TIDY UP YOUR TECH
James Treble shares his tips to help you control the clutter of connectivity.
James Treble offers stylish solutions to get cords and chargers under control.
WE LIVE IN EXCITING TIMES with the latest of technology at our fingertips, but most of these amazing gadgets also come with wires, chargers and storage cases. When you multiply all these by the number of members in your family, the end result is far from exciting; it’s messy, unsightly and, for tidy people, can even be stressful.
So to help you gain some organised sanity, here are my ideas and tips to help every member of the household deal with their technology. Then you will be able to enjoy all that the wonderful world of tech has to offer, without tripping over once!
1 FAMILY TECH STORAGE
Mobile phones and keys are often dumped in a common “drop-off” point (usually a sideboard or kitchen bench). Instead, to keep tech organised, give each family member a designated space for which they are responsible. This can be a specific drawer or shelf in a cupboard, where phones can still be charged, but which is discreet and out of the way. Although some kids seem to live on technology, avoid having chargers next to their beds, as this is not recommended by health experts.
Gaming wires, cords and handsets seem neverending and need to be managed. If the humble TV unit can’t cope, try a stylish wicker basket as a quick and easy dumping solution.
The gaming bits can be easily found, you can clean around the basket and it becomes part of your home styling, replacing a cluttered mess.
2 HIDE THE CORDS AND WIRES
While most technology is usually wireless, it all needs charging and, if it doesn’t use a cloud or wireless information system, cord connection to various devices. Various brands and models of mobile phones have different sized connectors, creating a pile of chargers and wires. Simple solutions to contain the cords include cable ties or adjustable tubing, which allow you to bundle them into one tidy length.
If you have a designated space for your PC, a small round cut-out in your desktop will keep the wires under the desktop rather than on top. And place the main home phone wall point in a home office or hallway, so separate handsets can be on the kitchen bench or in the living area where they can wirelessly connect to the landline, reducing the number of cords.
3 OFFICE SPACE AT HOME
A small designated study space or tech workbench can be incorporated into many modern kitchens. This allows phones and devices to be close at hand, but not in the way of cooking and preparing meals, and is well worth considering if you are redesigning your kitchen. To keep the area clutter-free, incorporate closed wall-mounted storage for files, books and paperwork, a cut-out in the benchtop to keep the wires off the bench space, and drawers under the desktop where laptops or handheld devices can be slid into and stored when not in use. These features will help you to create an organised space that has everything within reach, but is also nice to look at, not an eyesore.
4 DESIGNING FOR THE TECH FUTURE
Making houses tech ready for the future has become a major concern for designers and architects, both when building from scratch and renovating, as it will impact the look and feel of the family home. Considerations include hiding the multitude of cables connecting televisions, DVD players, sound systems and modems. For wall-mounted televisions, there are many simple systems to hide cabling inside the wall cavity. Also think about built-in study areas for children, for example under the stairs or a side area of the living room, which gives them much needed bench space – where you can see what they are doing and viewing.
Modern family Technology is terrific for all ages, but it does have hardware to manage.
Nooks and crannies
Small spaces can be turned into useful connected workstations.
NIGHT DUTY Selje bedside table with wireless charging, $78.99, from Ikea. Cord-free
Place this table in a hallway or living area for handy phone charging.
MULTI-TASKER Riggad LED work lamp with wireless charging, $95, from Ikea.