  This has been getting in the way of my blogging a little – in a big happy way!

 

I promise I will continue to blog, because really I do love it!  I just had to share why there might be times that my posts are not as frequent as I would like.  But the good news is, if I’m not blogging I’m probably organizing so there is no shortage of material!

 

And now on to cords, cables & chargers… a tangled mess for many I know!  I got to work with a client on getting control of a drawer of cords, chargers, headphones…  all of that stuff that drives many of us nuts!  These items tend to become a tangled mess, half the time we can’t find them, and we frequently forget them at home when we travel.  And sometimes, when only one charger can be found everyone swears it is theirs – sound familiar?!

 

I have to admit that I felt a little insufficient in posting about my cord storage.  I can’t say that I have a beautiful solution for storing our cords and chargers, but it is very functional.  It is these times that I have to give myself a little reminder about why I love blogging.  I love sharing practical advice with you all.  I don’t love the idea of setting up a standard none of us can actually live up to, or at least we shouldn’t if our priorities are right.  So, please excuse the totally not-pretty cord storage we have at our house.

 

But, if your cord storage is in need of an overhaul, then by all means make it pretty as you tackle the disorder.  In our house, we’re sticking with function for now – and let’s be real… probably until the kids go to college and I organize everything in our house beyond reason because I don’t know what else to do with myself in my big empty house.  Yes, I’m already dreading those days.  My oldest son is already half way through the years he will spend under my roof!

 

So here it is…  You’ve heard me say this a million times, but even with chargers and cords… they need a home in your home.  Not a place they usually end up, but a place where they belong.  I find it helpful to store all our different kinds of cords and chargers in different locations.

 

We have a bunch of cords and chargers that belong to kid devices and old phones that our kids like to play with.  All of those go in a photo storage box with the Kidizoom Camera and Leapsters, where the kids can easily get to them.  I use one of the $2 photo boxes from Michael’s that I have talked about.

 

I have a small divided container for chargers in the kitchen, when our phone chargers end up in there it is a quick stash zone.  However, most of the time our phone chargers our by our nightstands where we charge them at night.

 

Last, we have another small kid size shoe box in my desk drawer that holds cords I need in my office – digital cameras, ipod USB, chargers for my son’s devices that he charges in my office…

 

My-Storage

 

The next problem with cords is how to keep them rolled or folded up, and how to label them.  This is what I haven’t done much of for our family, yet.  We don’t have an ipad, my son has the only tablet in the house plus my husband’s old ipod, and Jason and I have our phones.  Other than that, we are NOT techie!  So, keeping cords straight is not much of a battle here.  Jason keeps track of his, I keep mine in our room, and Carter has two in our office.  The few things I have labeled are purely functional, not pretty.

 

Here is how I store our camera cord that I use all the time, to upload photos to our computer.  It is big enough to fit perfectly in a t.p. roll, and I have yet to find a quicker way to contain and store longer cords.  Many of you have seen the t.p. rolls I use for my hairdryer, flatiron, etc.  Those are covered in pretty scrap paper – and are much more inspiring!  That would be a great idea here, and honestly I will probably add some cute paper to the brown t.p. roll in the near future!  However, the plain old roll is also super easy to clearly label – a serious bonus!

 

Digital-Camera

 

This smaller cord is held together with a plastic bread tag.  You can write on the tag to label the cord as well!

 

Kindle

 

I also really like my divided container in our junk drawer.  It keeps one cord in each compartment, rolled up, without having to take the time to attach a clip of any kind.  These are the extra cords that seem to travel around the house a bit or get grabbed in hurry on the way out the door. Although it seems a little random I have also started storing a roll of thread and needles in my junk drawer.  There has been a lot of stuffed animal repair around here lately, among other things!

 

Drawer-Caddy

 

I also did a little research into this area for a client recently, so that I could provide a better variety of options than my current system.  Their needs were slightly different than mine as well.  We started out by adding a wood tray (from TJMaxx) that is divided into 12 smaller squares. I then used binder clips to hold cords together, and label them.

 

The binder clip holds the cord, and the arms can be used to contain the cables and connections as well.  There are various sizes of binder clips too, depending on how large of a cord you are working with.  I like that this system allows you to store many cords, of various sizes in the same way.  This has a more orderly appearance, and is simply practical.

 

Binder-Clip-2 Binder-Clip-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It was also very easy to label cords, using the flat surface of the binder clip, and my label maker.

 

 

Label-Binder-Clip

 

And here is her neat and tidy drawer!

 

Holly-AFter

 

And of course we all want to see the before & after!!!

 

Before-&-AFter

 

I think it was success!!!

 

For those of you that would like a little more inspiration, here are a few more of my favorite ideas I found to control cords, and label them as well.

 

I love this method of keeping chargers and cords together with their partner, especially if multiple people in your house have the same chargers and you find yourselves debating (ok arguing) over who gets to use the only one you can find.  Simply wrap the charger and USB connection with coordinating washi tape!

 

 

Washi

source

 

Here is another way to use binder clips to control the cords you want to leave out all the time.  How cool is that – they won’t fall behind your desk and leave you crawling around on the floor trying to find what you need!

 

http://www.remodelaholic.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/controlling-computer-cords-ideas5.jpg

source

 

 

If you have a lot of larger cords to store, containing them in one box is the best way to go.  You can use my favorite, the t.p. roll…

 

source

 

And of course they are cuter if you cover them…

 

 source

 

Or make your own dividers in a photo or card storage box…

 

 

 source

 

I also love these holders for your phone while you charge it. I hate the long dandling cord from the outlet to a phone laying on the counter.  These are a great solution to keep it all tucked neatly together!

 

source

 

Here are a couple cute little fish that keep your outlet charger and USB cord neat and tidy too!

 

Fish-2            Goldfish

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I hope you have been inspired to contain some clutter, and have found a few new tricks to get it done!

 

 

A Year in Review

Do you ever start a day with optimism that you will conquer your “to do” list and have your life in control by dinner, only to find yourself frustrated by a “time-drain” that wasn’t on your list.  Well, I had one of those days yesterday!  The kids didn’t have school because of extremely cold temperatures, and I started my day armed with my to do list, a cup of coffee and a serious can-do attitude!

 

My reality… over 3 hours on the phone with our credit card company trying to straighten out a charge they said they would fix when I was on the phone with them for over an hour while visiting family for Christmas.  Do I sound annoyed?  I am!

 

But, the reality is we can’t control everything.  Our distractions can come in the form of sick kids, spilled milk, straightening out bills and other people’s mistakes, minor car mishaps… not to say I’ve ever run into anything!  🙂  I’m a planner by nature (I know some of you are laughing at the understatement) and I don’t always deal well with it when my plans get altered, especially if the cause was outside of my control.

 

However, I have also learned that things outside of our control are inevitable.  Therefore, we can plan for the unexpected!  See… I find a way to plan everything!   When we are over-scheduled and over-committed we end up constantly frustrated by not doing the things we need to do, because we are dealing with the unexpected things we have to do.  Most of us don’t have enough space in our daily agenda for what needs to get done, let alone what comes up unexpectedly.  Or better yet… the opportunities God might have in store for us.

 

I have always found time management to be a very important part of staying organized and keeping my priorities straight.  You can read some of my thoughts about managing our busy schedules in this post.  I know the end of the holidays and the start of a new year has given many of us the urge to get control of the clutter in our homes!  However, if you are feeling overwhelmed by life and the idea of finding the time to be more organized, I would encourage you to start your organizational efforts with a serious evaluation of what consumes your time, and who you are serving with those activities.

 

If you are in need of a more intense study to evaluate how you spend your time and why you never feel like you have any…  I love this article I happened upon by Harry Leafe a couple of years ago, and my BIble Study group read a good book last year titled “Margin” by Richard A. Swenson.

 

If you have set aside some time to begin sifting through the piles of 2013 and ordering your life for 2014, I’m ready to get organizing with you!!  I have all kinds of fun thing I can’t wait to share in 2014, but I am hoping that you will find inspiration and useful tips in reflecting on 2013 before we move ahead.  Here are my favorite posts from 2013 on how to order trouble spots in our homes, without breaking the bank!

 

 

Closets and Cabinets

 

Linen Closet                                                                   Pantry

  Before                                       Finished-Pantry

 

Clothing Closet                                                            Bathroom Cabinets & Drawers

                                     Full-Sightline-2 Full-Cabinet

 

 

 

 

Cleaning Supplies Cabinet

All-Supplies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DIY Storage

 

Dress-Up Storage                                                            Refurbished Dresser – Annie Sloan Paint

                           Jase-Dresser-2

 

 

 

 

 

Refurbished Dresser – Annie Sloan Paint                       Basket Storage with Chalkboard Labels

After-2                      Baskets-in-Lockers

 

 

Controlling Paper Clutter

 

Family Command Center                                                   Saving School Papers & Art

Mail Bin in Mudroom                           Scrapbook Storage Case for School Papers

 

Magnetic Message Board                                               Displaying Child’s Artwork

Really                                 Homework Folders

 

 

 
Kids Art & Other Sentimental Items

Displaying Kid's Art