Wednesday, April 13

Electronics Graveyard

We all have it.

Especially in the last few years, if not before.

We all have electronics that we no longer use daily but aren't ready to let go. 

  • Cords, Cables and Wiring
  • Headsets, Mice, Speakers and other Accessories
  • Printers, Monitors, Fax Machines
  • Cellphones, MP3 Players
  • Chargers and other misc electronic gadgets

How do you store and organize these items so you can find them when you need/want them?

At our house, like most everywhere else, until recently, these things were all tossed in a bin, shoved in storage and left for dead.  Wires and cables all tied around each other, tangled and impossible.  Screens being scratched, power cords disappearing.  Dead PCs with personal information still on the drives.

This is my pile of dead PCs.  It is in my craft room, taking up a corner previously only occupied by dust bunnies.  They are tucked away and not really in my way, but they are there and I know they have been sitting forever.  I recently discovered a way to purge the information off of them, so this pile has now dwindled.  You can read about that here.

But beyond that, hidden deep in the basement, under the stairs, in the dark, the rest of the items lurk, ready to jump up and bite my ankles when I was looking for something else, like playing cards.  There had to be a better way.  And it had to suit the entire family since we have 2 adults, a couple adult children, and 2 kiddos, all who will go searching out plugs and wires and accessories in my storage closet.

I started out with a door-back pocket hanger thingy.  With it screwed right to the wall, it was easy to see and sort all kinds of smaller items.  With labels on the pockets, items can be used and quickly returned without being misplaced again.

I have all kinds of stuff in here including an old work cellphone, a calculator, computer mice, home phones, webcam, PC speakers, cellphone headsets...

I included the plugs in the pockets with the items.  But I still have a ton of cables and stuff left.   Some of the wires had twist ties or rubber bands on them trying to keep them neat, but many of them were also just folded and tossed, all jumbled up together.  The hardest part of this job was untangling everything.  Once untangled and sorted by type, I packaged these items in quart size zip lock baggies that I labeled with a Sharpie.  There should be no more "Mooooooommmmmm" heard from under the stairs as someone is wondering if they selected the correct wires or not.  I then divided the bags into 3 drawers and stacked them up.

Everything that is left, larger items that dont fit those two storage options as well as product boxes we saved (few and far opinion is to toss the box especially if the item is of daily use), was put on the shelf unit directly next to the hangy pocket thing.

You can see, while I battle to declutter, there are some wars I do not win... and we still have a HUGE video camera that was outdated in the mid 90s.  Why?  Because there is no other way to view some of the videos we have left, and it cost so much initially, my husband refuses to let go of it. 

I also have a variety of wired and wireless keyboards... because you never know when someone, who isnt supposed to have liquids in their room, is going to spill and ruin their keyboard in the middle of a report for school. 

Ah yes, and monitors for all those dead PCs we saw upstairs. 
Yes, I have it all.  And for a variety of reasons, one being my husband, another being laws that specify how these items are to be trashed or recycled, where and when.

So what have you got hidden in your Electronics Graveyard?   


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