The retro vision of a tech-filled future included gloriously hyper-minimalist homes with no clutter whatsoever — but the reality of tech is that our homes are brimming with gadgets, cords, remote controls and more. Keeping everything accessible and organized is a horrible chore, and many homeowners struggle to find ways to enjoy tech while keeping their homes clutter-free.
You aren’t the only one looking for solutions to the explosion of tech around your home. Here are a few tips for keeping your gadgets and gear in order without compromising functionality.
As tempting as it might be to corral all your tech into a single location in your home, technology has become such an essential component of everyday life that every single room has multiple electronic gadgets that need to be accessible but attractive within the space. Therefore, every room needs to have its own media center, where you (and family members and guests) can find the tech they need quickly and avoid creating clutter on your surfaces and seating.
It will make the most sense for your media center to be located near obvious tech tools, like a television or desktop computer, though you may want to hide the majority of your gadgets within a basket or behind a cabinet door. You might make a house rule that all technology must be returned to the media center — or it will be confiscated and unavailable for a certain period of time.
Some tech solutions must be placed in sight, like speakers, media players and computers, but most other tech tools in your home can be stashed away in cabinets, drawers and shelf bins. To keep all gadgets and their myriad accessories looking orderly, you might equip desks and shelves with organizers, which hide some of the mess while giving every piece of tech a specific place to live. You can place labels on your organizers, so other members of your household know exactly where to return their tech when they are done. If they don’t, the same confiscation effect from above should apply.
Look behind most console tables and office desks and you will find an unsightly tangle of wires and cords. When your cables are twisted and knotted, it can be extremely difficult to know which wire is used for which piece of tech, which makes troubleshooting any tech device a horrible headache. Spending some time sorting out your wires will improve both the look and the function of your home.
There is a large variety of different kinds of cable organizers that you might choose from for your home. Some disguise a power strip within an attractive box, so you can shove all your unsightly cords out of view. Others clip onto cords, keeping each wire separated to make accessing individual cables especially easy. You can also DIY your own cable organizer using materials you probably already have around your home.
Some tech tools must remain easily accessible at all times — like remote controls, which you should want to be within arm’s reach. If you have ceiling fans with remote controls, multiple remotes for your television, remote controls for your smart home and more, you could be dealing with a dozen or more clickers to keep track of.
Fortunately, you don’t have to pile your tools haphazardly on your surfaces to ensure their accessibility; there are organization solutions that help keep essential tools nearby without compromising on the look and feel of your interior space. Some ideas include:
- Trays placed on tables or couches keep remotes handy while adding visual interest.
- Hooks hung on walls near seating can get remotes off surfaces but ensure they are nearby.
- Caddies draped over the arm of seating like sofas offer discreet organization for remotes and other tech.
It isn’t always obvious what tech tool goes to what gadget. When you have so many different charging cords, so many remote controls and so many auxiliary cables, you need a system to help you differentiate what items are meant to be used together. A label maker can produce cute labels that adhere to all manner of tech items, so you never need to confuse your tools and accessories again. You might also use labels to indicate in which rooms certain gadgets belong or who owns specific electronics.
The minimalist tech-filled future isn’t here — yet. Until your home comes equipped with a single button to serve all your needs, you will need a strong system of organization to keep all your tech tools in line.