USB Cables: Untangling the Mess

There are days –like today– when I ask myself why I put up with some of my messes as long as I do… and finally decide to do something about it! This is the (aggravating) case of all my USB cables.

I have arranged my office area facing my studio, which means that my computer table stands free. I do have a system (which needs to be revamped) to keep all the cables that plug into the back of the system organized. There are two USB ports in back, to which my amplifiers and tablet are connected to. Plus the usual: monitor, keyboard, scanner, printer… Those stay put… I don’t what to have to be reaching back all the time to plug and unplug things.

My problem lies with all the other USB cords that need to be plugged in: a Skype phone, webcam, camera cord, iPod cord, and flash drive. That’s five things… and there are only two USB ports.

So I end up with a mess of cables on my computer table. Half of the time they end up falling on the floor, where they end up getting stepped on. (I’m actually surprised I haven’t broken any.)So today I decided it was high time to organize this mess, and this is what I’ve come up with:

Yep… big binder clips. I just placed them along the right edge of my computer table, which is next to the system and where I normally place the small peripherals I need to connect anyway. And, knowing me, they had to be labeled. I have been known to plug in the wrong cable more than once, and then scratch my head wondering why it isn’t working. I was feeling pretty proud of myself, but then three of the cables kept falling through. Enter the second part of my solution… rubber bands!

And perhaps the biggest annoyance has been how to handle the long cable on my Skype phone. It’s not like I use this phone every day, but I do make calls several times a week, so I need it handy. And then I realized I had never unmounted the mouse pad holder I used before I started working with a tablet. So I just coiled the cord and placed the phone on top. I have now pushed it out of the way under the computer table, where it is still handy whenever I need to use it.

So there are still cables hanging down, but at least they are not falling on the floor. I’m not sure if there is anything I can do about the aesthetics. Cables are cables and they look ugly.

What do you do? Any suggestions on how to improve this further?

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