Making Your Cables Last Longer
There isn’t an awful lot you can do about the shelf-life of your cables; on the whole, they should last a very long time. When one of them stops working it’s usually due to it being entangled, kinked or frayed, so here are a number of easy and intuitive ways in which to tackle this annoying possibility. Most of them are obvious, but hopefully, they’ll help you extend your cables’ lifespan.
With a basic shoebox, some glue, and cardboard, you can easily create a cable storage zone. You can organize your different cables, those which aren’t being actively used, so that they stay nice and pristine, perhaps neatly coiled via rubber bands into designated areas within your homemade box (an area for computer cables, tv cables, Xbox cables, etc.). Why not turn it into an opportunity for your kids to help out, giving them something non-screen based to get stuck into, providing you with some valuable family bonding time? They’re likely to make a better, more colorful job of it than you.
Binder clips can be a great way of arranging your HDMI cables, which are incredibly important to the effective running of your desktop and flat-screen technology, all too easily getting jumbled up and degraded, over time. You can color-code the binder clips and even thread individual cables through the clips, thus ensuring you’re not pinching the actual protective sheath of the cable, extending its lifespan to the max. It’s also incredibly useful to have the cables at a higher level, so you’re not bending down on hands and knees, trying to locate the relevant cable in a darkened corner.
USB C Cables
With all the devices most modern households tend to have; iPads, tablets, cameras to name a few, some sort of charging station would be most useful and would help keep each and every cable separated from each other, ready to be deployed at a moment’s notice. You can actually purchase these, but can also just make one yourself. You can create colored zones on an old, unused child’s desk, for example, with the silhouetted outline of an iPad in one place, phone in another, and so on.
Alternatively, you can even use an old store-bought watch box or small child’s shoebox to enclose your charging station; simply place a rectangular extension lead or two extension leads into this box, running each cable through a punctured hole in the box’s side so that it appears like a singular box with multiple cables spooling out. Then, whenever you lead to charge a device you have the relevant cable on tap. It can also look smart and chic, depending on how you cover it.
Washi Tape Labels
Homemade Washi tape labels, or some similar form of tape, can be a useful way of distinguishing one cable from another. It will make subsequent attempts at storing your cables that much easier; simply attach then instantly be able to know which device each cable is for, by writing it on each label with a permanent pen. This can be particularly useful if you’re moving home, a time notorious for many things getting all entangled and jumbled up.
Hanging Phone Charging Station
Phones are such an essential part of modern life that they’re constantly being charged up and used. This can present a real problem if you live in a busy household where there are multiple phones on the go. How about creating your own hanging phone charging station, using socks to store, and charge each phone? Socks can be pinned to a designated wall, and an extension cord used to wire up each charging cable to each sock in turn. Color coding, different sized socks, and other methods could be used in this little project. Many of us hang stockings up at Christmas, so why not this concept for an even more useful purpose?
Cable Wall Stickers
Sometimes it is inevitable that cables or wires will have to run down a wall; for example, to hook up your flat screen tv or speakers. In order to avoid the cables from sagging, drooping, and damaging their casing, consider purchasing some funky wall stickers and making a feature out of the cables by pinning them in place. There are such designs as geckos, leaves, emojis, retro Lego-men, and many others, which can help your cable complement your wall, as well as protecting the structural integrity of each cable.
These are just some ideas; there are plenty more. Your main goal should be to prevent your cables from getting twisted, entangled, rubbing up against each other, or tripped over. In theory, a cable should last for a very long time; longer, perhaps than the devices to which they are attached. It would be extremely annoying if your cable needs to be replaced before your device does, requiring you to seek out specialist help in re-wiring the device. Hopefully, these tips will make that less unlikely.