Oh, what a tangled web we weave! Luckily, these inventions can keep your mess of cords under wraps.
Does it look like this underneath your desk? Photo: Jaime Derringer
TV wires, cable wires, USB cords -- these days we've got more electronics than we know what to do with. From chargers to laptops to printers to DVD players, you can't seem to escape being wrapped up in wires. But that doesn't mean you can't keep the chaos organized.
An entire business has been built on creating gadgets and contraptions to tame your unruly cables. Let's take a look at five really great ideas -- most you can buy ready-made, and one you can McGyver using something you probably already have around the house.
FOR ONE CABLE
1. Bluelounge CableClip
These cables look like they just came out of the box. Photo: Bluelounge
My least favorite part about unpacking a new gadget is taking the protective plastic sleeve or twist tie off of the beautifully organized cable, unleashing its true, unruly nature. Bluelounge has developed a CableClip designed to hold your cables in a perfectly-wrapped, contained state.
Another great solution is this water hose-inspired Wall Cleat
by designer Karl Zahn, which doesn't appear to be in production yet.
FOR A FEW CABLES
2. The Cable Turtle
Resembling an oversized yo-yo, the Cable Turtle organizer
keeps wires under wraps with its circular design. Cables are wrapped around a central spindle and covered with two discs. You can pull the cables out from either side to elongate. This is a great product for smaller wire messes as it comes in three sizes, the largest of which can hold about three large cables.
FOR A LOT OF CABLES
3. Bluelounge CableBox
I saw this product on a recent trip to The Container Store
and almost bought it. The CableBox
is another clever idea from the geniuses at Bluelounge. The simple, clever box holds your entire power strip (even a double one!) and its unsightly messy cables.
I love the before and after photos
on their site submitted by real users:
4. Cable Zipper
Real before and afters with the Bluelounge CableBox. Photos: Bluelounge
Is it pandemonium behind your entertainment center? The Cable Zipper
is a great solution for TV, DVD and cable box wires. You place the wires inside the snake-like casing and -- using the patented zip clip -- you essentially zip it closed like a real zipper. It keeps the cables contained until they reach their final destination.
5. Binder Clips
binder clips. You probably don't need to even go to the store for this one. This idea is so smart. The clever hackers over on Lifehacker
have come up with a few ways that you can use the small black fasteners to help organize more than just your papers.
First, user gkrieshok uses binder clips with the addition of magnets to keep his cables affixed to his desk rather than curled all over the floor. Simple attach the clips to the side of your desk and affix a few magnets to the outside. Then, you can attach and detach your cables easily.
Even easier is this hack
by David Rudolf Bakker
, in which he affixed the binder clips to the side of his desk and placed his component wires into the curvy niche of the clip handles. So simple!