Cords for small appliances, chargers for batteries or electronics, media and computer cords can become tangled and easily misplaced. This is a guide about organizing electrical cords.
My pet peeve is the cords hanging behind my TV or an open table. Recently we had some problems with a bad cord and had problems making them all neat and out of the way.
I went to my kitchen to get a zip tie and found the child safety lock used to put 2 cabinet doors together and keep the baby from opening the cabinets. The long plastic slider was perfect to put a group of cords together and then snap close the ends. I rolled the cords up, fastened each with a zip tie then slid them on to the safety latch. Then I was able to hang the safety latch on the back of the table. This can be opened easily to replace or remove cords and closed again to keep them neatly and out of the way, out of site.
Do you have cords to plug into an outlet and are always trying to plug it in upside down, because of one prong being wider than the other? In the correct position, put a dab of white out (liquid or tape) on a dark-colored plug or draw a black spot with a permanent marker on a light-colored or white plug. I always do a tiny heart. Sure has made my life easier - sometimes it's the little things!
By Vicky from Central KY
I have a lot of cords laying around ,so I decided to roll them up and put them into some old cassette cases we had around. It makes them easier to store and find. Great for earphones, phone cords etc. It also keeps them from tangling.
By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario
I have a lot of things that use the adapters with the little black box on the cord that plugs in to the electrical outlet in order to use. Each one seems a different size. In order to know what one is for what machine, I write the item on the box with a white out pen or liquid paper pen. It shows up nicely on the black, and I can store the adapters all in the same box without having to guess which one is for what.
By Nightsong from Yates Center, KS
I found a great tip to keep computer cords or any cords organized. Hook a bread tag to each cord and label what cord it is. This will keep you out of a tangled mess of all those computer cords we have!
By coville123 from Brockville
A friend recently gave my son a hand held game, but we needed to buy a charger for it. The charger recommended at local store is one that has five different adapter options. Once I found the right one for his game, I painted the plastic part of the plug with a small amount of pink nail polish so we can easily find and plug it in.
By Stacey B from Topeka, KS
I watch TV from my chair and seethe at the constant blinking WiFi box. I hate all those wires too. Recently I restored a fabric covered storage cube. It is the fourth of a set, three of which are now under my kitchen sink. It has been sitting in front of me waiting for me to find tape to secure the bottom.
Suddenly last night, everything came together. I popped the box, without a bottom over the WiFi and tucked all the nasty wires inside. Now I have a decorative cube near my TV, which by fortunate coincidence is colour coordinated with the tables in the rest of the room.
Wow, do I feel good about this. I am going to do something similar with all the other obnoxious wires we have to live with, under my desk for all the computer spaghetti.
By Joan from France
Take empty toilet tissue or paper towel cardboards and use them to store extension cords, Christmas string lights, or any cords in them. They work great.
By Patricia G. from Brewton, AL
Does anyone have a nice way to hide all the electric cords behind the TV?
By Daniel from Ontario
October 18, 2009
The best method is looping then into a loose 'figure 8' which you can them zip tie into a bundle. DON'T make them into coils as that has the chance of generating a magnetic field. I had a problem with my vcr that would get wavy lines in anything I recorded but worked perfectly at the repair shop. The guy asked how I had the excess wire arranged and when I told him I had 'looped' them in a circle, he told me to 'figure 8' them . I did and the problem disappeared!
I have various electrical appliances with detachable electrical cords. I didn't really like storing the cords inside the appliances because of scratching and didn't like them lying around in my cupboards or drawers. So, I was looking at this pile of electrical cords and was trying to come up with something to store them in. I had just finished off my coffee and had an empty container sitting there. The lightbulb went off! I cleaned out the container and put all the electrical cords inside. I wrote "electrical cords" on the outside of the container and now whenever I am using my rice cooker, one of my electric skillet, my fry daddy, etc.; I just pull out the container and get the appropriate cord and plug in my appliance.
This way the inside of my appliances don't get scratched, the cords are not laying around in my cupboards or drawers, and there is one less coffee can in the landfills. Plus, I don't worry about my toddler getting the cords and hurting himself with the pokey ends. It works for me, maybe this could work for you.
Source: Me, myself and I.
By kurlyque from Northern California
This is more of a time saver, but sometimes saving times saves money. Anyway if you have several small appliances sharing an outlet in the kitchen like I do, just use a permanent marker to label which cord prong goes to what for example: can opener, blender, toaster etc. then no more guessing which one to plug in.
Tired of your electrical cords getting tangled, like your curling iron hairdryer or other bathroom apparatus with a cord? Save the cardboard holders from the toilet paper tube and insert cord into empty cardboard tube place on shelf or wherever. No more tangles of cords! This is better for the appliance also.
By Paula from Lexington, KY
I bought a 50 cent tin to match the decor of the room and cut a square hole in the back. We pushed all the phone cord and extra computer line through, hooked it all up, put the lid on the tin and now all the mess is "contained".
I have 5 chargers for my electronics. I keep from getting them mixed up and tangled up by sticking them in their very own ziplock. The quart size is perfect. I put on the front in marker what device the charger is for and they get stored nice and neat in my desk.
Wrap up excess electrical cord and use a hair band (thread covered rubber band) to keep in place. It keeps it neat and out of the way.
Another use for a paper towel cardboard holder is to put your appliance cords in them. Even if the cord doesn't disconnect from the appliance, it will protect the cord and keep it from getting tangled in the drawer.
Have any electrical cords hanging around your house and you don't know how to keep them neat? Fold them up and insert them into an empty toilet paper tube, then store them in the utility drawer
When moving electronics, I find it helpful to mark my cords so that when I am ready to set them back up, the cords are not a tangled puzzle. I mark each cord with a different colored dot of nail polish.
Tired of your electrical cords getting tangled, like your curling iron hairdryer or other bathroom apparatus with a cord? Save the cardboard holders from the toilet paper tube and insert cord into empty cardboard tube place on shelf or wherever.
|I use toilet paper rolls to slide in electrical cords so they aren't messy in my junk drawer. Everyone has a junk drawer so why not make it a tidy drawer!|
By Glenda from Coldwater Michigan
|RE: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords||02/03/2006|
|I also write the length of the extension cord on the roll.|
I take empty toilet paper rolls and cover them with wall paper samples to make "covers" for the cords on our small appliances. If you go to the wall paper stores and ask if they have outdated wall paper sample books, they most likely will give you a few, for free.
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<img src="/images/articles9/tptubes2.jpg" width="350" height="286">
By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark,CA
That is a terrific idea! And also a great crafting projects for kids and their bedrooms (all their electronics). I hate cords being seen, but if they were decorated with paint, buttons, whatever decor, it wouldn't be such an eye sore. Thanks for giving me an extended idea for a long time problem. Saffy (03/06/2006)
That's a great idea. I would've never guessed that it was a toilet paper roll! Great job recycling also! (06/06/2006)
Pretty and cool ideas too (06/06/2006)
Do not leave the paper covers on the cord while an appliance is being used. Coiled cords heat up and the paper could act as an insulator holding the heat in and causing a fire. It is a wonderful idea though for storing cords. Be Safe. (06/06/2006)
By FireMarshal Bill
OK, however, I would take the paper off a new roll and do this, not a roll used in bathroom.
|<img src="http://www.thriftyfun.com/images/articles39/Cords300x262.jpg" width="300" height="262" border="0" hspace="7" vspace="0" alt="Store Cords In Toilet Paper Rolls">|
|Store Cords In Toilet Paper Rolls|
By Carol from Spring Hill, FL
Nifty idea. I too have done this for years. (01/08/2009)
By LITTLE SUZY
Great idea. Thanks for sharing! (01/08/2009)
I have been doing this for years and love it. (01/08/2009)
I use the new silicon baking sheets. When they are washed and dried, I roll them up and stick them in either toilet roll or paper towel rolls. The sheets flatten right out, they don't hold the roll so this is a great way to store them. I have also used the toilet rolls for wrapping gifts. You can put tissue paper on them and twist the ends, put on ribbon and they look like candy pieces, large ones! (01/09/2009)
I always used rubber bands which would dry out and break eventually. This is a great idea! (01/13/2009)
Tips for preventing extra cords and wires from becoming a tangled mess. Post your ideas.
I use an empty toilet paper tube to enclose a coiled extension cord or a long appliance cord. It shortens it while plugged in and keeps it tidy. (12/09/2004)
By Katie A.
I'm an old guitar picker, and as such we always had a lot of cords which HAD to be kept untangled. Mic cords, extension cords, speaker cable, etc. What we did is take one end of the cord in one hand, crook the elbow to about a 90 degrees, then wind the cord between hand and elbow until it was a nice, tight roll. Tie it off with the last end of the cable itself, and toss it into the case with all the rest of your cables. Next gig we didn't have to untangle all that mess. (12/10/2004)
Use a toilet paper center cardboard tube to store your extension cords - you can write on the tube so you know what's inside. Keeps your wires neat.
By tandek589 (03/01/2005)
I saw this on another post and here's the short version of what I said there. I did this as well, used the cardboard roll. Until my father-in-law, a certified master Electrician, told me that it was a major fire hazard of which he knew personally had cost human lives. He said it's the equivalent of putting kindling on a flame if the cord should spark. I now use a twist tie from the bread bag. Please be safe and consider what I've said. Nothing can replace a life once taken, but a little thought can prevent it all together. (03/01/2005)
By Suzanne S.
All you need is to get a pack of zip ties. They should be in the hardware section of a place like Wal-mart. They look kinda like clear plastic twist ties. Work great and are cheap! My husband is a computer tech and always uses them. (03/01/2005)
Rubber Bands work very well too. They are cheap, flexible, handy ,easy to store and easy to replace. (03/15/2005)
Use velcro strips, the stick on kind. Stick a strip of the hook side to a strip of a loop side, sticky sides together, cut the strips the same length that will be long enough to go around your cords. Then roll up the cords and wrap the velcro around them and stick the velcro end on to the other side hooking it together. This also works well for hooking a cord to a microphone stand, etc.(04/30/2005)
One of the best ways I found to fix the cord mess is at Home Depot. For $1.99, you can get this cute little plastic gripper thing that adjusts to all different sizes and holds things perfectly. If you don't want to spend the money, then just turn to the good old fashioned shoe lace from a pair of old shoes. Fold your cord up however long you want it, and then wrap the shoelace around it a few times and then tie it off (08/08/2005)
I have found the easiest way to store these are to buy those pony tail holders from the dollar store and use them like you would a rubber band. Rubber bands tend to break easily and they rot from heat and use. The pony tail holders last forever. (08/19/2005)
By Sandy P.
Based on a previous tip via a google search I coiled my 100 foot cord into a 5 gallon bucket, with the male end in first sticking out about 3 feet so I can plug it into the wall. Then I just pull out as much female end as I need. This particular cord was getting severely tangled every time I wanted to use it so I'm pretty stoked on this idea.
I have seen some people wrap long cords up with these braided loop type constructs that can be de-looped as needed, but I can't figure out how to do it. (06/09/2007)
There's a gadget I found at a site cablecordorganizer or organizedcablecord. I think they're better than clamps or other things that you wrap cords around. You wrap the excess cord around the gadget - the cord stays in place with a clever flap that folds down around the wrapped up cord. Works great! There's one for small cords too which I use on my mouse cord at home. I never tried using it on an extension cord - but I'm sure it would work on a thin, light duty extension cord. Maybe not on a heavy duty thick one. (10/04/2007)
I use twisty-ties and when storing I also use baggies. For cords that I need for computer related items, I bought an over the door hanger (plastic) with clear pockets. This holds my USB cords for camcorder, camera, son's toys, mp3/ mp4 players, etc. I put these in baggies and then the holder and also label with a sticker attached to the cord - this makes it much easier to identify what equipment the cord is supposed to go to. (01/05/2008)
By Gina T.
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to keep cords organized so you can use them, then roll them up and store them for quick reuse?
Ward from Ontario, Canada
Use empty toilet paper roll to store appliance cords. It keeps them neat and you can write on the roll what appliance it belongs to. Hope this helps
I use empty toilet paper tubes. They're small enough to put in a shoe box for storage. What I do is label the roll (i.e. extension 2ft, phone cord, etc.) then I stuff it in then store in the shoebox.
I put computer cords that I connected to a stip plug into a basket on the floor under the computer desk. It is neater than the cords just lying loose. (02/13/2005)
By Joan Cooper
A good ole elastic band works too. However I do use the toilet paper/paper towel rolls too, that way I can write on it, what it is and which appliance it is used for.
I coil up my cords and hang them on nails inside my linen closet. (02/14/2005)
Twisty ties! (you get a bunch when you buy trash bags) If the cord is too long (ie. from computer to wall outlet) then bunch it up accordian style then wrap a twisty tie around it. You wont have excess amount of cords cluttered around your PCU! This works for phone cords, TV's, fans, etc! (02/15/2005)
I wrap them like a figure 8 and put a rubber band around them, then I put them in separate bags, like what you get from Wal-mart, grocery where ever. I then put them in an old duffle bag.
By KAY N
Contact "Cable Clamp" on the Internet. They have the best answer to cable storage. (03/15/2005)
Hair clamps. They're available at dollar stores in various styles and sizes. I've been buying them to keep cords organized. Or you may already have some from your kids stuff that they don't use anymore. It's so easy to use and cheap too. (11/25/2006)
Use Cable Ties! For cables that are rarely used, get ones in a nice color. For frequently used ones, get the releasable kind! They are re-usable and always stay in good shape. They come in various lengths and have been very useful for me. (07/07/2007)
The way that cords come is a clue, I suppose.
Christmas lights come on a cardboard card with notches. One circled around, one notch.
Some thin plastic cords just won't be kept untangled by looping them and tying them off with shoelaces. The band equipment idea seems the same except for the 90-degree angle of the arm. 90-degrees. Remind me if that is the elbow is out straight?
I'm tempted to get something entirely different that resembles the Christmas cord idea. I don't suppose these big stores like Home Depot have such ideas? If not, I'm tempted to make some sort of small, non-sharp fork-end shape.
The way thin cords come in their packages is about as easy to duplicate as re-folding a very large map quickly while sitting at the steering wheel on a very hot day. Sometimes it's easy (if the chord is only 10 feet long... nearly impossible if longer than that.
The "twistem-shoelace-pony-tailholder" ideas only work for me with thick or short wires. The "figure 8" has not worked terribly well for me with long hoses or any other long cords. (09/12/2007)
Why can't all long, thin cords come in a device like a retractable measuring tape? Like the newer dog leashes in holders? Perhaps wound round and down a long plastic or light metal tube like tin-foil unwraps from a tube, but in tight circles... oy. There is likely a business that does nothing but make rewrapping devices.
Some 12-y-old inventor probably has the answer.
It says, "make it behave!" Train your cord! (09/12/2007)
I've tried keeping cords organized for years. I usually unplug everything and untangle. But i found a solution that reduces this problem. I found it at www.organizedcablecord.com Easy to use, inexpensive. I am using them to solve just about every cord problem in my house and office. Also www.cablecordorganizer.com Same site. You wrap the cord around the gadget and can have any length cord you want (except longer than the cord itself, of course!) You can even store the cords wrapped around this gadget. There's a thingy for both big and small cords. (10/04/2007)
If you're tired of all those electrical cords hanging from your iron, beaters, hair driers, etc., one good way to keep them from being in the way is to get the cardboard roll, after you've used the paper, and store the cord in the roll. It will stay put and be handy when you need to use it.
Using the plastic inserts in the center of Scotch-type tape are handy for storing small electrical cords. (08/23/2004)
If by chance you are worried about the roll getting wet or just want to pretty it up, cover it with self adhesive plastic (contact paper). If pretty is not an issue, cover them with the plastic bags a lot of newspapers come in. (08/24/2004)
I did this and it worked great. Except that when my father-in-law, who is a certified Master Electrician came over - he threw a major hissy fit. This is a huge fire hazard and is like providing kindling if an electrical fire should start. He works for the Quality control and Safety department of his company and they have received numerous calls from the fire department naming this as the cause of devastating house fires. Some of which resulted in the loss of lives. So please find another solution. I now use the twist ties from my bread bags. Because as cheap as it is, it could never be worth risking your life or the lives of those you love over. Be safe and take care. (03/01/2005)
By Suzanne S.
Good point. I don't believe the tip is for appliances that are in use. I agree it could be a fire hazard. But for appliances that are stored in the cupboard, that are not plugged in, it can keep the cord from being smashed under other appliances. Make sure to take the paper roll off when you plug it in.
I'm sorry. You're right. I should have been more specific. I was only referring to using cardboard rolls on items you keep plugged in to a power outlet. Anything you store away from a "spark" or heat source would do very well to have the cord stored safely and conveniently away with a roll. Take care and be safe. (03/01/2005)
By Suzanne S.
Organizing electrical extension cords when not in use. Save empty TP rolls. Fold your cords in lengths of 8 inches and insert each one in an empty TP roll. Write on the outside of the roll with a permanent marker the length of the extension cord inside of the roll. These will stack neatly in a small plastic basket and you know what size of cord you are getting each time.
By Marbilite from Indianapolis, Indiana
My mom does this with hers. We don't really need/use extension cords in the house, we use them outside, and those are too big for the toilet paper/paper towel rolls! But it's still a good idea for the indoor extension cords. :-) (07/23/2010)