A wild guess: Behind whatever furniture holds your television, DVD player, DVR, video game console(s) and other entertainment boxes lurks a tangle of cables more horrifying than the pit of snakes in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Battle the serpents head-on with these helpers. Some are even good-looking—although not quite as attractive as Harrison Ford circa 1981.
Ditch the strip
There’s scant evidence that whoever designed the power strip actually used one. After years of playing plug Sudoku trying to get everything to fit, it’s time to upgrade your outlet with some of our faves. Power Strip Liberators ($4 at cyberguys.com) maximize your existing strip’s outlets à la carte, while Pivot Power ($30 at quirky.com) takes the standard and makes it more flexible: Just bend to make room for chunky transformers where you need it.
Pick up the slack
Wind too-long cords around Cable Capture or XL Cable Organizer spools. The former ($5–$25 at frys.com) can be stacked and mounted behind extra-complicated home theaters, but XLs ($15 at containerstore.com) are more design-conscious, with a cleaner look and more available colors, should your TV cabinet have legs. Have a bunch of cords all coming from and heading to the same place? Wrap ’em up in a Cable Zipper ($10 at amazon.com) or Spiral Tube by Dötz ($8 for six feet at dotzshop.com). To simply keep cables off the floor, try Wire Blooms from Monkey Business ($8 at monkeybusiness.co.il).
DIY clip tip
Want a quicker, cheaper fix? Binder clips, which come in all sizes and colors, work great on shelving units and table edges as safe catches for cables that aren’t always plugged in ($3.50 for 12–40 depending on size at staples.com).