It used to be that we had very few cords, wires and cables to be concerned about. There was the one on the wall mounted telephone that never seemed to be long enough to let you move completely around the room. There was a power cord on your television, and perhaps on your Atari game system (if you are old enough to remember that!). If you had an office, you might have had them on your adding machine and telephone.
Fast forward about 30-50 years and now you have a dozen or more, and that is just at your desk! There is a cord for your computer, keyboard, mouse, monitor, and more. And oh what a mess they create! In the living room there is the cable line, power for television, DVR, DVD, speakers, game systems, and more. Who wants all those wires visible? With all these various components, you may feel like your life is a total tangled mess.
Obviously having all these cords and wires visible is unsightly, but it can also be hazardous. Depending on their location, they could present a trip hazard for one thing. In addition, if you have pets they may take it upon themselves to chew on them. This could result in an electrical charge to your pet as well as potentially an electrical fire. It isn’t just your pets that could munch on them either. A visiting mouse could do it too. If you have crawling toddlers, they could become tangled in the cords and either chew on them or get them wrapped around an arm or their neck. Obviously being attentive will limit this risk, but is it really worth taking the chance?
Another danger of having these cables exposed is having something become unplugged at an inconvenient time. For example, your DVR loses power and that season finale of Walking Dead doesn’t get taped. Or, you’re in the middle of typing up your memoirs and suddenly your computer shuts off and you lose hours of work. Gamers can appreciate how challenging levels can be in a game and should the power get disconnected at the wrong time, it can be very disheartening.
Although not as serious as the above concerns, another thing to consider is that studies show that an unorganized workspace can be distractive. If you are working from home, how your home office looks can have a big impact on your productivity and ability to focus. You’ll feel more like a professional when you have a workspace that looks professional. You may also find that family members take your work more seriously, which can be a problem in some cases.
There are a number of ways to overcome the tangled mess. Some are more complex than others, so a lot will depend on the type and location of the wires, cords and cables, whether you own or rent, and what your budget is.
Home theater systems are one of those that quite often you may want to go the more permanent route of getting as many of the cables behind the walls, in the ceiling or below the floor as possible. Speaker wires and cable cords are the most typical ones to install this way. Putting in outlets both high for a wall-mount television and lower for the other components is good also. The cables that run from the components to the television can also be hidden behind the walls.
This option obviously has the best appearance, but there are reasons why you may not want to go this route. For example, if you are a tenant, your landlord may not permit it. Additionally, you may not want to go to the expense, even if they did allow it. It is worth asking them if they will do it for you though. If you are not adept at doing this task yourself, you can easily find a service that will do it for you. Some electricians are willing to and there are others that do it as their primary occupation. The cost to hire will be quite a bit higher than going with other options.
If you cannot manage the permanent option due to being a tenant or having budget considerations, an ideal solution is to use cord management systems. These products encase your wires, cables, and cords to keep them protected, organized and out of sight. When this system will be visible, you can choose an option that can be painted. This way you can paint it the same color as your walls so it blends in better.
There are also cord management systems designed for desks that affix to the desk itself to hold numerous cords and wires in place. These are very useful for a home office. They are also ideal for commercial offices to avoid the same types of dangers that could arise there with tangled cords. Having an employee lose a critical report because the power cord got snagged on their foot is frustrating to them and costly to you in terms of the labor hours devoted to the task. Also, just as organization is vital at a home office, it is also a consideration for commercial offices where productivity is just as important if not more so.
Cord management systems are extremely affordable and easy to install, especially those that are just peel and press. You could be on the road to a tangle-free life in no time and have peace of mind that you won’t lose work, burn your home down or endanger your pets or children.
Whether you go with in-wall options, a cord management system, or a combination of the two for your living room, home office or anywhere that wires, cords, and cables are making you feel tangled up, you can be sure that you’ve taken a big step toward making your life easier and safer.