Tidy tech: 6 tips to help you get your house in order
- Credit: Alamy/PA
Whether it’s a rat’s nest of tangled wires taking up space on your kitchen island, or work-from-home kit piling up in your living room, it doesn’t take long for tech to take over.
But there’s no need to unplug everything and commit to a life off-grid. Here are some step-by-step tips for getting your home tech tidy…
1. Go through everything
Hands up if you’ve got a box full of random cables that you’re too scared to throw away, but you’re not exactly sure what they’re for? It makes no sense to hold onto gadgets or chargers that are no longer useful, so gather all of your essential devices together and spend a satisfying hour or two matching everything up.
Anything that doesn’t have an obvious use should be put in a separate pile to responsibly get rid of.
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2. Recycle the surplus
It goes without saying that old tech should never just be chucked in the general waste bin; electrical equipment often contains toxic substances, like mercury, that impact both the environment and human health.
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If you’ve got a pile of old phones gathering dust, check out ecoATM – the recycling company has kiosks at select locations across England, Scotland and Wales, and will pay you for handing in your unused units.
Meanwhile, Currys PC World also offer a free recycling programme in store, where you can drop off everything from old toasters to broken vacuum cleaners, regardless of whether you bought it from them or not.
WeeeCharity is your new best friend when it comes to ditching deadweight chargers too – book a slot on their website and they’ll come and collect them right from your doorstep.
3. Get some cable kit
If the sight of tentacle-like wires sprouting from your plug sockets is bringing you down, it might be time to invest in some reusable gear ties – we like Nite Ize’s Cordable Twist Ties (£5.99 for a pack of two, niteize.com) – which can be twisted and secured to keep cable lengths in a neat wrap.
Box cable organisers, like D-Line’s Cable Tidy Unit (from £10.45, homebase.com), hide unsightly jumbles of cables on the floor so you can tuck away any mess. We also like Peak Design’s Tech Pouch (£44.20, peakdesign.com) – a zip-up bag with loads of handy pockets for storing fiddly desk bits like headphones, a computer mouse and memory cards.
4. Stick it in a basket
You don’t need to spend loads of money to make sure your tech isn’t overwhelming you. Simply putting any work-from-home items, like keyboards and laptops, into a designated box or basket that can be stored in a cupboard can help minimise mess and clutter.
A tray basket in the living room can also help you keep remote controls and iPads in one place, minimising the risk of family arguments over misplaced tech.
5. Cut a hole
If you’ve got an old piece of furniture that you aren’t precious over, like a thrifted dining toom table or desk, you could drill a circular grommet hole so you can run your cables through it.
Obviously, you’ll need a good level of DIY skills and some experience of safely using a drill and hole saw to give this one a go.
6. Invest in charging furniture
In recent years, designers have responded to our tech organisation woes with furniture solutions that do away with the need for loads of charging cables.
For instance, Ikea recently launched range of smart furniture that incorporates hidden charging pads for giving your smartphone some juice without having to hunt around for your charger.
The range includes desk lamps and side tables, and there’s a neat little charging pad that accommodates up to three devices at one time, doing away with the need for multiple trailing charger cables on your kitchen worktops.