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Organizing Electrical Cords

Category Office
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.
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By 14 found this helpful
June 11, 2010

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

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March 9, 2012

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.

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By coville123 from Brockville, Ontario

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By 4 found this helpful
May 23, 2011

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

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By 6 found this helpful
May 18, 2016

Editor's Note: After Lilac expressed concern about this tip, we did some research and asked an electrician for their opinion. Basically, this process should be only attempted with cords that carry a low voltage, like USB charging cables. Even then, there is some risk of heat build up, damage to the cord or the device being charged. It should definitely not be done to larger, thicker cords that carry more current. Even loops of extension cord have been known to cause fires. We advise against using this tip for anything but a decorative or craft purpose. It is safer and better for the life of your expensive electronics to leave charging cords in their original condition.

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I hated my drawer of various phone, camera, and other power cords and remembered a trick I heard of. Wrap your cord around a straw or pencil and tape it on both ends, then use a hair dryer to heat the cord up for about 4 minutes. I kept putting my hand under the air to make sure it wasn't getting hot enough to melt anything. Let the cord cool completely and remove the tape from both ends. Wa-la! A coiled, much neater power cord!

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November 22, 2011

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.

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This will keep you out of a tangled mess of all those computer cords we have!

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September 14, 2009

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".

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By 1 found this helpful
September 15, 2008

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.

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By 2 found this helpful
January 26, 2016

I have a lot of electronic adapter cords with the black boxes that plug into an outlet. I don't use them all the time. To keep it straight as to which item each one belongs to, I use white out, or a white out pen to mark them with.

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January 23, 2008

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.

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August 22, 2007

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.

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November 9, 20040 found this helpful

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.

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August 29, 2017

Using a pool noodle cut to the size of your cord, make a slit half way through your noodle.Then wrap your cord, insert into the slit of your pool noodle.Put into the drawer this way they will not tangle, and you will know where they are. You can also hang them up.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 27, 2012

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.

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January 3, 20170 found this helpful

This is a guide about toilet paper tubes for organizing electrical cords. Electrical cords are akin to hangers when it comes to the disaster that can arise when they are not well organized.

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December 22, 20160 found this helpful

This is a guide about labeling electronic cords. We all have numerous cords for our many electronic devices. Labeling them helps keep things organized.

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January 18, 2012

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.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
October 17, 2009

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

Thank you.

By Daniel Racine from Ontario

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Answers

October 17, 20090 found this helpful

Sometimes a twistie tie works well - to at least get them into a neater looking mess. Or the plastic snap apart kind that comes with older type trash bags. I have seen where people have used rubber bands too. Whatever it takes to get them as much off the floor or out of sight as possible.

Take 10 minutes & unplug everything from the wall,make neat little bunches of the cords,winding one at a time around your hand then fastening the wound up cord in a bunch. You might also have a label for each cord (while it is all unplugged)& write on it what the cord is for so you have less hassle later figuring it out again.
Now also is a great time to wipe the dust off the cords & also the wall behind the tv.

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October 17, 20090 found this helpful

Well, one thought is to use foam insulation tubes that are used to cover water pipes in the home. They are black, have different inside diameters such as 1/2 inch, 3/4 inch and 1 inch. are about 5 or 6 feet long and can be cut with scissors. They also are split the entire length so all one has to do is spread the seam and place the wires inside. They sell they insulation tubes at Home Depot and Lowes in the plumbing dept. if you want to check them out.

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October 17, 20090 found this helpful

Zipties. Fold them each seperately back and forth to form about a 3 inch bundle and ziptie around the bundle. Do this for each one. You can use different colors to identify the item or add a tag.

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October 18, 20090 found this helpful

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!

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January 6, 20114 found this helpful

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

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February 11, 20110 found this helpful

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.

By Joan

Answers:

Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

Using the plastic inserts in the center of Scotch-type tape are handy for storing small electrical cords. (08/23/2004)

By Syd

Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

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)

By Linne

Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

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 Spencer

Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

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.
(03/01/2005)

By Susan Sanders-Kinzel

Organizing Electrical Cords on Small Appliances

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 Spencer

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February 17, 20100 found this helpful

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

Answers:

Organize Cords

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
(02/11/2005)

By Crystal Ades

Organize Cords

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.
(02/11/2005)

By pilar

Organize Cords

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

Organize Cords

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.
(02/13/2005)

Organize Cords

I coil up my cords and hang them on nails inside my linen closet. (02/14/2005)

Organize Cords

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)

By KristaLove

Organize Cords

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.
kn (03/11/2005)

By KAY N

Organize Cords

Contact "Cable Clamp" on the Internet. They have the best answer to cable storage. (03/15/2005)

By Doyle

Organize Cords

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)

By Odette

Organize Cords

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)

By Anonymous

Organize Cords

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)

By Leslie

Organize Cords

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.
(09/12/2007)

By Leslie

Organize Cords

http://www.ehow.com/how_18801_wrap-cord.html

It says, "make it behave!" Train your cord! (09/12/2007)

By Leslie

Organize Cords

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)

By Steve

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

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

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