In many ways, computers make our lives more organized. They make all sorts of tasks, from paying bills to doing research, a lot quicker and easier. But while keeping files organized on a computer may be a lot easier than searching through mountains of paper, controlling the mess under the computer is another story. To make all those files usable, we may have to hook up our computers to a whole mass of peripherals-monitor, printer, speakers, modem, and who knows what else. Each one of these devices has a cable to link it to the computer, and sometimes a separate power cord as well. Consequently, the space under the desk can easily turn into a rats’ nest of wires that we just do our best to keep hidden.
Look behind most computers, televisions, and other electronics and you will find a heap of cords intertwined and twisted in every which direction. They are easy to hide behind home furnishings, and they end up forgotten – until it is time to figure out which cord goes to which component. Some cables are way too long, and others are just wrapped around plug-ins of every variety. It is bad enough when multiple cords are tucked behind a piece of furniture and covered in dust that has collected since they were first plugged in, but when computer cords are visible it is even more unsightly.
Instead of putting up with tangled bundles of computer cords, consider the following safe and easy ways to hide them. When computer cords are well organized and tucked away like a neatly wrapped package they are far less of an eyesore and easy to locate. If you have a tangled mess of computer cords that need to be organized, try these easy ways to hide and organize them, and tame the mess once and for all.
- Organize with Cardboard Tubing
- Hide Cables with PVC
- Organize with Cable Ties
- Organize with Metal Twist Ties
- Organize with Unsightly Cables
- Easy Cable Management Tip
Precautionary Statement Regarding Cardboard Tubing
Search online for easy ways to hide computer cords and you will discover many suggestions, but not all clever ideas are safe. Cardboard tubes such as empty toilet paper tubes, gift wrap tubes, and paper toweling tubes should not be used to hide computer cords or any other chargers and cords that are plugged in. My cousin’s husband was a fireman, and he knows of at least one fatal fire that started because of computer cables encased by cardboard. It is a serious fire hazard. Do not take that chance.
Hide Computer Cables with Heat-Resistant PVC
One of the easiest and least expensive ways to hide unsightly computer cords is with heat-resistant PVC piping. Measure to determine the length and diameter required, and visit your local home improvement store for heat-resistant PVC piping. It can be cut using a PVC pipe cutter or a hacksaw. After determining the proper length, mark the diameter with duct tape. This is one of the easiest ways to make an even cut. Thread the computer cables through the piping and place it against the wall. This will look much neater than a pile of cords going in every which direction.
Organize Computer Cables with Cable Ties
Another one of the easiest ways to organize computer cables is with cable ties. Although cable ties will not hide the cords they will look far less apparent when they are neatly bundled. Simply unwind and untangle the computer cords, and loosely secure them together with cable ties. Cable ties are available in a variety of lengths and widths, and they are inexpensive and easy to use.
Organize Computer Cords with Metal Twist Ties
If unorganized computer cords are a problem, metal twist ties are a solution. They provide one of the easiest ways to organize yards of cable. Like cable ties, metal twist ties will not hide computer cords, but they can be used to organize them into neat bundles along the baseboard of the wall. Untangle and unwind the cords, and loosely but securely twist tie them together.
Consider Ready-Made Products to Hide Unsightly Cables
These are just some of the most cost-effective ways to safely hide and organize computer cables. There are a number of products available especially for hiding electric cables of many different varieties, but they are not as reasonable as those mentioned here. Consider these cheap and easy ways to hide computer cables before investing in costlier methods. In most cases, those mentioned here are good enough for those simply wanting a neater looking work area.
Easy Desk Cable Management Tip on a Budget
There are all sorts of products on the market for taming this cable chaos, from simple baskets that corral all the wires on the underside of the desk, which bundles them up in a little plastic case. However, aside from their cost, these products are mostly limited to routing cables from point A to point B as neatly as possible. Most computers, though, have cords running not just from A to B, but from B to C, C to D, B to D, and so on. Fortunately, there is a simple way to organize all your computer cables with a couple of basic items that you may already have lying around the house. (And if you don’t, you can pick them up for just a couple of dollars total.)
You will need:
- a length of foam pipe insulation (sold at home stores)
- several wire twist ties (the kind found on bags of bread or produce)
- blank white address labels
- a pen
1. First, shut down your computer and start sorting through all the wires currently attached to it. Trace each one from end to end and figure out what it connects to what.
2. As you identify each cord, label it. Write the name of the item that connects to that cable on one end of a blank address label. Then attach the label to the cord near the point where it plugs into the computer or the power strip. (Or, if the cord ends in a big “wall wart”-style plug, you can stick the label directly to that.)
3. Start sorting cables into groups based on where they start and end. For instance, all cables that run from the computer to the monitor and other peripherals that sit close together on your desk form one set. Those that run directly from the peripherals to a power strip form a second group. (You may need to unplug the wires to untangle them and group them together, which is why labeling them first is a good idea.)
4. Bundle each group of wires together with twist ties, secured at several points along its length.
5. You’ll probably have two main bundles at this point: computer-to-peripherals and peripherals-to-power strip, with perhaps a couple of extra cables leading in different directions. Measure the length of each bundle. Cut a piece of pipe insulation to that length and tuck the whole bundle of wires snugly inside it.
6. What about the power cord that connects your computer to the power strip? You can leave this one separate, or you can bundle it with the others by running it up one side and down the other. Tuck the cable inside the bundle that runs from the computer to the desktop, then feed it back through the second bundle that leads from desktop to power strip.
Bundled inside the pipe insulation, your cables are neat, controlled, and vaguely industrial-looking. The result may not be exactly polished, but it’s tidy, inexpensive, and easy. Tip Source: Lifehacker