Simple Tricks To Organizing Your Entertainment Area
No matter how fancy your TV or entertainment system is, nobody in their right mind would want to hang around for long if your entertainment area looks like a fire hazard. The easiest way to remedy this situation is to take the time to get your cord clutter under control and hidden away, which can easily be done without spending a lot of money. Here's how it's done:
Step 1: Disconnect and Clean Everything There's probably going to be quite a bit of dust back there, especially if this is your first time tackling the problem. Remember to disconnect all your cables before you wipe down everything with a dust cloth.
Step 2: Organize by Endpoint on the Floor The next thing to do is arrange all your cables on the floor in front of the entertainment center. For instance, set all your HDMI, component cables, and coaxial cables together. Set all you power cords aside as well. This also means setting aside the cables that connect to the stereo or other auxiliary devices like a Wii's motion sensor bar or Kinect. This gives you a general idea of where everything needs to go so you can move on to the next step...
Step 3: Connect the Power Cords To Your Power Strip Plug everything into the power strip and lay it out where your devices are.
Step 4: Connect Everything to Its End Point This is why it's easier to start at the end then work your way to the device it's coming from so you have a general idea of what goes where. For instance, you want to start by connecting your HDMI cables to the TV, the Ethernet cables to your router, and everything else you have at its destination. Once connected, lay them out approximately where your gadgets are.
Step 5: Shorten Your Cables Shorter cables are easier to manage and hide away. Shorten your cords so that they are the exact length between the two devices they need to be. You don't have to trim them, just use twist ties, cable ties, or Velcro. Do this by wrapping the cable around your hand and tying it off with the tie of your choice.
Step 6: Wrap Like-Cables Together The best way to keep everything from ending messy again is to wrap everything heading the same direction together. By tying everything together in bulk, it turns it into one large cable instead of three.
Step 7: Time to Connect Your Devices By now your entertainment area should be looking a whole lot better. Go ahead and plug in all your devices and slide them into the entertainment center. Depending on the size of your setup, you may have a lot of excess cord or small bundles everywhere. Below are a few extra tips on keeping it all neat:
Binder Clips: Yes, binder clips work behind your television just as well as your desk. If you have a lot of cables, you can use binder clips to keep all your cables in a neat row or help keep them propped up if they need to cross over everything else. This keeps the cables from dangling or hanging awkwardly across other cables.
Hide your power strip: If your power strip is full, you probably have power cables going everywhere. You can purchase a box that hides it away and organizes the cables out of a singular small hole, or you convert a shoe box to do the same thing.
Replace a fiberboard back with peg board: If you have a home entertainment center that has a fiberboard back, rip it off and replace it with a piece of peg board. This gives you a way to easily hang and organize the same way you would with your computer. This method is especially helpful if you have extra game controllers or remotes lying around and want a basket to stuff them in. A peg board is also handy because you can use a tool holder to organize cables.
Skip hiding everything and embrace the look: Alternately, you can always just embrace the fact you need cables running everything and mount everything to the wall in a decorative pattern. This takes a lot of work, but the effect can be better than hiding everything away.