PC Wire Management Tips

Read these 13 PC Wire Management Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Wire Management tips and hundreds of other topics.

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How can I organize computer cables in my dorm?

Cable Managers for Your Dorm

While shopping for your college dorm room, you thought you remembered everything -- the small refrigerator, TV and spiffy new alarm clock. Your parents also surprised you with a new laptop, printer and scanner. But with all these electronics come wires. And you didn't think about the mess the cords would make in your tiny room where every square inch of space is precious.

Cable managers will organize your jumble of cables and save you space in a small room. Just place the rubber-coated (for safety and a better grip) colored coil around your wires to keep them neat and tidy and tucked away. The coil easily wraps and unwraps so you can move items around without fussing too much with your system. And, as a bonus, they come in fun colors that will go with that groovy artwork you purchased.

What if I have security concerns with my electronics?

Security in Wire Management

As you're thinking about wire management for your computer or home entertainment system, you may want to consider securing your equipment at the same time.

There are computer racks and cabinets on the market to make your electronics display more pleasing to the eye and save space. And they provide a good place to put a lock box for your equipment, as well. A security lock box will keep your area neat and organized while simultaneously discouraging prying and curious fingers from your expensive electronics.

For example, there is a VCR/DVR security lock box on the market built to keep unauthorized people away from VCR and DVR players. This can be helpful if you have young children in the house or if you are mounting your equipment in a school and don't want kids playing with the electronics. A solid steel-hinged front swing out door with a pre-installed lock might be just what you need for peace of mind.

What is a cable caddy?

Cable Caddies for Wire Management

Are your MP3 player, laptop and digital camera wires tangled up in each other again? Use a cable caddy for PC wire management and general wire management around your desk and you'll have an aesthetically pleasing solution to all those cables hanging down from your work station.

A cable caddy is a piece of plastic with several slots in it to organize your wires side-by-side. By sliding your wires in the slots, they will not be able to tangle around each other. Cable caddies are simple wire management solutions that come in a variety of colors and can be used free standing or stuck with adhesive strips to your desk.

How can I hide computer cables?

How to Hide Computer Cables

If you are looking to hide computer cables, computer printer cables or computer monitor cables, here are some products on the market designed to do just that.

Raceways: a safe way to channel wire or cable that can also blend in with a room's decor due to its corners and resemblance to baseboards and crown molding

Wire looms: plastic tubes that are used to hide, route and protect wires and cables

Braided sleeving: bundle wires and tuck them away in these sleeves which enclose around the entire bundle without the need for Velcro or tape. The split in the tube allows it to open up to meet many different wiring requirements.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Velcro One Wrap fasteners

If your computer system is a “work in progress” you still should bundle your wires. It's also a good idea to mark them so you know which one goes where. VELCRO® One Wrap® brand self-gripping wire organizers offer an inexpensive, neat, and secure fastening system that is both adjustable and reusable. They are available in a variety of strap lengths, widths, and colors.

How can I neatly store unused cords?

The Proper Storage Of Office Cords

A tool like the Cord Caddy provides a simple solution to wire and cable organization. It is meant to be placed out of sight and in a convenient place, such as behind a workstation or home entertainment center. A simple yet ingenious design, the Cord Caddy provides properly spaced out hooks for excess lengths of cord to be neatly wrapped around. This not only provides a convenient solution to an organization problem, it cuts down on the amount of dust build-up around the cords and prevents cracks and frays.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Cable Flex Tubing

Your computer workstation will be much easier to manage if you can keep those cables and cords tidy. Flex tubing is a simple, elegant wire organizer that turns all those stray cords into a single, easy-to-manage bundle. This flexible tubing is available from 1/4” up to 2” inside diameter and can further protect your cables from abrasion and damage.

What is a good way to organize my cables?

Cable Turtle

As computer systems get more advanced, sometimes you find you only have a couple of cords near your desk. But they can still be an unsightly and untidy tripping hazard. For those situations where a larger cable solution is unnecessary, a Cable Turtle wire organizer is the perfect answer. These clever and elegant devices can wrap and hold just a few feet of ordinary electrical cord for single appliances, keeping the cord neat and out of the way.

What is a good way to route cables inexpensively?

Braided sleeving

Need some computer wire management advice? Braided sleeving is a great wire organizer. It leaves behind no sticky residue when and if you ever decide to take it off, it gives your computer case a complete custom color configuration to match the color of your IDE cables and/or the color of your hardware, and it makes the overall look of your case seem way more attractive and professional. Sleeving your power supply takes great patience, however, if done correctly you'll most certainly achieve the custom look you are going for.

How can I conceal the surge protector that is under my desk?

Mounting A Surge Protector

A DIY project that is sure to clean up messy wires under your office desk is mounting a surge protector underneath. Not only will this keep the surge protector from being kicked around under the desk, the cords and wires can be neatly bundled or clipped so that none of them are exposed. Mounting can be done by simply drilling several holes in a concealed area and placing nails that stick out just enough to hang the surge protector on. This makes it easy for the surge protector to be removed, so there is no hassle when the office needs to be cleaned or rearranged.

How can I better manage the cables around my desk?

Better Desk Cable Management in Seven Steps

Good desk cable management means that all of your wires, power adapters, hubs and modems are lifted off the floor and out of harm's way. Here is some advice from cnet.com, a publisher of computer and technology news and information, for having good desk cable management:

  1. Label your cables because when it comes time to move your equipment around, you may have trouble reinstalling everything. Will you be able to tell which is an unused network cable and which is a live cable?
  2. When you install a new piece of equipment, use a short instead of a long cable. Otherwise, the extra cable will get in your way and make running new wires difficult. Also, extra wiring radiates electrical noise.
  3. Rip out old unused cabling instead of thinking you might use it in the future. Chances are you will not use it and it will just crowd your office.
  4. Wrap related cables together every few feet, or bundle them. Do this instead of simply plugging them in and dropping the cables behind your desk. Otherwise, you will be cursing yourself when you can't figure out what goes where. There are cable wraps sold for the purpose of bundling cables.
  5. Wireless objects will not solve your problems completely. Some wireless mice are heavier than the cordless ones, which is not good for your wrists. Wireless usually costs more, as well.
  6. Super short extension cords allow you to plug all of your bulky power adapters into one power strip so that every slot on your power strip is being used.
  7. Buy networking and USB cables that have smooth boots over the ends and your cables will be pull-up friendly. This means when you get some new electronics and want to pull up the cables from the old electronics, they will be less likely to snag.

What is a pop-up outlet?

For A Tidy Desktop

A pop-up outlet can be easily installed on a desktop, which allows you close access to power sources and cuts back on exposed wires around the desk. Loose wires are not only an eyesore, they pose tripping hazards and a confusing mess when it is time to connect new equipment. For a tidy and safe desk, the pop-up outlet is an inexpensive solution. What is a pop-up outlet? As the name suggests, it is a power outlet that remains hidden until it is time to plug in or unplug a cord. When you need the outlet, you can simply “pop” it open, revealing all of your plugs. With everything around the desk plugged into the same area, wires can be easily bundled and kept tidy. Anyone can install a pop-up outlet and they are available in a variety of attractive finishes.

What is a good way to route cables inexpensively?

Wire Tracks Baseboard

All those computer cables running around your home or office are an eyesore. It gets even worse if you have to run cables over some distance. To put that problem out of sight, consider an innovative solutions, a baseboard that is designed to cover your wiring. This is a wire track raceway that looks just like normal baseboard, except it is also a wire duct. Best of all, you can change wires by opening up the baseboard and adding or removing wires as needed.

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PJ Campbell