Top 5 tips for cable management

Organizing cables and cords can be tricky business. Tom Merritt suggests five tips for managing those pesky cables.

Top 5 tips for cable management

Cables, ugh! They bunch up like ramen noodles under your desk or behind your desk on the floor. I know many of you have your own special ways of dealing--or not dealing--with cables. Please indulge me, and check out these five tips for cable management.

  1. Tie them up: Simple zip ties can keep cords together so they don't splay out into spaghetti. Velcro zip ties are handy if you move cords a lot and need to move the ties. A lot of people swear by millipede ties, which are also reusable and stronger than velcro.
  2. Labeling: When you look at your power strip, you may be able to remember which wall port goes with which device, but a lot of black plugs look the same--label them so you don't have to trace it back. Same thing goes for HDMI cables going into a TV.
  3. Hide those cables: You can wrap them in foam insulation or a paper towel tube. You can use old shoe boxes or photo boxes with some cutouts to bundle all the cables together out of sight. Or you can even use a wire basket. 
  4. Binder clips: This is a good one for those cables you have to unplug and leave on your desk. Instead of hoping they don't fall behind your desk, attach a binder clip to the edge of your desk and run the cable through one of the wire parts you use to squeeze the clip.
  5. Wireless: As Wi-Fi and Bluetooth get better and better, you may be able to replace some of those wires altogether. This one won't work for everything, but it's becoming a viable replacement for cabled equipment all the time, so it might be worth reevaluating.

Spaghetti is for eating, not what you want your wires to look like. I hope you found these tips out of sight--like your cables!

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Frustrated man trying to figure out computer cables

Image: iStockphoto/XiXinXing