Few things in life are more frustrating than having to sort through a horrible knot of thin cabling before you can start rocking out with your portable media player of choice. It's the Curse of the Earbuds. Thankfully, the hassle is easily preventable with a few cheap tricks. Here's the cheapest: Start with a piece of paper measuring 4.25 by 5.5 inches (one-fourth of a standard 8.5-by-11-inch sheet), and fold it so that its two longer edges meet. Now fold the result in half, but along the other axis (making the two shorter edges meet). Then fold that result in half. Crease it, and then squeeze the two edges slightly to form a small paper tube of sorts.
Slip in the earbuds so that they hang off the top of the tube you just created; the wire should dangle out of the bottom. Now wrap the wire around the paper tube, which should seal the whole thing together.
Also acceptable: Cut an old credit card in half, and carve two notches into the sides. One notch goes on the upper-left half of the card; the other, on the lower-right side. Make sure to cut a big enough hole such that a cord can wrap into the area, because that's exactly what you're going to do. Stick your earbuds in one notch and let the cord dangle out the other side. Now wrap the cord around the credit card piece horizontally (you should be holding the card piece vertically), and then tuck the earbud plug into the second notch once you near the end.