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Get your remote under control

By on April 4, 2008


Life is filled with pet peeves and small annoyances, like the toothpaste cap left off or socks that miss the hamper by an inch. It’s easy to forget that there’s no magic fairy that takes care of it all. In my house, I’m the finder of lost things and chief organizer and bottle washer. I’m the queen of trial and error, too. I like things orderly, so I try different strategies to see which is a good fit for my family. One nuisance was the remote control always being missing. I’ve found it in the bathroom, under pillows and even in the fridge. It’s bad enough that I rarely hold that clicker in my own hands, but when I have to search high and low for it, it’s frustrating.

Here are some solutions that might work for your missing-remote problem. But you’re on your own with remote-control-hogging problems.

STRING IT UP: Attaching a foot of yarn or ribbon to the back makes the remote much easier to find. Attach the other end of the ribbon to a table leg, and that remote isn’t going anywhere.

HOOK AND LOOP: Use hook-and-loop fasteners to put the remote in its place when you’re done watching television. Attach it to a convenient spot.

A basket can hold magazines, show guides and your remote controls. You can use a small basket on your tabletop or a larger basket on the floor.

REPURPOSE CONTAINERS: Baby-wipe containers, plastic coffee canisters, wooden wine boxes, cutlery-drawer organizers, spare pottery bowls, older wooden recipe boxes with the hinged top removed and shoe boxes can hold remotes.

FLIP THEM: If you simply flip a remote control so the buttons are face down, they are less likely to slip off the table and disappear into the abyss.

BACKUPS: Sometimes you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, so buying a second (or third or fourth) remote is money well spent.

BAG IT: Place remote controls in plastic zipper bags. They’re sealed in, but you’re still able to click buttons. This keeps them clean and makes it too cumbersome to carry from room to room.

HIDE IT: Take it away for a while and make people get up off their behinds. I did it my entire childhood, and I’m not emotionally damaged. When you bring it back, there will be a newfound appreciation for it. You can give it back in exchange for extra chores, too. Not that mean? Simply keep it up, up and away from children and have them ask permission to use it.

REMOTE-CONTROL FINDER: No, it’s not you searching around the house. It’s a gadget like the remote key finders and cordless-phone locators. They can get a bit costly, but sometimes you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. It’s also a good gift idea.

Stores sell remote controls that are about a foot long. Try misplacing that! It’s not going to slip between the couch cushions. They cost about $20, and the magic fairy can laugh every time she sees it.

One Comment

  1. cohnsey

    4/4/2008 at 6:13 pm

    I find what works best with things that I keep losing is to keep them in the same place and leave them there when you are done with them. I did that with my car keys and ipod and I havent lost those items in a while.

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