Smarty plugs are amazing little devices that can be used to turn ordinary appliances into smart products, allowing you to control them from your phone or with your voice via Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. But unfortunately, most smart plugs cover the space between two outlets.
Accepted, a lot of newer smart plugs are better about this since the design has improved to only use one outlet rather than take extra outlet space. However, if you just can’t move on from your older trusty smart plug, we totally understand.
Luckily, there are ways that can be used to fix this. In this guide, we will go through some ways you can take advantage of. However, keep in mind that there isn’t really a perfect solution if you want to keep thing tidy and organized.
Use a Power Strip or Outlet Tap
Maybe the quickest and easiest method that can be used to provide room for both receptacles on an outlet when you want to use a bulky smart plug is to bust out that trusty power strip. Not only does this method help you have access to another receptacle, it also provides several more receptacles to plug things into.
Honestly, I would be surprised if you do not already have a power strip lying around somewhere, but if not, you can purchase one for a cheap rate on Amazon.
I want things to be on the floor, you should use an outlet tap. These are available in all different shapes and sizes, but the best thing is they won’t take as many spaces as a power strip would. I have a few of these GE taps around the hose and they do a great job of turning two receptacles into six without taking up much room.
Get a 1-Foot Extension Cord
If you getting any extra receptacles is not necessary, then a power strip or outlet is kind of overkill. However, you are not entirely out of luck. You can just get yourself some handy 1-foot extension cords instead.
These should cost you around $5 a pop, or get them in packs for a bit cheaper. I have these stuff scattered all around my house where I have bulky power adapters plugged into outlets or power strips where they would not fit normally. But they also work great for smart plugs too.
You should note that this option might be the least sexy as you will end up with a short extension dangling from an outlet with your smart plug at the other end. As such, I would reserve something like this for places that are not out in the open. I would also go for a location where the extension can be hidden behind furniture or something.
Also, you need to make sure that your smart plug is not very that so it will not weigh down the extension cord and make the connection loose.
And just like power strips and outlet taps, make sure that you get an extension cord which can carry high loads. If not, avoid things like space heaters and other appliances that consume high loads.
Just Purchase a New Smart Plug
I know, I know. This really is not a suggestion you wanted to hear. However, if you do not want to add any kind of extra bulk to your outlets in the form of power strips, extension cords or outlet taps, the best option would be to just purchase a new smart plug that works best for your setup.
Just as I mentioned earlier, a lot of newer smart plugs are much smaller in size and as a result, they do not take up the entire outlet. Eufy’s Smart Plug Mini is a good example, as well as Belkin’s Wemo Mini.
Or if you want both receptacles of an outlet to be “smart”, you can just purchase a dual-receptacle smart plug. Believe it or not, this stuff actually exists and there are not very many of them available out there. Maybe the most popular option is the Connect Sense Smart Outlet, which completely takes up an entire outlet when you plug it in. However, it comes with two receptacles and both of them are smart and can be independently controlled.