Help, My Console Shelf Is A Mess

Help, My Console Shelf Is A Mess

I have a problem. It’s probably a fixable problem with a little ingenuity and time, but for now I live with a terrifying gaming shelf packed with consoles, wires, books, a hair dryer, and way too much nonsense. It is all there, messy and tangled. One day, it will consume me in its spider web of cords and controllers.

I live in New York City. It’s a vibrant place with amazing people, wonderful food, and some of the most beautiful art that I’ve ever seen. It is also compact, falling apart, and expensive.

Like many people deluding themselves with the idea of ever owning a home or a proper place to live with a loving partner, I’m currently living in a modestly priced but ultimately too-small apartment. My room is a box, my closet is very small, and my job requires me to have a lot of technology. Hence my gaming shelf.

It is packed with essential consoles and some personal favourites: PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, a Gamecube, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and the most important console of all time: the Sega Dreamcast.

All of these things have their own needs—power cords, controllers, HDMI cables, and RGB adapters. For my retro consoles, I have a Framemeister XRGB Mini which upscales the video to 1080p and allows me to run them through an HDMI signal so I can stream classic games to Kotaku readers and Twitch viewers. It’s a lot of stuff, and I’m not even mentioning my tiny desk gaming PC. The result is a mess.

I have no clue what to do. Maybe I could get a damn box and put all the excess stuff in there until I need it. Shove it under the bed, girl. Another option might be some type of strange wall-mounted thingies that I can hang cables and controllers on. That clears the shelf but also turns my wall into some sort of strange gaming rack. It’s doable but could be ugly, and if I modify too much I’m pretty sure my landlord will shoot me or whatever. That’s probably the thing that happens here in New York, like choosing the wrong path in a visual novel.

This is, I admit, the silliest of problems. It’s not even a problem. I have, as George Carlin would say, “too much stuff.” But gaming being so big a part of my life combined with the fact that living in New York means living in a coffin has led to a horrible mess.

One day, in my sleep, my DualShock controller will slither into my bed and choke me with the power cable. People will say stuff like “That was weird, she was killed by a sentient controller,” and “Damn, was The Brave Little Toaster a documentary?”

Kotaku readers, I turn to you. What are your solutions to this stupid problem? Keep in mind that I am clumsy and was literally held back in kindergarten because I was really bad with scissors. What should I do? My future is in your hands.


  • Where are all your games? Get some cable ties and you should be able to tidy up those shelves. Get a box for your controllers as well.

  • Dreamcast and GameCube. My two favourite consoles.

    Get some cable tidys as a starting point.

    Then consider small storage boxes for the bottom shelf. Keep your controllers in there when not playing.

  • I have a similar retro collection to you and problems (especially once you start adding in extron kit and a Sony BVM D24!).

    My solution was ultimately some custom cabinetry, but its all designed around standard rack sizing. That way I can size shelvings to size, and I have power and video runners along the back.

  • I would look into cable management of sorts, using those velcro-tape variations could be handy. I’d recommend cable ties as well, but they can be a pain in the arse to cut apart when you need to move stuff. Try the velcro-tape.

    Maybe you could also invest in additional storage, like another shelf or something, for your games or/and consoles that you don’t play very often.

  • Flexible conduit for the cables exiting the rear of the consoles and boxes on the shelf at the bottom for tidying controllers away after use. Also invest in a shelving unit that lets you make better use of space. Also you can consolidate all HDMI /AV/RF through junction boxes so all you need do is attach controller and select the right input.

    Or package it all up nicely in the cupboard to let it accumulate value, and use an emulator 😉

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