Photo courtesy: Deb Malden


By Mary Lynn Bruny

Recently I was FaceTiming with my son Nick who was showing me his new apartment. When he got to his desk area he said, “Ignore my cable management. I haven’t done that yet.” What? Cable management? This is a thing? And indeed, it is a thing.

Now granted, my son and his contemporaries have a lot more cordage in their lives due to their computing and gaming habits. (Does every younger adult have at least three screens that display at once?) But even if you live a less techie lifestyle than a programmer and avid gamer you will encounter the need for some forms of cord and cable management in your home.

Not to sound like I was born during the Paleolithic period, but remember when one used to just plug a single TV cord into the wall? That was the end. One step. Fini. Now one needs an IT degree to set up a new television and Wi-Fi (or be under 35 or have a willing offspring). Okay, I’m exaggerating. I can actually do this, but it doesn’t mean I like it. I kvetch every time while thinking this is exactly what an older person would do.

Nonetheless, here have been my cord and cable management strategies to date:

Hide them behind other things – Yah, there’s a jumble of cords and cables behind our entertainment center that looks like a dusty snake pit with hundreds of intermingled species, but who cares if you can’t see them? Actually they do rather bug me. I want to take everything apart and better organize them but my husband can never find a time when he can live without Wi-Fi for a few hours. Apparently life as we know it will stop. The world will implode, or worse, sporting events will be missed.

Connect with old twist ties – For a long time I used the bright green twist ties from the produce section of the grocery store. Then I stepped things up when I replaced these with old black and white twist ties I found in our junk drawer. These color coordinated with the cables. Classy move.

Adhere with duct tape – For masses of cords and cables I don’t want to see, I duct tape them to the back of furniture. This holds for a while (like a year or so), and then slowly sags over time until completely failing with a jarring thwack — usually in the middle of the night. Again, classy.

But now I’m seeing I need to step up my cable management game. I cannot have my son out-organizing me. No, this is the one skill set I have where I excel. I will go on-line and check out the bazillion products which have cropped up in the last decade and thoughtfully cable manage the heck out of our homestead and create systems of beauty that inspire awe and jealousy (or at least function better).

But what about the boxes of dozens of miscellaneous cords and cables in the basement? The huge tangled mess from every electrical product we have owned in the last 30 years? Cords and cables my husband has kept on the slim to none chance that “someday” we might need them again?

As I am not the family member who started this little hellhole of organizational turmoil, I’m not going to worry about it. Maybe I’ll just hide that box behind another box. Maybe those cords and cables aren’t properly managed, but I’m sure I’ll manage to not care.

By Mary Lynn Bruny. Mary Lynn writes about local real estate and home-related topics. Contact her at [email protected]. To read previous The Lighter Side articles, go to