Take this opportunity to reorganize and clean up your desk, you're going to start fresh!
1) Disconnect everything and clean up on/around your desk. Dust your monitors, wipe down the surface, move any papers that are piled up. When I dealt with rat nests of wires, I never was able to vacuum/dust. Do it now when it is easiest.
2) Put your desk on sliders. Even the heaviest hardwood desk on carpet becomes easy to move alone when you do this. If you're on hardwood or some other surface, clean around the desk before moving it, or you'll scratch it up.
3) Leave the desk away from the wall so you can get behind it. Set up everything exactly how you want it, but leave the loose cables wherever you put them before and leave the other cables (mouse, keyboard) bundled up next to their owners.
Now you're ready for the fun part!
Think about how you want to route the cables; that means don't let them touch the floor! I love routing them under the desk surface in the back because they're pretty much invisible and the cats don't chew on them. If you have a cheap fiberboard desk like I do, consider using screw-in hooks
(use a small nail to make a pilot hole). If you have a metal/glass or an otherwise nice desk, use sticky hooks (3M Command hooks are usually too big - I like cable tie mounts
with zip/twist ties set into a loose loop).
Start with the cables for the devices you'll move the least; this probably means your power strip, modem & router, and other network cables (I like to mount these to the side/back of my desk so they're out of the way but close to everything - this is especially important with the power strip). Move on to the monitors & speakers, then the external hard drives & USB hubs. The last things you want to hook up are probably your keyboard & mouse.
1) Once you've connected the device, stop and take a look at the cables; anything that you can group together, wrap it in spiral cable wrap
, starting at the device and going back. Two network cables from the router to your towers? Wrap them together. Your monitor's DVI & power cables? Wrap them. Be sure to give yourself enough length of wrapped cable so you can move your devices around as far as you think you'll want to.
2) Now you take up any slack in the cable by bundling it - just be sure to leave a little bit of slack in the cable - just enough so it has a nice bend radius at the computer/router/wall. Hang the bundles together from a hook/anchor in an inconspicuous place. Use N+1 ties so you can get at it later - one for the hook/anchor, and one for each bundle (I especially love using twist ties for this part):
- For small DC cables, wrap the extra length neatly around 4 fingers, flatten the bundle. Secure with a twist / zip / velcro tie.
- For bigger cables, hold it in your palm and keep reversing direction across your palm - leave a reasonable bend radius. Secure it as above.
- For network cables; buy a crimping tool and learn to use it.
Push your desk back into place and you're done! Use weighted cable managers or adhesive to hold USB hubs from falling off your desk and enjoy!