Clean Entertainment Center: How to Keep Yours Clutter-Free
Why is it Important to Keep a Clean Entertainment Center?
For most people, the entertainment center is the main focal point of their living room. It helps to keep all your devices in one place so it looks nice and can be kept safe. However, this comes with a huge issue of maintenance. Because there are so many pieces of equipment, plus all the cables, it can be difficult to keep a clean entertainment center. To make matters worse, if you don’t properly clean the area, it will eventually cause damage to your devices. So whether your set-up is positioned on the floor or wall-mounted, it is critical that you learn to properly tidy up and organize it as soon as possible.
What Equipment is in Your DIY Entertainment Center?
An entertainment center is designed to safely house a variety of different types of equipment, each of which will have different specific requirements. Thinking about what devices you will include in yours helps you to plan out what design you want, and how to ensure it meets your needs:
- Televisions – TVs are often the centerpiece of your living room arrangement. In some cases, the TV will be mounted on the wall above or near the entertainment center itself, but it is almost always a part of the entire unit.
- Streaming Devices – Streaming devices are extremely common these days and can include a Roku device, Apple TV, Amazon Fire Sticks, and a variety of others.
- Sound Systems – You may have surround sound system, a sound bar, Apple HomePods, or any number of other speakers.
- Blu Ray/DVD Players – Blu-Ray and DVD systems are still very popular and will be included in a typical set-up.
- Video Game Consoles – Most entertainment centers will house one or more video game consoles such as the Xbox One, PS4, Nintendo Switch or others.
Of course, each of these devices is also going to include multiple cables, all of which need proper organization. This includes power cables, HDMI cables, audio cables, and many others. Without proper care from the beginning, they can become tangled up and even damaged.
Positioning Your Equipment
When placing equipment in your entertainment center, you want to make sure you put each item in the ideal location. Many people make the mistake of stacking multiple devices on top of each other, but that can cause some problems. First, all the cables will be in the same area, which is an issue. Next, the heat produced from each unit will be in one area, which can make it difficult to disperse properly. Most pieces of equipment will also have their own fans for cooling. With multiple items in one area, these fans could actually be working against each other.
Finally, one of the most often overlooked problems with improperly positioning your equipment is being able to clean them. Dust is a major problem in entertainment centers, so being able to clear it away is important. When each device has its own spot, it is easy to wipe away the dust. If they are stacked or near each other, the devices will need to be lifted or moved for cleaning. Dust is also more likely to get trapped between devices. This adds an additional risk of damage.
Is a Wall Mounted Entertainment Center Right for You?
Wall-mounting your entertainment center, or at least a portion of it, is an extremely popular and effective option. It helps to free up additional floor space in the room. Most importantly, it makes it much easier to organize and maintain a clean entertainment center. There are several wall-mounting items that can help make this possible, no matter what type of equipment you are using. For example:
- Apple TV Wall Mounts – Mount your Apple TV (HD or 4K) quickly, securely, and safely. By wall mounting your Apple TV, you free up space while ensuring your device remains secure and sleek.
- HomeBase Wall Mounts – Your Apple HomePod system can be easily mounted in a way that is convenient and attractive. With this wall mount, your HomePod will retain the full, 360-degree sound of its speaker while also being secure.
- Roku Wall Mounts – Protect your Roku devices so they are easily accessible, but still very secure. Wall-mounting your Roku also prevents interference issues between the device and your TV.
- Game Console Wall Mounts – These mounts include options for the Xbox One, PS4, Controllers, and Camera.
Overall, wall-mounting your equipment helps maintain a clean entertainment center and is very convenient. In fact, you can install these mounts in minutes with very simple instructions. They also provide an extra level of security for your devices.
Entertainment Center Cable Management
Organizing all your cables is critical and should be a priority right from the beginning. In addition to just looking messy, unorganized cables can cause a lot of problems today and in the future. For example, when cables from various types of equipment are tangled together, it can cause interference between them, impacting the audio and video signals. It can also cause them to be pulled too tight, which can result in becoming unplugged or even damaged. The following are some good strategies for cable management in your entertainment center:
- Labeling Cables – One of the most important things you can do is label each cable. Placing a label on each end that indicates what the cable is for will make it much easier to organize, and if necessary, troubleshoot.
- Grouping Cables Together – Using Velcro, zip ties, or other simple items to bundle cables together can be helpful. You can either bundle the cables from each piece of equipment together or group similar cables, depending on your strategy.
- Using Cable Organization Equipment – There are many different types of cable management devices that you can use. These items will allow you to position each cable exactly where it needs to be.
By simply organizing your cables, you are taking a huge step forward in maintaining a clean set-up.
How to Hide Entertainment Center Wires
One of the biggest reasons people love entertainment centers is because it allows you to safely house all your equipment in a way that still looks great. Some people find that leaving cables in the open takes away from its appeal. Hiding your cables is a great strategy as an alternative, and it isn’t nearly as difficult as many people would assume.
The most popular way to hide your cables is to run them behind a wall. You can typically do this by mounting the TV above the entertainment center, but there are other ways. By drilling two relatively small holes into the wall, each cable can run into them, with only enough cable sticking out that you need to connect your device.
Even if you can’t run the cables behind the wall, you can at least secure them to the back of the entertainment center. Cable clips and cable concealers, for example, ensure each cable is securely in place and out of sight. Of course, choosing cables that are the right length will also help to avoid any visible excesses.
While all of the above-mentioned strategies are critical for a clean entertainment center, they don’t completely replace the actual cleaning of the area. No matter how you set up this living room staple, you will need to be able to remove dust and other debris that can contaminate the area. Cleaning this type of equipment needs to be done with either dry cloths, or with a product made specifically for cleaning electrical devices. Even a small amount of unsafe products could damage your costly devices. All of this combined will help ensure your entertainment center looks great and functions properly today and long into the future.