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Don't Throw Those "Extra" Cables Away!

Aug 17, 2007
You know that old household-cleaning tip that says if you have not used something in three months you should throw it out? That tip was obviously created long before the computer and digital age! Never throw away a cable just because you don't think you have used it in the last three months.

If you are the non-technical person in the home who happens to have the challenge of keeping the house cleaned and organized, cables probably vex you. Just because you have discovered a box full of them - obviously not being used at this time - in a closet does not mean you should chunk them in the trash can.

While technology changes rapidly, our ability to buy all the latest gadgets does not quite keep up. In short, you never know when one of those cables might come in handy. Besides, some of them are quite expensive. You could try separating them by probably use possibilities, but honestly, the best thing to do is leave the box alone. Maybe tidy up by making sure all the cables are neatly inside the box. That's it.

If you are trying to control the cables that hang down the wall from the equipment to the surge protection in the electrical outlet, nothing works better than plastic zip ties. Once we used bread twist ties for this chore. The plastic zip ties are inexpensive, easy to use, and can't be undone by small, curious children. Remember when using the plastic zip ties that once they are wrapped around the cables and secured, you will probably have to cut it off if you plan to rearrange the wires later. Make sure you leave enough space to safely cut the zip tie without cutting into any of the wires.

The same rule for not throwing away cables applies to small cable boxes, too. The box could serve as an adapter for a unit some day.

While indoor phone cable is relatively inexpensive, hang onto it as well. Chances are that if you have had more than one phone in the house, dial up internet service, and have networked any home computers, you will find a lot of old phone cable in the house. With so many people going wireless or cable for their Internet provider these days, the use of so much phone cable has declined. However, it might come in handy for a fax or other business or home office item in the future. Since phone cable is easily recognized, feel free to bundle it and put it away. You may bundle it by length or by color, whichever is best for your organizational methods.

Just remember, you will probably need one of those cables again some day. Having an idea of where they are stored and how they are stored will help you get to them as quickly as possible. Label the boxes as you store them, even if the description is as simple as "black cables" and "phone line." This will make finding wanted cables easier in the future.
About the Author
For more information about cables and how to get yours organized, visit The Cabling Cart
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