Cable clutter is the scourge of the modern desktop. Of course, we try to use as much wireless as possible, but there are still plenty of cords around our tables. Let’s organize them once and for all.
Naturally, computer cable clutter is more for a desktop than a laptop. However, even a laptop can have quite a few cables: a power cord, a USB hub for additional ports, and so on. And then there is the charger for your phone, and other difficulties.
You must attack the problem in five steps:
- Hide the extension cord and plugs.
- Gather and tie cables together.
- Shorten the cable length.
- Keep unused cables in place.
- Define cables.
1. Hide the extension cord and plugs
The extension cord is for functionality, not to look good. Yes, you should use a surge protector, but the resulting cable clutter is an eyesore. This is the first place you start managing cable interference.
DIY Shoebox Power Strip
The easiest solution for this is to create a DIY extension cord box from a shoe box. The video below contains step by step instructions to make it beautiful. If everything is OK with the base box, just cut holes on both sides so that the extension cable and the cables of the connected plugs can come out from either side.
Cablebox and Cablebox Mini
Instead of making your own, you can even take it off the shelf. I would recommend BlueLounge Cablebox ($30) or Cablebox Mini ($30), depending on the size of your surge protector.
2. Gather and tie cables together
Now that the power strip is off, let’s deal with the many loose cords hanging around. First determine the cords that will stay there permanently or for a long time. Gather them together and collect. There are two options for this.
Screeds have their pros and cons. Removing the cable from the lightning tie means cutting them all and re-securing the new ones. However, considering how cheap zip ties are, you can create multiple bundles of cables so that you can remove and attach a set of cords at the same time. And there’s always the option to spend a little more on reusable zip ties.
3. Shorten cable length
Thanks to the extension box and cable sleeves or lightning ties, the cables under the table are now hidden. But cables sitting on the table are still a problem. You need them there, but you don’t need them to take up so much space. The solution is to temporarily shorten their length.