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cable organization
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Kim's column

How to wrangle all your cords and cables

It’s surprisingly easy to ruin your expensive devices’ screens and internal workings. Here’s my cheat sheet for cleaning electronics. (Hint: Put down the paper towels!)

Don’t forget the TV remote, the hidden germ carrier everyone touches.

What about the organizational side of things? Let’s tackle the biggest problem for most people: cords and cables.

Where does this cable thing go?

How often have you approached a tangle of cords, wondering which is the one you’re looking for? Once you find it, you must determine which port to plug into. Here’s an easy fix you can use next time you need to unplug everything to do a major clean.

  • Get some stickers: These can be labels you write on or simply color-coded dots. One of my readers, Tony, suggests using colored foil star stickers.
  • Create a system that works for you. Write on the labels, use color to represent a type of cord (red dot for USB-C, blue dot for HDMI), or whatever else you’d like.
  • Once you’ve decided on a system, affix the same label or colored sticker to the cable and the port on the device.
  • When you re-plug the cord, match the sticker on the cable to the port’s sticker.
  • Make sure to place the sticker in the same position on each cable. Try putting it on the top of the cord to quickly find the correct orientation into the port.

You will quickly see where the cable fits, even in the dark reaches behind the TV. If you misplace a cable, the sticker you used will also tell you what device it belongs to if it’s not stamped on the cord. Love that.

Another trick to get your USB cord in the right way

Plugging in a USB cable the right way feels like a no-brainer. Then why do we get it wrong on the first try so often?

Here’s the secret: Grab any USB cable sitting around your house. See that symbol on one side? It’s not just branding or decoration. That symbol will point up if you’re plugging in horizontally; if you’re plugging a cable vertically, the USB symbol will face you.

Psst, I have lots more helpful tech tricks you’ll wish you knew sooner.

Cheap fixes to make life easier

Now that you know what goes where, you need a better way to organize your cords. There are many ways to do this, and most solutions are affordable.

TECH ADVICE ON THE GO: Subscriptions for used cars, robot servers takeover & the real reason for airplane mode

Plus, I give my advice to a guy who needs an Android version of an Apple AirTag. Meanwhile, National Parks are booming and one company is cashing in big time. Feeling lost in a sea of people? Don’t worry – Google Maps has you covered.

Listen to the podcast here or wherever you get your podcasts. Just search for my last name, “Komando.”

Sound like a tech pro, even if you’re not! Award-winning popular host Kim Komando is your secret weapon. Listen on 425+ radio stations or get the podcast. And join over 500,000 people who get her free 5-minute daily email newsletter.

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