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The Best Tools for Beautiful Cable Management for Your Desk or TV

Cable organizing tools

If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort to get your computer desk or entertainment center set up, you might be shocked at how many cables you have to manage … and what a mess they can be in almost no time at all. Don’t worry: With a few simple cable organizers, you can route and hide all those cables to make your home office setup clean and beautiful.

My favorite cable management solutions are listed below, roughly in order of importance. There are plenty of alternative options for just about every item, so feel free to treat these as general suggestions—something slightly different might be more applicable to your customized setup.

Update, 2/8/22: Verified content and links up to date.

Velcro Strips

Storage drawer with velcro strips holding supplies

Velcro strips are the number one tool for keeping cables tidy in almost any situation. They’re super cheap, they’re easy to use and reuse, and you can use multiple strips in sequence for bigger bundles. I prefer these cable ties to zip ties because they’re easy to apply and remove without any extra tools. Go with a set of black strips if you want something subtle, or get multicolored ones for a particularly complex job where color-coding might be helpful.

The Best Inexpensive Way to Organize Cables

Adhesive Cable Clips

Stick-on cable ties

A close second in your toolbox, these cheap “pinchers” come in a variety of sizes and some with multiple grooves. They’re handy little cable holders for when individual cables and wires need to go in very specific places and occasionally need to come out again. Note that the 3M adhesive used on the back is safe for most furniture with a little care. I find these especially handy in the car, for keeping my phone charger cable out of the way as it gets to the dashboard mount.

Best Individual cable guides

Cable Clips, OHill 24 Pack Black Adhesive Cord Holders, Ideal Cords Management for Organizing Cable Wires-Home, Office, Car, Desk & Nightstand

These stick-on cable routers are great for assigning single routes at the start and finish of cable routes.

Zipper Clips

Plastic zipper cable ties

These plastic alternative to the rubber-like clips are for slightly more permanent cable routing because they “lock in” and can handle more than one cable in a loop. They’re less flexible and forgiving than the above clips, so save them for jobs where you’re reasonably sure you won’t be moving anything more than once a year or so.

The best semi-permanent cable ties

Rustark 50Pcs 2 Sizes Adjustable Self-Adhesive Nylon Cable Straps Cable Ties Cord Clamp for Wire Management, Large and Small

These stick-on ties are great for when you need a stronger hold on multiple cables, in a semi-permanent installation.

Cable Sleeves

Cable sleeve with charging cables
Blue Key

Between a desktop PC and a monitor, or an entertainment center shelf and the TV itself, you’re almost certainly going to have a big thick bundle of wires. These zip-up tubes are great for keeping them organized and tidy. They’re available in multiple lengths—if you’re unsure, measure the distance you need, then add another foot of slack. You can even cut holes in the side to make exits for single cables. Combine this tube with a few well-placed velcro strips to keep the bundle permanently hidden behind a TV or monitor mount.

Heavy-Duty Velcro Pads

Scotch brand heavy-duty velcro pads

I like to keep several items mounted beneath the flat surface of my standing desk, like a battery-powered taplight, a charging cable coil, and a small power strip. These super-sticky velcro pads are great for that, enabling me to remove the components when I want to but never coming off accidentally. The hard plastic hooks will let them “lock” into place more securely than standard velcro. They need about 10 pounds of force—a very solid tug!—to release. They work great on TVs, too, getting small power supplies out of the way.  Just be aware that the powerful adhesive on these will not be kind to furniture finish, so don’t use them anywhere that shows.

Best heavy-duty adhesive pads

Scotch RF6731 Interlocking Fasteners 1 in x 3 in, Strips, 1"x3", Black, 2 Count

These heavy-duty velcro strips are excellent for sticking small gadgets and lights to surfaces to keep them out of the way.

A Flexible Surge Protector

Belkin surge protector

Speaking of surge protectors: if you want tidy wiring, you need one that’s flexible. I love this eight-outlet version from Belkin, because it enables six of those outlets to rotate 180 degrees, letting you accommodate large “wall wart” power supplies with ease. Whichever surge protector you use, make sure it’s rated for your equipment—loading up a TV and multiple game consoles onto a single one might require an upgrade.

Best Surge Protector for Cable Routing

Mini Power Strip

Belkin mini surge protector

No matter how complete your setup, eventually you’re going to have to plug something in temporarily. A small 2- or 3-outlet power strip is perfect for that. I use a Belkin travel surge protector on the underside of my desk, but there are top-mounted options as well. For a TV setup, a handy “power cube” is easy to grab and use.

Best Mini Surge Protector

Belkin Wall Mount Surge Protector w/ 3 AC Multi Outlets & 2 USB Ports, 918 Joules

This three-outlet surge protector is great for quickly plugging in items without diving behind your desk or television.

Under-Desk Cable Trays

Under-the-desk cable tray.

Keeping cable bundles elevated and accessible is one of the most important elements of a tidy desk. These cord management trays mount under the rear of a desk and hold a surge protector or two, and enable easy routing of power cords. As a bonus, that means that you need far less slack more of your other cables once you’re all set up.

The Best Under-Desk cable tray

CPU Holder

Under-desk CPU holder

A “CPU holder” is a leftover term, and kind of a misnomer—it holds a full desktop computer, mounted to the underside of a desk. This is good for a lot of situations, particularly if you’re lacking in space, but it’s excellent for standing desks. That’s because you can set it up with the under-desk cable trays above to move your entire setup with just one or two power cables going to an outlet.

The Best CPU Holder

Cable Concealer

Assuming that you can’t drill into your wall and route cables behind it, a “concealer” is the next best option for getting cables up to a mounted TV or monitor without exposing them. These reusable adhesive-backed tubes come in a variety of colors and sizes. For the truly dedicated, you can paint them to match the paint of the wall to make them almost invisible.

Best cable concealer

125in Cord Cover, Yecaye Large Cord Hider on Wall Cable Management, Cable Raceway Kit for Mount TVs, Wire Hider Cable Concealer for Home Office, 8X L15.7in W1.18in H0.6in, CMC02-Large, White

These handy plastic tubes can clean up the connection between your entertainment center and a mounted TV, and it can be painted to match the wall.

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 »