Reader question: Help curb my cable clutter!

Reader Sara contacted us with an office organization dilemma:

I need some ideas for organizing my “office.” My office is built into my kitchen, a counter top matching the rest of my counters was dropped lower, with a open place for a chair to be rolled under etc. Initially the idea felt awesome because that’s where all the trafic is and I can be available to the kids. There is no other place to move my computer that would be convienant in my house, so it needs to stay here. The biggest problem is all the wires. My internet connection is ontop of the desk as the people who installed it drilled a whole threw the wall, because otherwise it would have required running wires over the end of the counter, or drilling a hole threw the counter. The plug in is also on top of the desk. Which means, everything all the wires have ended up tangling on top of the desk. No matter what I do, I’ve taped them up, I’ve used ties on them, it still looks disorganized and messy. I’ve thought seriously about drilling a hole in the counter top, but it still doesn’t correct the issue with the plug in being on top of the counter.

I thought that since she included pictures, I might put her question out to all of you to see what creative suggestions you can devise for her:

What would you do to curb the cable clutter? Let’s help Sara solve her office organization problem!

61 Comments for “Reader question: Help curb my cable clutter!”

  1. posted by BassCaster on

    It wouldn’t be to much to have pro install a plug under the desk. Cut in a box, run a wire between the current box and the new one.

  2. posted by Jack of Most Trades. on

    Since the outlets (mains and data) are above table level, I’d try some kind of decorative screen or a “false” wall to hide the cables behind.

  3. posted by Ginger on

    I’d feed all of the wires into one of those wire-organizing tubes. Then she’d just have one tube to contend with.

    I might also move the PC tower down below or beside the desk, drill a hole through the counter to feed the cords up. I would further declutter her desk by getting rid of the desk lamp and installing a small light fixture underneath the cabinets.

    Another way to reduce the wires is to switch to wireless internet, keyboard and mouse. She could hide the modem and router in the cupboard above the desk.

    As for having the power outlet up top… that just sucks. I would probably get someone in and have them install a new outlet below the desk, out of sight.

    It’s a sticky situation! I look forward to seeing what other solutions are suggested, and what she ends up doing. Keep us posted!

  4. posted by SisterCoyote on

    I’m not a shill for target, but I got one of these (Belkin Conceal 11-outlet surge protector in case the link doesn’t work) and it does the job nicely. Corrals my electronic cords. I also recommend switching to wireless for things like the internet, keyboard, and mouse.

  5. posted by Stephanie on

    This is probably not the answer you are looking for but I had a similar setup like yours on top of my dresser and it drove me nuts… so I bought a laptop. I will never go back to having a separate tower & enormous monitor setup again!

    Laptops are the best form of computer uncluttering.

  6. posted by Stephanie on

    This lifehacker post is one of my favorite ideas for controlling cable clutter:

    http://lifehacker.com/software.....300009.php

    I haven’t tried it myself, but I especially like that it would be easy to rearrange when needed. I think Sara’s biggest problem is getting the cables out of view that have to run from the PC to the monitor, across her desk. Draping them on the wall makes them too visible. Having them run along the desk instead would also be unsightly–unless you have something to hide the wires, such as the pipe insulation mentioned in the lifehacker post.

    Good luck Sara! I am jealous of you for having a desk in your kitchen. I hope you get just the right idea to make your desk area a place you love to see and use!

  7. posted by Mary on

    Not sure of her budget but laptops are getting more and more affordable … if her needs don’t require a high powered computer, it’s possible that a simple wireless laptop might be less expensive than having an electrician rewire her workspace. That would also reduce the visual clutter of the monitor which seems out of scale for that space. I’d also look around for a smaller chair.

  8. posted by Celeste on

    I’d put the hard drive down below in the cupboard and drill a hole through that, look into having an electrician put an outlet under the desk, get a smaller tv that could be mounted underneath the cabinet, and get rid of the lamp in favor of some kind of halogen light installed on the underside of the cabinet. If there are still any cords left visible on the wall after that, I would use not a folding screen, but essentially a little cork board (on legs if need be) to cover up the wall. Bonus would be a place to pin reminders or hang the “No Nagging” sign.

    I love this kind of assignment. I wish it was a weekly feature!

  9. posted by Celeste on

    Ooops sorry, I thought the monitor was a tv! Definitely need to replace that with either something smaller, or like others have said, a laptop. The bigger laptops are not so different from having a full size keyboard, and you can add a mouse rather than have to use a fingerpad.

  10. posted by Paul on

    Even without having an outlet installed below the desk, you can still use a flat-plug power strip or extension cord (which basically lays flush to the wall) to run down to the floor from the hole in the counter. Run the net connection cable down as well. Stash the desktop down below. Run just the needed cables back up through the hole — I’d add an appropriately-sized grommet as well for about $7. As mentioned by others, a wireless keyboard/mouse combo is not terribly expensive and would make a huge difference.

    A few cables, with as little length as needed in view, aren’t nearly as cluttered-looking. You’ll be surprised.

  11. posted by Alex on

    The first thing that came to mind was installing a cork-board over the wall. Since the space between the counter-top and the cabinets is so small (low), a board wouldn’t be hard to fit. The cables could be arranged on the back, then hidden when the board is up-righted.

    To lessen the sacrifice to counter space, the board could be angled outwards near the top and set on the rail attached to the wall.

    Obviously not ideal, but one way.

    I agree with others who hint at a laptop. Definitely the way to go for the ultimate in uncluttering.

  12. posted by Steph on

    If you don’t get a laptop, at least get a wireless keyboard and/or a flat screen monitor.

    Also, you could hide the cables with a bulletin board or something…

    “No Nagging Allowed” sign = clutter. Phone book = clutter.

  13. posted by Some Dude on

    False wall is the way to go on the cheap. One sheet of formica covered MDF would only run a few dollars. Stick all the cables behind it and away you go.

  14. posted by Some Dude on

    Also, for the ultimate in uncluttering, get rid of that huge chair and get something a bit more slimline. Your kitchen is way to small for a huge office chair.

  15. posted by leggomymeggo on

    Wow! That’s a mess!
    To add desk space, I would get one of those sliding keyboard shelfs and mount that underneath the desktop to put the keyboard and mouse on.

    Then, I would put the tower underneath, either in the cupboard or underneath the desk.

    Next, mount the surge protector underneath the desk.

    Finally, drill a hole just large enough for the monitor cable and surge proctector cable, and just plug those in. You’re reduced to only two cords! You can hide those with a cork board as others have suggested.

  16. posted by Rodan32 on

    I’d suggest an LCD with integrated speakers; the speakers alone there account for at least four wires (power, line to PC, line to each speaker). Integrated speakers would reduce that to one, but would completely destroy any audiophile cred you might be cultivating =). CRT monitors are a waste of both energy and space, and if possible, it’s time to ditch it. A quick scan on eBay put 19″ monitors with integrated speakers at around $150 with shipping.

    I like the laptop theory too; if you can get a used or off-lease ThinkPad, they’re pretty much bullet proof. Again, eBay is a decent option; look for a T41 or T43 for a good deal, often well under $400. Often you can get new laptops from Dell in that range too.

    I hope that’s a helpful suggestion. I don’t mean to have you throw money at the problem, but those ideas may really add to your space there and make computing simpler.

  17. posted by Key on

    To unclutter the desk I would first remove the lamp. Lighting attached to the underside of the cabinets above would make the area brighter and free up counterpace. Home Depot, Lowes, and Ikea all sell inexpensive lighting fixtures that can be attached to cabinets.

    Then, a bulletin board with a boxed out frame could hide the cords. Measure the powerstrip and cord ends to see how far the bulletin board would have to sit out from the wall, the build a frame to box it out, leaving a gap in the frame (on the underside) where cords can enter discretely. To lighten the area even more, the bulletin board could be painted white or a light color of choice. It also creates a fun home for the “No Nagging” sign.

    Eventually, if Sara decided, a lap top or a flat screen monitor could make a large difference. Flat screen monitors can be obtained at minimal cost while a lap top is a bit more of an investment.

  18. posted by Jamie on

    Laptop! Just do it.

  19. posted by Alexandra on

    She could buy two wall mounted coat hangers (like these http://www.pegandrail.com/whlapegra.html), install them perpendicular to her desk top (but parallel to each other, a few inches apart) and wind cables around the pegs.

  20. posted by adora on

    The major problem of this space is that the computer is too far away from the monitor. Thus creating the visible cable mess in between.
    First, I’d move the monitor closer to the computer. It would be easier if you upgrade it to a LCD monitor. Better yet, get one with build-in speakers. (About $250) Then the computer can go on the left side where the CRT monitor is right now, and put the flat screen right in front of your seat. The extension cord can then go behind the computer and the monitor.
    Also, try a wall mount lamp. This $4.99 lamp would be perfect for the tight space. http://www.ikea.com/us/en/cata.....s/10085193

  21. posted by Carrie C on

    If it were my workstation, I would install undercounter lighting above the desk, replace the moniter with an LCD flatscreen, and move the tower to the knee space under the desk top. If moving the electrical outlet/phone connection is not an option, I would suggest drilling through the top of the counter. One hole directly below the electrical outlet to allow the power bar to be plugged in, and the internet/phone cord could be tacked along the counter edge with some cord clips. You can get power bars with a flat plug that will keep it flush to the wall. Run all the cords down to the tower, and bundle them at the back of the knee space with something like this:

    http://www.cable-safe.com/products/cablecorral.htm

    If you use a surface grommet, the hole that you drill into the desktop will look just fine.

    http://search.cableorganizer.c.....20Grommets

    I would replace the chair with something more streamlined and simple. Yours looks comfy, but it’s a bit oversized and bulky for the space it’s in.

  22. posted by Sean on

    Most cables are going to the CPU which is on the other side of the desk from the monitor. Get a small, closed in cabinet, place it on the floor next to the counter (right below the monitor), and stick the CPU, the surge protector, all the cables, etc., into it. Poof! No more clutter. Well, not visible clutter anyway.

    This doesn’t quite fit her decor, but it’s along the lines of what I was thinking:

    http://www.ikea.com/us/en/cata.....s/70141860

    Cut some holes in the back to run the cables in and out of. Also, depending on how hot your house gets, you might want to cut some holes in the back for ventilation as well. In fact, knowing IKEA stuff, you could just leave the back off entirely.

  23. posted by boardmadd on

    Just by looking at the pictures, my first thought would be to do some basic replacement of equipment. Lose the big CRT screen and get a flat screen. Second, I would also recommend running wireless with the internet connection, mouse and keyboard. Third, if there is no way to reorganize the actual layout of the desk (with a flat screen, since it takes up much less physical real estate, it may be easier to move it closer to the CPU and thus cleaning up that extended cable run), I’d recommend getting a wire sleeve and packing as many non-movable cables as possible inside of it. Though there will still be one cable sleeve on the desktop, it’ll look a lot less mesy compared to multiple cables lying about. I’d seriously consider the option of wiring an outlet under the desk and driling a single hole in the back for necessary power runs.

    Finally, if the numbers are run and you think you will end up spending more than $500 to do any or all of this, I’d seriously consider going for a laptop; many of them have very generous screens, and if you want to have the a less crowded experience typing and mousing, it’s an easy option to put a wireless mouse and keyboard on via USB.

  24. posted by Jaime on

    How about investing in a flat-panel monitor, and hanging it against a corkboard wall that covers all the outlets & connections? It would be a lot cheaper than buying a new laptop, as others have suggested. It would practically double the available space AND hide all of that cable clutter. The corkboard wall could either be left plain, or covered in a pretty fabric that matches your kitchen decor.

  25. posted by X on

    I would take the cpu down to the side and that way you only have a few cords to drag up to the desktop, and you can wrap those in a tube, there are these 3M cord management hooks and stuff that can help, as for excess cords and wires tied them up with zipties. You can always go wireless with the keyboard and mouse, they got them in set and so there will only be 1 receiver for both, so that will be less wire.

  26. posted by mlle_bleue on

    If I may be so bold as to self-plug, I found a pretty nifty solution to cables running amuck here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tournevis/2502783761/. A frame, pegboad and zip ties are all you’d need.

  27. posted by Nathan Bowers on

    Other commenters have the right idea. Get a laptop. Then only add back the pieces you need as you need them.

    First start with a mouse, then if you need it, a keyboard (both wireless). If you need a monitor get an LCD. Avoid speakers.

    Of course, I’m terrible at practicing what I preach. Even with a laptop my desk is a mess: http://nathanbowers.com/design.....s-forever/

  28. posted by Elliot on

    Alot of these suggestions, while good, are not that easy on the pocketbook. I would definitely move the outlet below the counter, I added an outlet myself in my office you need some cable, that everybody calls “Romex” (thats actually a brand-name), and an other electrical plug, using the screws on the side you can actually chain electrical outlets one after another, so just place a second outlet below the one you have above the table, the whole project should be less than $30. I would also run the network cable through the wall for the CPU (or if possible the phone for the DSL modem) Home improvement stores charge alot (considering what you get) for plugs and plates, I would say that is another $20 – $30. You could then move the CPU (and possibly the internet connection) to the knee space under the desk. Finally, I would go with under-cabinet lights for the desk. You should be able to get some good halogens and a power inverter for about $40 total. You could put your keyboard and mouse in a keyboard drawer for $20 http://www.google.com/products.....&cd=2. At that point, if budget permits, I would go with flat screen monitor (wall mounted) and wireless keyboard and mouse.

  29. posted by beckie on

    Can the CPU live on the floor? I’d tuck the cables in a decorative box with a false bottom, so the box would hide the cables, as well as pens, stapler etc.

    On another note, I’m wondering how those circuits are holding up. I can’t comment on your house, but my kitchen outlets couldn’t maintain that kind of electrical demand.

  30. posted by Shannon on

    Lots of great suggestions from everyone. Sara, please send us an “after” picture when you incorporate whatever suggestions you choose!

    I think this would be a great regular feature, akin to the “Good Questions” posts on Apartment Therapy. People are so creative. I love to read everyone’s ideas… most of them things I would never have thought of myself!

  31. posted by charles on

    cheap:
    Move the surge strip below the counter. Drill a hole if you have to and get one if those desk grommet things.

    Less cheap:
    install an outlet below the counter. Not too difficult to DIY. You could have a pro do it but it will obviously cost a bit more

    Less cheap still, buy probably best:
    buy a laptop or an iMac to go there. Ive decided since I’m not much of a pc gamer there isn’t a lot to make me want a tower so when I replace my current tower I’ll be buying another laptop.

  32. posted by Kate on

    A quick and inexpensive way to eliminate cables is to 1. Move the computer off the counter to the floor to the left of the cabinets. 2. Make a 3 sided box, or purchase a monitor stand. Maybe match the wood color of your cabinets? 3. Hide the power strip under the monitor and connect power to the existing outlet, then plug in your computer, monitor, etc. 3. Then with a cable tamer — collect the cables including your mouse and keyboard and connect that to your computer. (ikea sells them very cheap.) The cable mess is hidden under the monitor stand.

    Not sure how many things you have attached? But you may want to get a surge protector. Belkin makes an 8 outlet surge protectors that I use. You can get one at Home depot, they run about 30 – 40$ but its worth it to protect your home and computer.

  33. posted by Hippykidz on

    Hey Sara great idea office in the house hot spot Kudos to you if you can work in that kind of chaos. I tamed my cable clutter by using the plastic tote that My boys 50th anniversary legos came in. It looks like a giant lego!! but any container you can cut through that is big enough to hold your power strip will do. Just cut a whole in the side of the “box” big enough to feed the cord through from you strip. And another on the other side big enough for the rest (my box looks like a lego so I went in through the top and split the cables into the lego”bumps”) feed it all in and out put the lid on and poof cable clutter gone. You could even wrap the little bit you will see with some fabric and tie it off with a few ribbons.

  34. posted by Angela on

    I hate extra cabling. Drives me nuts. I agree with several of the previous posts. If you can afford it, downsize to a laptop or convert to a flat screen. go wireless wherever you can (modem, mouse, keyboard, printer, etc.) Besides creating more room, moving the CPU under the counter will also remove electronics from a potential ‘spill’ zone. Also install some under cabinet lighting so its hidden and removes a lamp from the surface. We bought some for our kitchen at IKEA. It creates nice mood/night lighting as well.

    Good luck!

  35. posted by T in CA on

    So many people have had such great suggestions! I would definately go to the trouble of moving the wiring below the desk. Either have an electrician do it (probably won’t be too expensive), of move the surge protector below, and attach it to the underside of the “desk.” Also move that mommoth CPU unit below. I would also spend the small amount of money to switch to a flat screen monitor. I think it feels so cluttered because there is SO much STUFF. Streamline everything. Light on the understand of the cabinets, for sure. And get a smaller chair!!! That one looks comfortable but takes up soooo much space. I think if you streamline everything overall, it will feel like a much more calm space.

  36. posted by Dee on

    I was going to suggest something similar to Hippykidz’s suggestion – why not just a basket or box with the back cut out and an opening in the bottom to feed the cords through? Then a cable wrap for the cables. I think toning down the chair and adding lighting underneath the upper cabinet would def. go a long way too.

    Good Luck!

  37. posted by Trent on

    My efforts were put up on Life Hacker- http://www.lifehacker.com.au/t.....dux-2.html

    Worth the effort as it is a real space saver.

  38. posted by Simple Zack on

    These are all really great ideas. I’m pretty sure you’ll have no problem clearing the cable clutter now Sarah.

  39. posted by projectaristotle on

    imac – definitely. this would be a good time to make the switch. splurge on the wireless keyboard and wireless mouse. if you need a printer, you can get a wireless one somewhere else.

  40. posted by LivSimpl on

    You could get a laptop or a Mac. (http://snurl.com/2a6yr).

    Also, Ikea has some gray tubing to wrap around wires which helps things look much tidier. You can see a sample of it here: http://snurl.com/2a71g.

    Good luck!

  41. posted by tabatha on

    ok i didn’t have time to read all the comments, but i like the laptop idea the best and i saw it several times. i got one and i love it. i would suggest getting one with a button to turn the touch pad off if you do a lot of typing b/c if you touch it while typing the cursor randomly jumps to another part of the page. i still have my desk top, but i barely use it, just for my itunes and the stuff i don’t want on my laptop or don’t have room for. also i have a flat screen 19″ lcd monitor that also works as a tv, which saved me a lot of space since the computer is in my bedroom.

  42. posted by Katie on

    Donate it all. Laptop with integral modem and speakers. Park it in a drawer with a lift lid and run the wires through a hole in the desktop at the back of the drawer. Get a better, slimmer chair.

    I don’t think moving the outlet is necessary. It could be expensive, and you might want to use it at cabinet height in the future.

    But, whatever you do, the monitor off so far to the left of the keyboard makes my neck hurt just to look at it. That has to end one way or another.

    If you are really using this setup on the fly between other tasks, a standing height workstation, with or without a stool, makes much more sense.

  43. posted by BenSS on

    Wow, that setup is an ergonomic nightmare. There’re lots of good suggestions, but I think the cheapest way of doing it would be to move the tower to the floor, next to the cabinets (not in the knee space). Then use cable wrap around everything that goes across the desk. That way the computer is next to the monitor, and you have max 3 cables running across the top of the desk surface (inside the cable wrap).

  44. posted by Leslie Hope on

    Get a laptop. Use headphones instead of speakers.

  45. posted by Dex on

    Here’s what I’d do:
    1. Hire an electrician to move the outlet AND the internet jack. He/she will be fishing wire anyway, so the internet cable is an easy add-on. Mount both outlets just below the desktop level
    2. Buy an LCD monitor. A 15 inch is $115, a 19 inch is $162 (www.pricewatch.com)
    3. Buy wireless keyboard and mouse. No cords, and you can store them when not in use.
    4. Buy or borrow a hole saw (attachment for a drill, approx $6). Cut through the counter to pass the monitor power and CPU connection cord (These will be the only wires showing above the deck!)
    5. CPU goes in the lower cabinet to the right of the chair. (Somebody’s going to say it will get too hot. It won’t.) Use your hole saw to cut another hole in the side of that cabinet (high up and back so it isn’t visible) for cords.
    6. Wire everything back up and you can secure the cords to the bottom and back of the desktop. Duct tape would work!

    Good luck!

  46. posted by Karen on

    Sara: Your kitchen looks like you are family-oriented and “homey” so I’d start junking and find a wire basket of some kind – I see them at garage sales and antique places – all sizes and shapes. You can find one that you can mount on the wall after you shove those cables in there. If you mount it next to your horse sign – it would look nice, fit with your decor, and probably cost you next to nothing. I’m into creative uses for things – recycling before recycling was cool (ha!)….Good luck…(As I slowly replace my dying computer stuff, I’m heading toward wireless too).

  47. posted by Lars Hoel on

    When it’s time to upgrade your computer, a 20″ iMac with wireless keyboard and mouse will do wonders for this desk (and you can even run Windows on it).

  48. posted by allen on

    It takes almost no work to move an electrical outlet yourself.

    That being said, for the easiest way, she should get a right-angle (this kind of plug-end) power-strip, and she could mount that under the counter, after drilling a small hole. Keep the strip mounted to the back wall, and you’ve removed ALOT of the clutter right there.

    She could mount the computer under the counter, too. Either that, or get a smaller one ( like this, and it’d be easier to mount under the computer.

    I totally agree with all the comments on getting an LCD with built-in speakers, save ALOT of space.

    Once you have your computer, the power strip, &c under your counter, you could move the internet-bit under there, too.

    I don’t like the idea of her buying a lap-top for this, because of something happens to the bits (she has kids, remember), then it will be alot more exspensive to replace the individual units.

    Alternativly, you could rip out that chunk of space, and re-build it to your whims. Bwahahahahha

    Good luck!

  49. posted by Susan W on

    First of all, Sara, this picture takes me back, for sure! (My child is all grown up now). LOVE the magnets on the oven drawer and the kid photos above. FOUR kids? This “clutter” is nothing! Nothing, I say!

    Anyway, I’m sure the feng-shui police will arrest me for saying this, but I love the feel and personality of of this workspace, better than the idealized, stark, barren wastelands we usually see. Is this space beautiful? Nah. So what? The computer works, right? You can check your e-mail, pay a bill, do a little work and then you’re outta there.

    My advice? Turn off the computer, grab the kids, take them outside and play with them. Trust me, that’s the best use of your time and effort. :-) Susan Wiggs

  50. posted by Chris on

    I think that for the amount of money you would spend buying a flat screen, wireless keyboard and mouse, drilling holes in your counter etc, you would probably be best off replacing this desktop computer with a laptop. With the prices of laptops these days, you most likely wouldn’t be spending more. You might even save money. A bonus is greatly reduced clutter, and even the option of mobility.

    So my recommendation would be a laptop and wireless internet. Overhead lighting would also be a good idea. If you got a laptop, you could feasibly keep the lamp, but just move it to the very left of the counter.

  51. posted by Melinda on

    I disagree with the person who said that the “no nagging” sign is clutter.
    It is very important that people don’t nag. This sign sets the boundaries. There will be no nagging.

    Nagging = clutter. :)

  52. posted by Mary on

    The Container Store sells something called a cable turtle that also does a good job of concealing wires and cables.

  53. posted by Susan W on

    Melinda, well said. Sara: NEVER get rid of your “no nagging” sign. :-)

    Enjoy the day, everyone. Susan Wiggs

  54. posted by tod hilton on

    Honestly, I’d replace the PC, monitor & keyboard with a laptop. You can find good ones now for around $500 (sufficient for email, web surfing, word processing, photo editing, etc.) and they have such a smaller footprint.

  55. posted by Melissa on

    My super-cheap suggestion: next time the clementines that come in those cute wooden boxes are on sale at the grocery store, buy one. Take special note to pick a box in good condition. Eat the clementines, then take the box and turn it upside down. Stick all your excess wires underneath and sit your lamp on top of it. Get one of those plastic corrals for the length that goes between the box and your monitor.

    I had to do something similar for my telephone that the previous owners have running through the kitchen. Quick, cheap, crafty & frugal!

    I would also measure the space between your desktop and the floor and then find a stool that will fit – that chair takes up way too much space.

  56. posted by Chamberlyn on

    My mom has basically the same set up in her kitchen, though she has a much smaller space. She is horrible with clutter, but she’s doing a few things right that could help Sara.

    1) As others have said, under-the-counter lighting is great. One less wire and less thing on the desk.

    2) Laptop. My mom just learned to use a computer, so she has her laptop front and center on her desk. She keeps it closed most of the time so that she can work over it and puts it up when needed. She just uses the touchpad so she has no need for a mouse (or mousepad).

    3) Wireless internet. If there are any other computers in the house, you wouldn’t even have to worry about finding a place for the router and such on the desk (or in cabinets).

    The only remaining cord would be the laptop power cord, and it would also free up a lot of desk space to be used for other activities. When company comes over, the laptop could be unplugged and put away, leading to a completely clutter-free space.

  57. posted by J on

    defrag the office…

    http://lifehacker.com/394387/d.....efficiency

  58. posted by Milo on

    Just received this on my inbox, something called CableBox..
    http://www.bluelounge.com/cablebox

    If you think $30 is worth it to clean up the mess.

  59. posted by Tania on

    I’m late to the party, but I have 3 of these and I LOVE them

    http://www.belkin.com/surgeprotection/clamp-on/

    ended the cable nightmare I had going on, no construction required…

  60. posted by zyzzyva57 on

    When reworking your cables make sure you can easily and quickly get to your wires and “boxes” so when you have that inevitable problem and have to do this and that for the internet/cable provider’s tech support, you can–CONSTANTLY PRACTICE AS YOU “DE-COBWELL,” CAN I GET TO XYZ FOR TECH SUPPORT

    Step back and note your “hot” spots, e.g., where there are cobwells of wires and boxes mixed in with others

    Separate out the cobwell that can be put on your right, then middle, then left, e.g., move those power plugs to a plug in to the left, middle, and right?

    Nex, de-cobwell from left to right, ALWAYS REMEMBERING CAN I FIND XYZ AS DESCRIBED ABOVE FOR THOSE INEVITABLE PROBLEM

    Next study the remaining sub cobwells and figure there might be/must be a solution–you are not alone in dealing with this type of mess, e.g., electricians–so visit Home Depot/Lowes and describe your situation and ask for suggestions

    If you are ready to notch it up and spend real money, check with Best Buy for advice and products, e.g., cordless speakers or flat monitors or laptops

    Too, RSS various shopping sites for great buys on cordless mouses, etc

    “Dollar stores,” pawn shops, and Goodwill stores are worth checking

    Use “industrial strength” Velcro to hold boxes to the back,sides,and under desks, REMEMBERING CAN I GET TO THEM TO GIVE TECH SUPPORT THE SERIAL NUMBER OF THE BOX OR ANSWER DO I HAVE THIS OR THAT WIRE PLUGGED IN

    RSS various such sites as this one and when you see a suggestion, pause and think: can I modify this or do this on the cheap?

  61. posted by L L Macpherson on

    Looks like this might be able to be solved by hanging a separate “curtain” from the underside of the cabinet above aobut 8 inches from the wall. Obviously all the electrical solutions have been addressed, however sometimes the aggravation of reconfiguring even the smallest thing can seem too much. This is especially true if you have kids and time is at a premium.

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