Design Dilemma: Hiding Electrical Cord Clutter
It’s easy to get tied up in knots about all the knottedÂ cords running through every corner of the house. While the problem of what to do with cords is a familiar one, there is as yet no perfect solution. You can hide cords but you can’t make them disappear altogether.
So untilÂ that day arrives we’re stuck with organizing systems to contain the cord clutter. Some are pretty simple, and some are more sophisticated. One simple cord organizer can be found atÂ Get Organized ($16 for an eight-foot tube, getorg.com). The Cord Control Kit is a flexible plastic tube that’s slit lengthwise and fits around approximately 10 cords and wires. While you’ll still have one cord snaking behind your computer desk or entertainment system, at least you won’t have twenty! Tubing comes in black, white, red, or light gray.Â Â Opt for the color that will best blend with wall or floor color.
Many other cord organizers exist and many are available for less than $10. Extension cord cover kits are plastic devices with adhesive stuck to one side. You can plug in several of your errant cords into the device and attach it to the floor or wall. If you have cords that must run along the floor, invest in a corduct, a plastic strip meant to be installed on the floor which will prevent the unwary from tripping.
One clever device we’ve seen is the Picket Fence baseboard attachmentÂ available from Â www.oboiler.com. TheÂ Picket Fence, designed by Karl Zahn, Â can be placed along a baseboard whereÂ it provides a nifty little nook for tucking away cords. Because there are gaps between the pickets, a cord can be pulled out whenever necessary. Also at www.oboiler.com are electrical outlets featuring hooks which allow you to wrap the length of extra cord.
If you don’t want to pay to organize your cords, you can get a handle on the problem simply by using a few things you probably already have at home. For instance, save the twist ties that come with new electrical equipment and garbage bags. Use those twist ties to bundle several cords into one single cord. Use a cup hook under your computer desk to hold the bundled cords neatly into place and out of sight. Or alternatively, you can use velcro attached to the underside of your desk to hold cords out of sight.
If you’ve got cords that must run across a room, invest in a cord cover in the same color of your wall or floor. Use strategic decorative touches, such as long curtains or plants to hide cords where they are most noticeable. You can improve the visuals in your home simply by thinking strategically about furniture placement and electrical outlets. If an entertainment center or computer desk isn’t near a wall outlet and can’t be moved elsewhere, it may be worth your while to consider updating your electricity to include another outlet or two. Although you may be tempted to run a cord under a rug, it’s a fire hazard, as pressure on the wires may cause shorting. It is also not a good idea to use a staple gun to tack wires to a wall, as the force of the gun can cut into the protective coating in the wire, also leading to a short.
Unfortunately, there’s still no perfect solution to the problem of wires, even as more and more technology goes wireless. Â But rest assured, the tech geeks out there are working on it.