PC Tip of the Month

Manage Your Cables

February 2018 – by Per Christensson

Electronics are great, but — as the name implies — they require electricity. If you have a lot of electronics in one area, you probably also have a lot of power cables. Add a few audio and video cables to the mix and pretty soon you have a cable jungle. It can seem unmanageable... unless you use cable management.

"Cable management" is a common phrase used to describe organizing cables. While it may sound complex, it is as simple as you can imagine. All you need are a few cable ties (to wrap around groups of cables) and few minutes.

Cable ties come in many versions. Zip ties (that need to be cut to removed once tightened) are commonly used, but I don't recommend them. I recommend paying a few pennies more per tie and getting the kind that you can reuse (as shown below). My favorite are velcro ties, which you can use to tighten groups of cables, then easily expand or remove as needed.

Reusable Cable Tie

It is typically best to group your cables together before plugging them in so you can smooth them out and line them up in an efficient way against the wall. If you want to be extra fancy, you can buy a cable management sleeve, which can hide several feet of cable at a time.

Finally, when organizing your cables, it's best to keep the power cables in one bundle and the A/V cables (especially analog audio and video cables) in a separate batch, not touching the power cables if possible. This will help reduce auditory and visual interference. If you have to lay power cables and analog cables on top of each other, placing them perpendicular to each other instead of parallel is your best bet.

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