How to Organize Your Home Entertainment Cabling

Cell phone cable accessories

If you’re a serious gamer, movie buff, or world-certified Netflix binger, chances are you have an amazing home entertainment system setup with high-quality pictures, fast Internet connections, and maybe even a surround sound system. Chances are, everyone wants to come to your house to watch the big game or try out the latest RPG.

With those perks, however, comes a whole mess of cluttered cables. Behind your TV, you might have HDMI cables, a bunch of Cat 5 cable bulk, perhaps even some zipcord fiber optic cable. Unorganized cables don’t just look messy, they can make it difficult to check connections or make adjustments. To manage the nest growing behind your television set, follow these tips for getting your cable organization game up to speed.

  1. Color Coordinate.
    Surprise! It’s not just for your closet. A good way to stay organized is to implement an organizational code from the start. You can find some types of cables, especially common ones like USB cables, in fun colors so that you can tell what connects to what just by looking. For lots of standard black or gray cables, try adding a ribbon or colored electrical tape near the ends.
  2. Keep it Short.
    Try sticking to the shortest possible cable length you can get away with. Sometimes, as with network Ethernet cables, you can buy a spool of cable in bulk and cut it to the length you need. Cat 5 cable bulk is readily available online for cheaper than you would find it in stores, and lasts five to 10 years easily.
  3. Tie it Down.
    For those cables that still run too long, keep them neatly wrapped and tied together with velcro. You might even fashion hooks to hang the excess on the backside of your TV stand. For mounted monitors, take an old wooden or cardboard box to hold the leftovers, which could double as a place to keep your power strip surge protector, too.

A little tidiness goes a long way in making your entertainment system look as good in the room as it does on the screen. But looks aren’t everything — it’ll also help keep your system safe and working the way it should for a long time to come!