Introduction: USB Cord Shortening

Shorten a USB cord (or any cord) without cutting it.  Use this shortening technique to organize and manage electrical cords.  Need it longer in an instant? problem... pull the cord and its back to its original length.

 It is a quick, and easy method to permanently or temporarily, shorten any cord

and best of all... it does not required anything other than the cord itself; no metal twist ties or plastic zip ties!

The cord is shortened by using a series of slip knots (also known as a crochet chain stitch). The stiffness of the cord holds the slip knots in place but a locking tuck at the end will ensure the knots will not come undone.

But, if the shortening is temporary...skip the locking tuck, and a tug on the cord unravels the knots for use of the full cord length in an instant.

Use it  to manage charging will extend in a second to use the device while still plugged in.

Step 1: Spagetti

I don't know much about the electronics involved with USB ports but, I do know that you can use a good old Mechanical knot solution to keep those cable vipers from tying themselves in unintended knots

Most of the time the devices used with a lap top are only a couple of inches away and all the extra cable spills around (or off) the table.

With this solution, a 5 foot cable can be shortened to about 1foot (using 1" dia. loops)
(And don't worry the pesky electrons don't seem to mind the twisted path.  They still manage to find their way back and forth.)

Step 2: Make a Loop

Starting at what will be the fixed end of the cord (the end of the cord plugged into a stationary device like a desk top computer, or a wall outlet):

 In this case it is the large connector on a USB cord.

1. Make a loop in the cable near the end of the cable.
Note: the fixed end (connector end) is under the working end of the cable

Step 3: Cross Behind

2.  Take the working end of the cord and cross it under the loop

Step 4: Pull a Loop

3.  Pull a portion of the working end of the cord through the first loop to form a second loop.

Step 5: Cross Again

4.  Cross the next portion of the working end behind the second loop.

Step 6: Pull Another Loop

5.   Pull another loop through the previous loop

Step 7: And...Repeat

6.  Repeat, repeat, repeat....

Step 8: Loop Size

Each loop should be about 1" in diameter.  

Do not pull the knots too tight.  The cord will kink and the knots will not release smoothly when the cord needs to be extended.

Step 9: Lock the End

If you do not want the cord to untie unintentionally, "lock" the end by passing the working end of the cord through the last loop.  

This turns the last slip knot into a regular overhand knot preventing the series of slip knots from cascading undone.

Step 10: Temporary Shortening

If you want increase the cord's length at a moments notice, do not add the last "locking" tuck. The cord can now be extended to it's full length with a simple pull. 

Even without the locking tuck, in most cases, the stiffness of the cord generally prevent the slip knots from unraveling without an intentional tug.

I use this when I may have to answer the phone while it is still plugged in.

Pulling the cord starts untying the slip knots from the working end.
This allows only as much cord as needed to pull free; the remaining knots will keep the balance of the cord in check.

Step 11: Any Cord

This shortening technique is especially useful on charger cords.

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