New Year’s Resolution #27: Get out of cable hell

If you’re into gadgets, computers or photography then chances are you have a few cables, connectors or memory cards lying around. I came to realization over the holidays that I must find a better way to keep these things organized. It all began one morning when I went to hook up a new audio system. I needed to join two RCA cables together and I knew that I had a few couplers lying around. I spent about an hour and a half looking for them. Just as I was about to give up and head to Radio Shack to buy a couple more, I found them! I have dozens of little connectors, cables, batteries, remotes, and other widgets in about 6-10 different places in my house. This experience drove me mad! I knew that I had some just sitting there! The question was, WHERE THE #@#% ARE THEY? I needed two and although I found two they weren’t even in the same spot. One was in a drawer and I won’t even mention where the other one was. It was in that moment that I knew that the reason I couldn’t find these things was that they didn’t have a home. I bought a storage cabinet that is now dedicated to these kinds of things. I immediately went around to those 6-10 different places gathering all of these little doodads up and put them in their appropriate drawers.

You can get one of these at your local office supply store or any ______Mart. Here’s the one I used above (labels not included).

 

One of life’s little problems solved!



  • Bakari

    Super great idea. Going to create one this weekend. This should be featured on Lifehacker.

  • Awesome. I need one of these. I have a similar setup with 2 larger drawers and spend half my time untangling cables. You don’t have a template for your labels by chance that you could share?

  • jan

    AMEN!
    I just went through this same craziness just last week. And don’t even mention those overpriced HDMI cables. Wait!..do I see monster cables in the top drawer. Terry are you a closet Monster fan?

    jp

    • LOL, Jan no I’m not a closet Monster fan. However, I probably have bought a Monster cable here and there over the years. Note that it’s in a drawer and not connected to anything currently 😉

  • I love simple solutions. I believe that if we make little 1% improvements in our life (and work) that things get better much faster.

    This is one of those 1% ideas that is not a big deal, but will save you time and money in the future.

    Love it! And yes, I am off to a store soon!

  • Julie K

    I thought your headline meant cable TV. I am seriously considering canceling cable in the Spring-when we can get the ugly dish down off the roof. But how can my husband watch live sports? Netflix and AppleTV can fill in the rest.

    I need cable cord management too.

    • Geniver M

      A few years ago, I made a New Year Resolution to stop watching reruns. That cut my television watching down to 3 hours per week (I prefer radio news). Paying $60 for 12 hours of cable works out to $5 per hour. Further analysis showed that I only required cable for 1 of those 3 hours, rabbit ears would do for the other 2. Buh-bye cable.

      If all you are using cable for is sports, then cut the cable and go down to the corner sports pub. Use the savings to buy another jersey.

  • Les

    Just the thing I was about to do, as usual meant to but hadn’t got round tuit. So many cables gathered over the years and now all over the house. The problem is how big a cabinet is gonna be needed?………and do I still need these antenna booster gadgets and cables for that old Sony shortwave?

    • Javier

      LOL! What I wouldn’t give for a drawer full of round tuits.

  • Lynn Rogers

    What a great idea! I’ve been thinking about how to contain all of my electronic related cords and chargers as well. The best solution i could come up with was to put everything in a clear plastic shoe box. Yours is much better. The problem I would have using your solution is that I don’t know the names of all those gadgety cords/cables! So I would be up a creek with labeling.

  • Marc

    This is a great idea and I will be implementing something similar very soon. I was wondering if you have a similar storage solution for all of your camera gear? If so, can you post some pictures?

  • Karl Baumann

    Terry, one more cable type USB 3.0 on a new external drive.
    What do I need to use it ?

    • Karl, you’ll need the USB 3 cable when connecting the USB 3 hard drive to a USB 3 port on a computer to get the maximum speed. No Macs ship with USB3 and the only way I know of getting USB 3 on a Mac is a Mac Pro with a USB 3 card in it.

  • Terry, What a simple yet brilliant idea. I have all my cords in a few different shoe boxes. Raise my hand, and plead guilty. Duhh. Next time I”m out and about, I’ll pick up one these these plastic thingys and organize my 20k miles of cords. Thanks for the tip Terry.