Charging Elephants – The Number One Trick For Controlling Cord Clutter

HOW MANY CHARGING CORDS ARE IN YOUR LIFE?

Charging Elephant, Charging Stations For Cell Phones,

We are a society that loves our electronics.  We are power junkies.  Many of us have one or more cell phones, tablets and computers, that at the writing of this post, all have power cords.  These cords, needed to keep all of our devices charged, are now our lifelines.  Even though we make lofty plans to be less “connected”, for most of us we nearly go into withdrawal when we run out of a charge!

CORDS,CORDS,CORDS

Almost no one is happy with the cords and power packs laying all over the kitchen counter.  If you are one of the few that have successfully figured out how to prevent yourself, your family and friends from plugging in “just for a minute”….you get mega kuddos and 5 stars!

If you remain like the rest of us, keep reading on this Motivational Monday and join in the conversation of ways to deal with these mini snakes.

THE PINTEREST APPROACH TO RECHARGE OUR DEVICES

Pinterest is an endless resource for showing ways to create Charging Stations.  We agree, many work in theory and others are just so darn cute.  As designers we repeatedly help our clients plan these stations that are built with the intention of everyone in the household placing their numerous devices in designated places.

The problem begins right away.  We all have too many devices to house them all in the stations at one time and we are too dependent on these mini computers to ignore them while they are charging in a hidden spot.  “What if I get a text?!”

HOW WE REALLY HANDLE CHARGING OUR DEVICES

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The truth is most of us need want to see our devices when they are charging.  Messy or neat, the task of charging all of our devices out in the open is happening on a regular basis.

WHAT WORKS BEST FOR MOST

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No matter how you choose to conquer the cord clutter it all boils down to our humble outlets.  Better known as receptacles in the construction design industry.  (a little snobby and after 35 years I still call them outlets)  Although our trade resources keep touting that wireless charging is very near, it will be some time before we have a cord free life.  Remember how computers were to eliminate paper in our worlds?  If this had happened as predicted then I would not be the scan and shred it queen of the family.

Charging Is A Personal Thing

Below we will look at the simple recommendations we build into our designs, for ourselves and clients, that can create charging stations that really work.  Before we do, here is the Number One Trick For Controlling Cord Clutter we promised.

Each Person Must Find “Their” Special Spot To Charge All Devices

What?  But this tip is not a cute little Pinterest board nor does it require anything more than an outlet  receptacle.  Correct.  Take a few minutes, or watch for a few days, and see where each person in the house plugs in most.  It’s human nature that when one space is full we hunt for the next available.  What if the “next available” was your very own designated spot and only your devices could be charged there?  A spot set up with permanent cords in place and plenty of spots for each device.  No one to borrow your cords or your free flowing juice.  With a little effort, and minor cost it can happen.  And these systems are totally portable so if one spot is not working we can adjust till it works.

Watch The Surge While You Multiply 

Dual receptacles represent the majority of outlets in our homes and businesses.  The adapter below quickly offers 3 plug ins and 2 usb slots.  This one is also a surge protector which is so very important when charging our expensive devices.  I carry one while traveling.  Not only am I able to charge safely in any public environment, but I can be the darling of the airport and “share” if I am in the mood.  Airport manors could still use some improvement.  Sorry, back to the subject.

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Take A Stand 

There are as many iPhone/iPad stands out there as there are devices.  I did not think I needed one for a long time.  Just another “thing” on my desk or counter.  However, after I began using an iPad for recipes, I quickly learned how nice it was to have the iPad perched like a cookbook while working on a new creation for Mr. LBD.  Here is the one that works for me.  I place it in front of an outlet and keep the cord that charges both my phone and iPad in the wall.  The cords are somewhat hidden behind the knife block front when charging.  The phone can still be seen for that important text that might be coming in.  (at dinner time it’s usually much needed girlfriend gossip catch up)  The kitchen is where I naturally gravitate towards for charging.  It’s my spot.  Remember this post?  A mass of wires is not the best way to make our kitchens look their best!

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This little caddy shows a phone with the similar idea, but can also hold a tablet.  Same theory and I do like the scissors having a home.  This one has the benefit of the multiple slots for the charging cords and can even attach to a computer.  I can see this one on a desk or the kitchen counter.

Smart+Charge+Pencil+Cup

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Both Mr. LBD and I are Apple product users.  He used to belong to the android dark side but crossed over at my urging early this year.  I wanted the new iPad Pro (yes the one with the pencil I use for work everyday now).  Perhaps this works the same in your household.  When one wants a new device and justifies it by “gifting” our current, couldn’t live without it device to our beloved.  Thus he became a full fledged member of the Apple community…watch and all.

He’d probably like a charging stand like this if he still used a desk.  Since his “office” is now his favorite chair, he is all set up with an outlet, multi port surge adapter and all the cords for each device neatly perched on a stool next to the chair.  It’s his natural spot.

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Start Training Early 

We have many savvy parents who are teaching the little ones to take control of their own devices and all the attachments that come with them.   Fun stations can be placed in kids rooms and playrooms.  Love the color options for each kiddo.  Being portable makes it easy to “revise” the locations as needed or to have a time out.  It happens!

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When we are hired to design mudrooms and family stations, we always plan for a minimum of one outlet for the kids to be able to use as their place to charge.  In many cases we also place an outlet up higher for Moms to be able to monitor a bit.  One Mom we know has a curfew for all devices to be in their cubbie so bedtime happens and school mornings are controlled.  Smart gal!  Here’s a few examples again from Pinterest.  Wouldn’t the colored charging stations above look so nice in an open cubbie area?

 

 

Containing The Cords

One thing we highly recommend is to have multiple cords for the same device.  Keep one in the spots you choose to designate as the charging stations.  Being able to leave a cord in place and have a spare to travel with is an affordable luxury.  Plus if one fails, you have a spare.  This is also very important with the larger, more expensive battery packs for laptops.  There is no good time for a laptop to be without a charge and no way to charge it.  I’ve got two.  One is secretly hidden in the sofa which is my favorite place to work on blog posts late at night.

I really did not know too much about retractable charging cords that are compatible with so many devices.  They do control the cord clutter a bit and are nice in the car.  Easy to slip in a work bag or backpack.  Now if someone could make a mini version of this to stick on the back of the phone we’d really be in good shape!

 

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Always Have A Backup

People who use their phones and tablets for business are pretty in sync with having a backup source to recharge the devices.  These backup devices need a place to charge and can follow the same theory as above.  With the cost of these backups so low, every one can have their own and charge them in their own designated spots.  This can become as much of a habit as charging a phone and can make a difference in a lot of situations where our beloved outlet is not available.  I for one, am getting too old to camp on an airport floor with the masses coveting the dual receptacles.  I recharge my phone with a backup device often.

 

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In light of our countries recent storms, Mr. LBD and I were prepared with one of these “do it all” backup devices.  This one is about the size of a beverage can and offers 3 different ports.  The charge is powerful and can recharge phones 4 times, tablets twice and a laptop once.  It charges itself quickly when needed.  I can see this being nice for other than emergency situations.  It is pricey but gave us peace of mind when we needed it.

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The last charger is one that can go in the car and charge a number of different devices.  There are many smaller units that can charge a phone or tablet in the car.  This one can do a computer, or any device that needs a true 110 outlet. Combined with an internet hotspot on a cell phone, a fully charged computer is a mobile office.  In a storm, a tank of gas is more than a means of transportation.  It’s an outlet that can refill all the battery backups we need.

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You may be thinking this is a little over the top and there will never be a time when you couldn’t go without your devices.  Perhaps.  I agree we can all disconnect and interact with each other more often.  For me, that will have to be while our devices are charging in their designated spots!

Note:  We are not affiliates for the products above.  The links provided are simply for information regarding items we personally use, or think could help in controlling cord clutter.

Thanks For Spending Some of Your Day With Us!

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“A home is not a shelter. It’s your soulmate.” laurel bledsoe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 thoughts on “Charging Elephants – The Number One Trick For Controlling Cord Clutter

  1. I finally invested in a neat little charging station for the kitchen and it looks a lot better. How about doing a post on hiding electrical chords for lamps, etc.?

    1. Oh we hate lamp cords too! Not sure we can get an entire post out of it but sounds like a good Pinterest board topic. Stay tuned. Wednesday’s post is all about Pinterest….a curse we’ve turned into a blessing!

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