With every new gaming console, flat-screen television, or entertainment option that’s released, the possibilities for your entertainment center grow. Unfortunately, so does the number of cords tangled together keeping the systems connected and powered. Chances are, your collection of devices and gadgets has expanded since you first set up your entertainment center, and each new element has been haphazardly added on to an already cluttered system. If the spaghetti nest of cords behind your entertainment system is getting out of hand (and impossible to clean), try these simple tips for a functional, easy-to-use setup for even the most complex gaming systems.
Take Everything Apart and Clean
Your first step to a more organized and elegant home entertainment center should be to disassemble each component and clean out the dust and cobwebs that have gathered. Wipe everything off so you’re starting with a clean slate, then lay all the pieces out on the floor in front of your entertainment center.
Label and Sort
This may seem like an obvious step, but many people don’t think to do it: label both ends of every cord and cable in your collection. One option is to use a label maker to label the purpose of the cord, but even wrapping a piece of colored tape around each end of the cord will make it much easier to identify the one you are looking for the next time you find yourself digging around behind your entertainment center.
Next, sort out the cables, based on their destination. Cords that need to be plugged into the power strip should be on one side, with the cables that connect the different components of the entertainment center on the other side.
Start at the End
To reconnect all the components, it’s usually better to start at the origin point rather than the destination. For example, start by connecting all your power cords to the devices they power, rather than starting at the power strip. Then plug the different input cords into the receiver before routing them back to the respective devices. If you’re running low on input ports, you may want to consider purchasing an HDMI switch that plugs into your receiver and allows you to switch between different inputs.
Connect, Shorten, and Bundle
Once all your cables are plugged into the right destination ports, make sure all your devices are positioned where you want them. Then, one by one, connect the other end of each cable. It’s usually easier to begin with power cords first, then the cables that connect the different consoles to the receiver. One of the major reasons for tangled cables is the use of cables that are simply too long for the job. Having a lot of slack cord bunched up behind the entertainment center is sure to lead to tangles and confusion, so as you connect each cable, shorten it so that it is only as long as necessary. An easy way to do this is by wrapping the excess cable in loops around your hand and securing it with a zip tie.
As you go, you may notice that several cables are running to the same destination. To keep everything compact and organized, some people like wrapping these sets of cords together with a cable tie or something similar.
Enjoy Your Entertainment Center
Using these organizational techniques is sure to keep your entertainment system organized and running smoothly, with the clutter and dust at a minimum. If dust and pollen have been accumulating in your home, there is often plenty of it behind an entertainments center, on cords, and the back of components. The experts at COIT can help you clean out your ventilation system so the air circulating in your home is cleaner and safer.