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.
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.
VELCRO Brand ONE-WRAP Cable Ties | 60Pk | 8 x 1/2" Straps, Multicolor | Strong Reusable Wire Management | Cord Bundling for Home Office and Data Centers
These velcro ties are easy to apply and reuse, and you can get dozens of them for a few dollars.
Adhesive Cable Clips
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cable Sleeve, Cable Cover, Wire and Cord Hider - Set of 4 - Computer, TV or Desk Management - Home & Office Organizer Concealer - 20’' - Premium Flexible Neoprene Wrap, Zipper, Conduit (Black)
These flexible tubes work great for larger bundles of cables.
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.
Scotch Extreme Interlocking Fasteners, 1 in x 3 in, 2 Sets, Black, Holds up to 10 lbs (1 set holds 2 lbs)
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
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.
Belkin 8-Outlet Pivot-Plug Power Strip Surge Protector, 6ft Cord (2,160 Joules)
This surge protector features outlets that can rotate 180 degrees, making it ideal for routing cables in tight spaces.
Mini Power Strip
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.
Belkin 3-Outlet USB Surge Protector, Rotating Plug (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
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.
Under Desk Cable Management Tray - Under Desk Cable Organizer for Wire Management. Desk Cable Tray with 25 Extra Straps. Perfect Standing Desk Cable Management Rack (Black Wire Tray - Set of 2X 17'')
This tray goes under your desk, holding a surge protector and keeping various power cables organized.
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.
3M Under-Desk Computer Tower CPU Holder, Width Adjust from 3.5" to 9.3", Height Adjust from 12.5" to 22.5" to Fit Most CPU's up to 50 lbs, 360? Swivel, Steel Construction, 17" Track, Black, (CS200MB)
This gadget can mount a full-sized desktop PC underneath a desk, giving you more space. It's especially handy for standing desks.
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.
Cable Cover - Upgrade Cord Hider on Wall - 125in Cable Hider Raceway Kit for Mount TV - CMC-02 Cable Concealer for Home Office Cable Management - 8X L15.7in, W1.18 H0.6in, 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.