DIY Under Desk Cord Management Solution

Learn how to assemble this easy office organization solution for under desk cord management that you can DIY in about 30 minutes. Your wires and cords can all be hidden, even the cords running to a faraway wall outlet.

Gotta-see-what-they-did-to-organize-all-these-cords-under-the-desk

This is what the cords and wires under my desk in my home office used to look like. An unsightly mess!

How-to-hide-cords-and-wires-around-a-desk
Desk centered in room with an easy DIY cable management solution.

They cords and wires dangling all over are no more.

Wire-and-Cord-Organizing

There are a variety of products available to help with under desk cord management, but did a little DIY desk cable management yesterday. All the needed, but pesky cables, cords and wires that go to my lamps, computer, and chargers are how hidden.

Wire-cord-organizing-idea-from-the-dollar-store

Cord management can help to prevent tripping hazards and improve the overall appearance of the space. I have been meaning to corral and manage all the cords since moving my desk to the middle of my office over a year ago and finally did it.

Under-Desk-Cord-Managment and Organizing Idea
My Under Desk Cord Organizer

How to Declutter and Organize Your Work Space with Under Desk Cord Management

Most of the items you will need to make this organizer can be purchased at the dollar store which makes the price for this under desk cable management system budget-friendly.

It will help keep the cords organized, electrical outlet easily accessed, and the wires out of sight as much as possible.

Cord-Organizing-supplies-to-manage-cords-around-a-desk

supplies needed:

  • Wire basket – I found mine at The Dollar Store
  • Power strips or surge protector outlet strip
  • Extension cord long enough for length needed to wall outlet
  • Zip ties or Velcro wrap strips
  • 4 – 6 cup hooks (You can use screws, but cup hooks are easier to use.
  • Clear cord organizing clips with sticky back adhesive – 4 flat damage-free cord clips and 2 organizer clips from Command Brand
  • Wire cutters
  • Wire Mold cord protector – home improvement store

Items I Used:

Self Adhesive Cord Clips

Wire and Cord Bundlers

Power Strips

Under Rug Cord Protector

Note: When working with electrical cords, keep safety in mind at all times. Running a cord under or over a rug could become a tripping or fire hazard if not done correctly.

Time needed: 1 hour


Installation Overview: The wire basket becomes a cable management station. It is going to hold the power strip and be hung upside down under the desk using cup hooks. 

  1. Cut Wire Basket


    Using wire cutters, cut one of the corner sections of wire off the basket. This will allow you to thread the cord and wire plugs into the side of the basket.

    supplies need to make an under desk cable management solution

  2. Attach a Power Strip


    Place power strip in basket so it is face up.

    Once the power strip is in the basket, tie it down on both ends to the bottom wire on the basket using cable or zip ties.

    power strip in white wired basket

  3. Optional: If running cords under a rug:


    If needed, attach the power strip to an extension cord. I have an outlet on the floor under my desk so I didn’t need to run the cords to a wall outlet. Best invention ever that conceals the outlet under a rug or carpet.

    To keep the cord from getting damaged under the rug, cut a piece of rubber cord protector to the size needed and thread the cord into it.

    Make sure you keep the cords flat and as well as the cover.

    vinyl cord cover and wire basket on floor

  4. Cover the Cord Cover


    Cover the protected cord with the rug to conceal it.

    Running-an-electric-cord-under-a-rug

  5. Attach Basket to Underside of Desk


    Attach the basket with the attached power strip to the underside of the desk using a cup hook at each corner. The power strip outlets should be facing down.

    Optional: Depending on the hardness of the wood under the desk, you can pre-drill the holes needed for cup hooks.

    Office-Desk-Cord-and-Wire-Control-Idea-from-the-Dollar-Store

  6. Attach Sticky Back Cord Holders


    Attach the clear cord holders/organizers that have sticky backs to the side leg of the desk. These will secure the cords along the surface of the desk. They open and close like a hair barrette.

    Cord-Organizers-for-Managing-Cords-under-desk

  7. Run the Cords Through the Clips


    Run the floor power cord up through the clips. I used two on the leg of the desk.

    Plastic-Wire-and-Cord-Clips

  8. Optional – Flat Cord Clips


    For the lamp cords on my desktop, I used 4 flat cord clips.

    clear flat cord clips

  9. Attach Along Desk


    Attach them along the front lip of desktop and then run the cords through each clip as needed for the length of your cords and wires.

    desk with clear cord clips attached along under side of desktop

  10. Bring Cords to Underside of Desk


    Once cords are clipped in, bring the excess cords under the desk and weave each through the basket and then use another cable tie to tuck in and secure.

    Leave enough cord excess to plug in each item into the power strip.

    For a large laptop cord with the bulky box, screw in 2 cup hooks about 6-inches apart on the under side of the desk to hold it out of sight.

    When laptop is taken away from desk, you can simply grab the tied up cord and unplug it.

    Cord Management Idea for a Home Office

How-to-hide-cords-and-wires-around-a-desk

As you can see with a little bit of effort, under desk cord management can be easily achieved! The space around my desk looks so much better now. Neat and tidy! No more disorganized jumble of cords and wires on the floor.

More Cord and Wire Hiding Ideas:

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28 Comments

  1. I love what you’ve done here, especially using the clips to hide the power cords underneath the desk & the legs.
    I have a suggestion for keeping the cables neat while being stored in the box. I use velcro for all of my cords in the house as they are all longer than required whilst in use. Buy the velcro on a roll either online eg eBay, in your local hardware store, etc.
    1. Wrap one end of the velcro around the cord where you want the excess cable to end, then staple the velcro around the cable
    2. Wrap your cable into a neat bundle & wrap the velcro around the bundle so that it’s all neat & tidy.
    3. Cut the velcro leaving around 6 inches spare
    I do this for all of the cables around my home because I really dislike seeing untidy cables or dangerous cables that can be tripped over. I like to know that there’s always enough cable length to do what I want, but this often means there’s excess cable when the job is finished. The velcro always makes it neat & tidy for my iron, and vaccum cleaner and extension cords away.

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Wendy – Thanks for the great idea – neat, easy and works well. My kind of project. :-)

  2. Totally awesome ………you have some seriously killer ideas and I hope I can make em work! Thx a bunch

  3. Kathryn Corio says:

    Just to be sure: Is it alright to use the rubber cord protector on TOP of carpet?

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Yes – but it could become a tripping hazard. When I worked in retail display, we used colored duct tape that matched the carpet to hold it in place so no one would trip over it.

  4. Madelaine says:

    Diane,
    I am catching up on some of the blogs I try to follow and am just seeing this post. I have to chime in with the safety concerns that Janice has raised. I have to add that the extension cord used with the power strip is almost postively a lower wattage rated cord than the power strip. Please look into getting a power strip with a longer cord and not using the extension cord altogether. And definitely on top of the rug!

    I, too, really enjoy your posts and all you have done around your home. Please keep the creative solutions coming!

  5. Janice is correct. While this solution is makes the tangled cord problem go away, is it safe? My husband would never allow me to do this and I have to agree. I would rather see you with tangled cords than have your house burn down Diane. You are so creative, I know you can come up with another, safer solution!

    1. Diane Henkler says:

      Hi Denise – I believe the only thing that may not be safe is the cord running under the rug. I could move my desk or like you said – just have them on the floor :) Maybe I just need to put a small hole in the rug so the cords wont run under the rug, but on top. Will look into it.

      1. Diane, as a retired fire inspector and investigator, I have seen the result of cords run under rugs time after time. It is a common problem in many households. The point I was trying to make about the extension cord is that whether it is plugged into a power bar or not, it should not be used as a permanent source of electricity. I agree with Denise that with your ingenuity, you will come up with safer solutions!

  6. ME too! Hiding cords has been a priority for me and when you live with an Electrical Engineer he takes it a bit personal when you want to hide part of the “toys”. I’ve got plans to make some fabric covers for some of my issues and I am considering a request for a floor outlet in the middle of the room like your hubby made for you. Why should I let all his skills go to waste! Thanks Diane, as always you are Genius Diva.

  7. You are a freakin’ genius! Many people would have thought of the clips, but the basket for the power strip is where your innovative brain really shows through. I see someone commented that your solution was unsafe, but the cautions about extension cords do not apply to power strips, so your additions of the power strip and the rubber cord cover under the rug (I believe) make this a safe application.

  8. Diane, your idea had me slapping my forehead like “I could of had a V-8”. Genius to use the basket. I’m doing this!!!! Thanks for sharing.

  9. What a difference! Thanks for the tip. Never knew about the flat cord clips. Will have to give them a try.

  10. This is a very clever idea! I’ve enclosed cords in boxes, baskets etc. but I never thought to attach them to the desk itself. Thanks Diane! Love your Blog!

  11. Thank you for being the first designer to be honest about this problem. ALL of us live with tangled cords, and yet this is the first time I have seen someone share what she has learned to the benefit of us all. I have seen the basket-under-the-desk solution, but your close-ups and explanations of “what materials to use where” was greatly appreciated because those little details are what make this solution work… it’s not JUST the basket under the desk, is it? I am so grateful for your generosity in sharing your ideas and many creations on your blog.

  12. Cords are the bane of my exsistance! Fab post – thank you!

  13. Although it does look much neater, it’s important to keep fire safety in mind. Extension cords should only be used as a temporary source of electricity, eg. when using a power tool, and should not be used as a permanent source of electricity. They should be used for the required job and then unplugged. If a permanent source of electricity is required, a better and safer solution is to have an electrician install an additional outlet closer to the item requiring electricity. Also remember, when purchasing any electrical item, to look for the UL symbol. This means that a representative sample of this product has been tested and found safe by Underwriters Laboratories. Sometimes untested, off-shore-produced items can find their way into our Dollar Stores. The other concern I have is with the electrical cord being run under the carpet. It is important that electrical cords not be covered with rugs, carpets, cardboard, etc. as this does not allow the heat produced by the cord to dissipate, and could result in a possible fire starting through the build-up of heat. I have seen this first-hand. I enjoy your blog very much and hope you will consider utilizing this safety information in your home, and pass it along to your readers. Be safe!

  14. What a neat idea..all your ideas are so unique…I always look forward to your post….

  15. Susie@homemaker-mom.com says:

    Ok your just to smart!!!!!! ;-)

  16. This is a great idea, Diane, and it does look so much better. If only I could work out something like that for our office, we have 2 desks and jumbles of cords. I’ve pinned to hopefully figure something out. Thanks!
    Debbie :)

  17. Krista @thehappyhousie says:

    Great tips! I am always distracted by the look of cords interfering with our décor… you’ve given some great ideas to problem solve this:) Thanks!
    Krista

  18. I swear Diane, you must be reading my mind. This is no joke, I literally was looking at my Livingroom wall with all the surround sound and high tech gadets my hubby has and was questioning how I could hide these hideous cords… You must be reading my mind… Again, I love those flowers, how do you get them to look so beautiful???

  19. Wow…so neat and tidy. I love your idea. Will try it. There is nothing else that would annoy me more than multiple cables around tables or cabinets. Thank you so much for sharing:)

  20. Rebecca - HomeSeasons says:

    Great idea! Cords can get so cluttered looking, but this neatly stows them away!

  21. Yvonne @ StoneGable says:

    What a beautiful study! It is sooooo my style! Thanks for the very useful post on hiding cords. LOVE this! It really makes your pretty room even more organized and lovely.

  22. Jo @ Let's Face the Music says:

    Perfect solution. I live in a power cord jungle and have not yet got the right machete to hack my way out. This kinder, gentler approach might be worth a try. Maybe I can get my dear husband to focus on it. Jo @ Let’s Face the Music