We've mentioned using bread bag tags before to label cords, but Make intern, Tyler Moskowite took it to another level and used the common throw away item to identify all of his cords for easy identification. Instead of just plugging in your power cords haphazardly, you can use the bread tags to ensure that only the right ones stay plugged in when you need to. Some power supplies and computer peripherals are energy vampires, so it's a good way to stay on top of things.
Using bread bag tags like this isn't something new (you may remember a post from last year), however there is a method to the madness in order to unfurl all of those cables around your power strips. By far, power strips are the messiest part of our home office, and it can be quite problematic to try and keep things organized down there when you've got several cords of similar color and shape going to the same power strip outlet.
1. Gathering Bread Tags: We don't know about your house, but it takes us a week or two to go through a loaf of bread, so the first step is gathering enough of these tags. You might want to ask around if you don't want to wait, or you can just buy some.
2. Labeling Them: It's best to have bread tags in many different colors, although this isn't always possible. Once you have gathered them, you can customize them by coloring them in distinctive colors. Make sure that use ink that will allow you to write over it with a permanent marker.
3. Getting the Right Power Strips: We recommend getting good power strips for your home office, since usually a lot of devices end up being plugged into these. Spending a bit of extra money here will save you cash in the long run.
4. Using Tags with Two Power Strips: Depending on how many power strips you need in your home office (we actually need two to plug in all of our devices), you'll want to arrange them in order of importance. Plug in all of the most important cords into the same power strip. Once that's done, you can plug in the other ones into another power strip. The reason why you're doing this is that you can now switch off the non-essential power strip. Peripherals plugged into the non-essential power strip could include printers, scanners, and other USB devices that you use less. The essential power strip would hold your monitor, computer, laptop, and other devices that you need to have on.
5. Optimizing the Tags: Once you've started using the bread tags for your power cords, you can use them for other cords as well. One of the other problem areas in our home office is the amount of USB cords that we have. Labeling them with bread tags makes it a lot more convenient.