Computer Cable Management on the Cheap

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Introduction: Computer Cable Management on the Cheap

This will show you how to clean up that cable mess below your desk . I have read multiple articles on this site about great ways to manage your cables. I believe this method is extremely flexible for various cable paths and extremely cheap!

Materials:
1) Large (2 inch) Binder Clips - under $4 for a box of 12
2) 3/4" Wood Screws - under $1 for a box
3) Washers - under $1 for a box

(Optional)
Velcro Straps



Tools:

Screw Driver or Power Screw Driver

Step 1: Unplug, Untangle, & Gather the Supplies

Unplug all the devices and separate the cables from each other.

Gather your supplies. I am using 3/4 inch length screws because my desk is 1 inch thick. It is important that you take the time to measure your desktop. Pick a screw length that is at least 1/4 inch shorter than the thickness of your desktop. A sure fire way to ruin your day is to finish the project and find that you now have 8 screws sticking up through your desktop.

Step 2: Mount the Hardware

Power Strip:
I would recommend mounting your power strip first. Mount the power strip in a centralized location. I typically place it closer to the wall in the middle of the desk.

**Tip - Use a pencil and scrap paper to make a map (rubbing) of the mounting holes on your power strip. Then when placing the screws, screw them right through the paper into the desk. When you are finished placing the screws then rip the paper away.



Clips:
I like to place multiple clips around the power strip because this is going to be an area with lots of cables. Then place other clips where you need them.

Step 3: Routing the Cables

Now you can route the cables through the mounted clips. If you are a purist, you can take the time to mount enough clips to separate out your power cables. This might keep your power cables from causing distortion in your other cables. I didn't do this because I have never found it to be an issue.

Step 4: Route Cables to Dedicated Areas

I routed my cables to designated areas. In this case, I am routing cables for my PC and an Xbox 360. I have mounted a clip in the back above these areas. This allows for a cleaner look by grouping the cables.

Step 5: Finished Product (Comparison)

After I plugged everything back in, I added some velcro straps to keep the bundles tight.

Thanks for reading.

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    61 Comments

    But how is the power strip actually mounted to the desk? The article completely avoids mentioning this is any detail.

    5 replies

    Every power strip I have ever owned has mounting holes on the back. That is what this part of the plans refers to.


    **Tip - Use a pencil and scrap paper to make a map (rubbing) of the mounting holes on your power strip. Then when placing the screws, screw them right through the paper into the desk. When you are finished placing the screws then rip the paper away.


    DSC01579.JPG

    you can also just make a copy of the bottom of the power strip and use it as a template. :)

    Now that you mention it, even though I do not live in Americaland, my power strip seems to have mounting holes like you describe. Nevertheless, I *still* do not know how to use them. I have never done DIY before and have no idea how to use the mounting holes. I'm guessing it somehow slides onto the screw, but that doesn't seem very safe or secure, and I would think you would need a very specific type of screw head for it to work correctly - which is also not specified in the guide.

    The size screw is specific to your power strip. I usually grab several screws and flip the power strip over and test which one is going to be the right size.

    I found this YouTube video on how to mount a power strip that you might find helpful.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-41m4NshDI0

    Thanks, bruv. I actually watched the same video shortly prior to you making this post! I will be attempting your DIY solution in the following weeks.

    Thank you and Namaste~

    Gracias es una idea muy buena siempre. Ahora si que puedo olganisar mi escritorio.

    brilliant!

    Awesome transformation !

    Great idea very creative nice
    Also should never ever place any form of electronics on top of your subwoofer especially anything containing a hard drive the huge magnet thats in subwoofers fries nearly any hard drive it comes in touch with
    A good safety measure is at least a good 2 feet of distance between sub and whatever it is your using,in this case xbox,depending on size of sub though distance will vary.

    2 replies

    the distance from the sub magnets should be fine, its the vibration that would concern me. constant vibration on that no lead solder could cause a problem eventually.

    Thanks for the info. I did not know that! Lucky for me, I moved the Xbox to the top of the desk shortly after creating the instructable.

    I used foam pipe insulation mounted to the back of my desk - with slots cut out to route wires into it easier. Worked a treat for glass desk, although you may need a bit of adhesive/velcro to ensure it stays put depending on how strong your wires want to bend.

    Home Depot sells wire organizing covers to hide your wires. Depending on the store they usually have them in the electrical or tv wires sections. You can paint it the color of the wall or metal / wood of parts of the desk so it looks like it fits in. I know it's been 5 months since this was posted, but I wanted to mention this in case anyone else was having the same issue.

    Cool idea. Got me interested, in the end I am going with the pegboard route.

    Question, when cables are too short to reach their destination..then what??? Have to use extentions (USB/HDMI/power..etc???)

    1 reply

    In my setup, all my cables reach. However, if you had one that was short I would think an extension cable would be fine. I did buy two longer display port cables. My current setup is different than the one pictured. I have my computer case farther from my monitors.

    This is so cool! Unfortunately I have IKEA desks that have no overhang piece so I would have to install overhang pieces to do this.


    I had to put a solid board as a backing instead..it works great but any time you need to get to cables..it is a pain because I haev to move the whole table out and the board...

    I would really like to do this seeing as how my cords and cables behind my desk are equally if not worse then yours previously were, but I have a fairly thin-topped desk (about 3/4 of an inch) and more storage beside and under the top than needed. The desk you used looks perfect for this guide, so I was wondering what kind of desk I should look for similar to yours. It looks like a plain, no directly attached storage and Plywood top kind.