When you move into a new home, there is a lot to take care of. Unpack, find a new school for the kids, learn where the closest supermarket is, and a myriad other things. But let’s face it. We’re hooked on technology. The idea of being offline for even 24 hours is a thought too distressing to contemplate. So, the first thing you will probably do after moving into your new home is hook up your Wi-Fi router...then you’ll worry about the furniture! The problem is, until we get to a totally “wireless” era, there are still going to be boxes and wires making an unsightly mess all over the place and turning your living room or home office into Spaghetti Junction.
Probably the ugliest piece of electronic hardware is your router. It’s normally a fairly large, intrusive box, with cords and wires protruding from all sorts of orifices. Some suppliers have endeavored to add a bit of design to the unit, but generally it stares you in the face and disturbs the flow of your interior style.
There are a few simple DIY tips which can help you maintain the aesthetics of your new home without sacrificing electronic efficiency – in fact they can even enhance that efficiency. Just make sure that when hiding the Wi-Fi router, it is positioned in a central position so that it can easily broadcast to all the places where you expect to use your computer, smartphone or tablet.
Here are 5 places you can put your router never to be seen again:
Step 1: Decorative Boxes
Most craft stores, office supply stores or home goods merchants stock storage boxes with lids. They come in many different styles, colors and designs and can be put almost anywhere. Make sure the box is large enough for proper ventilation, with additional holes for the wiring, as necessary. Use zip ties to bundle the cables or use decorated empty toilet paper rolls to organize and store cords.
Decorated shoe boxes will give you the same result. Decorate the shoe box with pieces of material, lace, or construction paper...or maybe it was from a pair of Jimmy Choos which you like to show off anyway! Don’t forget those holes for ventilation and to run the cords through.
A jewelry box is also an ideal container for hiding your router in open space, if it’s large enough. Remove any shelves or ring holders so you have plenty of space for the router. Cut holes in the back for ventilation and cabling.
Step 2: Inside Your Entertainment Center, TV Stand or Other Storage Spaces
Most modern homes have fairly large TV sets, most of which stand on cabinets with drawers and closet space. Place your router inside one of the storage spaces. Cut a few holes in the backing board of the cabinet to allow the wires to pass through to the outlet and other equipment. This is also very important for ventilation. You can do this very easily with a hole saw, which attaches to any domestic drill.
Step 3: Behind Other Objects on a Shelf
If you have an attractive bookcase, or a set of shelves, allocate one of those shelves to holding the router...and then place it behind ornaments, books (real or fake), picture frames or DVDs. No one will ever see it there.
Step 4: Inside the Cover of a Book
Take an old, classic book, encyclopedia or old dictionary which you no longer use. Make sure it is slightly larger than the router, so you have enough room for ventilation on all sides. Remove all the pages, and place the router neatly in the vacant space. Put a tack into each corner of the empty book cover (top and bottom) and place your router on top of them, so it is balanced inside the book cover but not touching the cover, to allow for better ventilation. Then just place it on the shelf with your other books. Nobody will ever know the difference.
Step 5: Inside a Deep Picture Frame
If you want to get really creative you can use a deep picture frame or shadow box in which to hide your router. Drill ventilation and cabling holes in the back of the frame, and let the cables snake down behind the shelving unit, if that is where you are placing it. Otherwise, you can use plastic tubing through which to run your cables.
Alternatively, you can go in completely the other direction, and actually display your cabling and electronic equipment, as really funky wall art. Instead of trying to hide them, display them on your walls. Be creative, make designs of the cables, create a “technology wall”...it will be a great conversation starter.
No matter where you are moving, whether it’s across town or you’re doing an international move, these 5 tips for hiding your router in plain sight will surely come in handy.