Tips from a tech widow: organising cables

Bob Marley Cable Holder

Is it just us or does it seem that there are more cables and wires, in this supposedly wireless age, than ever before? They’re everywhere, coiled up at the back of drawers and tangled up in boxes. And, now we think of it, isn’t there always that one cable that nobody seems to own, and everyone swears they’ve thrown away, but that just keeps reappearing?

So, now that Christmas is out of the way and new devices have flooded the house, we thought it might be an idea to look at how you can stay relatively clutter and cable free. And since our in-house blogger, Em Kuntze, is married to an incurable tech geek, who better to advise than a self-confessed ‘tech widow’?

  1. Cables take on a life of their own and it’s a well know fact that, if not stored away properly, they’ll begin to breed and multiply at an alarming rate. First things first: gather all of your cables, plugs and chargers together. Have a sort through. If you’ve inexplicably got a cable only compatible with a phone discontinued around the time 24 was still cutting-edge TV, it’s time to take action. If you’ve no longer got the device that needs charging, you don’t need the cable. Really. You don’t.
  2. Get realistic about duplicates. Everyone needs duplicates of charging cables, but there is a limit. Decide what that limit is and stick to it.
  3. Sort out cables by type. If you’re a musician, keep your leads and cables together. Don’t just dump all your stuff into a box and hope for the best. (Remember: they really do breed like stick insects.)
  4. Consider significant others. You might be able to differentiate – at the briefest glance – which cable is for a tablet and which is for a new phone, but there’s nothing more frustrating than being home alone, in need of a charger and having to sift through coiled and knotted leads not really knowing what you’re looking for. Not everyone can sight-read Geek.
  5. Once you see where you stand, keep them separated and organized. There are loads of ways to do this.

Ziploc Bags

ziploc bags

Toilet Rolls

The humble loo roll – perfect, it turns out, for storing cables. Put them end-on in a shoe box and you’re sorted.

loo rolls

Label them. Please, label them…

Speaking here as a tech widow, I implore you: please label cables. Not only because it rhymes, but because there’s almost nothing more frustrating than spending fifteen minutes wondering why your iPhone charger isn’t fitting in the iPhone, only to be told that in fact it isn’t an iPhone charger anyway. “But it’s white!” you implore. “Aren’t they all?” comes the less-than-sympathetic reply.

Preventing such peaks in blood pressure is as simple as folding a piece of tape over the cable in question and writing what it is on it. How you do this is up to you, so now you can indulge your obsession for washi tape too…

label cabel

…or be a little more utilitarian.

label cable

Box them up!

We love the fact that you can see in two seconds flat that it’s a tech widow that has sorted this out. It’s pretty low-tech, really, which we love, but simple enough to use that all members of the household might maintain their sanity and find cables – whatever it is they’re for – in a timely fashion.

in boxes

Larger cables

Of course, often it’s not the iPhone cables of the world that are the problem. It’s the big ones – the kind of cables that are so serious they aren’t white or black. If you’ve got some space, this is a pretty good way to keep them coiled and out of the way…

chains coat hook

…while this option wins prizes for best witty cable storage solution:


Cable tidies

Not so much a solution for cables themselves, but for the now-essential charging area. There are plenty of ready-to-buy options on the market, but it’s almost as simple to fashion one yourself. All you need is a box with a hole big enough to fit a cable through.

bread bin cables

And this is a great idea for keeping chargers from disappearing from the face of the earth (or down a tiny gap behind a kitchen cabinet)

bulldog clip cable

Don’t forget: if you need some extra storage space, be it for cables, clothes or collectibles, Boxman can help. We do self storage with a difference: all you have to do is pack and our friendly drivers will drop off and pick up your boxes, leaving you more time to find the right charger for your phone, or something else.

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