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episode idea -- technology organization?

Help! Maybe someone can give me some clues as to how to store all the technology junk we've got in our house. Here are some examples:

I just (again, for the thousandth time) reorganized my catch-all spot on my kitchen counter. This is near an open outlet and is not a spot I use when cooking, etc. It is the spot where the chargers live. Today I found 4 chargers lurking there. Chargers for my cell phone and my husband's (actually, my husband has 2 cell phones, not sure where his second charger went, I bet he took it to work with him), the charger for the Palm Pilot (at least, I think that's what it's for), and an off-brand charger for the GBA which I think is not a charger but just a device to allow you to run the GBA off house current. It's blue, and the blue thingy that hooks into the GBA isn't a battery pack, it just channels the current, there's also a cigarette-lighter adapter for that one somewhere; the charger for the GBA is white and is currently lurking somewhere else. The charger for the DS lives in #1 son's room, but the GBA chargers get lost if they are stored in #2 son's massively-unorganized room. All of the chargers I've mentioned so far have 3+ foot long cords, though I've managed to keep half of the cord for my charger bundled in the fat rubber band it came with so it's not quite so long. Why do they make them so long, anyway? These chargers all live in a basket that sits on my counter (it's not deep enough for them, really, unfortunately) along with two battery chargers that don't have long cords (what an idea, the plug comes right out of the device!) -- one for the digital camera batteries and one for just regular rechargeable AAs. Sometimes these chargers creep out of their basket and are sometimes even found on the counter opposite where there is another often-open plug. How to keep them neat but accessible is a challenge for me.

Then there are the batteries. They're in "the drawer" -- a catch-all drawer I have in my kitchen. Please somebody tell me you have one, too? This one has batteries, pens, calculators, post-it notes, misc. checkbooks and bank books, index cards, and other junk of similar size. Mostly not technology related. I make the C and D batteries live in the drawer with the phone book, because they take up so much room.

Then there's the drawer next to my bed. In addition to things you might think of being in a bedside drawer (hand cream, lip moisturizer, eye drops, nail file, hair curlers, cough drops, nose spray) there are the following: a short white USB cable that I use with my mp3 player (what a great idea, it's less than 1 foot long!), the original remote that came with the bedroom TV (which has lost so many buttons we can't use it for anything except switching to "game" (which is also the DVD player) which the other remote doesn't do), the DVD player remote, spare ear buds that I don't like but will work in a pinch, a partially-broken pair of nicer ear buds that I can't bring myself to throw out yet as one ear still works and the other does occasionally, a strange USB adapter thing that came with a device I bought recently and haven't found a better home for yet, an old walkman cassette player, the strap that came with my mp3 player that I sometimes use, a couple of pez dispensers, a package of AAA batteries, and a SanDisk device that will allow me to connect an SD memory card to a USB port (actually, there's a memory card in the drawer, too, now that I think about it. This drawer is very disorganized and whatever I last used is usually on top. My mp3 player is usually in there too, but today it's out in the kitchen.

Then there's the technology junk drawer. These are mostly unused but I don't want to throw them away, so they're in a drawer in the living room that's hard to access because it's in a piece of furniture that has a large chair directly in front of it. It's got old AV cables, coaxial cables and adapters and splitters, many various USB cables, an old digital camera, and a mouse. Lots of long cables in that drawer, it's a real mess when I want to find something. We now have more USB cables in the house than chargers, I think! All the spare ones are in this drawer.

I haven't even mentioned storage for media (in this house we have the following types: VCR tapes, cassette tapes (not too many any more, but they're still hanging around), DVDs, CDs, Computer CDs, GameCube Games (mostly in a new wall-mounted rack in #1 son's bedroom), N64 games, GBA and DS games (even a few old school regular gameboy games), SNES games, and Sega Genesis games. Oh, I forgot PS1 games. Most of those are in #1 son's room, which is basically just a big video game museum (because, of course, we also have consoles for all of the above, including 3 regular old-school beige GameBoys and two light/magnifiers for the above, and all of the controllers and cords and other paraphenalia that goes with it, though many of the consoles are stored away in boxes). Did I mention the Atari game console -- this was a recent addition from Walmart, it plugs into the TV and plays many of the old Atari games without cartridges, they're right in the machine's memory somehow. And we have a couple of those little joystick things you can get at walmart that play specific games -- one looks like Sponge-Bob and they hook directly to the TV and use batteries for power. We also have at least 3 old computers in the basement and probably at least 10 working TV remotes.

When I grew up, I had a record player. Remember those? We didn't get a VCR till I was almost in college, and we never bought tapes, only rented them. Nothing I owned had a charger till after I graduated college and was living on my own. I guess because I didn't grow up with all of this, I struggle with how to store it. Am I the only person with such a problem?

I'd love to hear some solutions that people have come up with, either home-made ones like my charger-storage-basket, or ones you can buy (yes, I know they make nice big plastic storage things for multiple game cartridges, maybe someday I'll find a bit of money someone doesn't want to use to buy a game or a piece of technology and be able to use it to buy something to store it in.

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wow! ...have you considered the container store?...

In reply to: episode idea -- technology organization?

I like the episode idea - especially because I just purchased my first laptop and am having to figure out where to place all the accessories for it...

One of the things I've done to "organize" is actually get rid of stuff that I simply don't use any more. Sometimes it's a little trying 'cause of some random nostalgia of some items...but in the end, I'm glad to have more room in my place without the stuff.

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I love the Container Store!

In reply to: wow! ...have you considered the container store?...

I use small Container Store branded clear plastic boxes to put various accessories in. And I bought myself a Brother label maker ($10 on sale at Staples on Black Friday! extra labels from Amazon.com)to label them with. The boxes were about $1.30 each and stack very nicely. I also use them for cosmetics and nail polish.

I need to get rid of some stuff myself....I still have an 80's era Sony Walkman and a Discman that I got in the early 90's. Oh, and a BetaMax and some tapes to play on it (Raiders of the Lost Ark! And some bad '80 television that I taped)

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