Does your home entertainment centre look like the switchboard room from the 1950s? If so, it’s time to get the cord clutter under control and prevent a possible fire hazard. While it may not be as easy as tucking in your computer cables, it’s still possible to do it without spending too much. No matter how many devices you have, cables always seem to get in a way. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to declutter them.

Disconnect everything

The first thing you need to do is disconnect all the cables and wipe everything clean. Even if the room doesn’t see much use, areas where nothing is moved for a long time tend to attract fine dust and house dust bunnies. Use a wet cloth, taking care not to get water in the connectors and outlets.

Organise endpoints

Then, lay out your cables on the floor to get the idea of what goes where. Rest assured that even in the simplest setup, half of them will run straight up to the TV, and the other half to a power outlet, so group them by their end points. For example, one bundle will consist of the HDMI, component, and coaxial cables, the other your power cords, etc. Don’t forget to organize the cables that connect to the stereo, or other auxiliary devices you might have.

Connect power cords to a power strip

Next, plug all the power cables in the power strip, pointing the other end to your devices. Quality power strips will have the maximum workload listed on the specification sticker on the bottom. If you are not sure if the room is wired right for entertainment purposes, now is a great time to remedy this. Home wiring professionals, such as this electrician from Sydney, offer a wide range of residential services, including surge protector installations, so your expensive devices are protected from grid overloads.

Connect the end points

It’s always easier to start decluttering at the end, and work your way to the respective devices the cables are coming from. For example, you should start by connecting your HDMI cables to the TV, the Ethernet cables to the router, and everything else to their corresponding devices. Once you connect them, lay them on the floor approximately where your gadgets will be.

Shorten the cables

There are many ways to reduce the length of your cables, and you’ll easily find all kinds of twist ties, cable ties, or Velcro wraps online or your nearest electronics store. The easiest ways to do it is by wrapping the cable around your hand and tying it off by a binder of your choice. Make sure you get the exact length between the two devices, as shortening them when you set everything down is more challenging.

Wrap similar cables together

Once you get your cables shortened, there’s hardly a better way to keep everything from getting tangled up again than by using cable wraps for the cables that are heading the same directions. For example, if there are three HDMI cables that run up to your TV, tie all three with cable ties. The same applies to every type of cable you have. The idea is to tie everything in bulks, to make it look like you have one large cable instead of three. You shouldn’t by any means use duct tape for wrapping, as it prevents the cooling and might damage your cables.

Connect the devices

When you have everything tied and cleaned up, your entertainment centre should be looking much neater. Now plug in all your devices and slide them into their slots. If you have more than five devices hooked up, you may have a lot of small cable bundles laying everywhere. If you’re still bothered by this, use binder clips behind your devices, or replace the fibreboard behind your set with a pegboard, which gives you plenty of organizing options.

Hopefully, this quick guide was helpful, and now you can enjoy your home entertainment room as it’s meant to be done, without tripping or fire hazard caused by tangled and unsecured cables.

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