If you looked under your desk and finally got fed up with the mess of cables underneath, here’s how to organize that mess and get your cables under control.
Most of the time, you probably don’t care how all of your cables look in the first place. After all, they’re hidden under your desk where no one will see them anyway. But the moment you need to unplug something, you finally realize just what kind of chaos lives down there. Thankfully, you can do something about it—all it takes is a little bit of time and attention.
Step One: Unplug Everything
It’s best to start from scratch, which means unplugging everything from the power strip and separating all the cables.
You can stop right there if you want to, but you can also unplug everything from the other end and completely throw all the cables off to the side for a completely clean slate. This makes things a bit easier, but it’s not absolutely necessary.
Step Two: Mount the Power Strip to the Desk or Wall
Perhaps the most important step is finding the best place to mount the power strip because all of your cables will converge to that one point.
To mount it, you would simply measure the distance between the holes, copy that to the desk or wall surface, and drive in screws, leaving them sticking out just a bit so that you can slide the power strip on.
After that, line up the power strip’s holes with the screws and slide it in place. If it’s still pretty lose, tighten the screws down a bit until you finally get a snug fit from your power strip.
Step Three: Wrap Cables Up and Plug Them In
Next, you’ll want to shorten all of the cables as much as you can so that they’re not dangling and causing an unsightly mess. There are a couple of ways to do this.
You can either use velcro straps or zip ties. Zip ties are easier and quicker to work with, but they’re also more permanent. You have to cut them off and use another one if you ever want to change things around in the future.
Either way, the goal here is to consolidate all of the excess cables that are hanging down and hide it the best you can.
Step Four: Label Each Cable (Optional)
If you find yourself constantly unplugging and plugging things into your power strip, it might be a good idea to label each cable so that you don’t have to trace them all back every time.
To do this, I like to use masking tape and wrap it around the cable to create a tag of sorts. From there, take your favorite Sharpie and write on the tag that the cable goes to.
In the end, there’s not one single system that works for everyone, mostly because every desk setup is different and each person has their own definition of what’s organized.
For instance, you could just get one of these cable management under-desk trays and throw everything on that to hide your cable mess, and it would ultimately be quicker and easier. However, if you don’t like the tangled cords period, then you might want to take some extra time to separate everything and create clear paths for each cable.
Overall, don’t be shy to use this guide as a starting point and modify it to fit your own situation.