Are your office cables, wires, and cords driving you mad? A nest of electric wiring is unsightly, hazardous, and inconvenient. Not to mention, tangled wires are gluttons for dust. Stop ignoring your mess.
Office cable management can be executed quickly and inexpensively. Just take a look at this impressive transformation:
Improve your work environment with these quick, easy, and practical cable management tips.
What You Need
There are several ways to hide cables, wires, and cables. Here are a few commercial products that make the job easier. Keep in mind that your pick of concealment methods should vary depending on the number and type of wires you are looking to conceal and the location of your concealment.
- Measuring tape
- Cord Hooks
- Cord Covers
- Cord Tubing
- Cord Bundlers
- Wireless Accessories
- Zip ties
- Velcro straps
1. Remove Everything from Your Desk
Before you get started, you’re going to want to unplug everything from your outlets and power strips. This task will allow you to take stock of all the wires in your office. It’s also best that you untangle and even label wires at this time.
As you ready yourself to put everything back in place, think about where you will place your power strip. You can easily conceal this bulky piece of electrical equipment by adhering it to the bottom side of your desk. We recommend heavy-duty double-sided tape for this sort of installation.
Of course, if your desk has a glass surface or odd construction, you might need to utilize another element to conceal your power strip. Small pieces of furniture, accent pieces, and planters are all reliable concealers. If your desk provides floor-level cover, you may be able to set your power strip right on the floor.
When all else fails, there are always cable management boxes. These discrete boxes come in different sizes. Most are large enough to accommodate a power strip and several wires.
Wire boxes keep electrical wires confined to one space. Wires still enter and exit from either side of the concealment box. However, you see a lot less than you would if your wires were left to hang on the floor. Better yet, you do not need to worry about your kids or pets coming in contact with your power strips.
2. Attach Wires to the Back of Furniture
One of the simplest ways to conceal wires is to attach them to the backs of furniture. You can purchase bulk packs of translucent, damage-free cord clips (like the ones seen here) from Amazon or your local hardware store.
Most cord clips are easy to apply and non-damaging. However, nail-in fasteners are often used to run single coax wires along the backs of furniture and other surfaces:
Some clever DIYers have even used staples to hide cords along the backs of furniture. While this method requires a bit more patience and precision, it will also save you money. We recommend that you set the cords with tape before hitting them with the staple gun. Regular office staples work well for small wires. However, low-voltage cable staples work better for thick wires.
Install the wire clips in a line along the perimeter of your furniture. This way, the wire will be pulled taut before it reaches the outlet. If the wire you are working with is particularly long, consider installing an additional cord bundler. Bundlers keep long, unused stretches of wire from piling onto the floor.
Keep in mind that cord clips adhere to painted wood, tile, and other hard surfaces. When installed correctly, they hold strongly and remove cleanly. Nail-in cord fasteners should only be considered as a permanent solution, as damage to baseboards and drywall is likely to occur when they are removed.
Tables and desks with aprons, skirts, or friezes offer a unique cord concealment solution. You can use the area under the table to conceal excess lengths of wire. Then, feed the remaining wire down the leg of your table or desk and into the nearest outlet.
Does Your Furniture Fail to Conceal Outlets?
Invest in small, movable statement pieces, such as the lime green ottomans seen in the video below. Strategic use of statement furniture may help you conceal wires and outlets that don’t fit behind your current furnishings.
3. Conceal Wires in Plain Sight with Cord Covers
Cord covers also enable you to hide bulk cords in plain sight. This sort of hardware is typically used to conceal wires running down from wall-mounted devices, such as smart screens and televisions.
However, there are cord covers for both walls, baseboards, and floors. When used to conceal horizontal cross-floor cords and wires, covers can prevent trips and other workplace injuries.
Most cord covers are constructed from white or neutral-colored PVC or plastic. They can be painted or stained to blend in with their surroundings. You can purchase bulk sets of cable concealers on Amazon. Most kits include non-damaging adhesive padding and connectors.
Check out this video to see just how quickly and easily you can conceal cables with the help of cord covers:
How to Apply Vertical Cord Covers
Take these steps to conceal wires behind cord covers.
What You Need
- Measuring tape
- Fine-toothed hack saw
- Cord covers
Measure the area along the wall where you will be installing your cord cover.
Then mark that measurement on the cord cover, and use a fine-toothed hack saw to cut it that exact measurement.
Place the cord cover where you’d like to install it. Use a level to ensure that it is straight. Then, mark the wall to indicate the placement of the cord cover.
Remove the adhesive backing from the cord cover. Adhere it to the wall. Then, apply firm pressure.
Insert cords into the cord covers channel. Then, attach the cover.
For even better concealment, consider painting the cord cover to match your walls.
Use the Right Cord Cover
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make is to use the wrong cord cover. Here’s a breakdown of some of the more common cord cover brands:
- Safcord Cord Covers: A hook-and-loop-backed piece of nylon fabric that adheres to most carpets to conceal floor-based cords and wires. These do not protect wires. However, they do conceal them while eliminating trip hazards.
- EVEO Cable Management Sleeves: Zippered cable sleeve that organizes and conceals several wires.
- Rubber Floor Cord Concealer: Rubber ramps that float over floor-based wires. These provide wires with concealment and protection.
4. Consolidate Wires with Wire Tubing
One of the most frustrating things about cords and wires is that they become tangled and nested when they’re in close vicinity to one another. Cable wraps or wire conduits, such as the one seen here, are soft, flexible hollow channels that allow you to consolidate several wires into a single bundle. Most wire tubing is made from sturdy, heat-resistant material. It boosts office aesthetics while creating a safer workplace environment.
Here are our favorite wire tubing picks:
- Keco Expandable Braided Cable Sleeve: This 1/2-inch expandable diameter, 100-foot tubing is perfect for large offices.
- Electriduct 1/2″ Split Wire Loom Tubing: We love this flexible, corrugated polyethylene conduit for wire and cord concealment. It comes in several lengths and different colors. Since the loom is split, you can easily access your cords.
- Alex Tech Wire Wrap: This is a flexible, coiled wire wrap that’s perfect for workspace and entertainment setups. Extra holes along the tubing make it possible for you to release cords at different points.
5. Use Zip Ties
You can also use zip ties to organize a section of unruly wires. Use this zip tie cable organization method to separate and align three or more cables. First, gather all the loose cables and align them so that they run parallel to one another. Then, loop a zip tie over the cables. Leave the zip tie loose. Now, use zip ties to separate each wire. Wrap a zip tie over the original zip tie. Do this in between every cable. Pull these zip ties tight. Then, tighten the interior zip tie. Repeat these steps at different points along with the cables. Trim away the ends of the zip ties.
While zip ties don’t hide wires, they do make them more manageable and easy to conceal. Check out this video to see this method in action:
6. Use Wireless Technology to Eliminate Wires Altogether
You can easily cut out some of your cord mess by switching over to wireless technologies. The cell phone is an excellent example of how removing one cord can completely transform a technology. Still, most people are slow or even resistant to eliminating cords in the office. There’s no denying the fact that cable messes are much easier to eradicate when there are fewer wires in the mix.
Some easy switches include:
- Wireless mouse
- Wireless keyboard
- Wireless headphones
- Wireless printer
Implementing Wireless Desktop Technologies
You can easily replace your hardwired headphones, computer mouse, and keyboard to create a less cluttered desktop. After which, wires from your computer, monitor, and other electronics can be fed to the back of your desk for concealment.
Switching to Wireless Internet
Wireless internet will help you cut down on the number of cables going to and from your desk. While ethernet has its benefits, most work can be done safely and without interruption with the help of a stable wireless internet connection.
Utilize a Charging Pad
A lot of that desktop cord clutter is probably made up of charging cords or phones, tablets, laptops, and other frequently used devices. Consider replacing all those charging cords with a single charging mat.
7. Eliminate Bulk at the Outlet
Here are a few easy, inexpensive methods for concealing the mess of wires and surge protectors that typically lingers around outlets.
Concealing Power Strips
While it’s relatively easy to conceal most cables, wires, and cords, this still leaves you with unsightly power strips, modems, and final cord accumulations. According to Country Living Magazine, you can easily conceal these components with the help of a basket, such as StorageWorks Rectangular Wicker Baskets with built-in handles. Country Living suggests that you bunch the wires together with the help of a velcro tie. Then, feed them through one of the basket’s handles.
8: Create Concealed Charging Stations
Some of the most infuriating jumbles of wires you’ll find in the office consist of chargers. Check out this quick video or tops on hiding phone and device chargers in plain sight:
- Install a dedicated charging shelf
- Use desk-mounted binder clips to control the path of chargers
- Install outlets with integrated charging stations and phone racks
Switch Out Your Power Strips for Wall-Mounted Surge Protectors
Wall-mounted Surge protectors offer the same conveniences as powerstrips, only they are cordless and cannot be seen at ground level. The Bestek Wall Tap features seven outlets, including swivel outlets and three USB charging ports. Plus, there’s a slot on the top that can be used to hold a charging cell phone. Accessories such as these eliminate unsightly wire clusters while offering substantial power improvements.
Feed Wires Into Furniture
If you’re open to drilling a hole in the back of your furniture, you may also be able to conceal wires inside closed cabinets or drawers. Feed the wires through the back of the drawer. Then, use wire bundlers or zip ties to keep tangles from developing. If several of the cords you are looking to conceal belong to chargers, you may also consider creating an in-drawer charging station.
You can purchase inexpensive in-desk outlets. These devices are identical to surge protectors. However, in-desk outlets are designed to be flush-mounted. Therefore, you will need to cut a hole in the bottom or back of your drawer:
We hope you found these cable, wire, and cord concealment tips to be quick, easy, and beneficial! With the help of a few inexpensive gadgets, you should enable you to cut out some of that clutter. Now, it’s time for you to assess your office setup and see which cord concealment tricks will work best for you!
As always, drop your questions and comments in the section below.