Rebecca’s Recommendations: Cleverer Cords

09 Mar 2016

With so many personal electronics in our homes these days, cords have become an unfortunate (read: unsightly) annoyance. Not only do they turn into a tangled mess, they also create a cluttered aesthetic. And if you have kids or pets, exposed cords present a safety hazard. Here are a few tips to cut down on cord clutter: Zip them. Corral cords with inexpensive zip ties. Having them in a small bundle makes cords more manageable. Even if you only take this step, it will streamline the mess quite a bit. Label them. Whether or not you’ve grouped your cords together, labeling each one will save you loads of time—not to mention aggravation—in the future. Rather than purchase products specifically for this purpose, I simply use a bit of masking tape folded around the bottom of the cord and write what each cord is for on it. Scotch tape also works and is less obtrusive, but it’s harder to remove. Tip: Label the top of the cord as well. That way, if you unplug it for any reason you can quickly reconnect it correctly. Tape them. Tape is the perfect solution for small jobs, like preventing cords from hanging down behind a desk, as well as larger ones, like attaching a surge protector to the back of furniture or a wall. Clear packing tape works great for this, but if you’re concerned about damaging your furniture or peeling paint from a wall, use painter’s tape instead. Its adhesive is not nearly as strong, but usually does the trick. Conceal them. Consider using a product called a cord channel—a long, thin piece of plastic that covers virtually any cord and secures it to the wall. The benefit? With cords flush to the wall, there’s less likelihood of small hands (or paws) getting ahold of them. Also, channels are paintable, so you’re no longer stuck with ugly black cords everywhere. While slightly noticeable, the cord channel, for the most part, blends into your wall or baseboard. A channel to try is CordMate by Wiremold, available online and at Home Depot.
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