Storing Extension Cords

April 16, 2009
Storing Extension Cords


  • small plastic pail
  • 2 inch paint roller handle
  • an extension cord


  1. Measure on bucket high enough for the handle to turn without scraping the floor. Fit the ends into the holes you may need to remove the plastic handle, insert, then reattach to outside).

  2. Then make two more holes on opposite sides of the bucket to poke cord through near bottom.

  3. Weave a short section of cord through tines of the paint roller to secure. Then place the male plug end through one of the holes. The female end goes out the other hole.

  4. When used, plug into power source, pull other end out for use (the roller will spin releasing cord).

  5. When done, use handle to crank the cord back up like turning an old-fashioned ice cream maker, unplug and carry away to next job. No tangles and no kinks.

By trace from Wartburg, TN

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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 899 Posts
September 14, 2012

We have a few extension cords laying around that we only use at Christmas time. And that is only if we really go crazy with decorations, which doesn't seem to happen every year.

extension cord

January 30, 2013

I couldn't find a rubber band or any kind of tie to bind up my cord so I used a tube sock. First I cut off the toe end of it and stretched it over the cord that I had rolled up.


It fit perfect and held it together without any problems of it snapping or falling off.



Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

June 14, 2006

I have several very long extension cords for my hedge clipper and other outdoor tools. Any ThriftyFun ideas for keeping them unsnarled when stored, but easy to unwind for use?

Claudia-MD from MD


By Cheryl from Missouri (Guest Post)
June 15, 20061 found this helpful

You can use toilet paper rolls, paper towel rolls or those velcro wraps to keep the cords folded and manageable.

By (Guest Post)
June 15, 20061 found this helpful

wind them like they came wound up when purchased and put a twisty tie on them .

By Carol in PA (Guest Post)
June 16, 20060 found this helpful

I also have those very, very long outdoor extension cords. We have a wooden spool that someone gave us who worked in construction. We wind the cords around that spool.


I think wire or something must have originally come on the spool. Its about 18" tall and 10 " across.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 148 Posts
June 17, 20061 found this helpful

My husband always loops his long outdoor cords. Start at the opposite end from the male plug. Make a loop about the size of a dinner plate. reach through the loop and grasp the cord. Pull through and make a second loop. Repeat to the end and plug the male end into the female end. Or with the trimmer, just pull the end through the last loop a second time to secure. When you are ready to use it, just release the last loop and pull. When they are looped like this, you can just drop them in a heap in a box for storing.


Harlean from Arkansas

By (Guest Post)
September 29, 20070 found this helpful

Try a monkey chain knot. It looks nice and is easy to extend. The only drawback is the time it takes to chain the cord but I find the effort worthwhile.

By (Guest Post)
June 9, 20080 found this helpful

I also use a 'looping' technique to gather and store long power cords. (Other long cabling as well -- extension cords usually top out at 50', ethernet and XLR audio cables can be several TIMES as long.) Then, some sort of tie around all the turns of the loop -- reusable velcro cable ties can be handy to keep permanently on long cables, if they're not going to be subjected to outdoor use or construction debris.

If you need to store your cable with more structure, and not just as a big "ring of wire" (lamest.circus.act.ever!), one business I work with stores 50' outdoor cords on frames specifically designed for the purpose -- they're cheap plastic in garish safety orange and were a couple of dollars each at K-Mart. They're neither perfect nor indestructible, but they do at least help hang the cables. (Nice big orange handle/hook.)


I find, really, that the biggest issue in coiling cable is making sure to gather it so it settles into "natural" loops that won't be fighting to tangle, twist, or separate. A frame or spool can help with that as well, but since the probability of a specific tool for any application being in reach when needed is very nearly 0%, I prefer to rely on the tools I carry with me. Ideally, the built-in ones.

You can form a temporary winding frame for long cables by winding them around your forearm. Just bend the arm 90 degrees and hold it upright -- the cable passes around the outside of your upper arm just past the elbow at one end of each loop, and between your thumb and forefinger on the opposite end. Just hold one end of the cable in the "frame" hand and start winding. Untwist the cable and shake it out unitl it WANTS to follow around each turn, that way you get a nice, uniform ring that won't wriggle itself in 17 directions at once as soon as you let go.


The only tricky thing with this method is getting the cable OFF of your arm after it's wound -- took me a little practice, and wriggling around a little trying to get my arm free from the cable, but I eventually got the hang of it. (The trick: start by extending your thumb to "break" the U that forms the top of the frame.) It also turns out that my forearm is surprisingly similar in dimensions to those plastic frames... and both tend to approximate how such cables were bundled when manufactured and sold, so new cable's folding "creases" more readily follow the winding instead of fighting it.

By Michelle (Guest Post)
July 28, 20080 found this helpful

You can buy an inexpensive garden hose rack at any department store (such as walmart). Just bolt it to the wall and you're ready to go.

By Roger (Guest Post)
February 23, 20091 found this helpful

I coil them up and use a cable tie. Cable ties are very cheap, and when I need to use a cord I just snip the tie off.

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February 16, 2017

This is a nice way to reuse a milk jug to help keep your extension cords tangle free. This page shows you how to make a milk jug electric cord reel.

Leaf blower cord wrapped around a modified milk jug.

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