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Organize Your Printers and Scanners – Organize Your Home Office

written by: Joli Ballew•edited by: Ronda Bowen•updated: 7/5/2011

Printers and scanners are a must-have for today’s savvy computer users. Unfortunately, they are bulky and can be problematic. Printers can stop working after a cartridge change, and scanners can cause computers to hang while trying to complete a high-resolution scan. Due to the (often) low expense to replace them, this hardware can often contribute to a messy and unorganized work area.

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    How many times have you done this? You replace the black cartridge in your one and only printer, and find that no matter how many times you clean the heads or remove and reinsert the cartridge, you realize it just isn’t going ever to print in black again. These things happen. So, you run out, purchase a new $49.00 printer, hook it up, and figure you’ll keep the other one until you use up its color cartridge. As it turns out, the printer just sits there, taking up room on the desk because you really do like the newer one better, and you use it instead. Maybe, at some point, you remove the old printer from your work area, but chances are you don’t throw it out. We’re betting it’s in a closet or the garage, or even stored in the attic for some unknown reason to both you and us. (Do you think you’ll need a part someday?) Whatever the case, if you only have one printer, you’re likely not the norm.

    For more information on degunking your PC and organizing your home office read my article: The Degunking 12-Step Program – Get Your PC and Your Office in Tip Top Shape.

    Do you need multiple printers? Professionals use all kinds of printers from inkjet to laser to sublimation and more. If you need multiple printers, by all means, don’t get rid of any. However, if you use and keep more than one printer, look for ways to organize those more appropriately.

    If you only have one printer, and your desk has a printer shelf or something like it under the desk, you can use that too. Just make sure you can easily reach the printer, and that it’s convenient when you need to add paper or cartridges. You may even want to consider a separate, rolling cart for your printer.##br#

    If you can’t remember the last time you used your scanner, chances are it’s just gunking up your desk. While genealogists and scrapbook enthusiasts use scanners often, with the convenience and price of digital cameras, in general, most home users aren’t doing much scanning these days.

    If you aren’t using your scanner, remove it from your desk. If you just can’t bear to do that, remember that scanners are flat and can be placed on low-lying shelves and in other interesting places.

    All-in-One Units

    The best way to degunk all of that hardware sitting on your desk is to get rid of the whole shebang and replace them with a single all-in-one machine. These machines can do it all, and a single machine can replace all of the following:

    * Inkjet printer

    * Fax machine

    * Scanner

    * Copier

    * Telephone

    * Answering machine (or it may offer an answering machine interface)

    * Memory card reader

    You can shop for these machines online or at your local computer store. Make sure your all-in-one machine will connect to your personal PC, and that you have the appropriate connections available. Most connect through a USB port. Also, consider a device that can replace the telephone, answering machine, and/or a fax machine. You’ll be glad you did when you see the additional space you create in your work area. [See Image 2]

    For more information:

    The Degunking 12-Step Program – Tips on Organizing a Home Office

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