Few things look worse in a room than a tangle of unattractive cords in plain sight. And though most of us have to contend with computer wires, television cables, and electronic chargers on a regular basis, it can be a challenge to find stylish solutions for concealing them. Luckily, we’ve found smart ideas for how to hide TV wires and other electronic clutter, from solutions that will make cords completely invisible to easier tricks to keep them organized and untangled. Read on to find design-savvy ways to stash your wires at work and home.
Put the Cables Behind the Wall
If you want your TV wires to be completely invisible, the best solution is to run them behind the wall. To do this you’ll need to cut two holes in the drywall with a drywall saw, drill, or utility knife—one behind your television and the other near the outlet. Use a stud finder to make sure the spots you plan to drill are away from any wall studs and make sure to turn off the power to the room. Install wall-mounted cable plates on each of holes and run the cords through the top plate down through the lower plate. If your cords are on the shorter side, use an in-wall power and cable kit, which adds an outlet directly behind your television.
Hide Your Power Strip
Your power strip is the source of all the cord clutter, so lifting it up off the ground will keep all those plugs out of sight. Most power strips have holes on the back so you can hang them on the wall with just a few screws or nails. If your entertainment center has legs, install the power strip just below the base so you won’t have a gap between the furniture and the wall. Or opt for a wall-mounted power strip that plugs right into the outlet.
Tuck Away the Cable Box
All your peripheral devices—cable boxes, Apple TVs, Rokus, etc—add to the mess of wires and, let’s face it, they’re not the most beautiful things to look at. Hide them away in a sideboard or cabinet. (If the piece doesn’t have a hole for the wires, you can easily add one with a drill and a hole-cutter attachment. If you don’t want to have to open the doors of your entertainment center every time you watch television, use an infrared receiver that connects to the cable box.
Use a Cable Catch
Before you worry about concealing your cords, ensure they are secure. Use a cable catch on your desktop or nightstand to prevent them from falling to the floor every time you unplug a device. “The struggle is so real, and this is a complete game changer,” says Clea Shearer, an organizing specialist at the Home Edit. You can also use cord hooks to run wires down the legs of furniture, eliminating those dangling cords behind your desk.
Bundle Cords Together
A cord wrap or dock is a chic—and easy—way to keep all your wires in one place. “Electronics such as printers, computers, or phones come with a lot of connected cords,” says Joanna Teplin of the Home Edit. “Using a cord wrap or dock to organize them helps keep everything streamlined and less cluttered.”
Create a Docking Station
Multiple devices lead to an abundance of charging cables, so Shearer recommends creating a fashionable docking station to camouflage the clutter: “One of our favorite methods is to repurpose a magazine rack to divide laptops, tablets, and phones, then add a multi-cable holder to keep the cords organized.”
Use a Cable Reel
“A cable reel is an ingenious tool that allows you to wind up your cords to conceal them, shorten them, and keep them untangled,” says Teplin. “We especially love using them for phone chargers because they keep your handbags and drawers from cord chaos.”
Label Your Cords
If they must be visible, Shearer says your assortment of cords and wires should at least be distinguishable: “Our motto is, if it’s not moving, label it! Adding labels to your power strip or individual cords helps you easily identify each item and prevents you from turning off your Wi-Fi when you just meant to unplug a lamp.”
Written by Caroline Biggs.
This article originally appeared in AD Clever.