Whether your job or your daily chores or occupations bring about any amount of stress or merely fatigue, coming back to the haven of your home should produce a sigh of relief that is as much mental as it is physical. Being in the center of a cluttered atmosphere strewn with extras, or even just looking around and seeing it, however, does quite the opposite.
It creates a busy, oppressive nagging from your senses to your mind that there is still much to do. A clean aesthetic promotes clear and focused thinking, makes it easier to clean and keep things organized, and allows your home to be the haven it should be, particularly at the end of your workday.
Tidying up your space and polishing surfaces so your rooms invite you in remains on all of our perpetual to-do lists. However, one clutter antidote that requires a little more strategy has to do with the many power cords connecting all our appliances that make daily life a little easier.
Instead of giving in to a fit of minimalism cravings and having a garage sale with things you actually need, take a look at some of the solutions outlined below. There are actually plenty of ways to keep cords out of sight.
Tangled bunches of cords, whether hanging from the wall or running across the floor, look unkempt and disrupt the desired soft, comfy texture of the home by making it look like a machine-laden warehouse, and they also cause a number of problems.
Having so many devices within such close proximity to each other inevitably results in tangled, pulled, and stressed cables, which may damage the devices or limit their performance.
If like most people, you need a power strip to add more outlets for your many electronics, it becomes easy to unplug the wrong cord and lose power when you don’t want to. Exposed cables tend to wear out easily as well, and protecting them from being tugged or stepped on will save you from having to replace them.
Beyond these reasons for keeping power cords neatly tucked away, the prime reason to consider cord organization is that tangled or exposed cords bring up safety issues for your whole family. Most gadgets need over 100 volts of electricity traveling from your outlets through their cords to be able to run.
Insulation around the cords protects us from shock, but with daily use and exposure to foot traffic and shifting furniture this rubber insulation often gets damaged, which can leave other surfaces, pets, or people open to contact with the electrically-charged wire. They may also get wet when accidents and spills happen. And as we hurriedly pass from room to room, cables on the floor present a tripping hazard to even the most coordinated people.
Family members most vulnerable to the dangers of cords on the floor and on the walls within their reach are children and pets. The smallest members of the brood are confined to the floor and lower areas of every room, are absolutely brimming with curiosity and energy, and are not capable of reasoning and making logical choices to avoid the danger of electricity.
Even the most attentive parents will admit that identifying and safeguarding the potential dangers in their homes proves much more realistic than keeping their eyes on youngsters at all times. The fact is, 3.5 million children need to go to emergency rooms every year due to the types of accidents and injuries that occur in their houses.
Children and pets explore and experience their surroundings with fingers, paws, noses, and mouths, and their enthusiasm and curiosity are not likely to taper off. The best solution is to think through all the items in your home within their reach and remove potential hazards and threats.
The majority of homes depend on appliances in daily life, which means that cords and cables traverse the floor and wall areas throughout the home. Cutting into power cords with teeth or pulling too hard and snapping them can lead to burns or electric shock, and getting wrapped up in the tangles could cause strangulation.
The convenience that power strips provide by being able to handle multiple electronics also makes them an electrocution risk for kids and pets.
Depending on how much effort you’d like to put into it and what you want the visual effect to be, there are several ways of getting cords out of your way and out of the hands of curious little ones, including cable covers that run across the floor, baseboards with hidden areas to hide cords, plastic covers that blend in with baseboards or walls, decorative cable management boxes that conceal power strips and store cables, and other more involved methods.
These solutions keep your home’s aesthetic in mind with their designs; you can paint them or choose colors to blend in. Cable management is essential for many reasons, but fortunately, it’s easy to accomplish.
How to Hide Specific Cables
TV Cables on a TV Stand
Position cords out of sight along the back edges or underside of your TV stand using Command Cord Clips. To use, remove the adhesive and hold it in place for 30 seconds, then wait one hour for them to set before using. These are user-friendly and also easy to remove and clean up after, making them a good choice if you’re renting. You can use them on almost any surface and choose the configuration and number of clips to use. They are transparent and blend into furniture.
Shop for an entertainment center that lends itself to keeping cords out of sight. Many come with holes already carved into the top to feed cords down into storage cabinets, and some have notches carved into a leg of the stand to hide cables that need to reach the floor. You can also use small hand saws to convert your TV stand into one featuring a small indentation down one of the back legs that hide cords; just be sure to include ventilation as part of the plan in order to let heat escape.
Even if it’s not part of your entertainment center, an adjacent cabinet or drawer in a buffet or side table can make a convenient place to sneak wires into. Run cords behind the piece or wherever you can carve a hole or find a spot to insert them.
As with a cable management box, a cabinet or drawer space will afford plenty of room to store a full power strip with multiple cables and wrap their excess in neat bundles. You can even hide the electronics themselves and use the spot as a charging station for phones and tablets.
Most power strips have holes on the bottom surface so they can be easily hung on the wall, and in that case, it’s possible to mount the power strip itself onto the wall in a conveniently hidden spot somewhere behind the TV stand.
Choose a location where the cords from all your devices on the stand can reach and meet. If you have a stand with short legs and not much clearance, you could place it just below the bottom edge so you can still move the stand back against the wall if desired.
Wall-Mounted TV Cables
Solutions to unwieldy cords running from wall-mounted TV sets and accompanying devices down to outlets vary quite a bit. You can opt to leave the cords where they lay and cover them with a concealer kit that adheres to the wall, or you can actually see a hole in your drywall and run your cables behind it, then bring them back through to connect to an outlet. You can even hide cords, plugs, and all behind the wall by installing an outlet on the wall’s backside with a user-friendly kit.
With SimpleCord Cable Concealer Kits, simply measure the distance between the bottom of your wall-mounted TV and the outlet it will need to connect with. The plastic covers in the kit can be cut to whatever size you’ll need, and then the bottom piece of the plastic strip is mounted on the wall using screws.
The cords rest inside, and the plastic top piece fits easily on to conceal them. It can also be easily removed when needed. These come in several neutral colors, or they can be painted to match your wall.
If you’re willing to take on a simple home improvement project, hide cables behind your wall using the Datacomm Cable Organizer Kit. You’ll take your TV down off the wall or move it aside on its extension arm if possible, then choose two spots on the wall free from studs, one which will be concealed behind the TV and the other by your outlet. Attach the two cable plates, then thread the cable behind your wall and back through at the outlet to be plugged in.
Other kits allow you to add a power source behind the wall so the cable does not have to come back through again. Datacomm makes an In-Wall Power and Cable Kit which also includes cable plates you’ll attach to your wall, then place an AC outlet conveniently behind your TV. The low-profile recessed plates allow your TV to fit against the wall, and the plates also let you run other AV cables through. Power and cable kits are a good solution for short power cords.
For a simple DIY method, use a basket or decorative box on a shelf near the TV and snake the cable into a hole in the side, or find an eye-catching filler for the shelf like a stack of vintage hardcover books for cords to hide behind.
Computer Cables on a Desk
More and more electronic devices are being added to most office environments all the time. Employers make the choice between wired and wireless internet, but even with wireless, charging gadgets with power cords is still necessary.
Injuries sustained from stumbling over cords in the office take the number 2 spot for most common causes of injuries in the workplace. With stress abounding and colleagues hustling through the corridors to finish assignments, it’s high time personnel start thinking about removing the tripping hazards.
Keep it simple with the Cable Slinky, a soft, pliable foam cord wrap that spirals around your cords to keep them together. In the ever-changing office tableau, when your desk moves upon your next promotion you can easily re-route wires out of the slinky at any point in the chain.
Keep cords bundled on your desk and never on the floor using a Cable Catch. It adheres to your desktop, then you can use cord holders to keep cords neatly against the office furniture.
A Cable Reel will gather up excess cord length and keep it separated so it can’t get tangled with others. Since it allows you to adjust in any way you want you can also just shorten cords, or wind them all the way in.
Particularly if you utilize multiple small devices during your workday, create a docking station out of a file organizer or magazine rack to neatly layer your tablet, smartphone, and laptop computer as they charge. Use one of the above desktop cable holders or your own method of organizing and keeping power cords separate within the station.
For the deluxe desk organizing solution, the Cemtrex SmartDesk combines a phone, scanner, trackpad, conferencing tools, and keyboard into the three-screen monitor. Only one cord is needed for 72 inches of touchscreen and it also responds to touchless gestures. All your devices in one.
Cable Hiding Products for Specific Locations and Purposes
Options to Hide Cables On the Floor
The most likely culprit in a home accident involving cords, those that lay on the floor can be easily gathered and concealed. Cable Management Boxes work well if you have a lot of them in the same area. Cord covers traverse the floor wherever your cables need to be and keep an inconspicuous profile; these are also great budget picks. Multiple DIY suggestions round out the list.
The Teyga Bamboo Cable Management Box, DMoose Cable Management Box Organizer, and HomeBliss Bamboo Large Cable Box give you a few different aesthetic styles to conceal your power strip or strips and your entire bundle of cords. Organization layouts inside keep cords separate and neatly bundled. These are designed with ample ventilation so overheating will not be a concern. Select from several neutral color choices including all-purpose wood.
Source: Home Depot
CE Tech Round Baseboard Cord Channels are made of impact-resistant plastic and attach directly to your baseboard using adhesive. Cables are hidden and protected behind the tough quarter molding. These can be painted or stained to match your decor.
The LeGrand Wiremold is made of rubber and comes in ivory. Each is 5 feet long.
The Electriduct D-2 Low Profile Rubber is also 5 feet long and comes in gray. It is made from raw rubber.
For an option that would work well in warehouses and workshops, try the Heavy Duty Cable Protector. This durable cover is 6.5 feet long and comes in a black and yellow tire-style design.
The Electriduct CSX-2 PVC woodgrain has a particularly finished look. The cover is 59 inches in length and comes in 9 color choices, all with a wood grain texture.
Yecaye Low Profile PVC Duct Cable Cover is 5 feet long and comes in brown.
These choices are a great value for the money.
If your room looks more eclectic, covering cords in fabric or jute will blend in and add texture. If you own an area rug, you may also consider cutting a tiny hole in it so you can feed your cord through and hide it underneath. The rough edges of the hole can easily be stitched to keep your rug from unraveling.
Options to Hide Wall Cables
For cables dangling from your wall-mounted TV and other wall-mounted devices, conceal them with plastic ‘raceway’ cover kits which can be trimmed to any length and configured with corner pieces to any shape, or get rid of the cables altogether by hiding them in your wall.
The SimpleCord Cable Concealer On-Wall cover kit, the Wiremold CordMate II raceway kit, the D-Line White Cable Raceway On-Wall cover, the LeGrand Wiremold CMK30 30-in cord cover kit, and the Yecaye CMC-03 One-Cord Channel Cable Concealer offers sleek, low-profile design and an easily-removable cover. These are neutral in color but all are paintable.
To run cables into your wall, try a kit that includes grommets to thread cords through. The EchoGear In-Wall Cable Management Kit comes with a handsaw attachment to cut perfect holes into your drywall, and the outer bracket is easy to mount.
The LeGrand Adorne In-Wall Cable Access Port comes in white and boasts a brush portal that nicely fills in space around cables and can fit several through the wall.
If you’d like to install an outlet behind your wall so your cord won’t have to come back through, the upgraded EchoGear In-Wall Power Kit includes the easy-to-install grommets and also a user-friendly AC outlet setup.
The Sanus ELM806 PowerBridge provides two AC outlets and uses two rectangular cable plates to be installed behind the wall. The panels are pre-wired so that power connections can be set up easily.
The EchoGear In-Wall TV and Soundbar Power Kit route AV cables and power from your TV like its previous model but adds a port for connection to your soundbar, which is convenient if your soundbar is mounted near your TV. This version of the kit also includes the saw drill attachment and also small drywall saw so that you can cut the rectangular hole in the wall behind the soundbar as per the instructions.
Options to Hide Desk Cables
Whether you are trying to clean up your home office or your workspace at your job, you have a range of options. As tangled cables are a universal concern, many products have come onto the market that is temporary and cleans up easily once you vacate the desk.
In the home office, installing a grommet to thread your power cord behind the wall from your desk and even plugging it in there too is a great option.
For your work desk, consider a Backpack that attaches to the back of your desktop computer–this one is for Apple iMac monitors–where devices can rest and charge. Stack a power strip and any external hard drives connected by cords to your computer neatly behind it, and bundle the excess of these cables so you just have one power strip cord to hide in or behind your desk.
The Cocoon Grid-It Organizer works somewhat like a CD-holder on your car visor. Attach it to the underside of your desk and tuck in a power strip and the neatly-bundled lengths of your excess cabling.
Zip ties can be used with Zip Tie Mounts along the underside of your desk’s rim to secure cables and a power strip along the underside of it.
And you can always turn to decor, like document trays–you can find beautiful wooden ones at discount stores–to cleverly disguise any cables lying across your desk. You can still select a few eye-catching key pieces without piling too much stuff on the desk and creating the same cluttered scene you’re working to avoid.
To truly rid yourself of masses of wires and cables, take advantage of all the new wireless products coming out. Take a look at the Smart TVs which require no cable or satellite and instead stream channels, movies, social media, and radio from the internet. Charge up wireless speakers for a whopping 12 to 16 hours of cord-free surround sound. Bring your wireless computer anywhere within range of your Wi-Fi signal.
Wireless TVs provide internet channels using your home’s high-speed internet connection. In addition, you will have access to podcasts and webcasts, and you can get the latest news and real-time TV shows from apps. Be sure to keep up with the periodic software updates that will refresh existing programs and incorporate new features.
Customers report that Smart TVs are easy to set up with the walk-through configuration provided. Among the things to watch out for: they are essentially computers so once in a great while they can crash, but they are not as secure as your average computer, so don’t use them for online banking.
Source: Best Buy
The Samsung LED NU6900 Series 2160 pixels Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR is designed with ultra HD resolution and PurColor technology. Download the SmartThings app to control it.
Source: Best Buy
The Samsung LED N5300 Series 1080 pixels Smart HDTV with Samsung’s HyperReal Engine is compatible with wireless headphones and offers a digital audio port to connect to for Dolby Digital sound.
Source: Best Buy
The Toshiba LED 2160 pixels Smart 4K UHD TV with HDR – Fire TV Edition comes with a Firestick as well as a voice-activated remote with Alexa.
Source: Best Buy
The TCL LED 3-Series 1080 pixels Smart HDTV Roku uses the Roku system for streaming and features a 60Hz refresh rate. It has 3 HDMI ports for devices and comes with free channels.
Computers that receive Wi-Fi signals don’t need to be plugged into a cord. You’ll need a wireless network router for your modem and a computer with wireless capabilities and you’ll be able to operate your computer without cables. This is quite common by now, of course, particularly with tablets and laptops. Wireless internet costs a little bit more in general, but sometimes putting all the wiring in place for wired internet systems can create expenses too. Wireless internet can occasionally encounter interference in its signal, and it presents more of a security risk, but the convenience factor is a huge benefit.
With the Dell Inspiron FHD Touchscreen All-in-One Desktop PC, you’ll get a wireless keyboard and mouse and a widescreen display featuring 1920 x 1080 resolution.
The Acer Aspire Z24-890-UA91 AIO Desktop also has a wireless keyboard and mouse, along with built-in stereo speakers and an LED widescreen display.
Connect your wireless speakers easily with your computer, TV, even your outdoor stereo system. Use them for impromptu karaoke. You can set up wireless speakers anywhere within the transmission range. They can connect with other speakers for a multi-tiered experience or with your phone for much clearer calls on the speaker. The only cons might be having to worry about the charge running out during use or perhaps interference by radio waves.
The Bose Soundlink Revolve Portable BlueTooth Speaker offers a wireless range up to 30 feet, a durable, water-resistant aluminum body, and up to 12 hours of playtime from a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
The Sony SRS-XB12 Extra Bass Portable Bluetooth Speaker is waterproof, dustproof, compact, and can play for up to 16 hours fully charged.
The JBL Flip 4 Waterproof Portable Bluetooth Speaker is also waterproof and plays up to 12 hours at a time.