Monday, February 16, 2009
Looking for a way to avoid remote control clutter? I've got four options for you.
1. Reduce the number of devices you use, and thus reduce the remotes. OK, I know I'm way outside the norm here; I use zero remotes, personally. (I think my stereo system came with one, but I never use it. I don't have a TV, VCR, or DVD player - except for my Mac.) But I still want to emphasize the general organizing principle: Make sure you know what you want to keep before you worry about how to store stuff.
But moving on to other options ...
2. Just use velcro, as this person did. [photo by jmatthew3 / Matt Miller, licensed under Creative Commons]
3. Use some form of remote organizer or caddy.
You can find remote control caddies or organizers at many stores selling organizing supplies; Stacks and Stacks and Organize.com are just two. RV Supply Warehouse has an oak remote control holder you can mount to the wall. And of course lots of stuff not sold as a "remote organizer" could work just fine as a container for your remotes.
But there's also the Kangaroom Remote Control Book, if you don't mind a caddy with a lid, and you have no more than three remotes. Update on May 23, 2011: I'm no longer finding this product.
Go Home in Australia has a few different TV caddies; actually, each one is a combination of TV caddy, cube-sized tissue box holder, and clock.
While I don't usually list items with TV or movie characters, I couldn't resist sharing the Simpsons Message Mate Remote Control Holder. [via Nerd Approved]
And then there's the Remote Buddy, which Engadget says is "all the proof you need that a universal remote really is the best option if you have 4+ units that you use on a regular basis." That of course leads right to my final suggestion.
Update on July 21, 2010: See more remote caddies and such.
4. Get a universal remote.
Mark Hurst over at Good Experience just wrote about Logitech's Harmony One, which he recommends, with one caveat. And CNET likes it, too. Update on July 18, 2011: A number of other people also recommend the Logitech Harmony remotes.
There are also a number of large-button universal remotes, for those who need (or prefer) them. The one above is sold by Gold Violin. Update on April 3, 2012: I'm no longer seeing this at Gold Violin, but you can find it other places, such as Arthritis Supplies.
[photo of remotes by ParaScubaSailor / Daniel, licensed under Creative Commons]