Monday, January 4, 2016

The Cord Wrangler

They call me...the Cord Wrangler.

I'll say it once and I'll say it again. I'll shout it from the top of the mountains:

I! Hate! Cords! Die, cords, die!

With our ever-growing dependence on technology, our house is slowly becoming a rat's nest of wires and cables from our multiple computers, laptops, monitors, hard drives, routers, speakers, and the like. So messy. So ugly. So... cordy.

I was reminded of this when we moved. Behind our TV was a huge tangle of cords, cables, AC adaptors, and plugs leading to who knows where. My OCD was triggering.

In an effort to make the home theater look cleaner, we'd already upgraded to a media console with closed doors (had to install an infrared remote to get the remote to be able to work through the doors). But man, just LOOK at the hellish landscape of wires beneath the thing!


In an attempt to remedy, situation, I bought me a swiveling surge protector on the advice of my dear technologically inclined friend, and some 3M Command Strips, which I've decided are the spice of life. Isn't that how the saying goes? Command Strips are the spice of life? Seriously, these things can do EVERYTHING. Organize boots. Hang curtain rods. Show art. Did I mention rid your life from the rat's nest of cords that are plaguing you every time you look at your television?

I hired a professional electrician to mount the TV on the wall and hide the cords behind the drywall. Then I promptly let all those other organizational tools sit on top of the media console for another 2 months, further exacerbating my problem.

Finally, today I broke down and did it. I cracked it like a mathematical proof, piece by piece. I'm Beautiful Minded this dilemma!

First I unplugged everything and labelled the cords with washi tape and a Sharpie - yep, all 12 of them. That way, when deciding what to unplug, I'm not randomly pulling power from, say, the Wifi in the middle of a live stream about Star Wars. Just for example.

Then using the sticky strips from Command Hooks...

...I attached the surge protector to the back of the console. (Forgot to take a pic, whoops.) Then, using zip ties, I wrangled each cord so it was the minimum length needed to reach the plugs to prevent confusing tangles. Lastly, I stuck more command hooks to the back of the console and used them to hook any loose wires or wrangled cables together so it would be tidier. Phew!

I'll be honest, it ain't pretty to look at from the back...

... but it's a party in the front.

Here it is again! I hate to see you go...

...but I love to say hello.

Next up, I've got to wall mount that sound bar and hide the wire behind the dry wall (the single cord is killing me!) and figure out a solution for the fugly router and the bass amplifier. If anybody has any ideas for pretty-making that won't compromise sound and/or wifi access, let me know! And yes, I know it probably involves getting rid of that damn tattered cat scratcher.

Til then, death to cords!

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Well, a month ago I promised a look at our new built-in bookcase (and then I promptly didn't update the blog for a couple of months. It was the holidays, sue me. (Please don't.)

So as I mentioned in my past post, we brought in our contractor to build in some floor to ceiling bookshelves, fulfilling one of my (and Alex's) lifelong dreams of having a big-ass bookshelf. I know, we're easy to please. I scoured photos of hundreds of photos of bookshelves til I finally decided that having a white and solid walnut unit with adjustable shelves would be perfect for our new space - modern, but still warm.

Here's the before again (unfortunately I don't have a before before, but you can imagine: it was just a big blank wall, just screaming for someone to fill it with something):

And here's the finished product. Drumroll...

I haven't properly styled the shelves yet; right now they are pretty much just stuffed with books grouped loosely by genre (most of my books are still in storage* in New Jersey). But gimme a few months, I'm sure I will have plenty to blog about as I figure out the perfect combo of books, pretty things, Peabody Awards, and random tchotchkes. Note we finally put in a new chandelier light as well. I can (and will) fill dozens of posts on Why I Hate Light Shopping.

It's been my favorite addition to the house because it makes it truly us - if there's anything I have that I feel is a true reflection of me as a person, it's the books I have read, as they represent parts of my mind and how I think, as well as different phases of my life (cf. my illustrated Strunk and White's Elements of Style vs. The Complete Poems of Emily Dickenson v. Not Milk? Nut Milks!)

Anyway, ta da! Gonna work on my #shelfie skills as we get settled; in the meantime, I'm tackling more important and timely issues, such as Cable Management 101 and How to Fix a Leak In Your Very First Grown Up House.

*By "storage," I mean my parents' basement, amidst what I'm sure are dead cricket spider carcasses that I don't want to know about.