Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Cable Management

Stop right there! Don't throw away all of that useful packaging! As my gift to you, I'm going to show you how to reuse those annoying twist ties that are included in virtually every toy you buy.

I have a two year old son. He's having a great Christmas. After I took a few gifts out of the original packaging I was left with a mess of twist ties and little plastic anchors.

These ties are used to keep items securely fastened while allowing a clear view and even a trial touch of the item inside. I wasn't originally a fan of these, though they are at least less annoying than bubble packaging. Now I save them whenever I get them. Why? I figured out that they are perfect for cable management solutions.

The first use I realized was that the ties are strong enough that you can wrap them around cables to keep them together and you don't even need to tie them after. Just wrap around a few wires until you run out of tie. The wire is fairly strong and somewhat stiff, though the gauge varies with each product.

Tonight I realized how useful the plastic anchors could be. They have holes in them for the wire ties to pass through and anchor points to wrap the wire around. They come in varying sizes so you could use different ones at different points to keep your cables orderly. As you can see, I've put the wire through backwards so that the cable I'm tying down sits between the anchor points, then I run the wire tie around the back and wrap it in a figure eight to lock it down. On most of these there's even an extra set of holes on the ends, you could use this to lock down another cable or you could drive a tack or screw through it to secure the anchor to a wall or desk.

The great thing about these is that they're free and they work very well. They hold nicely but they're easy to undo. You can reuse them, too. If you're a an environmentally conscious geek father like me these are a great solution to a couple of problems.

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