How To Hide Ugly Cords & Cables On Your Desk In Your Home Office: The Complete Guide

By Rob Orr / Last updated: Dec 8, 2022


Do you hate ugly cords and cables laying across (or under) your desk, getting in the way, and just generally making a mess of your home office?

There are numerous reasons why you want to hide your ugly cords and cables on your desk in your home office and if you do decide to organize your workspace and hide them, then you should make sure you get it done correctly.

But how do you go about doing that, especially if you’re on a tight budget?

Are there any special supplies you need?

And what about power strips & surge protectors?

How do snake a cord across a room without setting up a death trap in your home office?

And what can you do about cord & cable clutter on and around your desk?

The good news is that there are several easy and cost-effective ways to hide the cords coming to and going from your desk.

In this post, I’m sharing the tips and tricks I’ve used for hiding cables in my home office, and reveal clever solutions for the best possible cord and cable management, no matter what your budget may be.

Real quick, before we get too far into it here, if you want to remote workers and learn more about the work from home telecommuting life, join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

Hiding unsightly cords & computer cables on your desk

When you work from home, you have the freedom to set your desk up however you like to maximize space and efficiency, especially when you do not have a lot of square footage to dedicate to a large home office.

A popular open-concept choice is to put an office desk in the middle of the room instead of against a wall. However, this method brings up one important question: how do you hide the cords when the desk is in the middle of the room? Cord management solutions are one of the most important elements of a tidy home office desk.

A mess of cables is not only an eyesore, but it can pose a dangerous trip hazard or a tempting threat for pets and babies. You might think that an office setup with great cord management is complicated, would take too much time, etc.

I know because that’s because what I thought before getting started cleaning up my own cords on my desk in my home office.

But the reality is – it’s not true.

With the right tools, you can hide unsightly cords no matter where your desk is set up.

If you’re looking for ways to straighten up your home office and make it look more professional, one of the best things you can do is to hide all those pesky computer cords & computer cables. Whether you are looking to hide a multitude of wires or just one phone charger, wire management can be a challenge.

What you’ll need to hide office cords

To hide office electrical cords when your desk is in the middle of the room, you will need the proper equipment. There are several useful cable management systems to choose from, all of which will make hiding power cables much easier. Consider purchasing the following desk cable management accessories:

  • Cord tape
  • Cable clips
  • Cable ties
  • Cord covers
  • Cable box organizer
  • Cable management tray
  • Extension cords
  • Power strips

Cord tape, clips, and zip ties work well to keep tangled cords from forming. One of the biggest challenges for a home office, regardless of where your desk is situated, is ugly cords hanging every which way. If you have multiple cords that you are trying to hide, attach them using cord tape, clips, or ties. You can use duct tape, but clips and ties are less messy and less likely to leave a residue.

5 easy steps to prepare for hiding your cords

As with anything worth doing, it’s worth doing the right way (at least that’s what my dad used to tell me) and doing it right means there’s a little prep work involved.

1. Start by identifying what outlets you’re going to use

To start with, you will need to decide which outlets you are going to use for your electronics.

This involves determining where you would like to place your electronics and choosing the outlet that will be used for them, usually the nearest outlet.

Once this is decided, you can move on to thinking about how to go about hiding the cables that you will be using. There are two main routes you can choose from when plugging your power cables into an outlet:

  1. use electrical outlets on the floor near your desk
  2. use the closest available wall outlet to your desk.

When you need to hide cords from a desk in the middle of the room, the best way is to use electrical outlets on the floor. The downside of this method is that most people do not have electrical outlets in the middle of their floors.

Here’s the deal:

You can hire a professional electrician to install a floor outlet and outlet box in your floor, but that’s easier said than done. Unless you have a basement or crawl space underneath the room where your desk is located, wiring electricity to a new floor outlet will be a lot of work.

There will be demolition and renovation involved, no matter how simple the project looks on its face.

For those without outlets on the floor next to our desk, you need only choose the nearest available outlet.

Don’t worry; this doesn’t mean cords will drape half a mile across the floor. Even when plugging your cables into the wall, you can still hide them using the cord management options listed in this article.

2. Decide which cable management system is best for you

Now that you know where everything will be placed and which outlets you are going to use, it is time to decide which cable management system is best for you.

There are many different options to choose from, each choice boasting its own benefits. Keep reading to discover which type is best for you!

3. Determine where your equipment needs to be placed

The location of your wall outlet might determine where your office equipment needs to be placed.

For example, if your available electrical outlet is located in a strange, awkward corner of the room, it might be best to have your monitor and desktop on that side of your desk, so the cords do not have to stretch across the surface of your desk.

That will just add more visible cords for you to have to hide. However, if your power cord and/or extension cords are long enough, your outlet’s location might not make too much of a difference.

Additionally, if your desk has a hole through which you can feed cords, you will not have to worry about cords taking up precious desk space. Some people prefer to use a table rather than a desk. In this case, cutting your own cord hole in the table is useful.

4. Determine the ideal cable path from the desk to the outlet

Consider the best path from your office desk to the power outlet.

Will a straight shot across the floor work best, or will you be running cords along the baseboards?

You have choices!

Once you have figured out how your cords will snake from the desk to the outlet, you will be ready to start the cord management process.

5. Gather and mount everything you can

Once you know which outlets you will be using, the next thing you need to think about is gathering all of the cords that will be used together.

This will make the multitude of cords appear more organized than if they were all separated and plugged in wherever they fall. Start by setting all your equipment up on your desk.

Gather your cables together.

Try to use as few cables as possible.

You want to stick with the necessities. Bundle cables together using ties or tape.

Additionally, if cords have the extra length you don’t need, bundle the excess cord.

Mount your cable management box or tray underneath your desk, at the back of the desk, or at the back of the cabinet using adhesive strips, such as Command hooks.

This will ensure your cables are going in the right direction without getting unruly. Use plenty of clips, ties, and tape to keep your cords attached to the underside of the desk where you cannot see them.

Mount your power strip to the underside of your desk and plug your essential cords into it.

Run the power strip cable or the extension cord cable down the leg of the desk. You can use several zip ties or cable ties to achieve this.

If you are running your cords toward a baseboard, consider utilizing the cord raceway for optimum concealment. If you are running cords across the floor, you can use a flat cord protector.

10 ways to hide your cords on your desk

Now that we have gotten through all the preliminary steps that are required in the art of cord-hiding, it is time to figure out exactly how you would like to go about it.

There are several options available. Which one you choose will depend on how many cords you are needing to hide, and how nice you would like the cord cover to look.

Use a cord management basket

Another option for hiding power cords is to get a large basket or box. If you decide to go with this option, you may opt for a more decorative basket or box that will fit in with the current decor in the room.

Not only will this be perfect for decor purposes, but it will also pull double duty as your wire management system that will keep wires together instead of looking like an unkempt mess.

So it’s a win-win if you want to keep your home office nice and cozy. Make sure the basket is large enough so you have plenty of room for your power strip. Not only will you be able to hide the entire power strip, but you will also be able to get rid of the sight of those messy cords.

A cable box will do just fine

A similar solution requires a cable management box.

This option is designed to provide you with plenty of space for your power strip. It also has openings on each end that will allow for smooth, seamless wire organization. Similarly to the basket option, you can also opt for a fashionable cable box that will not only hide your tangled cords but will also provide extra decor for your space.

Trust in the cable sleeve

An additional option for hiding messy cables is a cable sleeve, also known as a cable cover.

A cable sleeve just might be one of the more minimalist solutions that you can find to hide your cords. You will be able to wrap up your cables in one sleeve and zip them up.

This will help them all stay in place and reduce your cable clutter. Additionally, this method of cable management system may prove a bit more reliable than your regular cable ties.

In fact, you may want to use a cable sleeve if you have a thick power cord and would like to bunch it up with others. If you want to prevent messy cords from cluttering your workspace, this just might be your best option.

Cabinets are not such a bad idea

It’s true. Storage cabinets will give you plenty of room for your surge protector as well as plenty of essential cords.

It’s the ultimate solution for getting rid of cord clutter whether it is in your home office space or any place inside your house.

If you have a desk with drawers and cabinets, this will be the perfect place to store the wires of your desk lamp and any other essential electronics that call your desktop home.

Additionally, storage cabinets can be used for more things than just cable management. For instance, if you have a laptop and want to take it with you, you can pack your laptop cord inside your bag. When you are finished, you can put it back in one of the designated cabinets.

Invest in a cord cover

A cord cover can do an exceptional job of concealing any unsightly cords. You may want to start by measuring out the path that your cables will run through.

Once you get the measurements, you will want to cut the cord cover down to the size that will provide those cords with enough coverage.

What makes these cord covers a great option is that they can get around corners without any issues. They will also come with small accessories such as double-sided tape so that they can stick to the floor. Best of all, for those who love to be organized, these cord covers will come in different colors in case you need indicators for which wires are which.

Use other accessories

If you have any extra office supplies lying around, you might want to consider using these to cover any stray wires.

This can be something like a storage cabinet, a paper shredder, or anything else that is large enough to cover wires. You may even want to consider plants or bookshelves to cover your cords. These options will provide a bit more decoration for your space than other options.

Use furniture to your advantage

You should always want to put your furniture to good use, even if that use is to cover unsightly cords.

One great way is to hide any stray cords behind large pieces of furniture, such as sofas. You may also place small hooks on some of your desk legs.

This will allow you to hang your cords out of sight and, more importantly, out of the way.

This way, you will be able to provide the cords with an excellent pathway without having your feet get tangled up. You may still be able to notice visible cords, but it will look a little cleaner when you have them bunched together. No messy cables, no problem.

Make use of cable grommets

In case you have no idea what cable grommets are, they are the holes that manufacturers cut into the desktop of desks to feed cords through.

These can be great tools to use in addition to other cable management kits.

Simply bunch up your cords and slide them through the grommets to help ensure that every cord has its own designated space in the big scheme of things.

Snake cables through walls

Another option and really the most thorough method of cord control includes stuffing all of your leftover cords into holes in the wall.

This method can be done anytime, you will only need a power drill to make the holes in the wall. This method is usually done with electronics that are mounted high up on the wall.

For instance, if you have a wall-mounted TV, you will want to drill a small hole behind the TV for the wires to go into. Drill a second hole close to the outlet. Snake your wires from one hole to the other, plug them in, and enjoy your newly-hidden cords.

Hide cables behind a modesty panel

The purpose of a modesty panel is to provide extra coverage if your desk is facing the room. For example, it will cover any ugly desk cords or messy wires.

It may also give you a bit of additional privacy if you are wearing specific types of clothing (for example, women wearing skirts or dresses).

While this might not be one of the solutions for getting rid of excess cord, it does however hide it to the best of your ability. You still may want to consider the idea of managing your cables using some of the choices above. Again, it depends on how many cables you have, how thick they may be, and so on.

Extra: consolidate and minimize the number of things you plug in

Last, but not least, you may want to consider consolidating as many of your electronics as you can into one power strip. This will result in only one wall plug being used as opposed to ten different plugs.

Additionally, you will only be tasked with hiding one power strip and the associated cords as opposed to ten individual cords. You may also want to attempt to minimize the number of things that you have plugged in altogether.

Not only will this help with your cable management quest, but it will also end up helping your electric bill. With fewer things plugged in, there will be less electricity being used throughout your house.

How do you hide power strips and cords?

One of the best ways to hide power strips and cords will be behind pieces of furniture. This may include couches or even entertainment stands.

It will depend on the kind of appliance you are using. For example, a lamp cord will hide behind a couch if you have it plugged into the nearest wall outlet. If you have any extension cords, you may want to cover them up behind an entertainment stand (if it’s used to plug in a TV, home theater system, or something else).

Some power strips can be mounted, so you’ll want to take into account whether you want to permanently affix one to your wall for easier power cable access.

You want to make sure that the wires are managed by cable clips or sleeves. Also, make sure that they are not stretched too far away from a nearby outlet. The closer it is, the better your chances are to easily hide your power strips and cords.

How do you run cables through baseboards?

Running cables through a baseboard will include removing it, thus causing any paint or drywall to be removed in the process.

This is a much more advanced technique, and what we’re discussing here requires a little bit of handyman type skills. But it’s not complicated! My only word of caution if you’re going to do this, is to make sure you know what you’re doing before you do it because otherwise you can really tear up the look of your wall and not really done anything but exchange hiding a power cable (or other cord) for an unsightly repair job on your wall.

Here’s the basic idea:

Start by using a screwdriver and a broad knife to carefully and lightly pry open the baseboard. Draw two lines: One on the top of the baseboard and another line that is a half inch above the previous line.

Cut the drywall using a saw along those two lines.

Drill holes so the cable can avoid any kind of nail intrusion.

Place nail plates on the side of the stud you’re using so that the cable is fully protected from any nails and screws as you apply drywall.

Re-apply your drywall and place the fasteners in the nail plate on both the floor and the top edge.

Reminder: don’t use rugs over cords and cables

It is important to remember NOT to use rugs to try and hide power cords that are currently in use. This is a fire hazard and can pose a great threat to your family.

Next Steps

Want to connect with other people who work from home or need help creating your home office? Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

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Rob Orr

Rob is a graduate of Florida State University and the founder and Senior Editor of HomeOfficeHacks.com, a website dedicated to helping people navigate the unique challenges of working from home. As a remote working veteran with over 10 years of experience, Rob has developed a deep understanding of the strategies and solutions that can help people thrive in this environment. He is a respected expert in the field, renowned for his clear, engaging, and informative content. An award-winning web designer, developer, and digital marketer, Rob is also the owner of a digital media company that publishes a variety of web properties. His dedication, resourcefulness, and creativity have earned him a reputation as a respected leader in the remote work and digital media communities, inspiring others through his work and passion for lifelong learning.

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