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Cable Management: How To Control The Cord Chaos Under Your Workspace

By Hanssie on January 7th 2016

Admittedly, we photographers are a pretty geeky bunch. We sit around reading specs about the newest camera or lens; we discuss how many pixels we will be pushing this year, and we find the perfect trajectory of the sun easing over the horizon on our special landscape app just to get the perfect shot. Yep, pretty geeky. But a group that could be classified as even geekier might be the gamers. Gamers spend more hours in front of a computer screen than we do. Instead of staring at dozens of images on two screens in Lightroom, though, they stare at three to four screens while playing video games. (Just kidding, I think both them and us are equally  geeky, so no hate mail, please.)

But no matter which group would win in a geek-out, some common things ring true for both; one: we need state of the art equipment and because of that two: we live in a constant state of cable chaos under our desks. If you have a dedicated workspace in your home or studio, you’ll know what I mean. Cords from your dual monitors (because who edits on one monitor these days?), Wacom Tablet, Hard Drives, RAID systems, speakers, keyboard…red cords, blue cords, green cords…you get the picture.

So, what to do to get rid of the unsightly cords sticking out from every which way? Just like a kid who is told to clean his room, you find a way to hide it all.

cable-management-hanssie

 

The following video is an ‘Ultimate Cable Management Guide,’ and is geared for our gamer friends. But you can certainly borrow these same ideas for your photography workstation in your studio as well. In this DIY build, gamer Totally Silenced Tech built a very clean and slick personal setup that he covers stage by stage in the 7-minute watch. Looking at his setup above, you don’t see any cables at all! 

So, how does he do this? He begins with the speaker cables that were tucked and virtually unnoticeable in the corner. But even that was too much for him and so he grabbed his drill and got to work. Yes, to clean up the cable chaos and have a clean workstation, you’ll need a drill and hopefully not too much sentimental attachment to your desk. The monitors will require some drilling into the wall and some elbow grease, but you have to admit, for someone who likes an organized, wireless look, it’s worth the effort. He goes on to show how to manage all the now hidden cables underneath your desk. He ends the video with some additional tips for the PC users. 

This video has definitely inspired me to clean up all those cords I’ve been pretending were invisible. Watch the video below, grab some tips, and share with us how you manage your cables.

About

Hanssie is a Southern California-based writer and sometimes portrait and wedding photographer. In her free time, she homeschools, works out, rescues dogs and works in marketing for SLR Lounge. She also blogs about her adventures and about fitness when she’s not sick of writing so much. Check out her work and her blog at www.hanssie.com and www.fittedmagazine.com. Follow her on Instagram. Email her at:
[email protected]

17 Comments

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  1. [email protected] Latham

    Gorgeous, but my computer desk cost $1500 and I am not about to drill holes in it for a clean look. Any other ideas?

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  2. Rafael Steffen

    Lovely workspace. I think if you get many gigs during the year it becomes worth investing on such an amazing solution.

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  3. Dave Haynie

    I do like that basic workstation layout. If I put my KRK near field monitors in for the PC speakers, put my television in the upper video monitor position, and added anothee 27″ 2560×1440 to replace my old 1920×1200, I’d be set for anything: music, photo, video, CAD. Well, not saying I’m not already, but I’d certainly look cooler doing it :-)

    Part of the problem is the temporary stuff. I have the PC under the desk, keyboard and mouse is a tray with cables behind, USB hub securely affixed to the desk hutch, etc. This week, it was the 8-10 USB cables in that hub, requests to fix all three family PCs (wife and both keys laptops all needed attention), setting up a new mini-PC as a load balancing router, AND unloading photos from two cameras that caused much of the chaos. Oh, and my wife in surgery on Thursday. I guess it can only get better from here :-)

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  4. Lee G

    If you can’t run the wires in the wall you can use some stick on wire mold to kinda hide the wires.

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  5. Anthony Thurston

    My only real hesitation with this is that you are then stuck with that layout permanently. I am constantly changing my desk layout, adding crap, removing crap. My desk would look like swiss cheese after a couple months.

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  6. Lauchlan Toal

    I don’t think I could fit another monitor on my desk, let alone three… But good to have those cord management skills in the back pocket for the future – practical life skills are always evolving. Great write-up Hanssie, somehow the new site design seems to really mesh with your writing style.

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    • Hanssie

      Thanks, Lauchlan. I’m gonna use some of these tips for my dang TV system. With the TV, DVR box, BluRay player, Internet router, and Xbox I have a cord graveyard back there.

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  7. Leslie Troyer

    before running wires in the wall — make sure they are plenum rated, and the power cables for those monitors cant run in the walls – you need to install an outlet. not doing things to code can void your insurance

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    • Hanssie

      Good call. Thanks for the tip!

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    • Anthony Thurston

      That would be the case if you were pluggin the cables into the power directly. All he did was essentially build a tunnel in the wall and ran his cables through that to the floor.

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  8. Graham Curran

    I admire such a clutter -free desk.

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  9. Justin Haugen

    I have 3 monitors also. 1 for facebook. 1 for netflix. 1 for work. I accomplish so little >_<

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    • Hanssie

      More efficient than my current system. Toggle back and forth between Facebook and work on the computer, Netflix via phone…

      …add to that two barking dogs, one homeschooled kid, and a partridge in a pear tree…

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  10. Anthony Thurston

    Not something photographers may think about, but having a nice (cable managed) workspace can really help improve the look and feel of your workspace.

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    • Hanssie

      Photographers that are a little obsessive about cleanliness think about it all the time…

      …errr, my friend told me that…

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  11. Joseph Ford

    Gorgeous workstation.

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