Electrical SafetyElectricity 101

How to Eliminate Cable Clutter

Cable Clutter — with the evolving technology, it’s a problem many of us face. It can lead to confusion as we attempt to find which cable leads to what; not to mention that its unsightly. It can go haywire so let US Electrical Services, Inc. (USESI) help you find some good ways to eliminate cable clutter.

Eliminate Cable Clutter at Your Power Strip

A power strip is a good starting place to eliminate cable clutter. While surge protectors are a good idea for both convenience and safety, they’re often not the most attractive item, especially when they have countless cables leading from them.

To make a more attractive source for your cables, one inexpensive solution is to use a shoebox. Shoeboxes can be decorated in an attractive fashion to your liking. Place the surge protector inside a shoebox and cut holes to allow the cables to run through them. You can also buy the Cablebox or Cablebox Mini at electronics stores which serves the same purpose. Whether you will need the mini or not depends on the size of your surge protector.

Dealing with the Loose Cords

how to eliminate cable clutterYou’ve figured out a way to hide your power strip, but there is still the matter of those cables that are hanging out all over the place. A great way to solve this problem is by collecting them and bunching them together. You probably only want to do this with the cables that are going to need to be plugged in on a permanent or semi-permanent basis. That way you don’t have to deal with taking a cable out of the bunch when it needs to be unplugged.

There are two ways you might want to bunch your cables together:

Zip Ties: These are relatively inexpensive. Once you have your cables neatly separated, gather them together and fasten them with a zip tie. You may want to use these at several points along the cables to ensure that they are securely fastened and to keep them neatly gathered. Once they are secure, simply snip the end of the zip tie. This is also a great way to organize cables inside a computer to keep it from overheating.

Zip ties can be a convenient way of keeping your cables together, but one drawback is that once cables are fastened, the only way to remove one from the bunch is by cutting the zip tie. Buying reusable zip ties can solve this problem though they are slightly more expensive.

Cable Sleeves: Although more expensive than zip ties, cable sleeves can be a more convenient and attractive way to bunch your cables. A zippered cable sleeve makes temporary cables easier to remove. Also, these provide a uniform color, making it more aesthetically pleasing.

Eliminate Cable Clutter on Your Desk

Okay, so now the power strip has an attractive case, the cables under the desk are neatly stored…but there are still cables snaking all around your desktop! Well, luckily there are a few solutions for making a neater appearance with these as well. Here are some ways to temporarily shorten their lengths.

Cablebones: If you are feeling crafty, here is another low-cost way to eliminate cable clutter. Use a rubber mat, a marker, a cutter, a glue and a drill. Draw bone shapes into the mat. Cut them out and glue two together. These ‘rubber bones’ should be at least a quarter inch thick. Drill a hole at both ends so the cord can go in one end. Wrap the cord around the bone going from one end to another.

Quirky’s Cordlets: If you are not crafty, and don’t mind spending a bit of money, there are also computer accessories called Quirky’s Cordlets. You can stick them anywhere on your desk and use the little indentation is the cordlet as a means of holding your cable. You can also coil you cable around the cordlet to further shorten length.

The Matter of Unused Cables

Eliminating cables that are not constantly in use is easier said than done. Although there are many cables you may not need often enough to leave them plugged in on a permanent basis, you still need them on hand. These cables usually end up sitting on desktops and adding to clutter. Here are a few ways to solve this problem.

Sugru: This product is an all -purpose, moldable silicone putty. Among its many uses, it can be a great way to store unused cables. Just stick the Sugru to the side of your desk and make a groove with a toothpick to store cables in.

Binder Clips: Binder clips can also be stuck on the side of the desk and cables can run through these as well. However, these can be problematic if your desk does not have a jutting edge. It also needs to be thin enough to attach the clip.

Cable Clips: These may be the most low maintenance solution. They just stick on the desk, ready for you to run cables through.

Magnetic Organization System: This is essentially a shiny piece of metal that sits on your desk. You can attach the packaged metal tie to any cable, and it will stick to the device. Some cables don’t even need the tie as they will stick to the port’s metal.

Identify the Cables

eliminate workplace wire clutterNow that you have a nice, neat office area, both above and below your computer desk, there’s still the matter of identifying what device each cable leads to. Here are two inexpensive ways to do this:

Bread Clips: Yes, these are the little tags that cinch the tops of bread packages. Just take a Sharpie and write what the cable is for on the bread clip and attach it to the cable. Some drawbacks include the fact that the bread clips will not fit around thicker cables and that the writing may not be legible from a distance. However, it is still a cheap and easy solution.

Duct Tape: Duct tape may serve as an easier solution. You can use different colors of duct tape to color code what each cable is for. Wrap duct tape around cables with a bit jutting out. Use the part that is jutting out to write what the cable is for with a Sharpie or marker. You can put a piece of paper on the back of the part to ensure it doesn’t stick to anything. You can also write the cord’s use on that piece of paper as well.

Having an uncluttered desk is an important way to keep organized and make a for a more attractive work environment. An elimination of clutter can also lead to a more focused work and a more productive day.  These are some great and low-cost ways to eliminate cable clutter in your life. How do you cut back cable clutter on your computer desk? Share some tips in the comment box below!

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