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August 09, 2007

Label Your Stuff!

Posted in: Before & after photos,Clutter Control Products,Clutter Hacks,How I de-cluttered

I know I'm not the only one out there who lives and travels with a mobile phone, portable GPS unit, and an iPod (I used to have a PDA but I broke it!) Some of you have even more electronic stuff than that. I know between the car chargers, the wall chargers, and the computer and camera sync cables, you get sick and tired of having to think about which charger goes with which piece of equipment. Zoinks, Scoob!

You know the scenario… you're driving down the road and you need to plug in your portable GPS unit so you can find your next stop. You reach for the car charger and plug it into the dashboard outlet, then try to connect it to your GPS but it won't fit. You quickly realize you grabbed the phone charger instead, so you start feeling around on the floor for the GPS charger. They look similar so it's easy to mix them up and grab the wrong one. Drat!

Now picture this…you're finishing up packing for a business trip and at the last second, you realize your PDA is really low on charge, so you toss the charger for your PDA into your luggage knowing you can plug it in overnight at the hotel. When you arrive at your hotel room, you unpack and want to charge your PDA for the week. You pull out the charger and realize the one you brought isn't for your PDA at all. It's for your mobile phone! Dangit, they all look so similar! Now your PDA may totally run out of juice before your trip is over. Drat!

The 10-Second Solution
I fixed this problem in just a few seconds by using one of my favorite old standby organizing concepts: LABEL YOUR STUFF! And, as is often the case, Sharpie came to my rescue. I just pulled out my fabulous Metallic Silver Sharpie and wrote right on the side of each charger. I know… it's blindingly obvious, eh?

chargers.jpgYou can see by the photo of my chargers, the silver ink shows up great because the chargers are black.

Even on the white iPod cords and cables, the silver looks nice and is visible, although I have to say God bless Apple for making their cords look different. Yay Steve Jobs, what a concept!

The great news about taking five seconds (yes, five seconds) to label my stuff is that now I never have to stop to think about which charger I'm grabbing, particularly if I'm in a hurry. Plus, it makes it obvious if I've packed two of the same one in my luggage, which is just a waste of space.

I tellya, sometimes the simplest solutions are the best ones! What ultra-simple solutions have you come up with that were quick to implement, but paid off in happiness and convenience over and over again?


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