Clean Up the Basement--Confessions of a Cord Horder.




About: Alton Brown taught me how to cook, now I want to tackle diy projects.

Like a lot of computer geeks I have a lot of extra "stuff" in boxes, closets, garages, corners, drawers and wherever. Most of the time that works out just fine as long it's out of site, out of mind.

Cables however are never easy to store in boxes. It was time for me to get the cables out of the boxes and off the floor, and this was what I did.

Step 1: The Look

Ok, I have a few boxes of cords and cables on the floor.

Step 2: The Location

Hey look, there is a blank spot in the basement. I need to take advantage of it and fill it full of my crap.

Step 3: Haphazardly Hang Closet Rod

I had a closet rod handy, and this looked like a perfect use for it.

Screw one side recklessly into some wood that is also precariously screwed into other wood.

(while there....look at items you never use anymore due to growing up--like snowboard boots and youthful ignorance)

Step 4: Side 2

Attach the other side. Make sure you mount the other side in a completely different and totally weird way as well.

Why start being consistent now?

Step 5: Break Time


It's been like ten whole minutes away from my computer chair and I am exhausted. How do people do this manual labor stuff all day?

It's Miller time.

Step 6: Mount Them Up

Grab a handful of cords and commence hanging them over the rod.

This is the hardest part becasue as we all know from pulling Christmas lights out of hibernation, the cords are a tangled mess.

Untagle your cords one by and attempt to hang them in some sort of order before the 8 1/2 beers you had during Miller time start to really kick in.

Step 7: Ummmm, Gotta Fix That.

Notice about mid way through that the rod is bending ever so slightly.

Due to watching the Discovery channel for virtually 18 hours at a sit, your keen intellect provides you with enough forward thinking to realise the bar ain't gonna hold all the crap you intend to hang.

Screw a large, weird shaped hook into the wall, bend it under the closet rod, and continue to think those schmucks who build bridges ain't all that.

Engineers? Whatever.

Step 8: Hang More Shiz

Continue the mind numbing joy that is:

-Dig through box for a cord that isn't spun 30 times arount 40 other cords.

-Hang cord in one spot until you realise you have more in another.

-Pull useless old objects out of boxes you will never use but continue to keep until they are totally unsellable on eBay.

-Curse yourself for not buiding a Keg-er-a-ter yet.

-Wash, rinse, repeat.

Step 9: What the Hell Is This?

Oh yeah, it's the floor.

I lost it about 3 months ago when I moved in and forgot what it looked like.

All done. Time to get back to doing stupid stuff with the internet, like posting here.


In all seriousness, this took about 2 hours. The pole is terribly solid, and the hook was just there and I forgot to pull it down. I figured with all the weight of the cables it couldn't hurt anything. 90% of the time spent was to de-spaghetti-ing the wires. If your cables and cords are neater this could go much faster. Then again, if your cords and cables are not a mess, then you don't need to do this I imagine.

This isn't my personal idea by any stretch. I have seen this trick in many homes and copied it to work for me. In my last home I did the same thing in a old closet that wasn't used much. Its not a clever trick or anything, but I found it a helpful method to store cables in some sort of organised fashion.



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    16 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 9

    hahahaha, then you say that there is a floor under my cables too????


    8 years ago on Introduction

    IDE cables would make great boys on presents!

    I just realised that! (pulls out cable, makes a bow, finds an old hard drive and a floppy drive in the way)


    9 years ago on Step 10

    I've been sorting my cables for the last two days.  It's been 6 years since I sorted through them.

    Thanks, this is probably the way I'll go to clean 'em up for a while.


    9 years ago on Step 8

    Nicely done my man.  This is how it should be done.  Thanks for sharing!



    11 years ago on Introduction

    cool, nice stuff i always like to work with cool things like this.. if i am allowed to, ill do this in my room :-)


    12 years ago

    very nice, an alternate suggestion is to use a piece of wood with nail spaced about the width of the cables (ends up looking a lot like a long rake) and you hang the cables by the connector. Looping them over the bar like that will mean you have to be a little more careful when you want to extract one. I hate cables

    2 replies

    Reply 12 years ago

    Another idea (which is not mine and I tkae no claim to) which is ogod for laptop/PDA/gadget users who want to organize batteries/cords/powerpacks etc is get a "behind-the-door" shoe holder (basicalls a sheet with a bunch of pockets "designed" to hold a pair of shoes. Instead of using it for shoes, try putting cables and such in the pockets. Of course, if oyu have as many cables as ColumbusGEEK this isn't quite an option.... great instructable though... I might make a portable one (as I'm moving into an apartment later this week) that I can store in my closet and pull out (on caster wheels) when needed. Thanks for the great instructable... funny stuff :P


    Reply 12 years ago

    Ooh, the shoe-holder is a good idea for small cords. I've been using surplus zip-lock bags from work, since they keep cohabitating cords from tangling while they sit in a box. The main problem with the shower-bar is that removing one cord can shift the adjacent cords, and after a while they get unbalanced enough to start sliding off. If the bar was packed in the first place, this can trigger an avalanche. Individual hooks screwed into the wall prevent this. Also, for longer cords, double them up then tie them in a big loose overhand knot. If that's still dragging on the floor, double-double them before tying. Sooner or later you should arrive at a cable bundle that'll hang happily from a hook, is so thoroughly wrapped up in itself that it won't tangle with other cables, but is easily untied for use.


    12 years ago

    ow that would hurt :O


    Reply 12 years ago

    awesome! I've always wished for this, maybe if I put one either side of my head I can turbo charge my mind?


    12 years ago

    Hurray! Good Work!


    12 years ago on Step 10

    A buddy of mine read this and came up with a better title for it. Phoenix @ 6:54 That's a guide that should be called: "From a messy floor to a clean floor (a guide to making your wall look like shit)"