My biggest work organization issue is too many cords! I don’t mind that my cubicle is small, but the tangled mess of cords under and on my desk is taking up valuable space I could be using to store my personal items and office supplies. Do you have any tips?
The clutter of cords, cables, and other electronic components is a definite downside of the modern desk. We’re assuming at minimum you have a computer, but when you account for internet and phone cables, various chargers, and connecting cords between equipment, your desk space can quickly devolve into a mess. Organizing your cords makes a big impact on your overall neatness, and cable management is generally a one-and-done type of task which only needs to be revisited when adding new equipment to your space.
Short on time? Skip the following steps and instead opt to go wireless for as many devices as possible! Wireless keyboards and mice for desktops or switching to a laptop allow for more working flexibility while cutting down on cords. Nix desktop clutter from smaller, frequently used charging cords with a wireless phone charging stand, or a sleek lamp featuring a wireless phone charging base. After all, the best way to untangle phone cords is to remove them from the equation altogether. If you have a newer phone like the iPhone 8 or higher, the Samsung Note 8, or the LG Optimus G PRO, you have built-in Qi wireless charging. For older devices, you can purchase a Qi-compatible case to use this feature.
Assess the situation and streamline your cords by getting rid of any duplicates or moving them into storage. Do you really need three USB to micro USB cords plugged into your computer at all times when you rarely charge more than one item at a time? We didn’t think so! If you have any fraying wires or cables with poor connections, remove them to avoid the frustration of choosing the wrong cord accidentally. You can streamline multiple cords with the same connection type by using a multi-charging cable to replace several cords in one fell swoop.
Schedule an appointment with yourself to shut everything down, unplug, untangle, and organize. By setting aside time on your calendar, you’ll be unable to keep putting this off—in theory, at least! Depending on your space constraints, working style, and number of cords, you can loop cords by themselves, bundle several together, or attach them to your desk or wall to keep them off the floor. Go DIY with binder clips or bungee cord ties, opt for basics by using cable ties or Velcro to loop up excess lengths, or buy a pre-made solution. If you have more cables than you can keep track of, continue with the following step.
Label or color-code
This step is optional and can be combined with the previous step, depending on your personal preferences or the amount of cords you’re dealing with. If you find yourself frequently confusing cords or unplugging the wrong thing, label or color-code your codes to avoid future confusion. You can print out labels with a label maker, use small colored stickers, or wrap colored cable ties around them. Don’t forget to keep track of your color-coding system if you go that route, and consider making your color-coded list easily accessible to any coworkers or IT personnel that may be called upon to work with your cables someday.
Hiding computer cords seems like a daunting task at first, but we argue the visual and mental impact of streamlining your space is worth the hassle. Your desk will look and feel more open, and you’ll avoid future headaches when upgrading your equipment or moving your workstation.