{five minute friday} Organizing Cords & Cables

I've been working on several big organizing projects recently, one of which is organizing all a hall closet that houses, among other things, all of our small electronics - everything from cameras and video cameras, to iPods, iPads and portable speaker. And every one of these items comes with at least one, if not two or more, cords and cables. The closet organizing project is still a work in progress, but I did just complete one key component - taming all of those cords and cables!

I'm sure you'll all be able to relate to my before photo! And reality our before was so much worse because this photo only shows 5 or 6 cables out of probably 20 that I needed to organize.

My husband has the ability to just glance at this pile and immediately tell me what cable goes with what electronic device. I, on the other had, seem to have some kind of mental block that prevents me from remembering what any of these are for. So my challenge was two fold - I needed to not only keep the cords from becoming a tangled mess, but I also needed to label them. What I came up with is a combination of washi tape and binder clips.

I gathered up some of my favorite washi tapes in a variety of colors, bought a package of silver binder clips from OfficeDepot, and pulled out my handy-dandy label maker. I started with the cable for my Fuji underwater digital cable. I typed in Fuji twice, and printed it out on clear tape.

I'd been thinking for a while now about using washi tape to label all the cords and cables, but every time I saw the pretty pictures on Pinterest of washi tape flags sticking off of each cord, I envisioned those cute little flags getting crumpled and torn the first time I toss my camera cables in my camera bag, or when my iPad charging cable gets buried at the bottom of my carry-on while traveling.

Instead, I decided to find a place on each cable where I could wrap the washi tape around without leaving any tape hanging off. Most of my charging cables have a small cylinder near on end perfect for wrapping in washi tape. On cables without the cylinder, I found an alternate place for the tape, like the plastic right before the USB connection.

After wrapping wash tape around the cable, I also covered the end of a binder clip in the matching tape. I peeled the backing off of my labels, and affixed one to the cable and one to the binder clip. Then I simply gathered up the cable and clipped the binder clip around the center to hold the cable together.

Some of my electronics have multiple cables, and others have various components like a separate USB cable and wall charger. In these instances, I wrapped each piece in the same washi tape pattern, making them easy to match up even if the pieces get separated around the house. Several of my digital cameras also have separate wall chargers that the batteries snap into, so I also wrapped a strip of washi tape around the battery chargers that matches the tape I used on the cables for that camera.

I continued this way, assigning a different washi tape to the cables for each device.

Now my cords and cables are neatly labeled, and they will no longer get tangled! If I need to take a cable {or 3} with me when I'm traveling, I can drop them in my bag - binder clip and all - without them becoming a jumbled mess!

I love a simple solution that solves multiple problems and just makes life easier! So whose ready to label all their cords this weekend?! 

Looking for more 5 minute organizing inspiration? Here are a few projects you might like:

If you haven't already, I'd also love to have you stop by our new link party - The Creative Circle - to share your latest and greatest projects, or to find some inspiration!


  1. Coordinating the binder clips with the tape was brilliant!

  2. Very cute method. I like the way you've matched wash tape on the clips and the cords.