Introduction: Easy & Effective USB Cable Storage System
This has been a very convenient cable storage system for me. I can quickly find the cable I want and I also avoid the crazy rat's nest which results from just dumping everything into a drawer.
Step 1: Materials You'll Need
You only two materials for this Instructable: Tube Protectors and a Box.
Fluorescent Tube Protector(s) (more than you wanted to know...)
These are clear polycarbonate safety sleeves which cover long fluorescent tubes. You will likely find sleeves which fit two very common tube sizes: T8 and T12.
A T8 bulb has a 1.0 inch diameter.
A T12 bulb has a 1.5 inch diameter.
The sleeve lengths are usually 4 foot or 8 foot.
For T12 sleeves, I found prices of $3.47 and $4.56 for the 4 foot and 8 foot lengths. The 8 foot is much more economical for our purposes. As one would expect, the T8 sleeves were a little bit cheaper. These sleeves can easily be found at the big box hardware stores.
I suggest getting at least 1 sleeve of each size (T8 and T12).
Photo Box - or Shoe Box or whatever you like...
To hold all the "tubed-up" cords, I placed them in an inexpensive photo box from the local craft store. Of course any box you like could work. I like having a lid and a label holder on the box so the photo box works great.
Step 2: Cut the Tube(s) Into Small Segments
Next is cutting the tubes to length. As my box was approximately 4.50" tall, I cut my tubes into 4.25" segments. This way all the tubes can stand up inside the box.
Some notes on cutting... I used a power miter saw - probably a bit of overkill. I have also used a large tin snips, scissors and even a (robust) paper cutter. If you use a power tool, PLEASE wear eye protection. I am very serious about this - those tubes sometimes fly fast in random directions.
Step 3: Coil Your Cords and Insert Into Tube Sections.
With a bit of trial and error, you can coil a given cord so that you can see both ends of the cord at the same time while the tube is upright. This makes it easy to find the right type of cord without having to rummage through everything.