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Life used to be simple. There was one family computer stationed at a desk. Then came laptops, iPods, iPads, iPad Minis, smartphones, smartwatches, fitness bands, Nintendo DS's, etc. How do we keep track of all the technology in our homes?
If you have many devices spread out around your house, consider creating a Family Charging Station.
What prompted this in my house was that my oldest son was issued a Chrome Book for school this year, and he is responsible to charge it every night. I knew we would need a system to help him remember. So, I created a space where every device we own had a home. Each night, all the devices need to be returned to their "home base." It helps us limit the kids' technology use at night, and gives all of us a visual of which devices are missing at a glance.
It was also an attempt to limit MY cell phone use at night. I was hoping to leave my cell phone there to charge instead of by my bed so I'm not tempted to read it late at night or first thing in the morning. But, that's easier said than done!
**Side note, if you are interested in hearing more about smarter smartphone usage and thoughts on devices for kids, check out these Edit Your Life Podcasts. It's my new favorite podcast series and has so many insightful tips.
Smarter Smartphone Usage
The Device Divide
Back to creating a family docking station... The first thing I did was pick the space. We have a console where we store DVD's and games. I always struggled with how to decorate the top of it. So, I decided to put it to practical use. You may have an extra space on your kitchen counter or side desk.
Then, I used chalkboard paper I had purchased in the Target Dollar Section and rolled it out, securing it with glue dots underneath. Another option is to use piece of foam board that fits your space.
We already had a large charging station, so I put that out first, and arranged the devices around it, including their charging cords.
I used these items to keep the charger cords in place.
Single Cable Organizer
Large Cable Cord Organizer
Once I was sure where I wanted things, I outlined them using my favorite chalk marker and wrote in the name of each device. That way you know which devices are missing right away.
Bistro Chalk Marker
Make sure you label the cords. You can use a label maker, washi tape, or purchase tags. This also helps when you want to get rid of any kind of technological device and want to find the matching charger to throw out with it. It also helps with family members stealing your chargers. :)
You may find that you need to purchase additional chargers or accessories. This is better than having to constantly move your existing ones around to other places in your home. Set yourself up for success!
That's it. Our Family Charging Station has been great for my son remembering to charge his Chrome Book, and for all of us to keep track of our devices. I'm happy to report that it still looks like this after 3 months of daily use. I was skeptical if the chalkboard paper would hold up, but for now, it has. As with everything I organize, I'll continue to "tweak" this system as time goes on.
Note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you decide to click on the item and purchase it, I will receive an affiliate commission. This doesn't cost you anything more. You have my word that I only recommend products that I personally use and love!