Organized Cords

Oct 22

This weekend was a productive home improvement / home project weekend. Love these every now and again. Over the weekend I even had the opportunity to spend a few hours in my office closet – which is still a work in progress, but getting closer to complete!

No matter the other projects completed this weekend, however, the one I am most proud of and most excited to have crossed off the list? Getting control of the cord issue in this house!

Do you have the same issue at home? Cords everywhere? Or one big pile of cords in a bin or drawer? Not sure what some of the cords belong to, but are keeping because you think their purpose will magically surface one day?

Ugh – so relate to all of that!

My cord situation was not only driving me crazy, but recently had a very sad little boy in the house when I couldn’t find the cord required to charge his light-up backpack. Turns out that cord may have accidentally been donated. Not a proud mommy moment.

This weekend we came together and tracked down every last cord in the house. Then I got to work organizing each and every last one.

First, it was a matter of gathering each into one pile. I removed duplicates and here’s what remained…

Of all labeling methods searched out, this was the easiest / simplest format…

Using Martha Stewart’s file labels. Why? Well, frankly…because this is what I had on hand. You can also consider plain return address labels or your label maker tape to do exactly what I did.

No need to get fancy…it’s just a label!

I wrote a simple one or two word description…

Then folded the label around the cord to create a flag…

 

If the cord was still in its packaging, I used my label maker…

Once the loose cords were labeled, I looked through my supply of boxes / bins to find a means for containing them. Before I re-organized my scrapbooking stickers, I used to keep them in a photo organizer

It’s been sitting empty a while, just waiting to be useful again. And wow, is it ever doing a great job of being useful now!…

Each cord has its own container…all the headphones…

Once the cords were sorted into individual boxes, I labeled each…

 

 

*sigh*

 

Love it! And there’s a few empty boxes for any new cords that walk into my life.

With the loose cord issue solved, I moved on to label cords that are out in the general house area. Using my label maker or the Martha Stewart file folder labels, I did the same thing throughout the house.

The portable dvd player has a carrying case and is where the charging cord lives. But there have been times when the kids take the cords out of the case and I’m left to wonder where it belong. Wonder no more!…

This random cord near my bedside table? It’s the baby monitor charger…

This cord is the charger for the swiffer vacuum…

With every cord in the house labeled, I moved to the garage where – what do you know – even mooooore cords. One day our World will be 100% cordless.

We have an active outdoor lifestyle…or could you not tell by looking in the garage?…

Bikes and ride-on’s galore! Over the last few years we’ve accumulated 4 electric powered ride-on toys…

 

And each of their chargers look the same. Hello label maker…

 

 

The confusing cord issue had been hanging over me for years. So nice to know each is accounted for and labeled!

Hope this idea sparks some inspiration for you!

 

comments +

  1. Gates 8105 says:

    Beautiful job! I have used those containers for photos but never thought of using for cords. Great Job!

  2. Amazing! I really have to do something with my cords, they're all over the place or jumbled up on little baggies. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • Yes, those were my thoughts exactly – for like 10 years. Haha 🙂 I finally dug in and got it all done and I feel better. I truly hope to have inspired you to get it done too 🙂

      Thank you so much for the sweet comment!!

      Sam 🙂

  3. kari bell says:

    LOVE the use of the Container Store photo box for the little cords. I was wondering, how/where do you store the garage toy chargers? Those types (tiny, little cord, but a huge wall charger) seem to be my undoing, as I can't ever find the right container/way to store them.
    Thanks
    karibell(at)gmail(dot)com

    • Hi Kari!

      So glad you liked the photo box idea!

      Great question and you helped me realize I was lax in letting the readers know where I put those big ride on charger cords. Ugh! My brain sometimes! 🙂 I just bundle them up and place them on a shelf in the garage. We have a lot of shelving in our garage and one long vertical shelf is for the kids stuff. I just lay the cords on one of the top shelves out of reach. They used to get mixed up all the time because I had the, on that shelf, which why I wanted to label them.

      I'll be sure to update my post and include some images too 🙂

      Thank you!!!

      Sam 🙂

  4. MommaG says:

    Love this idea!!! I also love how you have "hidden" your cords from your TV on the wall. We are going to be moving soon and want to put our TV on teh wall, but I was wondering how to hide the cords. What did you use?

    • You are my new blogging BFF – I am loving all of your supportive comments! 🙂 thank you, friend!

      So glad you like the idea! 🙂

      Regarding the cords behind the tv – he just bundled them all up in a small circle and twisty tied them together very high behind that little table. Ssshhhhh, don't tell him I said this but I think I might update it soon, so there will be some additional photos for you to get a closer look. That one black cord handing lower is annoying me and I don't want to see as much of it. So I'm working on a plan for that – secretly, of course 🙂

      But to answer your question, he used large twist ties. The kid that you can thread one end through the hole – heavy duty. Found the, at Home Depot and we use the, for holiday decor and other things.

      Sam

  5. Great job…your an inspirtation…but I would never let you inside my house, you would freak out!
    J and her semi organised, semi finished house!
    http://www.lifelovesand.blogspot.ie/

    • Awe, thank you!!!

      And I am sure you are being too hard on yourself. Trust me, although I love to be organized, the kids get the best of me – and I just have to let them live sometimes and be who they are. Not everyone is as neurotic as me 🙂 haha!!

      Thank you so much for coming by and leaving a comment!!

      Sam 🙂

  6. LOVE this idea! I am pinning and sharing on FB. 🙂

    Toni
    ABFOL

  7. I already use labels like you did on each cord as I get electronics in our home. Makes it so much easier to keep track of which cord goes to what. I do love the idea of the photo box for storing each cord. That is clever!

    • Makes me feel better knowing other have opted for the simple labeling route too! 🙂 glad you like my photo box tip – that was totally not planned. Just happened to see it and wondered if it would do the job. And it did! 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming by!
      Sam

  8. Andrea says:

    I have labeled mine, it was mainly to to distinguish between my hubby's and mine identical cords, (Kindles, cells, Ipods etc.) I know it helps when you go on vacation too.I have a lot more to label apparently. lol I love my label maker. They don't seem to stick to the animals though. 😉

    • Lol!!!! Love the labeled animal comment. Hehe!!! 🙂

      Yes, in our house too – so many identical cords. Sometimes we like to have identicals because he travels a lot and brings his along. But there were many cords I found that weren't necessary to keep. Like the 4 leapster cords – ??? We rarely sync the kids leapster products, so one is juuuuuust fine 🙂

      Thank you so much for coming by!
      Sam 🙂

  9. Jess says:

    Where did you get the photo storage container??? This is PERFECT for our house, I just need to find a container!!! Woot Woot!! Thank you for bringing the answer to the headache of messy cords!!! You Rock!!!

    • Hi Jess!!

      Yay!! So glad I was able to help you solve an issue in your home – love that!!

      I found the box years ago at michaels. Bought it with a 40% off coupon, too :-). I am sure they still sell it. If not, for sure container store has them or another craft store or maybe even amazon?? I'd try michaels first though 🙂

      Best,
      Sam

  10. Annette R says:

    I have used my label maker for years to label my electrical cords. I usually apply 2 labels to each cord, one at each end. That way, when I am under my desk, reconfiguring cords, it is easy to tell exactly which cord is which, whether I am looking at whe wall plug end, or the appliance plug end.

  11. Annette R says:

    I have used my label maker for years to label my electrical cords. I usually apply 2 labels to each cord, one at each end. That way, when I am under my desk, reconfiguring cords, it is easy to tell exactly which cord is which, whether I am looking at whe wall plug end, or the appliance plug end.

  12. Kim says:

    I love this post. I love that you took so many photos of cords….. 🙂 I have a bin marked "cords", ha! Obviously not so useful! I will definitely pick up a few labels and find myself a handy dandy bin. Then I can use the "cords" bin for something else….and the late night organization continues!
    ~Kim from Mudpies and Melodies

    • Hi Kim!

      Thank you so much for coming by and leaving such a sweet comment. I Love to take photos of my projects for the blog – I think visually, as many others do – just trying to be helpful. So glad you enjoyed this post and that I inspired you to organize your cords too. It is such a freeing feeling!!! 🙂

      Best to you,
      Samantha 🙂

  13. Leanne says:

    What a great idea. I wish I had one of those boxes, that is the perfect solution for all those cords. Thanks for linking to the party again this week. I featured your ideas.

    • Hi Leanne!

      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! Thank you for the feature as well. I did see it!!! And as always, I've added the link back to the feature on my featured page 🙂 I love your blog!

      Thank you so much!!!

      Sam 🙂

  14. Christie says:

    How long did this take you ? ~ C

    • Hi Christie!

      Well, the actual organizing took no time at all. What took the most time was tracking down all the cords. They were allllllll over the place around here. Drove me crazy. Now we are back to being in control! 🙂

      Sam

  15. Jessica says:

    Hi, Samantha. I'm a new reader. I've been browsing the blog for several days now and it's given me a lot of ideas about how to get my apartment organized, which it really needs! 😛

    This post made me laugh at the end because it reminded me of what my step dad went through to organize the cords in our house one weekend. We had just moved into the house, so it was already pretty chaotic around there. He got the TV mounted above the fireplace and the cable had been installed… But there were cords everywhere, which my mom hated so it was my step dad's project to make it more pretty. Since he's a perfectionist, what should have been a day long project took an entire weekend. He bought a cord-hider for all the cords that were running between the TV and cable box and sound system/DVD player. The DVD player/sound system was kept on top of the cable box but they both had cords running to and from the TV. Lol there were a lot of wires. Once he got all the cords to fit inside the cord-hider (there was barely enough room), he still had to figure out what to do about the speaker wires that were going to be run to the TV from across the room. He ended up running the wire along where the wall and ceiling meet. He even found little light brown wire-hangers that matched the color of the walls. The whole thing was pretty funny because my mom just wanted the cords out of sight but she wouldn't have cared if they were a tangled mess once out of sight. But my step dad is too much of a perfectionist to take short-cuts like that. 😛

    • hi jessica!

      thank you so much for the sweet comment!!! thank YOU!!!

      i loved love looooooooved your story – so funny! and sounds a lot like someone i know. ME! ack!!!

      thank you again for sharing!!!

      best,
      samantha

  16. Jessica says:

    P.S.: Sorry my comment got so long! 🙂

  17. I hang my cords on Command wire hooks on the inside of my laundry room cabinets, but there are SO many that they're annoying me (somehow, we have about 30 random earbuds, 30ish kindle cords, etc. OY!). I'm going to continue doing this with a manageable # of sets (maybe, 5 of each?) for convenience, but supplement it w/ your BRILLIANT system!

  18. GIRL!!!! That container system for your cords is GENIUS! I am totally swooning over here!! We label all of our cords & outlets, too — it was driving me nuts before! I have all of my cords stored in a cardboard box with dividers, but your container system is making me want to switch!! Seriously, I'm in love. AWESOME job!!

    • hi casey!

      thank you SO much!!! i appreciate your comment/compliment so very much! thank you!

      i can attest to the fact that this system is working veeeeery well for us. so, if you have a decent amount of small cords that would fit in this box – go for it! it will make life easier, for sure. and the box isn't too expensive. i bought mine at michael's with a coupon. 🙂

      all the best to you,
      sam

  19. ~ Darlene says:

    Great job! I have been labeling my cords for years with masking tape…real pretty, huh?!! But it does work! My head was spinning reading your post…my goodness you have a lot of cords! 🙂

    Thanks for sharing!
    ~Darlene

    • hi darlene,

      thank you so much for the comment!!!

      yes, my head was spinning too – but not anymore with this little system. it has worked very well. no more questions as to where i can FIND cords and what cord belongs to what thing. 🙂

      all the best,
      sam

  20. Sarah Marie says:

    Oh my goodness, you have the most beautiful cord containment system I have ever seen in my life. It's so pretty, I kind of want to print a picture out and frame it so I can have something to aspire to…amazing.

  21. Mo says:

    You inspired me to clean out the desk drawer under my computer because I knew it contained lots of unknown chargers, including ~one~ that belonged to the digital photo frame that was hiding in there. I ran to Jo-Ann's fabrics, found a photo storage system like the one you pictured. After about an hour back home they are all labeled, and the photo frame is back up and running. Thanks for the needed push!

  22. OK, so I thought I commented on this previously, but I guess I was dreaming. But I am back again because I just love this so much! Tangled cords drive me bonkers and this solution is one of the best I have ever seen. Kudos darlin!

    xo,
    Jen

  23. Trina O'Neil says:

    Ok I so never thought about label makers and photo storage boxes for the cords. I have them everywhere along with batteries. I will most definitely be doing this over the weekend. Thanks for sharing all of your great organizing ideas.

  24. Loretta says:

    I’m so inspired!! If it weren’t 7:30a.m. I’d be at the store getting supplies lol. Actually, I label the cords as soon as we unbox an item but didn’t know how to store them. Thanks!!

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