What to do with all those cords and cables?

Everyone has that container or box of cords/cables that you have no idea what to do with. You don’t want to toss them because frankly, you don’t know what they go to or if you even need it. Thanks to some other bloggers, like CNet for helping me compile a great list of keep and toss.

Start by gathering all your cords and pairing them with the devices you use regularly. After that take the leftover cords and cables and use this keep and toss guide as a reference.







Taylor Martin/CNET

Keep: Mini USB

This was used for phones in the early 2000s, for example, Blackberry and Moto Razr. Not many devices use this cable today but it can still be used with some camera, hard drives, or camera battery chargers.




Taylor Martin/CNET



Keep: Micro-USB


This cord came with some of the newer smartphones and is used for tablets. Even the Amazon Echo dots use this cord. You can keep a couple of these to have a backup.




Taylor Martin/CNET



Toss: Apple 30-pin


If you have a new iPhone or iPad you no longer need this cord. It is only used on Apple products.




Taylor Martin/CNET



Keep: USB 3 Micro-B


This cable is used in newer external hard drives and the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. If you don’t have either of those things you can let this cord go. It is rarely used on anything else.








Cable Matters



Keep: DisplayPort


DisplayPort is found on computer monitors, a small selection of televisions, and business-oriented laptops. It can support multiple video streams over a single connection.







Amazon Basics



Toss: DVI


Digital Virtual Interface, better known as DVI, was used to connect your computer monitor. This cable is outdated and no longer used on your new desktops.







Amazon Basics



Toss: VGA


VGA is old analog technology. It is pretty much aged out and none of the new devices have this hook up anymore.




Amazon Basics



Keep: USB A to B


This cable is mostly used on the printer. It can be good to have an extra around.




Taylor Martin/CNET



Keep: 3.5mm auxiliary


The 3.5mm auxiliary can be used with lots of different devices such as your smartphone, tablet, home audio, computer, television, a car stereo. This is a good one to keep around.







Sarah Tew/CNET



Toss: RCA/Composite


This is the cable you used to use to plug in your Nintendo to the television — most televisions and computers still have the hookup. Unless you still have an old school gaming system you probably don’t need it.





Taylor Martin/CNET



Toss: S-Video


Most people have these lying around but don’t know what it is. It is an old analog cable that is not used anymore.







Taylor Martin/CNET



Toss: Coaxial


This is used to for cable television or the internet. When your provider sets it up they will bring the cable. Unless you plan on crawling under the house to run cable television to a new room you probably won’t need extra coaxial.







Cable Matters



Keep: SATA


This can cable can be hooked up to your hard drive if your computer crashes and saves your information. This is a keeper for sure.







Taylor Martin/CNET



Keep: 3-prong Trapezoid Computer Power Cord


This is the standard AC plug for a computer tower. It is still used on an Xbox 360 and Xbox. If you don’t have an Xbox or computer tower you can let this one go.







Taylor Martin/CNET



Toss: 2-prong Power Cord


The two-prong plugs can be found in a lot of different devices, however, they are less common than they used to be. Unless you have a device this connects to I would say it is leftover from something you have already given away.


Simply Organized

Once you have all your cords decluttered and know what you are keeping. I would recommend using a photocarrier to organize them. Take the time to label the outside of the containers so you know what it is and you don’t have to go through this process again. Here is a link to the photo box.

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