Introduction: Cable Management System

I work at an institution where we have a cabinet full of devices....and therefore, a cabinet full of messy cords and cables. With a few simple materials, I made myself a cable management system to hold a number of our tablets and e-readers, mess-free!

Step 1: Materials Needed

1 vertical file desktop storage holder

4 mini packets of Sugru

a utility or X-Acto Knife

a toothpick

some soapy water

Step 2: Get Your Sugru Ready and Positioned

Sugru is a moldable, self-setting rubber. It bonds to most materials, molds like clay, and cures into a sturdy, flexible rubber.

Remove Sugru from the packet and knead it to soften it up a bit. Sugru cures when it is exposed to the air. It will be nicely pliable for about 30 minutes before it begins to harden. Whatever is taken out of the packet will begin to harden at that point. So you may not need an entire packet, but you'll want to have a plan for everything that you unwrap. To make each of these cable holders, you'll need about 2/3 of a mini packet. I used the left over thirds to combine into new colors! The desktop organizer I used had 5 slots, so I used 4 mini packets of Sugru with a little bit left over.

When the Sugru is soft, take about 2/3 of a packet and roll it into a ball. Shape one end into a soft point so that it is now a kind of cone shape. Choose a spot on the desktop organizer for the cable holder. I put one cable holder in each slot, centered and about an inch from the top. Press the pointed end of the cone into the spot. Gently shape it with your fingers, trying to maintain a rounded ball shape.

Step 3: Cut the Sugru Into a Cable Holder

Take your utility knife and dip it into the soapy water. This will help prevent the soft Sugru from sticking to it. Gently slice vertically into your ball of Sugru, being careful not to distort its shape.

Dip the toothpick into the soapy water, and use it to widen the gap you've created with the utility knife. Make the gap slightly larger than the cable you plan to use in this slot. The toothpick can also be used to help smooth over the blunt edges of your sliced Sugru.

Step 4: Pinch Your Holder Together and Let It Cure

Carefully pinch your Sugru so that the sliced portion is only slightly separated. When it is dry, the Sugru will be flexible, so you'll be able to squeeze your cable in there and have it spring back to hold it securely.

Repeat these steps on each slot of the desktop organizer, creating a number of cable holders. Leave it out for 24 hours, undisturbed, to cure. At that point, it will be ready to use!

Step 5: Organize All the Things!

Above you can see my "before" and "after" photos. In my set-up, I have plugs in the back, cable feeding up through the cable holder and attached to each device, with excess cable tucked under the desktop organizer. So far, so good, and it makes me feel a lot better to not have my mess of cables everywhere!