One day we will inhabit a world that runs entirely on wireless technology, but until then, we have to deal with a plethora of cables that, at times, feel like they are designed to make our lives hell. Cables to power our PCs and networking devices, cables to deliver audio signals to our headphones and cables to ensure that our mice and keyboards are as responsive as possible for those long gaming sessions. And while many of these devices have viable wireless alternatives, they can be expensive and some don’t function nearly as well as their wired counterparts.
The easiest way to keep your cables straight is to use the right length for the job. If your router is five feet away from your computer you don’t need to make a fifty-foot mess. But, unless you are Macgyver, you’re not always going to be crafting your own cables and you’ll have to work with what you’ve got.
To remove kins from thin cables, like ear phone cables for your phone, drop its entire length and grip the cable at one end with your thumb and index finger. Then begin rolling the cable between your fingers back and forth with some force, gradually going down the entire cable. This is a quick method for removing unwanted curls and kinks.
For thicker cables, say Ethernet cables, you can wind them into circle. Then grip the bundle as if you're holding a steering wheel, and rock the bundle forward and backward with both hands. This helps the stiffer cables establish a new shape.
Lift those cables up or over
It’s happened to all of us, you put together your machine, start plugging things in and by the time you get the last socket filled on your power bar, you’re left with a pile of cables littering your office floor. Not only is this unsightly but it leaves your cables vulnerable to being stepped on, tripped over and eventually twisted and permanently bent. Using a product like the Cable Corral, you can keep excess cabling secured to the underside of your desk. For cables that can’t be elevated you can always anchor them along the base of the wall.
Bundled and Weighted
Make a plan before you start routing your cables. The more efficiently you route things the more cables you can bundle together. Bundled cables are more resistant to bends and bundling helps to avoid any stragglers that might end up crushed and twisted later on. Use Velcro or reusable zip ties to give yourself the flexibility to change things around later without having to break out the knives.
Certain peripherals like your mouse can’t have their cables permanently fixed in place. The ability to move them is integral to their operation; however, you can prevent these cables from getting twisted by use cables weights to stop them from moving around more than necessary.
How you store your cables when your device is not in use is just as important as how you organize them. This is especially true for devices with thinner cables which have less insulation to protect the underlying wire. The garbage dump is a graveyard for headphones whose owners lazily tossed them in their backpacks or onto the floor, leaving the cable in a twisted, broken mess—luckily, there is a better way.
When you’re putting away any cables, whether or not there is a device attached, the best thing you can do is wind the cable up in a loose circle. Avoid wrapping cables around devices, it might look neat and tidy but if you wrap the cable tightly you can end up with hard to remove bends in the wire. Some people like to use the “Figure 8” method, which is fine for those extra thick outdoor extension cables, but for most cables you’ll end up with a sawtooth-like bend the next time you go to use them
Cables can get stressed over time from being used and depending on the application, can lead to unwanted problems. Keep your cables healthy and give them a massage once in a while.