Cables vs. peace of mind

I have a hate-hate affair with cables. My desktop at work is crisscrossed by USB cables, mouse cable, the cable for my telephone headset and my headphones. At home, the areas around my computer and television are giant, disorderly nests of wires.

There's not much I can do about my office situation, it is what it is, but I think I can at least get my home situation under control.

Because I decided to be a good neighbour I moved my subwoofer away from the walls I share with my neighbours (you should all do the same), but the result was that the wall under my back porch sliding door is lined with wires stretching from my cable box and Xbox to my surround sound system controller (which can only be two feet away from the subwoofer) plus three wires for the left, centre and right front speakers. The rear right and real left speakers wind behind my couch but aren't long enough to attach to the walls as I'd originally planned.

The area behind my television is similarly a disaster with power cables, four different peripherals plugged into the television (including our cable box, my Xbox 360, a DVD player and a Nintendo Wii), plus the additional audio out cables.

The area around my computer is crowded with power cables for the computer, printer, modem, wireless router and an external hard drive, as well as all the USB, Firewire and Ethernet cables connecting all these things to the computer and to each other.

And so I've been researching cable management options, trying to cut down where I can and organize where I can't. Here are some Do It Yourself options I've come up with.

I love my award-winning, 550-watt Logitech 5.1 surround sound system. It's incredibly easy to use and hook up to my electronics, the sound is great and it's easy to custom program. But as I've mentioned the subwoofer is too loud to move it closer to the wall to alleviate my cable conundrum. So I'm moving it to a different room.

One option I've looked at to manage those wires is to get a piece of pipe that runs the length of that wall and feed the wires through, then using clamps to secure the pipe into place. It's cheap and will prevent people from getting tangled in the wires.

A slightly nicer solution would be to get a nice piece of wood cut to of the length I need, attach some spacers to the bottom to make some room for all the wires. I could even mount a hinge on the top part so I can get to those wires easily.


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