Monday, December 2, 2013

Ten-minute hack: Bringing sanity to your spare wires

Over the years, I've accumulated a lot of spare wire of various forms and flavors. And over the years, I've tried a couple of ways of managing this mess of wire, including a big "Strand Century" lightbox I scrounged in college and a shelf where things were haphazardly tossed. But after an organization-catastrophe-induced creative spit-balling session with my significant other on the issue, I think I have the solution to beat all solutions.


This is a two-ingredient hack.
  1. Wire shelving. You probably have some somewhere in the place you store your wire.
  2. Lots and lots of self-gripping cable ties (1 per wire). These are easily the most oft-used hacking tool in my toolbelt; when you need some stuff fastened right now, they're the go-to gadget. Cheap, too.

Ten-minute hack

For each wire:

  1. Loop the end of the wire with the self-gripping cable tie.
  2. Coil the wire and tie it off with the rest of the tie, leaving a few inches of "tail" unstuck.
  3. Press the cable tie into the wire shelving from below, loop the loose end of the cable tie over one of the shelving wires, and stick it back down to the rest of the velcro.

Final thoughts

The result is straightforward and easy to work with.
All my wires, just hangin' out.


  1. The wires pop back off the shelf with a little bit of side-pressure; press so the shelving wire separates the end of the cable tie, and off it goes.
  2. With the wires hung in this way, it's much easier to see which is which than with a flat storage solution.


The only one I can think of is that some cables will of course exceed the weight limit of the velcro (if you have any that exceed the weight limit of your shelving wires, I'd like to know what you're up to!).