Guide To Managing Computer Cables

Guide To Managing Computer Cables

by

Martha Davis
August 17, 2021
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As our Lord and savior, Marie Kondo, has duly noted in many of her preachings, we can efficiently declutter everything in your home.

There is no reason why your computer table, battle station, or workspace has to be hidden under an ensemble of wires, cables, and everything in between.

So, pucker up, check your drawers for rubber bands, zip ties, and small bands, and join us in finding out how you can manage your computer cables with ease. 

Different ways of managing computer cables

Regardless of how wireless we go in the realm of technology, our devices still have a few wires and cables poking out presently.

Therefore, it would be best to figure out a handful of ways to clear up the mess on your table. So, here we go.

Hiding power strips and plugs

Look at your surge protector and your plugs in the wall socket. Would you agree that your wall socket extender, which you use to charge your laptop and phone, is not the most aesthetic object in the room?

Well, here is a chance to add a bit of visual value to your switches and extensions. 

The extension cable, power strip, and other extra sockets that hinder a corner on your computer desk can be quickly blanketed using a gorgeous box.

All you have to do is find a shoebox that will fit your power strip, dress the box in whatever wrapping paper you love, and cut in a few holes for the plugged-in wires to fall out. 

With this fixture, you will have a fantastic box on your hands that will make your power strip wires disappear. A small trick to explore in this arena is to camouflage the box. Essentially, you have to design the outside of the box to look as close to your tabletop as possible. 

Collect and tie cables together

Now that your power strip and other extensions are handled and covered, we can move on ahead and look at tying up a few loose ends.

The first step in this round is to identify the cords that you see. Once you know where each cable is connected, you can segregate the ones staying on your desk permanently and tie them up together. 

You can use zip ties to significant effect while you are tying up wires. The best way is to hold all cables together in a bunch and stitch them together using zip ties at multiple points along the cable. It is almost as if you are creating a singular, very thick cable.

Now, you only have to place and hide that one solitary cable. Then, you can easily pull it below the table so that it stays invisible on your tabletop. 

There is only one tricky bit about zip ties. If you find some mistake when you segregate the wires or find a wire you missed after tying up the rest, you have to break all existing zip ties and redo them. That may happen more often than you realize. However, zip ties are inexpensive. You can also buy them in any departmental store near you. 

An alternative to zip tying all your cables is purchasing a cable sleeve.

Cable sleeves are long bands made of cloth materials or leather that bind your cords together. One cable sleeve is equivalent to using a handful of zip ties. The sleeve is often zippered or velcroed, allowing easy release and mobility. 

Shorten the length of cables

The power strip box and the cable sleeve generally focus on managing the cables under your desk. However, there might still be a lot of cables snaking through your tabletop.

These may be the wires arising out of hardware devices that might later be zip-tied. However, they are still a nuisance on the desk. In that case, an intelligent solution is to reduce the length of these cables temporarily. 

A fun-to-make DIY solution to shorten the length of your wires is a Cablebone. First, take a firm piece of rubber or cardboard. Next, draw a bone over it, roughly 2 inches long and half an inch wide at its ends. You can use any other material for this DIY method.

Cut it out, and cover it with any paper and decorations you wish to add. In the end, you must have a well-endowed and beautifully decorated bone. Now wrap your wire around the thinner spine of the bone, between the thicker ends. 

Make as many loops as possible on the spine. That will shorten the length of your wire considerably. Also, because of the thicker ends of the bone, the wire will not spill out beyond the bone. Instead, it will stay coiled around the bone, effectively decluttering your computer table.

You can design your bone in different shapes and sizes so that it fits your cables better. For example, you can add holes at each end of the bone and slip your wire through them so that the coil does not move beyond the bone. 

If the ends of your cables are not too big, you can even try the crochet loop stitch method. Here, all you have to do is decide what part of the cable you are reducing. Then, hold out the beginning of that part and twist it into a loop.

Next, pull out the other end of the cord from inside the loop, but only enough to form another subsequent loop. Now, you have a chain-like link on your hands. Once you loop enough of the wire, you will find that its length has been significantly reduced. 

The crochet looping method is easy to use, doesn’t need extra material, and can be resolved by simply tugging at one end of each loop. 

Clearing up unused cables

Clearing up unused cables

You will find that most charging cords or other cables that have one end open are often loose on the workstation. However, you can find effective ways to hold them in place, preferably off the table and near their plug point. 

You can use moldable silicone putty or molding clay to hold these stray cables in place. Take a small amount of silicone putty and mold it into a shape similar to a hotdog bun.

Ensure that the structure is not too big, or it loses its aesthetic. A simple way to get the hotdog bun shape in place is to take a small blob of the putty and stick it wherever you want.

We suggest you attach it to the wall closest to the desk or on your power strip. Now, using a toothpick, make an indentation on the putty. Voila, your creative DIY cable holder is ready. You can create as many of these holders as you want. 

Such cable holders are also available on numerous online markets. In addition, you can purchase plastic or fiber variables of the same structure, where you can hold wires of up to 6 mm diameter.

This affordable and easy-to-make cable holder is the perfect solution for segregating wild cables on your desk. You will have no more charging cables or headphone wires butting in on your keyboard with the fantastic DIY cable holder. 

We have another solution for managing stray cables, and this one involves binder clips. Binder clips are a standard part of office supplies. If you have a desk thin enough for binder clips to latch onto, you can use them to hold your cables. Simply stick the binder clip on the edge of your table.

Then, you can run the stray cord through the opening on the clip. The binder clip formula works well and gives your desk an elegant look. However, it would help if you had a desk that would fit a binder clip for it to work. 

Identify the cables

The most straightforward way of knowing what each cable is is to label and identify them.

If you have useless cables kept on your desk, you can collect them, coil them up and bind them using duct tape. Then, you can write the name of each cable on the duct tape itself. Ensure that you have a tiny part of the tape jutting out beyond the wire so that you can label it easily. 

Alternatively, you can use bread clips for the same purpose. First, attach a clip to the wire where it is most clearly visible. Then, you can write the name of the cable on the clip itself. 

Can you reduce the number of cables on the desk?

Can you reduce the number of cables on the desk?

An effective tool in decluttering your battle station is reducing the overall population of cables altogether. Like popular villain Thanos preached, a smaller population would require fewer resources. Similarly, a fewer number of wires would warrant less space on your desk and keep it tidy. 

How can you curb the number of cables?

First, you can upgrade your devices and use as many wireless hardware components as you can. For example, using a wired mouse with a laptop is redundant since it has a built-in pointer sensor. Also, you can use a Bluetooth mouse to the same effect. Such decisions will reduce the number of wires, cables, and cords on your desk. 

You can also try picking out useless cables from a bunch and keep a minimalistic design of your workstation. All wires in a system are constricted in a flow.

The cables begin from the power strip and end with the peripheral hardware device. Users can make sure that the cables they use are following that train of thought. It would be best if you discarded any extra wires. 

Why is cable management important?

Today, when the world is anything, but still, work ethic is paramount. Any person who can afford to stop working is labeled “lazy” today. To avoid such tags, you have to keep hustling. And what stands in between you and your hustle? The vast expanse of your cluttered desk is enough to make you break your focus from work. 

A concoction of wires and cables is not an ideal work environment. Therefore, you must maintain your workspace. Moreover, tangled-up wires may even decrease the abilities of your PC.

If you want your CPU to excel in overclocking, you have to ensure that it is not hiding a tangled mess of wires behind its motherboard. The cleaner your CPU is, the faster your machine will be. However, ensure that you do not block the airflow in the CPU when placing your cables neatly behind the motherboard.

It is relatively simple – a tidy system will make your computer run cooler and quieter. Moreover, a decluttered workshop would increase the life of all your hardware. A clean PC is also easier to upgrade. 

Lastly, a clean system is a trophy possession. Your colleagues might turn envious of you when they see a sensational workstation that promotes efficiency. 

Conclusion

We need to change the age-old adage “an idle mind is a devil’s workshop.”

It is a cluttered desk that becomes the devil’s workshop. Clearing and managing all your computer wires might look like a daunting task. However, the process is pretty straightforward and only results in benefits. There is arguably no downside to managing your cables neatly. 

The aesthetics of having a clean workstation are beyond imagination. You essentially make all the wires snaking around on your desk disappear.

There are quite a few DIY methods that you can employ to bring the cables in control. Tying a horde of wires together and placing them somewhere outside your vision is the easiest way to clean up your desk. You can employ similar methods to design a sleek, modern, and aesthetic workspace.

You need to keep in mind a few basics before embarking on a cleansing spree, a few simple rules of thumb that you need to adhere to. First, do not block the airflow to the CPU.

Second, ensure that every unnecessary wire is taken out of the system. Third, check if any wire is broken or in need of repair. Finally, do not try to clean any part of your system without cutting the power supply. Now, you’re free to come up with new and beautiful designs for your machine.

Resources:

https://voltcave.com/desk-cable-management/
https://www.makeuseof.com/tag/clean-up-computer-cable-clutter/

Martha Davis

Martha Davis is a computer hardware specialist who works extensively in designing and manufacturing hardware devices, researching advanced computer technology. She built GadgetGangster.com as a platform to share her insight on computers and PC assembly with the web. Currently, she is carrying out her research on Robotics and Computer Vision and working privately to deliver services. Martha makes sure that readers of GadgetGangster.com master the basics of setting up computer components like motherboard, CPUs, and GPUs through the informative articles that she writes.