Cable Management Tips for the Home Office
Is your desk a spiderweb of cables? Here's our suggestions for organizing all the cables in your home office.
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Many people don’t realize how much time is wasted each day when you have a disorganized office space. Organization is essential not only for a better-looking office, but for being able to focus on your work.
Most modern offices have printers, scanners, a computer and monitor, desk lamp, and other devices. This ends up creating a whole mess of wires that often tangle together and create clutter. Cord clutter is unappealing to look at, distracting, and can even be a tripping hazard, depending on your setup. You’ll be doing yourself a huge favor once you get this under control.
Benefits of Reducing Cable Clutter
If you aren’t 100 percent convinced that less cord clutter is better, here are some advantages of a more organized office space:
Both professionally and personally, an organized and clean home office helps you stay on task. Just looking at clutter every day is enough to increase your stress and make it harder to focus. Plus, you’ll know where everything is instead of having to waste time looking for items. Read some of our other productivity tips.
Lower Risk of Injuries
As briefly mentioned before, cables are a serious tripping hazard. Keeping the floor of your office clear of cable clutter makes it much less likely that you’ll stumble over the cords. Your safety is important, so it’s a good idea to organize regularly.
It’s hard to feel good about yourself when you’re surrounded by your own mess every day. By cleaning your desk and keeping your office free from cord clutter, you’re creating a positive environment around you. We all know it’s much easier to stay in the flow of work when you’re feeling good, so this is an important factor.
Increased Creative Thinking
You may think that your office setup and your creative thinking abilities are unrelated. But clearing up your desk and floor space will give you much more free time to dedicate to innovative ideas. You won’t need to spend time sorting through a mess and can instead focus on creative goals and productivity.
Essential Home Office Cable Management Tips
Now that you understand why reducing cable clutter is so important in your home office, it’s time to go over some tips for doing so. Below, I’ll cover a variety of solutions, and you can select what works best for your particular office.
Tip #1: Get Wireless Devices
This is the simplest and most straightforward solution to the wire problem; just get rid of as many cables as you can. There are wireless mice, keyboards, and even printers and similar devices. This will give you a cable-free space with much less clutter in your workspace.
- No cables to worry about
- New, upgraded technology
- Simple solution
- Might be expensive to replace equipment
Tip #2: Bundle the Cables
The next method you can use is bundling the cables and cords in your office together. Depending on how many wires there are, you should be able to use a twist tie to group the cords so they aren’t all over the place.
For larger number of wires, you might need to upgrade to plastic zip ties or Velcro loops. One potential downside here is that your wires may not all be in the right position for this to work.
Another option is a plastic J-Channel like like this one available from Amazon. It includes 5 channels (16 in) and double-sided tape to attach to your desk.
- Cheap solution
- Quick and simple
- Won’t work for all office layouts
Tip #3: Make a DIY Power Strip
You can make your own power strip to hide the cables and wires on your desk. This is a great solution for people who don’t want to have to spend any money but have cables they need to deal with. The basic version of this is just to cut holes out on each side of a shoebox and put your power strip inside.
Then you can plug the wires into the strip after putting each cord through the holes. This will hide at least some of the unsightly wire clutter on your desk.
For a more professional look, the DMoose Cable Management Box (available from Amazon) is an elegant way to organize power strips and cords if you don’t want to make your own.
- Quick and easy
- Doesn’t cost anything
- Simple solution
- Doesn’t look very professional
Tip #4: Use a Mounted Power Strip
With a small home office, strategically using the space you have is essential. If you want less clutter on the floor in your office, placing a power strip up under your desk is a good alternative to putting a strip on the floor. This will keep the wires hidden and the power strip out of the way.
You can do this using Velcro fastening strips, then use twist ties or zip ties to wrap excess wire together. The only downside to this solution is that it won’t work for wires that aren’t near your desk.
- Saves floor space
- Costs very little
- Only works for the area near your desk
Tip #5: Cable Covers
You can buy cable covers that will make any cords you have running along the floor or wall less noticeable. They come in many different colors so you can make sure they match your paint or carpet. They also make your office safer since there will be fewer exposed cords to trip over.
Here's an example (available on Amazon).
- Quick to install
- Lessened tripping hazard
- Looks better than black cords
- More expensive than other options
Tip #6: Use Binder Clips to Secure Wires
If you have some spare binder clips lying around, they can do wonders for disorganized cords and cables. Clip them to the edges or back of your desk and put your Ethernet, USB, and printer cables through the loops on the clamps. This will keep your cables neatly lined up, so you can keep track of which cable goes to what.
You can find large binder clips if you have a sizable amount of cords you need to organize, as these can fit multiple cables through each loop.
Clearing up the cables in your office will help you save time you would’ve spent trying to decipher which wire is coming from which device. It will also make your office more aesthetically appealing and conducive to focus and productivity while you work. Come up with a system of organization now, and you’ll thank yourself later.