Top 5 ways to manage messy charging and power cables

Getting a new desk, computer monitor, TV, or other device is exciting, but dealing with the power cords, charging cables, and all the other wires that come with those devices is a different story.

While it's impossible to do away with every cable or cord needed to run all your tech, there are a lot of ways to manage your cables more efficiently, which can help you eliminate the stress of a disorganized space.

1. Move closer to outlets

I live in an old house, and I know power outlets can sometimes be in some inconvenient spots, but if you can, moving closer to wall outlets will prevent power cables from needing to stretch across the room. This small change can help minimize the look of clutter, and prevent tripping over cables.

2. Go wireless where you can

Almost anytime you can go wireless; you will feel a bit of relief from your cable madness,

Wireless Bluetooth headphones and speakers are prime examples of gadgets that can reduce cable fatigue. Yes, I know, they both have charging cables, and I'll get to that in a second, but the freedom and mobility devices such as these offer is outstanding and truly make spaces cleaner.

While those are common examples of going wireless, less common but super helpful is using wireless HDMI.

It's not the cheapest solution or even the most practical for everybody, but if you have multiple TVs and dislike having to get an HDMI cord (or several) for each TV, you can always pick up a product like the IOGear Wireless HD Digital Kit (opens in new tab).

Rated as The Wirecutter's best wireless HDMI transmitter, it's easy to see how this just how useful the IOGear can be.

"The IOGear transmitter base unit has two HDMI inputs and an HDMI output. This means you can have a TV, transmitter, and sources (Blu-ray, cable/satellite box, etc.) wired up in one room while wirelessly sending the same signal to another TV elsewhere in the house."

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

3.Store small cables and adapters

Charging cables, dongles, and small power adapters add up over time, and I often find they are about 90% of my clutter — especially at my desk. It's good to having a place to store said small items is crucial to getting your cable chaos under control; invest in a cable organizer.

The BAGSMART travel organizer (opens in new tab) is the perfect way to store cables and adapter you're not using. I know, it's meant for travel, but there is no reason you could store this in a drawer or on a shelf by your desk.

With one zipper pouch — big enough to hold a large mobile phone — BAGSMART also includes some stretchy straps, which are ideal for keeping in oddly shaped or bulkier items.

Plus, if you ever do want to travel with it, the outside of the case is padded and has a slight rigidness to prevent your items on the inside from being damaged by scrapes and minor falls.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

4. Keep essential cords neatly arranged

You probably charge items like your phone and your tablet every day, which means you're going to want access to those cords often and with ease.

An item like the YOCOU 5-Channel Cable Management System (opens in new tab) can tidy up your workspace and keep your most important cables readily available.

The small grooves will hold in pace almost any wire or cord that's ¼-inch or less in diameter, and It has an adhesive back that sticks to any flat surface so you can mount it wherever works best for you.

See at Amazon (opens in new tab)

5. Tie together excess cords

Some cords and cables are comically long, leaving you to deal with several feet of cord that inevitably ends up in a tangled mess behind your TV, computer, desk, etc. If you're going to have an excess amount of cord hanging around, why not make it look neat?

Wrapping your excess cord together with a velcro strap (opens in new tab) is an excellent way to eliminate some clutter. It's especially useful for cords and cables that you don't need to move often.

For example, The HDMI cable from your gaming console to your TV or the power cord for your computer speakers. If you don't regularly need to move the position of the item you're plugging in, strap that sucker down!

How to you keep your cables organized?

Have any other tips for keeping your cords and cable tidy? Share them in the comments below.

Luke Filipowicz
  • For me, I bought cables that were the minimal length that I needed, to avoid the spaghetti affect. Having 10 3-foot long cables when all you need is 6-inch ones, really helps.
    Granted, I still have a spaghetti mess for some of mine, like the proprietary USB-C cables with their AC adapters built in. Those are more difficult to deal with.
  • Ya, getting differently colored cables of a more appropriate size (Monoprice for HDMI/coax + Blue Jean Cables for custom optical/subwoofer coax) really tidied up my entertainment center... Along with an extra Ethernet switch, some coax L plugs, and some keystone wall plates for tidier coax/cat 6 drops. My desktop is a tougher nut, between my simple IKEA desk and concrete walls there really isn't room to hide cables going to 3x displays, an amp/DAC, two powered speakers, etc. I'm probably gonna stick some plastic cable channels on the wall (between where I keep the desktop and my actual desk) and try and make them look like part of the decor. I avoid chargers with built in plugs like the plague. Using a Topgreen outlet charger with Type C for my Pixel by the bedside, Google's own with their very nice 6ft'er on the desk, shorter cables for travel, Velcro all the things.
  • I always store away cables I don't use. Easy way is to just cram them into small plastic bags and write what they are on the bag with a marker. Granted, your shelf will still look messy, but it'll atleast keep them from tangling and ruining your life.
  • Learn to coil long ones properly (Google over/under method), it goes a long way towards keeping them tidy and making it easier to pull them out quickly.
  • I use three of those round wire management stickies on the side of my desk. It's right next to my bed, so the cables hang down and are out of view between the bed and desk, and you can only see the ends of the cables. One for my Android, one for my iPhone, and one for tablet or flashlight recharging. The cable for my Android is plugged into a 15,000 mAh power bank, and I've been using an Anker solar panel to recharge the power bank, so at least one of the phones is running on nothing but sunshine ;)
  • I utilize cord arrangers, velcro,etc. I am in the process of replacing outlets in the house with outlets that have USB chargers and setting up a charging station with arranged cords for guests. If Apple and Android phones ALL had compatible wireles charging methods, I could just have wireless pads in multiple places and easily conceal the wires!
  • I had multiple wireless pads/stands at one point, it was sweet, my Pixel kinda ruined that... Still left some out for the Nexus 7 that just won't die, and will likely always keep 1 or 2 for my watch. At one point I had the magnetic Google pad by the bedside (it helped with aliment when I dropped the phone half asleep), an old Nokia stand charger on the desk, an LG pad in the living room, and a Person for travel. After I bought my Pixel I replaced the 2x USB + 2x AC outlet by the bedside with a Topgreen that has one Type C port and one Type A. Stock Pixel cable is short enough and discrete enough in its off grey shade that I don't mind it too much, plus reversible obvs. Still miss wireless charging tho, specially at the desk.
  • I use the nomad ultra rugged cable. I got it on sale for $30 with free shipping but one cable, that's tough as hell BTW, charges micro USB, lightning, and USB C. It's perfect because i use a Pixel (USB C), and iPad Pro (lightning), and a zagg keyboard on my ipad (Micro USB). Prior to this cable i was using little adapters but kept losing them so while $30 for a cable might seem like a lot, I've lost over $30 worth of adapters prior to buying this cable.
  • We use a label machine so we know which cables belong in which room and which car, etc. Other then that it's one big drawer of cables.
  • Labeling the cords on each end connected to a desktop computer can be helpful when trying to figure out which cable. Is which or if you need to move it. I have used one of 5 channel cable mgmt systems mentioned and that worked well to keep charging cables from falling when not in use.
  • Get wireless phone chargers. If your phone doesn't support it, get an aftermarket one
  • I have all of my cables run through a big paper clip......
  • I love these
  • Make your own Ethernet cables, have your audio cables custom made (Blue Jeans Cables), Monoprice has a huge variety of HDMI cable lengths... Not having more cable than you really need goes a long way towards keeping stuff tidy. If you need a shorter Type C cable take a look at the J5Create JUCX01, probably the best all purpose Type C cable for data as well as charging. If you need a long Type C cable for charging, Apple's is actually the best bet at $20. Other than that, use USB outlets, cable channels, and velcro/label everything; and learn how to properly coil long cables so they don't tangle nor develop coiling memory and always look like a Slinky... You can Google the over/under coiling method, as well as a Slinky if you're too young to know what that is. :P Cable sleeves, be it with Velcro or zippers, can also be handy when you have large trunks of cables all going to the same place (like from your desktop to a UPS, etc).
  • Moto Z Force with Mophie Battery Mod...Turbo Charge, battery cables hardly used...wait, what?