Mar 06

Hey Honey – do you have any idea what this is for?

Have you ever found anything at your house and wondered “what the heck is this for?” Well it happens to me all the time.  I’m going through a closet and suddenly I see something like this…

Yup… the ever present cable box.  I think I have cables in there from before I got married.  I know that I’m going to use at least one of them one day, so I better keep them around. And don’t worry, I’ll remember what they go to.  No need to mark these cables.

Well guess what.  Everything electronic that I have is connected and working.  I have travel and charging cables for my phone, tablet, computer and all my other devices.  So what the heck are these cables for again?

I had at least 20 of these…

These are old RCA cables, so named for the type of plug.  Now, I haven’t used these cables in years, but whenever I get one included in something I buy, I keep it – and just throw it in the “box o’ cables”. Why? I don’t know… I might need it some day.  Guess what — all I need to do is keep just one.  The rest – off to the trash.

I’ve really started taking this to heart.  Why do I need 6 or 7 of the same types of cables, whether they’re USB, Component, Ethernet, or whatever.  If everything is connected and working, and I have my travel cables, why keep more than one of anything. More often than not, any device you purchase will come with the right cable, and if not you’ll have that one spare that you decided to keep.

Now, what about those old power cables with the “funky” connectors on one end and the little transformer box on the other.  I have no idea what they’re for, and again, if everything is working and connected, and I haven’t seen or used it in years why do I want to keep it?  Get rid of it.  Chances are you’ll never miss it.

But, be sure to organize the cables that you do keep.  Be sure to mark them so you know what they’re for.  Here’s a couple of good ideas for organizing and marking cables that are common household items and  don’t cost you anything. First, the toilet paper or paper towel roll…

Just save those empty rolls, cut them to the size that you want, put the cords inside of them, mark the roll with what the cord is for, and you’ll never forget why you saved that one.

Next… save those plastic bag closures that you get with some of the stuff, like bread, that you buy at the grocery store…

Just wrap your cable, tie it up with a rubber band or bag tie, take this little bag closure, mark the type of cable and what it goes to on the closure and clip it to the cable that you just wrapped.

And, here’s another quick tip…

[important]Both of these “organization” tools can be used the same way to organize and identify that mess of cables behind your TV or under your desk![/important]

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  1. Warren Bjork

    Good suggestions Marty. Here’s another one. I must have at least 25 transformers for everything from battery chargers, flashlights, hard drives, cameras, speakers, telephones, etc. I’ve been writing on all of my transformers with “Silver Marker”. I paint the name of the device the transformer goes to, so I am sure to use the correct power supply with the correct device.
    Keep up the good work Marty, enjoy your blog.

  2. Marty Silbernik

    That’s a great idea, Warren. In fact, I’ve done that on a lot of the newer transformers that I’ve gotten. It’s all those old ones that I never did anything with that I had to throw out.

    Glad you’re enjoying the blog. I’m having a good time writing as well!

  3. Philip Steinberg

    Marty, great idea

  4. Anonymous

    This is great Marty!

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