It’s no secret that Boston city dwellers like their gadgets. Lately it seems as though entertainment centers have become storage units for more than just your television and cable box. Nowadays, people are trying to figure out how to organize their DVD players, audio boxes, gaming systems and stereos so that they don’t look like a big mess of black metal boxes and wires. Here are some tips to keep your space looking neat while keeping all of your gadgets accessible.
1. Stack by size: You want to be sure that if stacking gadgets such as the cable box and DVD player, the bigger item goes on the bottom. This will give a design element to your entertainment center, making it look cleaner. Try to avoid stacking more than three items on one shelf, as that can start to look cluttered.
2. Know your wires: Use zip ties to keep your wires together and secure. Bunch a few together and then tighten the tie so they remain in place. Begin by collecting wires that fall from the highest point of the entertainment center. Tie them together about two feet down from the top. Add another tie every two feet if your entertainment center is very tall.
It’s also important to know which wires belong to which item. At the bottom of your cluster, you may want to add a label explaining their corresponding connections. An interesting and easy way to do this is with a bread bag clip. These usually fit over wires nicely and can be labeled with a black permanent marker.
3. Power up: Purchase a power strip to keep all items plugged in at all times. Make sure that your circuit can handle all of your gadgets. It may be necessary to purchase a surge protector to accommodate all aspects of the center. Your entertainment center will be much more organized without the extension cords behind the couch or under the rug, stretching to another wall outlet.
The following local businesses should be able to help you get started:
Lesley University Bookstore
1815 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138
Hours: Mon to Thurs – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Fri – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sat – 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., Sun – Closed
Whether you’re a student or just happen to live near campus, most college bookstores carry electrical equipment like power strips. You may find other organizational needs such as labels and zip ties here as well.
315 Centre St.
Boston, MA 02130
Hours: Mon to Sat – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Perhaps you’re looking to purchase an entertainment center to store all of your gadgets. If this is the case, check out Frugal Furniture for some great deals that will keep your space looking organized.
101 Charles St.
Boston, MA 02114
Hours: Mon to Sat – 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Black Ink offers some of the most unique organizational ideas. Just walking through the store will inspire ideas on how to organize your center. Black Ink is easily accessible by the red line on the subway.
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For more great tricks, tips and advice about your home, visit CBSBoston/YourHome.
Boston-based writer Effie Orfanides keeps up with interior design trends. Effie draws on her Greek/Italian heritage for inspiration and shows a keen eye for little things that make a house a home. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.