Technology is wonderful . . . until you try to find the cord you need. Then it''s just a bowl of spaghetti. Reader Jane Head has a great -- easy and inexpensive -- solution that really works.

Taming the Cord Jungle

Are your charging cords out of control? I know mine are — two phones, a camera, laptop, tablet, and the MP3 player (charging and connection to the stereo). Oh, and the printer power cord, too.

We added more charging ports over the nav station, but my cord “solution” was a total failure. They’re always in knots and I can’t find the one I need.

Reader Jane Head, aboard Ibis and currently in the Exumas (Bahamas), sent me this great idea using Velcro.

Said Jane:

My husband could never find the phone charger cords, the adapter for the camera battery charger, the power cord for the tablet etc. and the nav desk frequently looked like a bowl of spaghetti.

I glued a 2” wide, sticky-backed strip of heavy duty Velcro (actually I ended up using two strips because we had so many cords) to the wall near the nav station. I believe this type is recommended for adhering tools to the wall in a workshop – it’s that strong. I used the side with the “hooks,”, not the fuzzy side.  Then we bought Velcro Cable Ties on Amazon. They come in black, white and assorted colors and various lengths (we used 6” and 8”).

We simply wrapped each cord with a cable tie with the fuzzy side out and stuck them all to the “wall” Velcro. I had some small sticky-backed Velcro squares so I attached those to small parts like the AC adapters and stuck those up as well. Now everything is easily at hand, and remains in place even when at sea.

Taming the Cord Jungle: Technology is wonderful . . . until you try to find the cord you need. Then it''s just a bowl of spaghetti. A simple and easy to implement DIY solution that really works.
Taming the Cord Jungle: Technology is wonderful . . . until you try to find the cord you need. Then it''s just a bowl of spaghetti. A simple and easy to implement DIY solution that really works.
I love Jane’s solution.  We’re currently installing a solar controller right near our “charging station,” but as soon as it’s in place, I’m going to do a similar thing to corral all of our cords.
Amazon has all the supplies:

If you need more charging ports, I found that you can get all sorts of combinations of cigarette lighter sockets and USB ports. If you have Apple products, make sure that any USB ports are compatible with Apple specs. Also check the capacity and, if you’re going to plug it into an existing cigarette lighter, it’s capacity — we opted to hard wire these on their own circuits.

Taming the Cord Jungle: Technology is wonderful . . . until you try to find the cord you need. Then it''s just a bowl of spaghetti. A simple and easy to implement DIY solution that really works.

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17 Comments
  • Andrew
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    Absolutely brilliant! Simple and effective. Thank you.

  • Diana K Weigel
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    Great solution

  • Nikki Dowden
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    And I have just the cupboard door to use…..

  • Mimi Laser
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    As I read here previously, everything on a boat should be dual purpose. My wonderful husband found a winner in the now defunct sky mall magazine that I found at Amazon! It is a very heavy paper towel holder with 4 Apple charging ports! Everyone loves it! We always know where our phones and iPads are charging. The paper towel holder is very heavy and should not fall over, the top is a wine stopper, you can change to suit your mood or season.

  • Susan Lynn
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    Super idea. Thank You (and always, thank You Carolyn)

  • Rosemary forsyth
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    i hang one of those shoe holder bags with lots of pockets over the back of a close door and our electronics fit in the pockets – cell phone charger, flashlight charger, camera, VHF radio charger, etc. etc. – works great!

  • Donna
    Posted at 10 March 2015 Reply

    I use grid it boards — see them on Amazon.

    I use one for each kind of device, that keeps all components in one place. I can also grab the apprpriate one if I am traveling off of the boat. Using the velcro idea, maybe I will velco them into the nav station for convenient storage.

  • Tammy Nielsen Joeright
    Posted at 11 March 2015 Reply

    Posting this for John Joeright. You know how I much I love all your cords. Please read when you get a chance

  • Lynn Kaak
    Posted at 11 March 2015 Reply

    We’ve done something similar! Geez, so many cords!

  • Lamarr Harding
    Posted at 27 November 2015 Reply

    I have glued closed loop carpet to walls, behind cabinet doors, seat backs, inside lockers, etc
    In places where I store things, inside lockers, behind doors, I have threaded elastic cord loops 2 to 4 inches long and in 3 inch rows. The loops hang things like pliers, pens, screw drivers, scissors, magnifying glass, measuring tape, flash light and keeps them handy and rattle free.

    In my experience self adhesive Velcro saggs, and slips. With hot and cold cycles even wrinkles. I have glued “sew on” Velcro with “Shoe Goo” to small bottles and small tools (barb side out). I have also used the double wrap and “cord tamer” hook and loop for cords and other small items to hang them on the wall.

  • Kimberly Fain Ward
    Posted at 21 March 2016 Reply

    LOVE this! Actively searching the walls for a place right now…

  • Diana K Weigel
    Posted at 22 March 2016 Reply

    Great idea

  • Olly Perkins
    Posted at 05 June 2017 Reply

    Genius – I think I will use this at home!

  • Annabel Stewart
    Posted at 07 August 2017 Reply

    Matt Stewart this is a great idea! shall we try it with the spaghetti on the nav station?!

  • Anne Driver
    Posted at 07 August 2017 Reply

    Great idea to add to my DH’s new toy, a Brother labeling machine!

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