Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Trash Day Tuesday: Spare Wires, Cords, and Cables.

If you suffer from a surplus of collected wires, cords, and cables, then this post is meant for you. Almost all of us own some sort of electronics that require the use of these electric snakes. The trouble is, without us knowing, they seem to multiple and engage in epic tangling wars when we are not looking. Plainly stated, they are a messy annoyance. Therefore, this Trash Day Tuesday is dedicated to purging and organizing our spare wires, cords, and cables! (Do not mistake this post for organizing solutions when it comes to cable management- that'll happen another day when I am brave enough to tackle my family's entertainment center. Yikes!)

We all feel this way when dealing with wires, cords, and cables.

The Process //

Here's the step by step guide to getting your wires, cords, and cables in order:

Use this chart to help you organize your wires, cords, and cables. 

Wrapping Techniques //

Over-Under Method- creates a circular loop which is as easy to unravel as it is to wrap. 

Daisy Chain- creates a braid by crocheting the wire into itself. Note, keeping the two ends together helps prevent knots from occurring. 

Electrician's Wrap-creates a neatly wrapped and knotted figure. Instead of laying the cable on the ground, some people loop the cable over their forearm.

Storage Ideas //

When it comes to labeling, the sky is really the limit.
I personally like the idea of small tags, such as
these ElastiNotes- simple and effective.
Label each charger, wire, and cord if it belongs to a specific
. Never frantically search for a charger ever again.

Use toilet rolls for storing cords and keep
cords separated. Label each roll and store
vertically in a container. No more tangles!
Store small cords and wires in ziplock bags and label them
accordingly. This method is so helpful when traveling
because you can just grab and go.
Use a plastic box with dividers to organize cords and
wires into categories. These dividers are home made!

For those of you wondering what my before and after looks like, here it is:

Where to start?! Our cords weren't so much tangled as they were improperly stored and not labeled.
I had tried to tackle this mess once before so the cords and wires are relatively neatly wrapped-
although, some were improperly wrapped. We also had a surplus of unused cables and electronics.
To be honest, I didn't even know what half these cables were for or to what they belonged. 
Going through the process. Took about 15 minutes and I was able to get rid of 3 routers, and give some cords to my
dad because he'll use it for work. Once I organize our entertainment center, I might toss more cords out.
I used the same box, but implemented the ziplock idea. It looks very neat- it actually closes and feels light!

Do you have a spare cord problem as well? What transformations have you made? Any clever storage ideas, like storing wires in circular tuber-ware?


  1. I have never bothered with the compartmental organization above because, not living in an apartment, I have enough space to keep cords and other wires near their relevant devices. I am always wary of throwing out newer cords, since they are worth something and can get expensive to replace. If I bought a new device or wanted to reconfigure my entertainment center (and I have many times) I would rather use a video cable or HDMI cable that I already have rather than buy new ones. With newer digital cable boxes and Blu Ray players one can get by relatively efficiently compared to say 10 years ago.

    1. Ample space can be tricky sometimes. It makes us believe that we should keep what we have JUST because we have the space for it. The reason why I like apartments or smaller houses is because the more limited space makes you prioritize and really evaluate your belongings. This isn't to say that you should just toss everything you have, but it does mean that you should be critical and more stringent when it comes to bringing new stuff into your house and keeping old stuff in.
      When an electronic comes into our house typical all the cords and wires which comes with it are essential and are used to make the electronic work. However, sometimes we find ourselves with extra/spare cords and wires because maybe we bought some or they came with a TV that we got rid of, etc. It's these wires and cords that need to be managed. We shouldn't keep several duplicates of the same wire- I have 4 ethernet cords. I will never need 4 ethernet cords. Keeping one or two of each type of cord is sufficient, so you can do the reconfiguration that you spoke about or have the tools necessary if your life changes and it demands different wires. If you are going to keep the extra cords for your TV near your TV, place them in a nice box. I personally don't like having wires and cords, regardless of use, separated. In my mind, they are all similar objects and belong together. I do make an exception for readily used items- such as phones, cameras, and computers. Those cords and wires I keep with the electronic or near it, like you do. I hope one day wireless technology will be available for everything! You have to see the wires behind our entertainment system- it's scary. :(