By Stacy Ericson
Home Key Organization
Organizing electronics is coming up more and more as technology advances, especially for families. The larger a family is, the more electronics they have, usually, as cell phones, personal gaming systems, laptops and iPads are popular tools for everything from entertainment to homework.
If you were to simplify and break down the amount of sorting that needs to be done at any given time or if you tried to categorize EVERYTHING into boxes, you would have millions and millions of boxes, each with one tiny electronic in it.
The following tips offer practical solutions for families so that things get used instead of lost, and put away when it’s time.
Have a place for everything. Absolutely everything. This goes from things that are portable from Ninetendo DS systems, iPod Touches, Mp3 players and iPads – to things that generally live on the coffee table, like remotes.
Remote Controls. There are so many remote controls nowadays that even those should have a basket to contain them all. The key is to have it be as simple as possible so that kids will actually put it away. Try a decorative basket under the coffee table–but make sure it’s big enough to hold everything comfortable with extra space available.
Video Games. It seems like a great idea to have all your video games lined up perfectly ordered by name and system on a lovely folding shelf. After they get played, they get put away nicely on the shelf so that you can see the title. Right? RIGHT?
Probably not. You can do a couple of things here:
1. Throw them in the basket. Why try for perfection if it’s not going to happen? Kids will find the ones they want anyway, and the basket can be tucked onto the bottom of a bookshelf.
2. Have a smaller basket right next to the shelf. A game gets played and placed in the basket afterward, and then once per week a child has the job of putting them back on the shelf neatly. This eliminates pressure for when there is a hurry to clean up.
Portable Games and Devices. Make a basket for these, for sure. Many people like to have the kids keep them organized in the carrying cases made especially for the systems, but a lot of times they don’t make it in there. Have a basket with all games, systems and accessories for things like Nintendo DS systems, their chargers, their games, their carrying cases and any other cords or manuals that go with them. Keep these by the door so that there’s not a lot of running around if the kids need them before a car trip.
Chargers. As for chargers, keep them all in together. In my home I have a huge basket of ALL of my electronics–a (gasp!) portable tape player, portable CD player, laptop cords, phone chargers, car chargers, SD card, battery chargers–everything! It’s nice to know that if I need something electronic, there is just ONE place to look. It’s nice to know if I find a cord laying around, there is ONE place to throw it into–not some over-complicated system that I won’t use anything. You can try the same with basic electronics.
Laptops and iPads. If possible, for iPads, have a charger that also serves as a stand. This way, it secures a nice shelf spot for an iPad and can even double as an electronic picture frame. Laptops would also benefit from having a designated spot on a shelf or desk–a shelf might be better, however, since desks, especially ones that belong to kids, usually end up covered in clutter.
Involving the kids in this planning process can be a great way to get some of these systems going–especially when they know that clean up will be easier in the long run.
As time goes on, electronics are becoming a huge part of our lives, yet many of us still don’t give them a proper place–but why shouldn’t we? They can be the most expensive items that our kids play with, so showing care and respect for them can go a long way.