These days having multiple cords in your home is absolutely unavoidable. What do you think this is? The 1970s where the only cords you had to worry about belongs to the TV and the telephone? Now, for as much as we have embraced wireless technology, basically everything has a cord and they can be eyesores, trip hazard and more tangle ensnaring than your average jungle vine.
There are a number of ways to help organize, detangle and reduce cable clutter. Some of them are pretty obvious while other options are downright clever. For those making the commitment to cleaning up their cords, whether it is in their entertainment center, computer desk or just the random lamp cord that everyone keeps tripping over, here are a few ideas.
Bundling and Labeling
Bundling and labelling are the most important factors in winning the war on cord clutter. Labelling really isn't so important in beating the clutter as it is for your own organization and keeping your organization in place. Say you've hidden all your cords away, but you need to unplug something. Unlabelled cords are likely to result in you ruining all your organization just trying to find the cord you need. Labels can be a piece of tape, an actual label or even a bread clip attached to the cord. Just something telling what it plugs into is a big help when it comes time to unplug something.
As for bundling, this is the best step to preventing tangles and fixing that unsightly cord bush that hangs under your desk or behind your entertainment center. Use something to make the cords form into a streamlined mass that you can easily move, twist and stuff into places to hide them away. However, do not use tape, this will make removing one cord from the mass near impossible. Instead use something non-sticky like twist ties, the stretchy top part from a sock or even ribbon if you want to get adorable about it.
For many people, bundling and labelling their cords then hiding them out of sight is enough. However, for the more difficult cords or those that want to go the extra mile, continue on.
For those single cords that you are trying to hide behind a table or furniture, consider small adhesive hooks. They come in all sizes these days, so you can pick up some tiny ones for pretty cheaply that will stick to an end table and keep that cord from dangling.
This is an alternative to adhesive hooks that works with both single and multiple cord bunches. Yes, you can use the binder clips to clump the cords together so they don't run wild everywhere, but you can also clip it to the table and run the cords through the metal pieces. They are also handy in keeping cords that slip off from doing just that. Unplug your speakers or ethernet cable every so often then find it's slipped to the floor? These will fix that very common dilemma.
If you want to hide cords thoroughly with the least amount of effort, grab a piece of fabric and create a desk skirt at the back to hide the cords and the wall. Much like a bed skirt, it hides all those things you don't want others to see with a pretty piece of fabric. However, keep it away from the power outlet, surge protector and any plugged in plugs as it has the potential to turn into kindling in an electrical fire.
Make Some Visual Art
Turn those cords that dangle along the floor into some visual art. You can tape or carefully staple them onto the wall and, I don't know, slap some leaves on there and call it a vine. Okay, okay, that was half serious and half cheeky, but you can create some really cool things from a cord if you put your mind to it. Like this example that I stumbled upon (literally while using StumbleUpon) that used a PS3's cords to create a super cool and nerdy electrical pathway design like you would see on a circuit board. If you can't see something creative in your wires (and you actually want to do something creative with them and not just get them out of the way), call a creative friend and get their opinion (then heckle them for not being able to help).
Get Some Handy Floor Covers
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Hate Looking at Your Power Strip? Cover It
The power strip can be an eyesore, to be sure, so why not cover it up. Grab a shoebox or go out shopping for a decorative box that you can cut some holes into with relative ease and place it over that power strip. Not unlike the desk skirt idea, keep the box as loose as possible so that it doesn't catch fire if your power strip throws off sparks or gets too hot.