Closed September 2017

Clutter Video Tip: How to Tame the Cable Cord Chaos

Jiminy and Pinocchio know how important it is to manage your cords and cables. But how do you use cable organizers cosmetically and effectively? Watch this video for a clear desk- no strings attached!

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Hi. I’m Lorie Marrero, creator of the Clutter Diet book and on-line program, and today we’re going to talk about organizing your cords and cables. So, when you get a new gadget and you’re really excited about it, stop for just a minute and label all of the cords and accessories that came with it. The reason is that as an organizer, I see what happens later when you don’t. It ends up in a box or a drawer with lots of other cords and cables, and they have babies, and it grows into a giant nest of snakes of cords and cables that nobody knows what they are, what they belong to, and then everyone’s afraid to throw them away because they might need them someday. So, if that sounds familiar, don’t do that. Stop and label what they go to. Here’s an example. This is a camera cable and I’ve labeled it here, it says “Olympus” and the model number. That’s really easy to do and it just takes a few seconds.

If you don’t have a chunky area on the cord like this that makes it really easy to label, you can still use your label maker very simply by using the “feed” button on your label maker. So, print the label out, and then before you cut it, use the “feed” button to send out some extra length of blank tape. Then cut it, and then you’ll have something that looks like this. So,, you’ve got a way to be able to read what you’ve printed, and a way to double it back on itself and fasten and put it around the cord, and then you’re done. That’s a very simple way to label your cords.

There are all kinds of products out there that specialize in labeling. This one is called “Cable Buddy,” and there are all kinds of other options, but you can do those or you can use your label maker, whatever you think is great for you.

The next thing that you might be running into with cords and cables is that you need to fish them through the cord management holes on your desk, and you might have trouble with that, or you might need to run the cables along a certain channel to hide them. You might have trouble with these cords falling through the holes when you remove the gadget from your desk. So, here are some solutions for those problems. I really like these 3-M Command Adhesive clips, where you can actually open and close the clips and use the cords however you’d like and run them wherever you’d like them to run. And, of course, the adhesive is removable so you can put that on furniture without worrying about it. So, that’s a great solution. This is called a “Click Fix Gripper”, and it just spreads apart and retracts, and you can stick a cord in there, and it’s not going to go anywhere. You can also use this to hold a pen next to a phone. But this will keep things from falling through a hole. And this is the budget solution. We know how much binder clips are useful in an office – I have another video that’s very popular about that, about labeling with binder clips – this is a way to keep a cord from falling through a cord management hole. You can just clip the binder clip around the cord, not on it – you don’t want to pinch the cord – but this just makes the whole thing larger so that it can’t fall through. And you can see that in this picture. So, these are some solutions for those issues.

Now, you might want to think about bundling the cords so that you can manage the excess cable, or you might need to just bundle them up to store them. And what is great for that really is Velcro, also cable ties, just standard very inexpensive cable ties you can get in the electrical section of your home improvement center. You can buy these specialty ones just for cords, which are tagged, and they’re very convenient, and they’re already cut, but they can be fairly expensive, especially when you compare them to this budget option, which is Velcro from the garden center. So, go to the garden section of your home improvement store, and you can find these plant ties. These are used for tying up tomatoes. It’s green Velcro, and it’s a giant roll of it, and it’s very inexpensive. So, you can pull that off and cut the length you want, and I am very happy with this solution. It saves money, and it’s always handy because you’ve got as much as you need.

So if you like those tips, there’s more where that came from at our Free Tips page at And you can find some handouts there to print out as well as sign up for our weekly newsletter that has a digest of everything we’re doing, including these weekly videos, and you can get all kinds of good information there. We also are on Twitter with a daily tip every day. We’re on Facebook. And we have all kinds of social media accounts here on the screen that you can follow us with and get more free information.

See you next time, and may you always be happy and grateful for having more than enough.

You may have been searching for tips for taming cords and cables or how to keep track of what cords are for.

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