I’m a bit of a neat freak and don’t like clutter around my house and especially in my home office. I can’t control what my kids, dog, and wife do with most of the rooms in our house, but my home office space is my personal kingdom. As such, I don’t like all the wires, cables, power outlets, etc. that come along with all the various computer components and gadgets that I have currently in my office. I was able to reduce much of this by switching to a fully integrated iMac Desktop system, but I still have the following components to deal with:
- External backup hard drive (for use with Apple Time Machine Software)
- Comcast digital set top box
- EyeTV HD video recording device
- Touchstone charger with USB cable
- Work Laptop charger
Considering that my office has basically a single desk (floating in the center of the room) and a small side-board cabinet just off to my left side, I don’t have a lot of space for electronic accessories. Of course, I could put the mentioned components inside my side cabinet, however, I didn’t want to purchase extension cables and have them run from the side cabinet over to my iMac system sitting on my main desk. Thus, I designed a method to store all of my components under my main desk.
What I did, was buy a pegboard (normally used for hanging up tools in a garage) and cut it down to a 2-ft by 4-ft piece. Using three small hinges, I attached one end of the pegboard to the bottom front side of my desk so that it could swing up and under my desk. This way, I could easily attach the three previous mentioned computer components to the pegboard using plastic zip ties and swing it up and out of the way under my main desk surface. What is nice, is that I could also neatly wrap and tie all the associated power adapters, cables, and wires to the pegboard so that everything is out of sight. I also included a powerstrip so that all these accessories could be conveniently plugged in under my desk as well.
Now if you walked into my home office you wouldn’t notice any of these extra components connected to my iMac (sans the few USB cables coming from the back of my iMac disappearing around the underside of my desk). If I ever need to check any of these components or add something else, I just swing it down and viola I have instant and easy access.
The under-the-desk trick should work for anyone who has a desk with a reasonably hiding area beneath it. I highly recommend using pegboard as it has pre-drilled holes which the plastic zip ties can conveniently wrap around. And if you’re a super-neat freak you could also strap in a small light which you can turn on to actually see what you have under your desk! 🙂