Cable Management: How to Organize All the Cords on Your Desk
May 6, 2021
One of the common characteristics of workspaces is the excessive number of cords and cables running everywhere. Whether you work from a home office or in an office with others, you know the frustration that arises from trying to constantly control cables. They come from computers, routers, headsets, printers, scanners, and any other equipment that you find yourself using at your workstation. When they begin to sprawl out on your desk, they can easily begin to resemble a rat’s nest.
However, keeping a well-organized workspace comes with a number of benefits. You won’t have to worry about finding a place to set down important papers, it’ll be easier to determine which cord goes to which item when needing to plug or unplug something, and an organized space can help you feel more relaxed and prepared to begin work at your desk.
We will walk you through some straightforward tips and specific products that can help you keep your cables more organized. Here’s what you can look for.
5-Step Guide to More Effective Cable Management
When it comes to effective cable management, you will find that there are a variety of products and strategies you can use to keep your cords organized and neat. We will explore some helpful products and cable organizer options you may want to invest in to help keep your work area ready for use.
Start With Everything Unplugged
The first step to organizing your cords lies in unplugging everything within your workstation. You want to see what you have available and what you might need to purchase so that your desk is designed to maximize your efficiency. This will help you get started on your quest for desk cable management.
You can gather together your USB cables, cables for your Wi-Fi and modem, networking cables, and any cables you have for other gadgets that you might use. See if you need to purchase any additional cables to ensure that every device has the proper connections and that you do not waste time switching the same USB cable between multiple devices, for example.
Also, try to verify that the cables you require can reach their designated outlets or if you need to pick up an extension cord. No one wants to waste time having to shuffle items around their desk so they can print off a document because the cord will not properly reach. An extension cord helps make sure that all of your workplace necessities can be used as intended.
Identify Where You Want to Hide Your Power Strip
Now, try to look for the most convenient place to put your power strip or surge protector. This important piece of your office setup can help protect your electronic devices from power surges. It also creates a convenient setup, allowing you to connect several pieces of equipment to a single location and power down several workplace products at once.
Finding an out-of-the-way spot for your power strip will allow you to successfully find outlets for several items while avoiding cluttering your space and allowing it to become an eyesore. Some common locations to place your power strip include under the desk, behind the desk, or even inside the desk.
Others might elect to mount their power strip on the wall. Many surge protectors will have mounting holes that allow you to quickly attach the strip to the wall in a convenient place.
Wrap Nearby Cables
After you have mounted your power strip, you want to begin plugging in your different electronics and accessories so that you can create the best possible arrangement. Carefully consider how you plan on using your workspace and think about which items will need to be the most accessible to you. Brainstorm how items can be arranged to maximize your efficiency. For example, if you use your printer daily but the scanner only a few times a month, it might make more sense to have the printer within arms reach, with the scanner a bit further away.
Once you know where the different pieces of equipment will go, the time has come to start plugging things back in. As you begin to plug everything back in, you then want to keep nearby cords wrapped together so they do not end up flowing all over the desk and the rest of your workspace.
There are several cord organizer options to choose from, including:
Some power cord organizations are also reusable so you can easily come up with a different configuration if you decide to change how you have your office space set up in the future. This often makes them a better solution than simple masking tape.
In addition to choosing how to group your different power cables together, you can also elect to use a J channel. This simple solution can help you gather your wires together at the back of your desk and feed them through a narrow holder that will keep them straight and organized. Many appreciate the sleek, discrete look it creates.
Consider which organizing system you think will work best for cord management for your specific space.
The next step will be to label the cables you have around your workspace. This will make it easy to move and adjust them whenever you need to. If you want to unplug a printer cable and accidentally unplug your desktop computer cables, for example, it could be disastrous. Labels will make it quick and easy to find the precise cord you want.
You can use a label maker to create tags that will help you keep everything organized throughout the office space. Attach the labels in clear spots so that they are easily read whenever you need them.
Invest in Storage Bins for Unused Cables
Once you organize your cables around your workspace, you will likely find yourself with some extra cables. For example, you might have extra computer or phone chargers or even an extra video conferencing headset that you do not use every day.
You want to keep these cables readily accessible without cluttering your office desk. If you do end up needing a cord in the future, having them in a known spot can help you find what you need quickly. Therefore, a storage solution can help you keep the cables within reach while also not taking up any space on your desk or tabletop.
For many people, plastic storage boxes will make an excellent DIY choice, as they can slip onto shelves, in closets, or under desks. Look around your space to determine the size of the box that will fit your space best and use it to neatly pack away any extra cords you might have. Many find that a cable management box like this further helps them keep their space organized. Depending on how many extra cords you have, you might end up wanting to have a separate box for each different type. For example, you might put your headsets in one box, chargers in another, and USB cords in another. Consider your unique organizing needs and plan accordingly.
Prioritize Organization Throughout Your Workspace
An organized workspace can help improve your productivity and reduce stress when you sit down to work. Imagine not having to look for items that you need to do your job or watching the desk become a maze of cords coming from all of your different devices. With an organized workspace, you can accomplish more and work more effectively.
As you create a workspace that will help you operate efficiently, optimizing your cord management and finding room for all of your cables should be a priority. Consider the different strategies outlined above and start making the best workspace for you.
About the Author
Jessica Burshtynskyy has been a freelance writer for over 10 years. When not at her computer writing, you can usually find her enjoying a book or outside by the water.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot warrants the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
[The contents of this article are for information purposes only. The information does not constitute a medical consultation and cannot replace medical advice. Any information should never be used as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other health care provider. There are many possible causes for physical discomfort. If you are experiencing persistent symptoms or symptoms that are severe enough to interfere with your job or personal activities, consider seeking medical assistance.]
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