Who hasn’t opened a desk drawer to see a snarled rats nest of cables and electronic devices from the past? An intimidating and unappealing cable and device salad?
We live in a time of amazing technological advances but one of the drawbacks is that devices quickly become obsolete. Our consumer culture pressures us to keep replacing things, which creates a constant stream of electronic litter in our homes.
The charging and connecting cords that go with these items create an extra layer of frustration and confusion around the issue. Hot tip: when you get a new device, take the time to wrap the cables! Purging old electronics becomes so much simpler when you can quickly grab the device and all it’s parts and cables.
Many people get rid of the electronics but don’t search for the cables (and even the CDs that that go with them) to dispose of at the same time. They’re left with a box of cables they are afraid to get rid of. There might actually be a useful one in there for a device they still have. The box of chaos becomes a project for that mythical weekend when you’re going to organize your garage, sort your photos and finally deal with that box of cables. Yeah, right.
The simplest way to bundle cables is using twist ties. You can use the grocery store variety or a heavier duty kind – silicone twist ties, which are sturdy and easy to use. Ziploc bags work well to group accessories and software with the cables making it even easier to dispose of the group when the time comes.
It sounds like such a straightforward solution, but sometimes the simplest solutions are the most elegant. And they can save you from future frustration. Your time is precious, invest a little bit up front to save yourself hours later.
Filed under Decluttering, disorganization, Garage, General Organizing, home organizing, Office, organizing, Products, Reduce/Recyle/Reuse, Technology, Time Management
Rule: Keep only as many books as will fit on your shelves
If you have more books than can fit on your shelves. It’s time to take a hard look at your attachments and figure out how to let some go.
Unless it’s a collectable or has deep sentimental value, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I feel like I paid a lot of money for this book and won’t be able to recoup my losses?
- Does having these books make me feel like an expert?
- Do I long for the days when I read with my children?
- Will I ever really have the time to catch upon the amount of reading I have stored here?
- Could I easily get this book at the library if I really needed it in the future?
As with many of the items in our home, we hang onto more than we need because of emotional attachments. Being aware of this pull can help you loosen your grip and reduce your clutter.
You have 3 basic options for books you don’t need:
1.) Give your books a new life. Donate to your local Friends of the Public Library, thrift stores, or recycling center. Sometimes, you can even get a library volunteer to come pick them up for you.
2.) Resell the books yourself. Shop them at your local used bookstore, on Craigslist, on eBay or even on Amazon. Though the ratio of books to cash can be quite low, it you have the time and energy, you can get something for them.
3.) Find someone to sell books for you. You can locate an eBay reseller or your local estate liquidator may have contacts for local book dealers.
While you are looking to make some money from your collection, don’t lose sight of the value of your own time when you take on a book-selling project.
Part of letting go of information is trusting that the resources will be available to you when you need them. And, who knows? You might even make a new friend while searching the library bookshelves for Moby Dick.
What has helped you declutter your bookshelves? Let us know!