How Do I Organize My Cords Under My Desk?

By Robert David Orr / Last updated: Jan 5, 2022

Anyone who works from home eventually reaches a point where we ask, “How do I organize my cords under my desk?” Your home office desk can quickly become overrun with rogue cords dangling to and fro. When this is the case, you need cord management.

To organize cords under your desk, start by getting everything unplugged from the wall and your power strips. Then, clearly label your cords so you can identify them once they’re plugged back in. Get your power strip mounted and wrap your cords with cable ties and hide them out of sight. Then, plug your cords back into the power strip.

Some day hopefully we’ll be able to charge, power and connect all our electronic devices wirelessly. But until that happens we have to have a way of dealing with the chaos that comes from all those power cables and chargers.

Fortunately, it’s not difficult to get your cords under control. With a just a little bit of time and effort along with the proper tools, you can take control of your unruly cords and transform your home office and desk space into something clean, neat, and organized.

By the way – before we get into it, if you want to get more great ideas for your home office and connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best join my free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks here.

How Do I Organize My Cords Under My Desk?

Everyone has different needs and goals when it comes to organization.

Everyone has their own way of doing things.

But if you’re looking for a simple, efficient and effective way of getting your cords and cables organized and to get rid of the overwhelm and frustration that comes from what I call “cord spaghetti”, this is the method that I’ve found that works like a charm.

The goal for cable management is simple enough:

hide your cords.

To do that, you’re going to have to unplug everything. Start from scratch!

Hiding your cords instantly improves the look of your desk and your home office as a whole. The way you go about hiding your cables is up to you, though.

From cord boxes to cord sleeves, there are all kinds of products on the market specifically designed for cable management.

But even then, you don’t have to spend a dime.

You can do everything we’re talking about here with simple tools you find around your house like twist ties and masking tape.

Unplug All Cords from Your Home Office Desk

Before you can get to organizing your cords, you first have to unplug everything.

You simply can’t get a handle on your cords if they’re all still plugged in, so, make sure all of your electronics are powered off and get to unplugging everything.

If your modem and router are part of your home office setup, and it needs to be unplugged, you should warn everyone that the internet will be down while you’re working on your cord organization project.

After you have unplugged all the cords from around your desk, untangle and separate any cords that are wrapped together.

If you haven’t had proper cord management up to this point, your cords will DEFINITELY be tangled.

Pull them all apart so you can clearly see which cord goes to what item.

Proper Cord Management Means Labeling Your Cords

To save yourself from headaches down the road, label all of your cords while you have them unplugged. This will help you determine which cord is what once they are all plugged back in again.

Let’s face it, most cords look exactly the same. By using labels, you don’t have to guess which cord to unplug and inadvertently unplug the wrong one.

You can label your cords in a few different ways.

Buy cheap

Avery Multiuse Label (6738)
Avery Multiuse Label (6738)
Easily personalize each label by hand with a marker or pen (not printer-compatible); Fifteen 3/4" diameter circle labels are included on each 4" x 6" sheet
$1.48
dot stickers at any office supply store and either leave them blank or write the first letter of each item. Simply attach the sticker to your cord, and, voila, it’s labeled.

You can also use masking tape or

Avery Multiuse Label (6738)
Avery Multiuse Label (6738)
Easily personalize each label by hand with a marker or pen (not printer-compatible); Fifteen 3/4" diameter circle labels are included on each 4" x 6" sheet
$1.48
washi tape in fun colors if the dot system is a bit too boring for you.

  • Take a piece of masking tape about an inch and a half to two inches long and wrap it around each cord.
  • Bring the two ends of the tape together on each side so they stick together, creating a flag.
  • Write the name of the item on the flag, and you will never have to guess again.

If you really want to get fancy, you can purchase special

Mini Skater 240 Labels 8 Sheet Colorful Waterproof Cord Labels Tags Write on Stickers Tear Resistant Flexible Works Cord Identification Labels for Laser Printer (8 Sheet (240 Labels))
Mini Skater 240 Labels 8 Sheet Colorful Waterproof Cord Labels Tags Write on Stickers Tear Resistant Flexible Works Cord Identification Labels for Laser Printer (8 Sheet (240 Labels))
Sticker Size – 3.3 x 1.1 inch; Sheet Size: A4 size (8.3 x 11.7 inch); Quantity – 8 sheets (30 pcs small label per sheet, 240 pcs totally)
$7.49
color-coded cord labels or plastic cord identifiers. These wrap around your cords and you are able to customize them by either writing the cord name on each label or using the supplied icons.

Keep Your Home Office Cables & Cords Together

The main issue with cable disorganization is that your cords are just everywhere all the time. You can’t cross your legs under your desk without kicking five cords in the process.

Disorganized cords can also cause bigger problems, though. If you have a small baby or a pet (looking at you, cats), they might find the dangling cords too enticing to resist.

This curiosity could quickly spell disaster.

Fortunately, there are tons of methods for keeping your cords right where they’re supposed to be. Options include:

  • Shortening your cords by wrapping them together
  • Feeding them through a cord management tray or box
  • Locking them in place with cord clips or wall channels

Any of these methods will give you relief from the constant frustration of unmanaged cables every time you sit down at your desk.

Plus, they will keep your cords safe from damage and your family safe from injury.

Tightly Wrap Items for Cord Management

Now that your cords are successfully labeled, it’s time to bunch them up and wrap them. Unlike before when your cords would become tangled up unintentionally, you’ll be wrapping them together so that they’re organized and out of the way.

You’ll need to shorten your cords before you wrap them up, otherwise, you will have one long annoying bunch of cords laying across your floor instead of multiple separate annoying cords. There are a few ways you can shorten your cords:

  • Use the loop method.
  • Use the wrap
  • Coil your cords into a circle.

Leave enough length free on each end so you can plug your cords back into the backs of your electronics as well as into the outlets. Beyond that, you don’t need any extra cord available.

You can use cable ties to keep your cords bunched nicely.

There’s no rule saying you have to use zip ties made specifically for cords. Any

household zip tie will do the job.

However, similarly to the color-coded cord labels above, you can find

colorful velcro to wrap your cords and make your home office a little brighter.

Use a Cord Management Tray

A cord management tray attaches to the underside of your desk and acts as a basket to hold your cords and power strip. This keeps them from dangling freely and becoming tangled up. The tray routes the cords to their destination without bunching up underneath your desk.

If wrapping your cords up neatly and evenly is too much of a hassle, you can use an under-the-desk cord management tray instead. Just feed your loose cords through the tray and into their outlets. In fact, you can combine the two methods for extreme organization by wrapping the cords up and then feeding the bundle through the tray.

Cord management trays are very convenient if you use a desk with adjustable capabilities. For example, if you sometimes lift your desk into a standing desk, your cord management tray will lift with your desk and your cords will stay organized.

Use a Cord Management Box

While you work in your home office, if you’re like me, your phone and tablet are always with you and virtually always needing to be charged, so it’s pretty common to have charging cables laying all over your desk.

Unlike a cord management tray, a cord management box goes right on top of your desk. It functions similarly to the tray, though, because it keeps all of your items tidily contained.

  • You can stuff your cords into a cord management box and never have to look at them again.
  • To use a cord management box, you insert your power strip into the box and plug everything in as needed.
  • The box has small holes where your cords can plug into different electronics.

If you have several devices to plug in, or if your cords are thick, a large cord management box is a great solution since it can hold a jumbo power strip and your thicker cords (such as your desktop’s power cord).

Smaller cord management boxes are excellent if you have lots of charging cords to plug in.

Cord management boxes can easily hold all of your charging cords and declutter your desk. These boxes will also hold your unused cords and chargers in place, out of sight, until you need them.

Use Cord Management Organizer Clips

Cord organizer clips are malleable rubber buttons that hold your cords in place. You can attach these adhesive clips on top of your desk, to the back of your desk, or to the wall behind your desk.

These clips keep your cords straight and even so you don’t have cords and cables loosely hanging from your electronics on your desk.

Use a Cord Management Channel or Sleeve

Cord channels and sleeves are tunnels through which your cords can travel sight unseen. Cord channels are solid and attach to a wall or floor while cord sleeves are soft and can attach to the back of your desk.

Simply feed your cords into the top of the cord channel or sleeve and they will come out the bottom to be plugged into your power strip. And you get the added benefit of not having to look at your cords anymore.

Cord channels are popular, not just for home office use, but also for home theater where TVs, Blu-ray players, and soundbars make for lots of cords.

Use a Desktop Cord Management Organizer

Attach a

Avery Multiuse Label (6738)
Avery Multiuse Label (6738)
Easily personalize each label by hand with a marker or pen (not printer-compatible); Fifteen 3/4" diameter circle labels are included on each 4" x 6" sheet
$1.48
cord organizer strip to the top of your desk where it won’t inconvenience you. You can place it behind your desktop or tower where it’s accessible, but not in the way.

Cord organizers are like the cable clips mentioned above, but they sit on top of your desk. Your cords simply slide into designated slots and stay put.

Mount Your Power Strip to Your Home Office Desk

The closer your power strip is to your desk, the shorter your cords can be. So, mount your power strip for maximum cord management. How you mount your power strip is up to you. Just be sure to use a high-quality power strip that is designed to power all of your items and protect them from power surges.

Depending on how your desk is situated, you can mount the power strip in different ways.

When mounting the power strip to the back of your desk or to the wall behind your desk, consider your spatial constraints. Keep in mind that your desk will have to be far enough away from the wall so the cords have room to plug into the power strip.

Many power strips have holes on the back specifically for mounting. So, if you prefer to mount with screws, you have that option.

When mounting with screws, pay attention to where the holes on the power strip align. You don’t want to be drilling holes into the wall or your desk only to have the holes not line up. Additionally, if the surface of your desk is very thin, make sure you use screws that are short and won’t punch out the back.

If you don’t want to drill holes in your desk or wall, you can mount your power strip using double-sided adhesive.

Plug Everything Back into the Home Office Power Strip

Now that you have landed on a cord organization method that works best for your needs, it’s time to plug everything back into place. No matter which cord wrangling method you chose, you should have enough slack in each cord to plug it into the now-mounted power strip.

Your home office desk is meant to be a place where you can be productive. It can be quite hard to focus on your professional tasks when your desk is a wreck with untethered cables. Plus, an organized environment reduces stress. When you’re working from home, any added convenience and stress relief can do wonders.

Next Steps

Want to join others who are creating the most amazing home offices and get more tips, tricks and hacks on how to make your home office the best it can be?

Join my brand new free private Facebook group, Home Office Hacks to connect with other home office hackers to make your space the best!

Robert David Orr

I'm an award-winning web designer & developer, creator, an all-around digital marketing guy and, most importantly when it comes to this site, a long-time veteran of the working from home life. My work from home life spans more than 10 years, and I've experimented with just about everything you can think of when it comes to getting the most out of my home office, how to work from home without going crazy, and found solutions to the numerous challenges that those of us who work from home run into in this life.

1 thought on “How Do I Organize My Cords Under My Desk?”

  1. Whether we like it or not, spending more time at home is here to stay for a while — so we might as well do it right. But what about those ugly, tangled cords, chargers and power strips? You can’t forget about the lesser-fun home office accessories ― even if they’re just to make your space less of an eyesore.

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