The Best Ways to Organize Cables Under Your Desk

Organizing your desk is a big chore, but these tools can make it easier.
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If you’re anything like us, the cables behind your desk look more like a rat’s nest than anything else. But with a little time and some tools, you can get those cables organized and out of the way.

There are a few different ways to approach this problem: people tend to either lift their surge protector off the floor and hang it underneath the desk, or leave it where it is and put it in a handy box to make it easier to hide and/or clean. We have both options covered, along with some of the other tools you’ll need to get your desk cables organized.

The Best Surge Protector Organizer Box: Quirky Plug Hub ($26)

The Quirky Plug Hub is an elecgant way to store both a power strip and excess cord lengths.
The Quirky Plug Hub is an elegant way to store both a power strip and excess cord lengths. Quirky

Surge protectors and power strips are one of the hardest part of your desk to keep tidy, but this combination tray and able spool will keep everything straight. The Quirky Plug Hub has an advantage over some of the box designs below by keeping the plugs themselves accessible while also coiling excess lengths of multiple power cords.

The open bottom accommodates surge protectors of any length, and three internal spools and matching escapements keep the power cables from getting tangled. The box can stand on the floor or be mounted directly to the underside of the desk.

The Best Oversized Organizer Box: U-Miss Cable Management Boxes ($25)

This low-cost set of organizer boxes can accommodate a variety of power strips.
This low-cost set of organizer boxes can accommodate a variety of power strips. U-Miss

If you need something to handle a large surge protector and don’t need to access it constantly, this matched set should handle your needs. The largest in the three-pack is 16 inches long, which is big enough to handle the largest surge protector around, with cable escapements on either side. The smaller boxes are a bonus.

While it doesn’t have the internal spooling of our top pick, the U-Miss set is enough to handle smaller desks or entertainment centers without more elaborate mounting needs.

The Best Under-Desk Organizer Tray: Stand Up Desk Store Raceway ($49)

This metal tray can handle large surge protectors and huge amounts of cables.
This metal tray can handle large surge protectors and huge amounts of cables. Stand Up Desk Store

Those who want to stick their surge protector and all assorted cables directly underneath their desktop will be best served by this raceway design. It offers over nine inches of vertical space for even the chunkiest of power strips, with either 39 or 41 inches of length.

The metal tray screws into the underside of the desktop and runs along the back, with a long space in the top of the tray for running power and data cables to any point in the desk.

The Best Cable Sleeve: JOTO Cord Management System ($12)

This neoprene cable sleeve tidies up any power or data cable bundle.
This neoprene cable sleeve tidies up any power or data cable bundle. JOTO

Cables tend to tangle between the power strip and your PC, and the surface of your desk. These zip-up sleeves keep everything tight, and they’re easy to apply and remove. The neoprene material (the same stuff in diving suits) is considerably tougher than the cotton or mesh often seen in other sleeves. Standard scissors can cut holes in the sides of the sleeves to allow cables to exit from any point.

Other Cable Organization Tools

Getting your desktop as tidy as possible might need a little more than the tools mentioned above, especially for gadgets like phone and tablet chargers, speakers, or webcams that need to be placed at the edge of the desk. This smaller power strip, which clamps to the side of most desks, is a great way to quickly recharge laptops and other gadgets.

This handy design sticks three outlets and four USB chargers on your desktop.
This handy design sticks three outlets and four USB chargers on your desktop. Vilong

For easy, semi-permanent placement of single cables, this variety pack of cable clips can get you started. If you want something that keeps a bundle of cables accessible but still individual, this top-side cable keeper is what you’re looking for. For smaller bundles of cables, velcro ties can keep them together without the need for a larger sleeve.

Michael Crider Michael Crider
Michael Crider has been writing about computers, phones, video games, and general nerdy things on the internet for ten years. He’s never happier than when he’s tinkering with his home-built desktop or soldering a new keyboard. Read Full Bio »

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