Cords, Cords & More Cords
In our work with clients, we find that cords tend to migrate and multiply around the house. As technology has evolved over the years, so has our supply of cords. We often have so many cords we don't even know what they all are to be used for. (Be honest with yourself here...!) Many of us take the step of disposing of technology we no longer need (phones, cameras etc) but often times the cord is not part of the equation, leaving the user with heaps of outdated plastic.
One of the first things we do when trying to untangle the cord confusion is to collect all of the cords in one place. Then we identify the cords for which we know the intended use and label them to eliminate future questions and confusion. From there, depending on the client and situation, we categorize what we have left (Apple cords, device to USB, power cords etc.) I encourage folks to then make an effort to label them as they move forward- either when they get a new cord or when they identify the intent of a "mystery cord."
Another strategy we like to use is to take all of the cords that fall into the "unidentifiable" category and put them in a single container with a label on the top (label, tag, your choice). The label should be marked "Discard after XXXX" with the date being 1 year from today. The idea behind this is that if you haven't used it in over a year, do you really need it? You can adapt this to fit a timeline that feels right for you.
Ready to part with cords but don't want to add to the growing e-waste problem? Consider recycling cables and connectors through a local recycling program like the one offered at Best Buy. Another great alternative is to contact a local school or maker space in your community. Many of these spaces offer kids great STEM experiences and can put older cords and technology to great educational use.
If you've made it to the end of this post, hopefully you are inspired to go and purge or label a cord. (Hint: Maybe the one for the device you are reading this on?)