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The rapid advancement of consumer tech over the last few decades made a lot of very useful and entertaining technology available at reasonable prices. The original DVD players cost hundreds of dollars, and now you can grab one for about $20.

Home computers were once a substantial investment. You can order a new tower for a couple of hundred bucks now. With all this technology so cheap, it means we end up with a lot of cables plugged in and hanging near our desks and entertainment centers.

That means you need a cable management strategy to your space neat and tidy. Not sure where your cable management journey should begin? Keep reading for our tips on keeping your cables organized.

Reorganize Your Device Placement

When you first set up something like an entertainment center, you probably give some thought to organizing the devices. This lets you organize the cords and cables in a coherent and rational way. Of course, then you get a new device or two or even three.

These new devices often end up placed wherever you can fit them. The cables for the devices tend to follow suit, leaving you with a rat’s nest of wires.

Sometimes, the best fix for that rat’s nest is for you to take everything out of the entertainment center or desk and reorganize the devices. If nothing else, it lets you run the device and TV cables in a way that they don’t criss-cross in a confusing and tangled mess.

With a little luck, though, you’ll probably find that the entertainment center or desk works more efficiently after the reorganization.

Embrace Wireless

For a long time, every device and most peripherals needed a wired connection to function properly. Those days are over. For example, now you can usually connect your computer printer via a wireless network.

Other common devices and peripherals that you can connect wirelessly include:

  • Game consoles
  • Keyboards
  • Printers
  • Headphones
  • Speakers
  • Monitors

While you do need a wireless router capable of supporting some or all of these connections, it’s one way you can eliminate some of the cables that clutter up your desk or entertainment center.

Some devices will also connect by way of Bluetooth. You see this more often with audio devices like speakers and headphones.


How often do you look at a power strip and wonder which black plug goes out to which device? It probably happens just about every time you need to unplug something from a power strip. What’s worse is that not every device handles an abrupt power loss well.

Guess wrong and you risk corrupting files on a gaming console or your computer. It might prove a minor inconvenience or a major issue, depending on which files you corrupt.

You can avoid this problem with labels on the cable at the power strip. You don’t need anything fancy for this process either.

You can do the whole project with masking tape and a sharpie. You can wrap a strip of masking tape around the cord and just write an abbreviation on it. You can also make the tape long and create a tail that hangs off the cord that you can write on.

Either way, you get a much better method of finding the right cord than tediously following the cord back or just guessing.

Tie Them

Even if you make a solid plan for organizing your desk or entertainment center, you can still end up with a lot of dangling wires behind your TV or beneath your desk. It might not seem like a big deal until your foot catches a cable and unplug your computer or jerk your keyboard off its tray. Even worse, let something fall behind your entertainment center and a disaster can happen.

If you’re lucky, these kinds of incidents only prove inconvenient and maybe a little embarrassing. If you’re not lucky, you can end damaging the cables or the connections on your devices.

Tying your cables together is one way you avoid these situations. You can go low tech and use twine or twist ties. These get the job done but may prove difficult to undo later.

A popular solution in some circles is the venerable zip tie. You still see these in use for cable management inside of some PCs and for networking cables.

The most practical solution for tying cables are velcro cable ties. These secure the cables together and keep them in one place. Yet, you can easily undo them to remove or add a cable.

Charge Basket

Odds are good that you end up charging portable devices at your desk over the course of the day. For example, you likely charge your phone, a tablet computer, and possibly your e-reader at your desk. All of those charging cables can leave your desk messy and unmanageable.

You can overcome this problem with a charging basket. Find yourself a USB adapter that plugs into a standard outlet. Then position a small basket near that plug.

You can attach a handful of binder clips to the basket and use the wire portion to hold charging cables in place. Whenever you need to charge a device, you plug the cable into the adapter. Then, you plug the cable into the device and leave it in the basket.

Your device charges without getting in your way or requiring multiple cables at your desk.

Cable Management for You

Your cable management needs will prove unique. Maybe you only use a laptop at home or most of your tech sits in your entertainment center. Whatever your situation, though, you can probably benefit from getting your cables under control.

Whenever practical, focus on cable reduction. The fewer cables in play, the more manageable the situation becomes.

After that, focus on the simplest solution that solves your problem. If a charge basket will fix your struggle, go with that.

Looking for more helpful tips? Check out some of our other articles in our The Magazine section.

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