organized-cords

A tangle of cords can quickly make an otherwise neat, organized space seem messy. For the most part, wires are a necessary evil, but you can make them more organized or even hidden by using some of the cord hiding ideas below.

Cable organizing products

The items listed below are sold specifically to conceal/organize cords. They will work well for many types of cords, but if you have cords and plugs with unusual shapes or other unique circumstances, you may need to make your own custom cord hider, as detailed below.

Cable “Zippers” and Covers

Cable enclosures, or “zippers”, aren’t going to win any awards for aesthetics, but if you want a variety of cords to be completely bound together, you can enclose them in a cord zipper, which acts as a binding to keep the cords from getting tangled or separated from the rest.

If you need cords to cross large surfaces, such as for wiring a home theater, you can run the wires on the floor, wall, or ceiling and cover them with a rubber cord cover that can be stepped on and not damage the cords inside. The covers come in different colors in order to more naturally blend in with the rest of your home.

Cord Wraps

Cord “turtles”, or cord wraps, are designed to roll and hide the excess lengths of longer cords into an organized spool, which you can later retract or extend when you need to. You could also make a similar tool on your own with any thing that a cord can be safely wrapped around. Cord turtles are best used for cords that are way too long for your usual needs.

You can use these with more than one cord, but it can get complicated, and you should probably look into other cord hiding options if you need multiple cords to be hidden.

Power Hub Boxes

This power cord concealer from the Container Store comes in white, black, green and blue.

You can conceal an entire outlet strip and unattractive plugs inside a stylish box meant to conceal the hub. To get an even more streamlined look, the multitude of cords exiting the box can be tied together to look less messy.

Make your own cord hiders

These cord hiding methods can help you conceal ugly cords by in a more diy-friendly way, and involve actually concealing the wires themselves.

Hide power strips with archival boxes

Power strips can get messy-looking pretty quickly. Fortunately, you can make your own cord hiding box out of just about any box you can cut  through or drill through. Archival boxes are one of the easiest types to use, plus they are readily available at supermarkets and office supply stores, and come in exteriors that match your other decor, or you can re-cover them yourself with fabric or paper.

Cut two holes on the backside of the box (one for the power strip’s cord to go through, the other for all your plugged-in cords to pass through, thread the cords through, and you’re done! A simple box replaces a messy tangle of cords.

Wrap your own cords

Learning to properly wrap your cords in a way that won’t lead to tangles can help you keep a single cord or cord collection neatly organized, even if you can’t hide it away completely. For smaller, more flexible cords, you can use a simple wrapping technique that doesn’t use any external ties to create a wrapped, non-tangling “bundle”, as shown at right.

Delicate or thicker cables should be wrapped using the “over-under” method demonstrated in the YouTube video to the right, which will help the cords lay straight when unrolled and also prevent damage to the internal wiring.

Conceal inside drawers or charging stations

An electronics charging station concealed inside a desk drawer.

For your portable electronics like cameras, phones and mp3 players, you can build or buy a docking station, which is usually a small platform with an interior area to hold the cords, and the top area is where you plug in the devices. Even better, these stations can be concealed inside drawers or cabinets, as long as there is a place for the power strip’s cord to be plugged into an outlet.

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Top image: CC License via flickr

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