If you're a member of the technology world (i.e., you own a computer, mp3 player, or smartphone), you probably have a mess of USB cords and power cables tangled at the foot of your desk. Companies like Bluelounge and Belkin offer innovative products designed specifically to tackle these cord hang-ups that pester the world over, but like any ingenious creation worth having, they require materials and energy. Oh, and some of your money.
Because the Chasing Green team has its own fair share of computer cables, cords, and wires (and because we love re-using things), we've put together a list of quick tips to help you solve all your cable management needs.
DIY CABLE MANAGEMENT HELP
What's an office, either at home or work, without metal binder clips? An office ruled by cable chaos, that's what, according to the geniuses at DIY Photography. They offer up metal binder clips as a simple, why-didn't-I-think-of-that solution to keeping cables in place. All you have to do is clamp several clips to the edge of your desk, then feed your component wires through the metal handles. When the wires aren't plugged into your iPod, iPhone, or digital camera, they'll rest perfectly in place on the curvy niches of the handles. (Photo: udijw)
Spanking new gadgets always come with perfectly coiled cords secured with protective sleeves or twist ties. Don't you just wish you could keep them in that organized, contained state forever? It's easy to purchase a pack of four nifty plastic cable clips for around $10 (multiply that by the number of unruly cords you have), but you probably already have materials around the house that can serve the very same purpose.
- Small cables, such as earbuds or mobile phone charger cords, can be neatly rolled up and secured with tiny hair clips so they don't get tangled in your purse or desk drawer.
- You can also save twisty ties from the bulk items and baked goods you get from the grocery store, and then use them to wrap around small cables.
- If you've ever used a rubber band to transport your laptop charger cables, you've probably noticed how the rubber tends to dry out and snap after several uses. Plain ponytail holders will keep cables just as organized, but they're more durable and less likely to break.
- Like our 15 Ways to Re-Use Toilet Paper Rolls article suggests, empty toilet paper rolls are great for slipping over neatly wound cords. Empty paper towel rolls work well for this purpose too.
- At a loss as to how you can put those leftover hair scrunchies from the nineties to use? Wrap them around multiple cable bundles for storage and transport.
Knowing where to store your computer and gadget cables is another issue. They usually end up in random boxes or hidden away in drawers, making it difficult to find the one you want, when you want it. But there's actually a solution to this problem and it happens to utilize those CD/DVD spindle cases that tend to accumulate.
- Just wind your spare cables and cords around the plastic spindle base, then cover with the plastic lid. These cases are transparent and easily stacked, making them more user-friendly than the average cardboard box.
- You can also use a CD/DVD spindle case for keeping exceptionally long cords organized as you use them. Treating the case as a spool, cut two holes near the base of the plastic cover, on opposite sides. Feeding it in one side of the cover, wind the cable around the spindle base and then pull it out the other side of the cover. Once you secure the cover to the base, you're done.