Conquering the Cord Clutter!

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You ever get discouraged at the thought of accomplishing what should be a simple task, only to realize that your unattended clutter will inevitably cause 3x more the work? When you have to move this pile to get to that but there’s nowhere else for that pile to go so it’s set on the floor for “just a minute”. Then curious little grabby hands are suddenly all in the pile, carrying items all over the darn house. Or no matter where you turn, you are bumping items and knocking piles over and making an even bigger mess?

Yeah. That tends to be me. And to top it off, winter tends to be a time of hibernation for me and instead of staying on top of the clutter, I let it take over. Big, bulky winter sweaters and towering, messy piles = a very grumpy mama.

So when the decluttering and organizing bug hits me around Spring time every year, I don’t question it. Neither does hubby. Usually he just steps aside while I roll with the fever. But this year, I decided instead of randomly attacking various areas of the house with no clear overall results, I needed to have a better plan.

One that involved attending to the root of the problem areas instead of just managing the symptoms.

Because as Confucius say:

“One of the biggest issues with organizing your home is first trying to identify what the problem is.”

(No. Not really. I said that. Not Confucius.)

Anyhoo. And that is when real progress began to emerge. I knew I needed to be able to visualize the problem areas and figure out my action plans on paper. So I grabbed a notebook and pen and wrote down the names of each room in my house at the top of a piece of paper, allowing an entire page for each room.

Then, I walked through each room and took a moment to notice the clutter and first impression of each room. I tried to really stay detached from each room as I observed so that I could see the space with fresh eyes.

Next, I wrote down major problem areas in each room. For example, my husband is a “just in case” kinda guy when it comes to any cable or cord. I noticed that the living room and office both have a ridiculous amount of unidentifiable cables and cords. There was no logical rhyme or reason to them and they were always a tangled mess and out in the open. Like octopus legs sprouting out everywhere. Ugh.

After identifying the major issues of each area of the home, I took some time to think about what contributes to each problem area and why it is a problem. (Side note: I’m not talking emotional baggage here, such as a shopping addiction or a major emotional hoarding issue, but rather, logistics.) Then I thought of possible solutions and jotted those down. In the case of the cords, I realized that there have been many previously owned electronics that have since been laid to rest in the techy dinosaur graveyard. But their cords were kept for some odd reason. Or the cord belonged to some obscure appliance we thought we still had somewhere but turns out we haven’t actually owned for the last 6 years. Or we just “might need it later.”

imageObviously, there needed to be a major purge. So over a couple of evenings after the kids went to bed, I collected allllllllllllll the cords in the house and put them in a tote. Then I waited until hubby was nice and comfortable in his Lazy Boy chair for the evening. And then I bombarded him.
What’s this cord go to? What about this one? And this one? And this one? Do we have the item still? Do we need this cord?

As he answered the same questions for each cord, I began to sort through what could be trashed and what we absolutely needed.

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{{{Are you all seeing this, People? I mean, are you SEEING THESE FRAYED AND OTHERWISE UNSALVAGEABLE AND HAZARDOUS CORDS???}}}imageimage

Sigh. Why we kept that scary fire trap death cord, I just don’t know. But for the ones to keep, I put them away with the item they belong to, if possible. For the others, I stuffed them individually into quart sized zipper top freezer bags and labeled the bags with a sharpie. I made sure to annotate what kind of cord it was and what it goes to if applicable. Then I tossed all the cords back in the tote.

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Ahhhhhh!! Cords collected and purged, labeled and easily retrieved. Bliss. Now on to the entryway shoe issue.

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