Your laptop, cell phone, and PDA devices all signal that you are plugged in to an electronic world — and all those devices eventually must be plugged in, too, in order to keep functioning. Living with a gaggle of gadgets means living with their gear, too. Here are some tips to help you keep your various electronic gizmos — and all of their various plug-ins and chargers — organized.
Find a home base
All of your portable equipment needs a home base, somewhere to store them when it’s time for their regular charging. You can make a pre-bedtime, winding-down ritual to return your phone to its charger at the end of the day, for instance. It may make sense to have one charger for your apartment and another for your car or bag, so you’re not left with a non-functional device when you most need it to work.
Find a charging station
If you find the sheer number of different cords and adapters in your life stressful, look for charging stations that handle multiple electronic accessories. Stores that sell organization products and cater to high-tech users frequently offer charging stations: the online retailer ThinkGeek, for example, offers a portable solar charger and even a charging station that nestles your electronics in simulated grass (to hide the cords). Or consider a wall-mounted charging station from KangaRoom. Want to make sure you have a spare charger? Check out iGo’s selection. (And make sure you don’t plug every charger into the same outlet. See more on keeping track of electrical cords and cables for some safety precautions.)
Find a storage place
If you have electronic gadgets you don’t use very often, you’ll want to store them away from extreme temperature and humidity changes (not in the bathroom, for instance.) A drawer organizer such as those used to separate socks or jewelry can help keep gadgets organized and undamaged. A label maker may also come in handy to organize cords and other accessories. Taking the time to label these pieces may prevent you from having to hunt down a charger for a gadget you haven’t used in a while.
Find a backup system
A significant and easily forgotten aspect of securing your electronic gadgets is to back up their data regularly. Whether you’re exporting your phone’s address book to your PC in case your cell phone’s memory dies, or making sure your MP3 player’s carefully-accumulated contents have a second home on an external hard drive, the time you budget to back up your electronic gadgets’ contents will pay off. While some electronic accessories have longer shelf lives and greater reliability than others, all run the risk of receiving shocks, reacting badly to atmospheric changes, or just becoming obsolete. A little preparation and organization now can save you a lot of aggravation later.
You depend on your electronic devices to be ready when you need them. Add to their time-saving service to you by keeping them powered up, organized, and secured.