Cord Wars: How I Won the Fight Against Nasty Cords

Cord management is always challenging, but especially so when you have a glass desk and you place it directly in front of a large window. Since I was adamant about placing my desk in front of the window so I could look out into the yard, I needed a way to tame my cords.

The first and simplest thing I did (not pictured) was to purchase these Velcro squares to attach my memory card reader to the back of my monitor. The memory card reader, along with its ugly cord, has been a nuisance on my desk for almost four years, and now it's disguised. Simple but genius!

I also bought the largest cord management kit I could find and first made sure all my cables fit nicely in the tunnel. I have a fire-wire cable (which is fat), a cat 6 cable, a computer power cord, a USB cord and two speaker cords. It was tight but it worked. I had to order new 7 foot cords at Monoprice for them to fit through the tunnel.

I placed the cord tunnel against the trim on the bottom of the wainscoting, and ran it from the wall on the left where the cable comes in, around the corner to the desk, and behind the curtains to the power outlet. I needed two pieces for this.

I then needed to cut several additional smaller pieces so the wires could seamlessly run from the back of my monitor to the floor near the outlet. I measured and used a serrated kitchen knife to cut the pieces. A saw would work much better if you have one.

I put the pattern together on the floor to be sure it was correct and started sticking the pieces on the wall very carefully. Once you stick the pieces on the wall, you can't move them, so be sure they are measured and cut properly. The next part involves feeding the wires through, which can be tricky if it's tight and you are making a lot of turns, as in my case.

Since there were also so many power cords and they all seem to have these giant black boxes connected to them like such, and I have a sub woofer for my speakers, I decided to paint a small wooden box white and tuck everything inside of it which also serves as a shelf. (Be sure there is proper ventilation for your devices as they give off heat. Stack them next to each other, not touching, and try a mesh rack within the box for more airflow.) The last step is to paint the cord tunnels the color of your wall so it blends. Since it's plastic, it needs at least two coats.

Having the white box underfoot may not be the most ideal situation for some of you (though it is far enough back that my feet do not touch it), but it sure beats having to see the mess pictured in the second photo above.

My desk now feels organized and I am inspired to focus and get a lot of work done!

(Images: Tanya Lacourse)

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