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Choosing Storage for Electronics and Media

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Today’s must-have electronics aren’t always visually compatible with today’s home decors. Finding storage options isn’t always easy. Fortunately, says Dennis Crouthers, senior buyer for Oak Express, there are many clever, stylish ways to conceal, display and maximize accessibility to electronic equipment and media.

1. Inventory your technology- Make a room-by-room list of your equipment and media — TVs, DVD players, DVRs, music and game systems, computers, CDs, DVDs and so on.

2. Measure your equipment and space- Record each component’s precise height, width and depth. Now measure the space where you plan to put the equipment and the doorway(s) through which it will have to fit.

3. Identify your style- There are media storage solutions to fit any decor. Deciding in advance which look you want will help narrow your search. Many manufacturers include complementary storage pieces in their living room and bedroom furniture sets, which takes the guesswork out of matching styles — although mixing styles is also perfectly acceptable.

4. Review your furniture options- Use the information you’ve compiled to pinpoint the best furniture solutions. You can choose from a virtually endless array of sizes, shapes and functions. Popular choices include a TV cabinet (ideal for smaller rooms and TVs) and a media console (which offers additional under- the-surface storage). A TV armoire is a great choice for rooms in which the TV is not the focal point.

Home theater Walls are best suited to large-screen TVs and offer the most storage capability. Though available in many configurations, they typically include at least a TV console, two audio towers (or “piers”) and a connecting over-the-TV bridge.

There are also many beautiful, functional choices for supporting computers, printers and the like, from simple laptop desks to specialized computer desks and modular walls that can be configured to perfectly fit your needs. Your selection will probably be governed by space. For example, do you have a dedicated home office, or will you tuck the computer into a kitchen nook? Because technology is constantly changing, choose furniture pieces that are adjustable and expandable.

Cord Control: There are many clever, stylish ways to conceal, display and maximize accessibility to electronic equipment and media.

Most furniture for storing electronics has some provision for routing wires and cords down legs or out the rear of the piece. To cut down even more cord clutter:

1. Use a power strip for multiple plugs.
2. Hide excess cordage in a cord organizer.
3. Label cords with color-coded ID tags.

Replace. Recycle. Renew.

Don’t let old, obsolete and broken equipment clutter your home. You can recycle old gadgets for cash at sites like Gazelle. com and BuyMyTronics.com. (Be sure to remove all personal data from cell phones and computers.) You can donate to charity — for example, RecycleForBreastCancer.org will resell your electronics and the profits go to breast cancer research. Or check with your local municipality — many offer electronics recycling programs at certain points in the year. For additional options, search google.com to see what kind of electronics recycling is available in your area.

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