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Along with the space between your couch cushions, the area behind your TV is one of the easiest places to neglect in your living room. Take a peek behind most of our TV stands and you'll find a hellish, knotted nest of cables, power strips, and dust bunnies.
So, in the spirit of Spring cleaning, lets talk about a handful of ways you can tidy up the territory behind your television. It might not seem like an important cleaning effort, but once your TV wires have reached their full organizational potential, you'll wonder how on earth you waited so long to do it.
1. Shorten your cables
We don't often think about the length of our HDMI, ethernet, or power cables once we've taken them out of their packaging and installed whatever devices they accompany, but excessively long cables have a nasty habit of piling up on the floor and eventually evolving into the mess of knots we all associate with the space behind our TVs.
To combat this potential problem, we recommend rounding up whatever excess slack each cable might offer and tying them off in neat coils. You can pick up a pack of 100 Velcro brand wrap ties for just $10. They're adjustable, easy-to-use, and dirt cheap. Trust us: You'll be glad you did.
2. Hide your cables
Perhaps the quickest way to impose some semblance of order behind your TV stand is to conceal your cables. By keeping them out of sight, you'll not only improve the look of your home theater, but also keep them away from the hands of children and the paws of pets.
For most people, we recommend something along the lines of the Bluelounge cable box. For about $30, this nifty little box can safely house most standard-sized power strips, keeping the connected power bricks and AC adapters concealed. It also comes in white, black, blue, and beige—perfect for color coordination.
If your TV is mounted and you're tired of seeing those pesky cables cascading down your wall, you may want to look into something like the SimpleCord cable concealer, which takes all of those unsightly, dangling wires and puts them behind a neat-looking strip that blends seamlessly with your wall.
And although this cable concealer comes in both black and white, they're also paintable, which makes them a fine option for folks looking to make them even more camouflaged within their living room wall.
If basic concealment is not enough to satisfy your organizational cravings, you might want to introduce an easy-to-decipher labeling scheme for quick and painless identification.
3. Label your cables
Even if your cables are tucked away in a neat little compartment, it's not always easy to pluck out the right one at a moment's notice. Power cords, audio cables, and HDMI cables often blend together, especially if several of them are running in the same general direction.
An easy way to combat this problem is to start labeling each wire as you introduce them to your home theater. I recommend something along the lines of the Dymo LM 160. This no-frills label maker comes with a starter roll of tape and currently tops out at around $23 on Amazon. Sure, you could get a fancier label maker, but I'm going to just assume that you'd rather spend less and still get precisely what you need to start organizing.
Alternatively, multi-colored rolls of tape are less hands-on than a label maker, but still offer easy-to-spot colors for all of your cable classifications. This pack of vinyl tape from 3M comes with six differently colored rolls for about $18.