How do you organize your cables and adapters and misc. computer crap

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Anarchy99, Jul 4, 2014.

  1. Anarchy99 macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    I'm probably not the only one who has piles upon piles of rat nested cabling and random adapters etc. that I've collected over the years
    I'm looking to try to organize these on the cheap so I'm kind a looking for suggestions

    so how do you guys do it?

  2. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I use Velcro ties around my miscellaneous cables so they don't get tangled with other cables.
  3. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    My work space is cluttered but so was Einstein's...

  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    Mine's pretty cluttered as well, and I don't do any cable management at my desk or the rats nest that is under it.
  5. Anarchy99 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Dec 13, 2003
    that makes me feel better lol :)
    I'm not messy it's just my genious showing
  6. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    It's all in a big wooden box labeled "Booze 'n smokes" at work that has poorly drawn female figures on it. I did not label the box nor did I adorn it with imagery.
  7. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
  8. mscriv, Jul 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014

    mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    Your options will be limited by your desk set up. For example, is it a big desk where you can attach things on the back or is it a small set up with no where to attach anything? Is is made of wood and opaque where cables can be hidden or is it made of glass where you can see right through? These kinds of factors will limit your choices in cable management.

    I have a larger wrap around style desk with built in cabinets and storage in our home office. This affords me lots of space to hide stuff. I went to our local Fry's store and bought a 4 foot power strip with mounting hardware and attached it to the back edge of the desk. Now I have plenty of direct outlets right on the back underside of the desk where I can plug my computer, various devices, and externals. With the outlets being raised off the floor I don't have to deal with a mess of tangled cords all over the floor. I run each plug to it's outlet and use ties to take up any and all slack in the cable. As for connectivity cables like USB, FW, etc., well, you just have to manage those on top of your desk as best you can so as not to create a mess. Obviously this depends on how many devices you are connecting like phones, card readers, etc.
  9. samiwas macrumors 68000

    Aug 26, 2006
    Atlanta, GA
    After many years, I have collected probably a hundred of different types of cables, from audio to video to computer to name it. I ran into the same issue as you, trying to figure out what to do with all of them.

    I went on the search for a drawer system, but couldn't find anything I liked which had the right combination of size and number of drawers needed. What I ended up doing was getting a bunch of gallon-sized and quart-sized ziploc bags. I have a separate bag for each type of cable, and the size of bag is determined by the size and quantity of cable going into it. So I have a bag for USB cables, a bag for Cat5 cables, a bag for 1/8" to 2-RCA cables, a bag for optical cables, etc, etc. Each bag has a printed label on it for easy identification. All the bags live in a cardboard box.

    It's not very elegant, but I went from trying to find $100 worth of drawers that weren't gong to really work, to $5 in supplies.

    As for my desk, every cable was purchased to length, so everything lays out really neatly. With half a dozen peripherals, three USB hubs, a network switch, two monitors in addition to the iMac, and five hard drives, my desk still looks mostly clean.
  10. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003
    I mounted a narrow shelf behind my desk (took a standard 6" shelf and ripped it in half) and attached 2 surge protectors to back of desk. All AC adapters and cabling live on the shelf. Can't see any cables.
  11. rhett7660 macrumors G4


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Can you post a picture of this? I like this idea.
  12. Happybunny macrumors 68000

    Sep 9, 2010
    The power cable for my MBA kept falling behind the desk, so my granddaughter volunteered Eeyore as keeper of the wire.:D

  13. Antares macrumors 68000


    I would love to see a picture of how this understand and possibly mimic your setup.
  14. vrDrew macrumors 65816

    Jan 31, 2010
    Midlife, Midwest
    Any sort of organization project requires some discipline. And the most important discipline of all is knowing what to throw away: Lets face it, but many of those cables and adapters will never be used again.

    Almost always toss: Extra PC power cables. SCSI cables (remember them..); DVI and other obsolescent video cables.

    Probably toss: Odd length CAT-5 cables. Chargers and cables old cellular/smart phones.

    In short: Unless you are an avid electronic hobbyist/hacker don't keep old chargers/adapters/cables. If you buy a new device - it will come with the needed adapters/cables.

    Those cables you decide you do want to keep: Those that get used rarely, coil up, secure with cable ties. Label, and store in plastic tubs.

    Those that get used weekly/daily: Create some sort of charging/storage station.

    Last note, regarding cables: Coil your cables properly to avoid putting nasty kinks into them. (I coiled cables wrong for twenty+ years till a kind engineer friend put me on the right track.)
  15. rdowns macrumors Penryn


    Jul 11, 2003

    Sorry, can't get a picture without moving the desk. I just took a shelf that was 6" deep and ripped it in half, so 3" deep. Mounted on wall behind desk with small brackets. Mounted 2 surge protectors on the back of desk about 6" higher than shelf. I just lay the AC adapters and extra cable lengths on the shelf.
  16. mscriv macrumors 601


    Aug 14, 2008
    Dallas, Texas
    They make cable trays that are very similar to the home solution you did for yourself. I've seen both plastic and metal. Here's a link to a metal one for anyone who might be interested.

    They show it attached to the back of the actual desk top. I think the better way to use trays like this is to attach it to the back desk below the desk top so there is nothing between your deskstop and the wall or you can do what rdowns did and attach the tray to the wall below your desktop.

    Edit: A few others

    These links were taken from this article which includes other links as well.
  17. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    I use these to bundle.

    And these for the run.

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