Yesterday I was finishing the job that I started last week: rationalising my 'entertainments corner': the one with the TV, laptop, CD player, tuner, amplifier, modem. Um that's five sockets I need already. The first stage in this process is making sure the shelving supports all these various bits and pieces and that all the wires from one instrument are long enough to reach the bits they are supposed to connect with (printer cables are notorious for being too short to put the printer where you actually want it). Having established that they did I then started linking them all together.
I decided to adopt a Permaculture approach and map the system. Here is what is looks like: nine things that need linking to the power supply: three that need connecting to the modem and nine seven that need connecting to each other.
I've got cabling down to a fine art after too many times doing this (sometimes when moving country it also involves changing the plugs). Always put the mains leads in first. The most distant first, test each connection is good as you go along. Then do the same for the cables that connect things together, again starting from the most distant. Then the speaker cables. Finally sweep the whole cable spaghetti under the carpet and hope you won't have to untangle it for a long time. It took about two hours to do this yesterday, a process prolonged by Laptop (the other one) deciding he fancied an apprenticeship as an electrician. I eventually locked him out on the terrace for an hour. I had my reward of having a nice tidy entertainment corner that doesn't take up too much space or have to many visible wires. I still haven't decided where to hang the speakers yet, or found out if the cables are long enough.