The Organizing Strategy That Helps Me Keep All My Cords in Order

published Sep 24, 2022
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I’ve written many articles about decluttering, including several pieces on things you can get rid of right now or later on. While there are definite benefits to decluttering slowly, when you’re on a decluttering kick there’s nothing quite as satisfying as tossing as many things as possible into a giant donate box and getting it out of your home. 

But there’s one particular category of items that even I find hard to get rid of. Although I am very much in favor of saying goodbye to things that you are hanging on to because you might need them someday (after all, your place is not a storage unit!), I hesitate to dispose of one kind of clutter that seems to stick around no matter how many times we declutter: charging cords. 

Here’s the thing: When you don’t know what a particular cord goes to, you can’t answer the question of whether you need it. You don’t know if you can easily let go of it, you might need it someday, or if it is the one cord that charges your husband’s nose hair trimmers. And even if you no longer own or use the item the cord came with, maybe that cord charges something else you use (and what if you can’t find that thing’s charging cable)? It’s a complicated disaster and it means you probably have that tangled mess of cords stuck indefinitely in a box or drawer somewhere, taking up valuable space, and a lot of it needlessly. 

The secret to managing this clutter is to never let any new cord become a mystery cord. I realized this as I was packing and unpacking from our move; it’s so easy for a charging cable or power cord to become separated from the item it belongs to and you won’t know you don’t have it until you need it. Additionally, when you do go searching for a cord, it’s zero fun to shuffle through all of them to find the one that works. 

So I’ve decided that every new cord or cable that comes into our home with a new electronic will get labeled immediately. I’ll also do my best to label the cords we already have too. 

There are several ways to do this. Here are some things that’ll help you keep your cords organized:

  • Bread tags. These are small and unobtrusive and you can write with a fine-tipped Sharpie on them to designate what your cords go with. Save bread tags in your junk drawer as you come across them. 
  • Masking tape. Masking tape and a Sharpie are the easiest labeling solution and using them to identify cords is no exception. 
  • Zip-tie tags. Zip-tie tags are secure and you can write on them too. 
  • Velcro cable labels. These cable labels are easy to take off and you can also write on them. 
  • Label tags. Color-coded label tags help you categorize different types of cables by color. You can also label these more specifically with a permanent marker. 

How do you wrangle your tangled mess of cords? Tell us in the comments below.