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Organizing Electrical Cords

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Storing appliance cords in toilet paper tubes to keep from tangling.

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.


Solutions: Organizing Electrical Cords

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Label Tops of Electric Plugs

This isn't exactly a money-saving tip - it's more of an "annoyance minimizing" tip. It seems like every time I grab a plug to plug something in, I am holding the plug upside down. To make it quicker, I put a dot of red nail polish on the top of every plug so I can tell instantly if I have it the right way up.

By lindal from Vista, CA

Tip: Use Old Cassette Cases to Organize Cords

Cords in Cassette CaseI 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

Tip: Mark the "Up" Side on Electrical Plugs

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

Tip: Preventing Tangled Cords

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

Tip: Organizing Electrical Cords

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

Tip: Mark One Side of Electric Plug

Add a dash of White Out to a black electric plug or a black marker to a white plug, and you will always know the correct side to stick it into the wall outlet.

By Tarlo from Trinity, FL

Tip: Organizing Electric Adapters

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

Tip: Labeling Charging Cords

labeled cords

We have numerous cell phones and small devices that all use the same charging cords. I can never find any of my charging cords. I end up buying new ones or it always seems like the kids miraculously have one when mine goes missing. So recently I took the time to hunt down and locate every single cord. Then I took my handy label maker and made labels identifying what each cord went to or whose it was. Each car now has a labeled cord, my iPad has one, and so does my iPhone for in my room. Now when someone has swiped it I will know. :)

    By lalala... [687]

    Tip: Disguising WiFi Box and All Wires

    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

    Tip: Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

    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

    Tip: Organizing Cords

    Have lots of cords for your electronic devices, computer equipment, etc. and constantly forgetting which cord goes to what? I was until I came up with this simple solution.

    I take the stick on labels that they sell to label your files with. Very inexpensive and easy to work with. I write what the cord is for on a small piece of the label, cover the label with tape. I use the clear plastic packaging tape because it's bigger and also sturdier--- and fold it over and secure it onto the end of the cord that plugs into the wall.

    To make it easier, I use bright green ones for all my computer cords. Also, to make it easier to break down and re-plug in everything on the back of my computer tower, I put a label on the end of the cord that plugs into the tower, plus one on the other end that plugs into the device, and one on the tower itself and on the device where the cord goes in, plus a 4th label identifying what the cord goes to. All 4 of these are labeled with a number. This way, when I go to re-plug everything in, I know what cord goes to what and how and where to plug everything back in.

    It used to be really frustrating for me whenever I had to take the tower in for repair or whatever, but now it only takes my a couple of minutes to set everything back up again when I get it home!

    By Cricketnc from Parkton, NC

    Tip: Use Colored Price Stickers to Mark Accessory Cords

    I found an inexpensive way to mark the multitude of wires behind my computer. I had read about using colored tape at each end of the cords, to trace which plug belongs to which accessory (printer, modem, etc) but I didn't want to go out and buy several different colors of tape.

    So I used the small round colored pricing stickers I had left over from my last yard sale. I wrapped matching colored stickers around each end of each peripheral that I needed to identify.

    Even if you don't have the stickers, buying a pack of them for about $2 is a lot cheaper than buying 4 or 5 rolls of tape to use a few inches of each!

    The same method could be used for TV/Home theater systems with surround sound, DVD and cable box setups.

    If you have more items than colors, you can use two or three color combos when you run out of different colors.

    By Mary T

    Tip: Label Your Cords to Prevent Pulling Out Wrong Ones

    Behind my entertainment center you will find a variety of cords running to power bars. Pulling the wrong one when changing something can start a chain reaction of having to reset everything.

    I use labels of any kind or masking tape to write big on it and label the end of the cord. I usually put the label about 3 inches before the power bar so I can read what it is I am searching for. It saves so many headaches and time undoing mistakes!

    By Joyce from Benson, MN

    Tip: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

    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.

    By webduck from Port Orchard, WA

    Tip: Organizing Computer Cords

    Tired of getting all of those computer cords that come out of the computer mixed up, one for the phone, one for the camera and more? I seem to always have one or two labels left on a sheet of labels; I take these single labels and fold them in half over the cord close to the end that goes into my device (camera,etc.) and label it.

    At my computer I have put a cup hook right above the computer under the desk top and the ends of those cords lay in that hook right in easy reach, labeled for me to get easily.

    I also make a bright dot of fingernail polish on the front side of the plug so I know I am starting the cord correctly into my device. If you have ever broken the pegs off in your camera or computer and had to have it repaired you will understand why.

    I do the same with electric appliances, put a dot on the top side since there is only one way the cord will go in the outlet, saves me having to turn it over.

    To save batteries on my camera I found it has a sound telling me when my pictures are deleted after transfer. I was constantly forgetting the camera was still on and getting so involved in the pictures that I was running batteries down. You might want to check yours.

    By latrtatr from Loup City, NE

    Tip: Organizing Extension Cords and Other Wires

    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 do have to dust the tin once a while.This looks great and could be done in any room or even on the floor.

    By kurtzfolk from Van Wert, OH

    Tip: Store Kitchen Appliance Cords in a Coffee Can

    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

    Tip: Store Electronic Chargers In Ziplock Bags

    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. You can also put the handbook in there if you need to.

    By Debradj from IL

    Tip: Use Hair Bands to Secure Electrical Cords

    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.

    By Jamish from Ransom, KS

    Tip: Keeping Cords Under Control

    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.

      By susan [4]

      Tip: Mark Electronic Cords When Moving

      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. Then, I mark where it plugs into with a dot of the same color. This makes setting them back up a breeze - even if just moving a TV and VCR from one room to another.

      By April from NW, MO

      Tip: Keep Electrical Cords From Tangling

      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

      Tip: Cord Maintenance

      Do you 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.

      By Spooky J from Fitzroy Harbour, Canada

      Tip: Recharger Cord Labeling

      We all have those "rechargeable" appliances. Sometimes the cords all look the same. I could not match up cords to appliances when we relocated. Not only was it frustrating to match, but also time consuming and expensive to replace. There was also to fear that the wrong charger would damage the appliance. To solve that problem, I add a "tape label", duct tape folded over the cord and the name of the appliance written in permanent marker on the tape or use a silver permanent marker to write on the plug if there's room. as soon as I remove the item from the box. No more mismatched cords.

      By Gena from Elkview, WV

      Tip: Keeping Track of AC Adapters

      All of my AC adapters are black and all belong to different items. I purchased a white permanent marker and wrote on each one (i.e. cell phone). Then I used Velcro strips to secure the cords and store them all in a storage container that I got at a yard sale. They're on my list each time I go to get one. Big money saver. Now, I'm not guessing which goes to what, they're organized in one place and in a Thrifty container.

      By keeper60 from NC

      Tip: Labeling Small Appliance Cords

      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.

      By Melanie

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      Here are questions related to Organizing Electrical Cords.

      Question: Hiding Electrical Cord Clutter

      Does anyone have a nice way to hide all the electric cords behind the TV?

      Thank you.

      By Daniel from Ontario


      Most Recent Answer

      By Duane De Vries [1]10/18/2009

      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!


      Below are photos related to this guide.

      Nail Polish to Identify Charger Adapter

      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

      Nail Polish to Identify Charger Adapter


      Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

      Archive: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      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.
      By wallflower

      Archive: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      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.

      By Great Granny Vi from Moorpark,CA

      RE: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      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)

      By saffy

      RE: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      That's a great idea. I would've never guessed that it was a toilet paper roll! Great job recycling also! (06/06/2006)

      By luv2craft

      RE: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      Pretty and cool ideas too (06/06/2006)

      By dsbaby14

      RE: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      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

      RE: Toilet Paper Tubes for Electrical Cords

      OK, however, I would take the paper off a new roll and do this, not a roll used in bathroom. (06/06/2006)

      By meoowmom

      Archive: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls


      Store Cords In Toilet Paper Rolls
      Store Cords In Toilet Paper Rolls
      *** When storing those extra extension cords, just fold them several times and insert each one into an empty toilet paper roll. You can also use the toilet paper rolls for the cords on your irons, lamps, etc.

      By Carol from Spring Hill, FL

      RE: Store Cords In Toilet Paper Rolls

      Nifty idea. I too have done this for years. (01/08/2009)


      RE: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

      Great idea. Thanks for sharing! (01/08/2009)

      By Maryeileen

      RE: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

      I have been doing this for years and love it. (01/08/2009)

      By Biblequest

      RE: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

      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)

      By MsWolfe

      RE: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

      I always used rubber bands which would dry out and break eventually. This is a great idea! (01/13/2009)

      By Lynn

      Archive: Organizing Extension Cords and Other Wires

      Tips for preventing extra cords and wires from becoming a tangled mess. Post your ideas.


      Archive: Organize Cords

      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


      Archive: Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

      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.


      Archive: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

      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

      RE: Store Cords in Toilet Paper Rolls

      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)

      By mrs.story