The cacophony of cords that I carry on a regular basis drives me completely batty! Under normal circumstances there’s a phone charger, earphones, usb cable, etc. When I go into my photography bags it gets even worse! And that’s just me, when we account for a family’s worth of technology the tangles resemble fish netting more than they do a collection of cords. The photo above is the first handful of cords dragged out of my backpack, all messed up and completely unusable. I needed to find a better way to store them that didn’t involve cord minders that can cost upwards of $5.00 a piece.
I dove into my stash of useful things and came up with some old toilet paper rolls like the one pictured above. To use it as a cord minder I flattened the tube.
Then I added a small diagonal slice with a pair of scissors against the grain of the cardboard. This is done at both ends of the tube on opposite sides.
Insert one end of the cord to be organized into one of the diagonal cuts. Then begin to wrap the cord around the tube.
Tuck the opposite end of the cord into the slit on the opposing side of the tube. Now it’s sorted! If you need extra holding power you can add a rubber band at each end.
Here’s that messy pile of cords all tidied up. If the toilet paper tube isn’t fancy enough for you, or you’re making these as gifts you can glue down wrapping paper or have the kids create drawings on the tube. You can also make them to length. You’ll note that the headphone minder uses only one half of a tube. If you have longer cords you can use paper towel tubes. I like to label my tubes with a sharpie, so I can identify the cord at a glance.
When the tube wears out, just toss it into the compost bin and make a new one!