Taming cords is one of my own top tech challenges, even as tech becomes increasingly cordless. So I’m always on the lookout for new ways to get my home office desk more organized and keep tangles at bay. Despite what design magazines tend to portray in their perfect home office photo spreads, (lots and lots and lots of) cords are a fact of life in a home office setup.
Whether you need an elegant cord management solution for your desk at home to beautify your space, or want your office workspace to look a wee bit more organized overall, here are some options to consider.
This post has been updated for 2021
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To hide lots of cables…or even an entire power strip
One of my favorite cord management systems for my home office also happens to be the simplest. Behold, the Cable Box Cable Management System from Bluelounge! “System” may be a bit of an overstatement — as you can see, it’s designed to conceal a cord nest by stashing the excess cable slack neatly beneath that lid, behind your monitor or beneath your desk by the outlet.
You can even pop an entire power strip in there, and I love that idea.
While there are tons of knock-offs now on Amazon from nonsensical sounding companies, I’d spend a few bucks more for this one from a trusted company, which makes its cable management boxes from a flame retardant plastic. We are talking about power cords here, after all.
To keep cords from slipping behind your desk
Sometimes a simple cord keeper is all you need to clean up your desktop — just one or two that help keep your cords where you want them, so your devices aren’t being pulled to the ground. In the past we’ve recommended affordable silicone cord keepers, but am swooning over these gorgeous metallic cable organizers from BRIGHT IA on Etsy.
Choose from gold, rose gold, chrome or gunmetal grey (I sense a theme that has something to do with Apple MacBook and iPhone casing options) — you even get quantity discounts should you need two or three. Which you probably do.
To wrangle multiple cords from a single source
Also from Bluelounge is a smart Soba cable bundler, essentially a tubing system designed to zip multiple cords into one flexible tube. This wrangles a big ol’ cord collection into fewer elements, which helps make your desk space a lot less cluttered, and safer too. The Soba is a fantastic option for consolidating all of those cords dangling behind your desk — or the multitude of cables from your TV to your cable box, gaming system, Soundbar, second gaming system…you get the picture.
To consolidate Apple device charging
Yes it’s spendy, but if design matters to you, and you’re an Apple household, Belkin’s 3-in1 Magsafe Wireless Charger is a gorgeous, Apple-approved charging station that you should consider. It cleans up clutter by making use of the Apple’s wireless and MagSafe charging capabilities, turning the need for three wires into a single one.
All in one dock, you can charge your iPhone, Apple Watch, and AirPods quickly (like, really quickly), plus, you get a handy dock for impromptu FaceTime calls on your phone or to secretly scroll funny memes while muting Zoom meetings.
(Not that I’d know anything about that.)
To charge lots of devices without the cord mess
While plenty of charging stations just function like cubbies for multiple tablets, laptops, and phones, they still leave you with a bunch of cords that need to be plugged in somewhere else. So I’m a fan of this modular 5-device black bamboo charging station, which happens to have hidden storage underneath where you can stash a single power strip – like this Multiport USB charger from Anker. (I have one and love mine.)
To eliminate mess from long USB cords
Sometimes you just need to pick up the slack from a single, long cord, and for that, I like PowerCurl Mini, which we first shared back in 2015. It not only tames the tangles around your desk area or bedside, but it allows you to take your cords with you to use out of home. It’s been updated for today’s cables — and they’re only $6.99. Simply slide your adapter into the center, then wrap your USB cord around it. When you flip down the silicone cover it stays in place without tangles.
I will say that back when it first came out, cables (ahem, Apple) frayed so easily. Now that they’re better made, this system is unlikely to destroy your cables like some Amazon reviewers described years ago, if that’s a concern.
To be the one with the coolest cord organizer ever
When I found these amazing skull cable holder clips from Brother’s Bench I just had to share them. They’re adhesive, so you can pop them on walls (they recommend non-painted surfaces), desks, a bathroom shelf, desk legs (if you want them hidden for some crazy reason) — you name it. The five-pack is just $6.99 so honestly, I can’t think of a reason not to grab them.