Reader suggestions: More ways to cure cable clutter

Cords and chargers for electronic devices are a constant discussion point at the Unclutterer offices, in the reader comments, and through our contact page. I think it’s safe to say that cords are a frustrating source of clutter for all of us.

Recently, we’ve had a slew of suggestions for containing cord clutter from our readers. After combing through them and doing some additional information gathering, I think the following suggestions are downright brilliant. And, as far as we can tell, these readers don’t work for the companies that make, distribute, or promote these products.

Reader Rob suggests: The CORDhog as a great way to hold up slack and adjust the length of cords. (The CORDhog is pictured on the right.)

Reader Aegir suggests: The CableYoYo as another attractive cable spool system.

Reader Beaman suggests: The KangaRooM Charging Station as a sleek way to hide the cords and docking stations for your cell phone, iPod, and other personal electronic devices.

Reader Ian suggests: The PocketDock AV as a simple, clutter-free, multiple connector kit that allows you to link your iPod to numerous AV output devices (like televisions, stereos, and projectors) without having to carry a slew of cables with you.

Do you have suggestions for containing cord clutter? Feel welcome to drop them into the comments section! Like I mentioned above, we’re always on the lookout for good ways to control cord and charger clutter.

12 Comments for “Reader suggestions: More ways to cure cable clutter”

  1. posted by Jeff on

    When cables tend to look alike, you can remember which cord is which by using a colored wrap to help you remember. They’re not beautiful, but cheap, very small and highly effective. I like velcro cord ties for both travelling with cords, like pda and phone chargers, and also for taking up slack.

    While they are pictured here: http://cableorganizer.com/wire-wrap, I pick them up at my local mega hardware store for a few dollars, and it solves many cord issues with one purchase.

  2. posted by Nick Post on

    As for chargers, my wife, daughter, and I use a basket we already had and a powerstrip we already had. At first, my desire was just to have all the chargers in one place so we could turn the powerstrip off when not in use. But the basket sits in full view and doesn’t look bad. Inside are chargers for Nokia, Nintendo DS and GBM, a powered USB plug, and two more I can’t remember.

    For cable nightmares at the main AV area in the house, I ended up just buying one of those large rectangular frosted glass cabinets and putting all the components inside. The glass still lets the IR get through and while I’m not fond of the thing as a whole, it hides the Wii, PS2, Tivo, VCR, and an amp. There is still a huge power wire tangle on the lowest shelf, which is very low in height to keep the mess less visible. The AV cable mess flows all up and down the back of the unit on the inside, and is nearly invisible due to the dark interior. It’s the closest thing I could think of to complete hiding. I don’t like the old TV in a armoir thing. Too obvious in the hiding and I feel it’s more honest with our true nature to have the TV in view.

  3. posted by verily on

    I really like the cable turtles.

    But the cheapest method is the twist tie, which is leftover from just about everything (fruit/veg bags, device packaging, kiddie toys, garbage bags). The special cable ties that come with certain garbage bag brands also work very well (since they can be reopened unlike some cable ties).

  4. posted by Bill on

    Does anyone know if the PocketDoc AV has the “chip” that allows it to work with the latest generation of iPods?

  5. posted by helix on

    just use cable-ties!

    I prefer bundling the cables into a “trunk” and cable-tieing it all together at 2 inch intervals with “branches” going out to each component (computer, speakers, monitor, etc). The cable assembly can then be attached to the underside/backside of whatever furniture it exists behind.

    Not the most nifty solution, but it is cheap and simple.

  6. posted by nicole on

    I use something called the mini Cordpro. It is made by the makers of the Cordpro, the rugged yellow extension cord holder/organizer for your home, shop, or outdoors. The Mini is a smaller version for computer cables, small extension cords, etc. What it does is divide the cord in half so you can get to & store either end, without any fancy moving parts. Simple, elegant, & useful. You can find them here: http://www.cordpro.com/ or at your local Container Store.
    thanks!

  7. posted by sheilac on

    I used cable ties until I had to rearrange realized that I fastened them too tight for any kind of movement or if I replaced any of the peripherals in my office (scanner, external drives, whatnot). Chalk it up to user error and overzealousness on my part. I then switched to those velcro ties that allow you to easy access to the cords without a pair of scissors. I also labeled each cord/wire at each end (the power and the input end) so I can figure out what goes where. The velcro ties are relatively cheap (tho not as cheap as cable ties). It’s a monstrous job at first, but the satisfaction on having a neat and labeled bundle is worth it.

  8. posted by Chris on

    Some cables may see interference when wrapped in circles versus a figure 8 (though I am still leaning towards some of these products for specific uses).

  9. posted by ErinG on

    I cut my hair very short one time and realized I had the perfect thing lying around un-used.
    The best thing I’ve found to keep cables neat are hair clips like this:http://www.threddies.com/store.....8;cPath=74

    Unlike twist ties, they are easy to take off and put on, They are less hassle than the velcro straps because you don’t have to wind anything around the cords, they are gentle and come in great colors and as many sizes as you could ever want. Oh! and much less expensive than any specialty product!

  10. posted by mr. matt on

    My big find recently: Binder Clips. You know, those black triangular clips with the removable little wire handles? They work great for gathering up cables, come in a few different sizes. Chances are you already have a bunch at the office, so may as well take care of those cables around your computer.

  11. posted by Jon Hendry on

    At the lab I work at, some of the electronics apparatus racks have their cables organized by running the cables through the middles of small blue horseshoe magnets that are stuck to the rack.

    This would work on steel file cabinets or desk parts, among other things.

  12. posted by Ana on

    I used my fabulous labeler to print labels for every cable in my office (printer, speakers, keyboard, etc.). I printed every label twice and affixed it on both ends of the cables (right next to the CPU connector and to its corresponding plug). This system has worked very well for me as I don’t need to figure out which cable is which any more.

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