Keep Cord Chaos Under Control

Take the time to organize all those electrical wires in your home office with these simple tips.
Binder Clip Cord Organizer

Binder Clip Cord Organizer

Binder clips attached to the edge of the desk keep cords organized in this home office.

Binder clips attached to the edge of the desk keep cords organized in this home office.

If you have a home office, controlling all the cords needed for your equipment can seem like a huge challenge. But with planning and smart strategies, you can create a space that’s both safer and more attractive.

"When I go into homes, I see two issues," says professional organizer Lori Gersh, owner of Leave It 2 Lori of Calabasas, Calif. "There are the active cords you use around your desk, and then there's the issue of managing all the cords people seem to have collected over their life. Most people have a home full of cords and they have no idea what they are used for, but feel this need to keep them."

"Instead," says Gersh, "sort your cords and keep out the ones you use daily; store the rest. Avoid leaving them loose in a drawer. A better option: use a clear shoebox to hold bundled and labeled cords."

11 Organized Home Offices

See All Photos

By the Bay

Enlighten your morning correspondence with a seat at your home's sunniest spot. Transforming an interior bay window into a study nook takes advantage of natural light and extra space. Eliminate the glare factor with adjustable Roman shades.

Behind Open Doors

You'll want to throw your closet doors open once you plaster the walls with sunny wallpaper, add shelving and plug in your favorite lamp. Invest in a Lucite chair to make the cozy space feel bigger.

Double Duty

Tuck a chair under your console table for an instant home office. Bonus: You can watch a movie with your family while you address holiday cards!

Stairwell Study

Carve out a study nook in the oft-unused space under your stairs. You'll find ample room for a desk, shelving and cabinetry.

Photo By: Sage Design Studio; Inc.; photo by: Leslie Goodwin

Take Note

You won't forget a single item on your to-do list when it's written on a cabinet-sized notepad. Cover a standard cabinet with chalkboard paint and start planning.

Photo By: Martha O’Hara Interiors; photo by: Troy Thies

Space Saver

Need a study break? Close your eyes and rev your creativity in a loft above your home office. With alternating corkboards and pegboards, this design maximizes the desk's function while showing off your best art supplies.

Photo By: Martha O’Hara Interiors; photo by: Troy Thies

Tidy Shelves

Keep your workspace uncluttered and your tasks organized with open shelving and stylish boxes for out-of-sight storage. Just look down for inspiration – an Aztec rug infuses color and texture in an otherwise unadorned office.

Bring on the Bling

Glam up your home office by adding shimmery sheets of gold leaf to a basic desk. Complement the glass desktop with a clear lamp for unobstructed creativity.

Perfect Fit

Make your own corner office with a colorful Parsons desk and gallery wall for inspiration. Economize the space with matching ottomans that can be tucked under the desk when not in use.

Upper Limit

Don't overlook the fifth wall when decorating your personal creative haven. A wallpapered ceiling draws the eye up, makes the room feel larger and invites inspiration.

Corkboard Calendar

Keep your social schedule in check with a larger-than-life calendar. Birthday invites and reminders find a home on days separated by rope and pinned by reusable date markers.

Photo By: John Bynum Custom Homes

"It's like any other organizing project," says Gersh. "You want to purge, sort, contain and label. When you're talking about your desk and cords, it really doesn't take that long to take control and label them — maybe fifteen minutes or so — and the benefits are long-lasting." Here are Gersh's best tips for taking control of the cord clutter.

  • Safety first. Because you're dealing with cords and electrical devices, consider safety before other considerations. Never use staples or nails to secure or store cords on a wall. Also, follow the instructions that come with your surge protector, so you know how many cords can be safely plugged into a single outlet. "When you're utilizing a surge protector, make sure there is no paper around and no cords are frayed," adds Gersh. "You also need to keep that area clean, since dust can build up. It's not just a safety issue, it's a health issue too. You want to be able to vacuum to remove the dust, and you can't do that if the area is cluttered with a bunch of loose cords."
  • Label the cords. To avoid confusion when setting up or dismantling equipment in your home office, identify cords by using a label at the base of each one. This helps you match up the cord with the appropriate appliance or media component. "I like to use a label maker, or you can use masking tape with a metallic Sharpie to identify it at the base of the cord," says Gersh. "If you have other people in your home who use the office, it allows everyone to know what goes with what." Many people find that color-coding cords is the way to go. There are products available to help, or you can use bread tags as an easy way to identify specific cords for quick reference.
  • Use cord-organizing accessories. Eye hooks and zip ties that keep cords mounted to the underside of a desk, or a cord management strap that adheres to the back of your desk, are two options. There are also cable zip devices that keep all the cords together in a protected way. "It makes your room aesthetically look better when you bind the cords together," says Gersh.

    And don't forget to toss cords when you get rid of old office equipment and accessories. Instead of dumping them into your household garbage, check for a local recycling center that takes electronic devices.

Next Up

Tips for Keeping Your Mail Organized

Bills, greeting cards, magazines and other mail can create a paper blizzard if you're not careful. Piles on the desk, kitchen counter or dining room table can lead to lost important documents. But by following these tips, you can keep the stacks at bay.

11 Ways to Keep Childrens' Toys Under Control

Is your living room overflowing with toys? Try these ideas to keep your kids’ favorites at hand for playtime and out of sight when company comes.

Bathroom Organization: Taming Hair Care Chaos

Between sprays and spritzes, bands and barrettes, hair care gear gets out of control in a hurry. Try these tips to smooth out your styling routine.

10 Ways to Maximize Under-the-Bed Storage

Amplify bedroom storage with clever clutter control solutions that sit out of sight below the mattress.

5 Ideas to Keep Your Tub and Shower Clutter-Free

Don't let half-empty shampoo bottles hog your storage space. Keep tub and shower clutter under control with these five simple tips.

Are you a Piler or a Filer?

People tend to fit into one of two organization styles: filing or piling. Learn to master the art of organizing no matter your preference for staying tidy with these tips.

8 Steps to a Paperless Home Office

Keep your home office organized and join the paperless revolution. Here are eight easy steps for going, and staying, paperless.

How to Edit and Organize Your Media Collection

Remember life before digital media? In a world of MP3 files and online streaming, CDs and DVDs feel like clunky dust collectors. Follow these steps to winnow down your media items and free up storage space.

5 Strategies to Declutter Your Bathroom Countertop

Hair dryers, flat irons, sprays and other products can easily create an unsightly mess on your bathroom countertops. These quick fixes will clear your counters and organize your toiletries.

How to Store Cookware, Knives and Kitchen Gadgets

If your kitchen is overrun with unorganized pots, pans and utensils, try these tips that will have your space looking tidy as a Michelin star restaurant.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.