If you’re anything like me, you obsess over the design of your workspace. My battlestation is a constant work in progress. Last fall, I started looking for a few simple ways to clean up my cable situation when I added a second monitor. Because I use one of IKEA’s simple mix-and-match tabletops for a workspace, I’m more vulnerable to having cables out in plain sight. After some trial-and-error, I’ve put together a list of some products that I’m currently using to remedy this issue. Head below for more.
In my situation, I realize that hiding every single cable is going to be a difficult proposition. Opting for a more traditional desk with a closed back would allow me greater flexibility in this area but I don’t prefer that look. Amazon has a handy landing guide with a collection of different products to help remedy this situation. It’s a good place to start but I didn’t find it to be as comprehensive as I’d hoped.
There are plenty of ways to tackle a nest of wires but I like to start by labeling each cord and grouping by destination. For example, any cable that runs from my iMac towards my 27-inch Dell 4K display is tied together with velcro. This consolidates multiple lines into one larger group. For labeling, I use these tear-resistant tags that are color-coated. Each cable coming out of my iMac receives one with a description of its purpose. Typically, I can get away with using two velcro straps (one in the middle and at the end) since Apple has built a nice management system into the aluminum base of my computer. These best-selling velcro ties are perfect for this job. A pack of $100 runs about $6, so you’ll have plenty on-hand for this job and others. You can go next-level by adding a sleeve to cut-down on any further wandering by your wires. Something like this best-seller should do the trick.
Now that everything is tied up, we need to make a decision about your power supply. There are two ways to do it and each option has benefits. I personally use the BlueLounge CableBox ($24), which keeps your power strip on the floor. The downside of this is that every cable must run down the length of your desk to one central location. This can be an issue if you lack enough cord length or do not like the idea of having so many wires running to the floor. The benefit is a tidy, unassuming design that hides all your plugs.
Another option is using an under-mount basket that holds the power supply and other items beneath your workspace. This allows just one cord to be ran from your surge protector down to the nearest outlet, reducing the number of wires that are visible from above. IKEA has an excellent open-air option for $10 that will support multiple devices and still keep things in order.
My last tip: cable drops. There are plenty of options out there, so you’re bound to find something to match your setup and style. I’ve been using these clips from iGotTech for about six months now. These cable drops feature two slots for holding multiple cables, as opposed to similar options that only hold one at a time. It’s a great way to keep I/O wires organized when not in use. For example, I have a microUSB and Lightning cable on one drop (for power) and another set for data transfer. With all of the different types of cables being used these days with cameras, iPhone/iPad, speakers, etc, this is a tried and true option for keeping your wires in line. You can grab a six-pack for $9.87 Prime shipped over at Amazon. If you really need to wrangle more than two cables, check out the BlueLounge CableDrop Multi for $9.
Look, however you want to organize your desk is cool with me. There really is no wrong way to do it. The reality is, talking cable management isn’t exactly the sexiest thing but it’s a necessity to keep your workflow going as smoothly as possible. I’ve been leaning on these products for a while now without any issue. Have other ideas? Drop a comment down below and share how you keep your desk in line.
Lead photo courtesy of BlueLounge