When it comes to cable management, most people focus too much on the cables inside the PC and not enough on the cables scattered around the outside. While organized internal cable management can keep a PC tidy, nothing makes a PC as sloppy as disorganized external cables.
Monitors, power supplies, keyboards, mice, headphones, speakers, and power strips are all made up to create a ton of clutter after building a PC. Once these threads become a nuisance, it can seem quite intimidating to have to go through them and get the problem under control. Fortunately, professional-looking cable management is both easy and inexpensive to obtain. And, if you do a little planning, the process can take as little as 10 to 15 minutes.
Here are several methods to keep your desk and cable management under control. The methods will start with the simplest and most popular strategies and end with the most tedious and time consuming options.
One of the simplest, hassle-free options available for those who want to organize their computer cables is a cable management sleeve. This particular offering from Hikig comes with four 19.5 inch sleeves that are 4 inches wide.
For most PC users and gamers, two sleeves will be enough to organize their computer cables, so having four is just a sweet deal on a product that’s already relatively cheap and easy to use. Best application practices are to unplug, untangle, and straighten any cables you will be using before coiling them into the sleeve. Once done, it’s as easy as reconnecting the computer cables.
The sleeve holds the cables tightly together, which creates a unified and clean look with very little effort. Plus, hiding cables under a desk or behind an object is much easier than trying to keep cables from moving after hours of PC use.
They work for internal cable management and they work for external cable management. Zipper ties are a classic tool for organizing computer wires for the simple reason that they are as quick and easy to use as they are cheap.
Just take a collection of wires, wind them through the zip ties in regular increments, and your PC is instantly cleaner. The advantage of the simple zip tie on a sleeve is that it can help organize cables much more nimbly than a sleeve. As long as you have a simple pair of scissors or some other cutting tool, they’re just as easy to manage in case you need to rearrange later.
The downside to zip ties is that organizing a lot of cables with them can be much more inefficient than just wrapping those same wires in a sheath or taping them off.
If you’re willing to put in a little more effort, you can tie individual cables to any flat surface with cable ties. Like the cable management sleeve, this product is quite inexpensive and doesn’t require too much skill to be used properly.
Simply glue the adhesive side of the clips to the surface you want your cables to run over and clip the cables into it. PC users often like to place these clips at the bottom of their desk so that all cables are completely out of sight. Of course, these clips can only hold one cable at a time, so this product is ideal when there are fewer cables to address compared to the value of an entire PC. Cable ties are great for tidying up stray wires after most of the organization has been done.
Following the same logic as cable ties, double-sided tape works similarly to cable ties to hoist cables in hidden areas. The advantage of double-sided tape with clips is that you can handle multiple cables simultaneously, thanks to its variable width. You can even tape cables already managed with a sheath. Another use of this article, if you are a power strip user, is to attach your power strip to the bottom of your desk so that all chords that use the power strip hide under the desk by default.
The downside to double-sided tape is that reorganizing the cables after you get upgrades or new hardware can be a bit of a hassle. Removing and re-applying duct tape to your cables can get annoying. Double-sided tape is flexible, but only for the PC user who knows their setup isn’t going to change anytime soon.
If you don’t mind getting a little intimate with your office space and also having access to a drill, a hole saw can be used to make, well, a hole. A small hole in a desk that’s conveniently placed near a monitor can be used to route cables directly from underneath the desk to the monitor itself without anything needing to wrap around the outside from the office. Additionally, keyboard and mouse cables can be routed through a hole to minimize their effect on desk space.
Sometimes the simplest solutions can produce the greatest effects, and a hole is one example for cable management. That said, getting a hole saw and its respective drill can be expensive. Plus, you need to be prepared to be resourceful and plan ahead to make sure you don’t lose anything, like making a hole that will be completely covered by your mouse pad, for example.
Cable management is a key part of creating a relaxing PC setup. Whether for work, media browsing, or games, a well-organized space can enhance any experience. While the limits of creativity you can get with your cable management are limitless, the most common solutions are cheap, efficient, and easy to access.