Take a quick look at the entertainment center in your home. If you’re like most people, there is probably an unsightly birds-nest of tangled cables behind your TV stand. This may seem like a benign side effect of having all the new high tech gadgets connected to your TV, but the reality is it can lead to many serious problems in your home.

First off, an untidy mass of cables protruding from behind your TV stand is just plain ugly and will draw the viewers gaze away from what should be the center of attention, the flat screen TV. Rearranging your components, adding a new component, or taking one away, will be absolutely nightmarish with all the clutter.

When your cables get tangled around one another, they inevitably trap unwanted dirt, dust, and pet hair. This doesn’t just add to the messiness of the situation, but can be incredibly irritating to those with allergies and dust sensitivity. The most serious issues of all is of course safety. A mass of power cables wrapped around an often overloaded power-strip is a huge electrical fire risk.

Organize your Entertainment Center

While digging in and organizing this mess may see like a daunting task, following these simple steps will make it as painless as possible.

  • Power everything off and disconnect all your cables.
    Gently untangle all of the cords being careful not to pull too hard causing damage. Once the tangles are clear, thoroughly clean each cable.
  • Layout the cords on the floor based on their destination.
    A large portion of the cords will be going to the TV, another group will be going to the power strip, and others going to the various devices.
  • Connect all your cables to your endpoints.
    Group by group, connect all the cables to their destination starting with those going to the power strip.
  • Shorten any overly long cables.
    Cables with too much slack will end up in a big tangle. Wrap the excess cable around your hand and secure it together with a cable tie, twist tie, or velcro.
  • Secure the cables together that are going to the same areas.
    Bind together the groups of cables going to the different devices, again using cable ties, twist ties, or velcro. This will create the appearance of a few large cables going to each device rather than many small ones.
  • Power everything on and make sure all cables have been properly connected.

If you would like to take your ultra-minimalist look to the next level and hide the remaining cables even further, here are a few additional tips. Use binder clips or additional ties to secure the cable bundles to one of the posts of your TV stand, making them less visible.

If the busy power strip is unsightly and protruding from the bottom of the TV stand, hide it. The best method for this is to place it inside a box with a cutout for the cables. I find an old wine crate, cigar box, or painted shoe box to be perfect for this application. The power strip will still be easy to access but will be out of sight from the viewer.

Now that your cables are untangled, cleaned, shortened, and neatly bundled together, your entertainment center will surely be looking more professional and will be much easier to maintain and keep organized. Not all TV stands for flat screens are built equally, and you can save your self a lot of headache buy purchasing one with well placed cutouts and channels for cable organization already built it. Now go get your entertainment center organized and enjoy it for what it’s meant to be.

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