How to stop drowning in gadgetry

You’ve just bought a new laptop, printer, cell phone, camera or other gadget. Great! But now you’ve got a bunch of peripheral junk to contend with.

When it comes to accessories, manuals and packaging, most folks are paralyzed with decisions. Will I need this? What should I keep? So they don’t take action and instead find themselves drowning in it.

My advice:

Unpack it right away. Open the box and take all the stuff out.

Break down the box. Unless you plan to return the item, there is no need to keep the box your gadget arrived in. Break it down (I keep a box cutter handy for this purpose) and put it in your recycling bin right away. This act takes less than 2 minutes and saves a ton of space. If you absolutely must keep the box, move it to the attic/basement/garage so it doesn’t clutter your office.

File the instruction manual in a folder in your file cabinet labeled “Instruction Manuals”. Makes it a cinch to find again when you need it!

Bundle up the cords. Loose cords are tangly and confusing. I recommend gently coiling them up and rubberbanding them. You can also try ties or twists

Optional bonus task: Label the cord. This can be accompished easily with a medium or large size sticky note. First, write your label on half of the sticky note (e.g., “Travel power charger for cell phone”).  Now fold the sticky note over the cord so the sticky parts of the note seal together and the written label is visible. Reinforce with clear tape if needed. You’ll never again wonder what those cords are for!

Store the accessories efficiently. It’s unlikely you’ll need all of those cords, disks, adapters, etc., but it’s nice to have them around if/when you do. I put mine in a plastic storage tub clearly labeled “Computer Accessories”, which I store in the most accessible part of the attic. The Clutter Coach advises bagging computer and gadget accessories (including manuals and disks) in gallon-size Ziplock bags and “filing” them in your file cabinet.

Have more ideas to share? Post a comment or write to Crystal and let her know!