Untangling a long extension cord can be a real challenge, especially in very cold or very hot weather. It can be extremely aggravating, and it can eat into the time you want to spend working on the project you have in mind. Aside from that, tangled, unruly extension cords can take up a lot of space in your garage, and they can cause a tripping and general safety hazard.
What can you do to get your extension cords under control? In this article, we present nine great ideas to help you store extension cords in a garage the smart way. Read on to learn more.
What You'll Learn Today
- Tips For Storing Extension Cords In A Garage
- 1. Store standard household extension cords in cardboard paper towel rolls
- 2. Use Velcro wraps to get heavy duty extension cords under control
- 3. Add a short cord to each tool box for quick jobs
- 4. Use scrap wood to make a reel for shorter cords
- 5. Use a contractor’s wrap technique to either impress or annoy people
- 6. Fold long extension cords rather than coiling them
- 7. Wrap the extension cord from hand to elbow to create a coil
- 8. Work with half the length in longer cords
- 9. Use a bucket reel or spool to keep your extension cord tidy
- The Benefits Of Efficient Extension Cord Storage
Tips For Storing Extension Cords In A Garage
1. Store standard household extension cords in cardboard paper towel rolls
The little cords you use around the house and for holiday lights can be stored easily by simply folding the cord up neatly, plugging it into itself and sliding it into a discarded paper towel roll.
These can be neatly stacked on a shelf or stowed in a tote or basket where they won’t be able to get up to their usual shenanigans by getting all tangled up in each other.
2. Use Velcro wraps to get heavy duty extension cords under control
Velcro wraps are affordable and pretty much indestructible. If you want, you can make your own straps (as shown in the video below) or pick up a package of several shorter ones at your local home improvement center.
These are usually just the right length to wrap around carefully rolled up, heavy duty extension cords. As an added advantage, they usually have a little hole in the pull tab that allows you to hang the cord neatly on a nail to keep it out of the way.
DIY Self-Locking Velcro Cord Strap / Wrap
3. Add a short cord to each tool box for quick jobs
Store a designated, 14-guage cord with each of the power tools you use frequently. This will make it possible to take care of quick jobs without having to bring along multiple boxes, buckets, separate cords, etc. These short cords can be easily controlled with Velcro wraps.
4. Use scrap wood to make a reel for shorter cords
Another good way to keep shorter extension cords under control is to create a reel using a piece of wood about a foot long. Just make scoop cuts on each end of the wood and wrap the cord around the wood so that it is held in place by the scoop cuts.
You can plug the cord into itself to hold it in place, or if the length isn’t quite right, use a Velcro strap to secure it. This will also add a handy hanging loop for neat, convenient storage.
Extension Cord Reel From Scrap Wood
5. Use a contractor’s wrap technique to either impress or annoy people
If you want to take some time to learn the complicated method used by electricians to store cords and cables, you can store extension cords without the use of towel rolls, Velcro wraps, twine or any other external device. Extension cords stored in this manner are easy to stack or hang and take up little space.
Theoretically, they are also easy to unravel and use, but be advised that some people find this technique easy and smart and others will ask you to kindly stop tying knots in their extension cords. If you want to learn how to use a contractor’s wrap, follow the instructions in this video.
Best Way To Store An Extension Cord
6. Fold long extension cords rather than coiling them
Coiling an extension cord twists it and is sure to cause tangles. Instead, fold the cord in long, loose layers by laying an initial length into your non-dominant hand with one end of the cord swinging free.
Simply fold the cord back and fort in long layers so that you end up with the other end of the cord hanging free on the other side of your non-dominant hand. From this point, use the cord, itself to secure the center of the cord and create a loop you can use for hanging. See this video for a demonstration:
A “Neat” Way To Wrap An Extension Cord
7. Wrap the extension cord from hand to elbow to create a coil
As mentioned in the video above, this is not the best way to get a long extension cord under control because it causes twisting and knotting. Even so, it can be a quick, easy way to gather up a shorter cord.
8. Work with half the length in longer cords
For a very long cord, stretch the cord out to its full length and then fold it in half. From there, use any securing method you like. When you are ready to use the cord, you’ll have half the length to deal with, and you’ll have both ends together, ready to use, as demonstrated in this video.
Smarter Way To Wrap An Extension Cord
9. Use a bucket reel or spool to keep your extension cord tidy
An easy way to store and transport your extension cord is to keep it rolled up inside a five-gallon bucket. To do this, you would begin by cutting a two-inch hole in the side of a clean, new plastic bucket about an inch from the bottom. This hole allows the male end of the cord to stick out so that it’s accessible.
Put the male end of the cord through the hole and then loosely coil your extension cord inside the bucket so that the female end is easily accessible on top of the coiled cord. When you want to use the cord, plug the male end into an outlet, take the lid off your bucket, pick up the female end of the cord and walk off to your job location.
The cord should spool out smoothly as you walk. When you are done with your job, just coil the cord back into the bucket and put the lid on for safe, secure, easy storage.
TIP: If you are running hi-amp tools for a long time, it’s a good idea to unroll the entire cord so that it doesn’t overheat and cause a fire hazard.
The Benefits Of Efficient Extension Cord Storage
Messy extension cords can cause a lot frustration when you’re trying to get a job done, and they can cause a lot of problems in your garage. Having piles of tangled extension cords lying around is unsightly and dangerous and it’s hard on your extension cords.
Keeping your extension cords neatly contained and separated makes it faster, easier and more convenient to take care of large and small jobs.
With a good extension cord storage system in place in your garage, you won’t have to waste time looking for and detangling extension cords every time you want to take care of a chore.
A carelessly stored extension cord can cause tripping when it’s not in use. If it’s tangled for a long time, it’s likely to become damaged inside.
When you try to use it, you may have problems with permanent twists and bends in the cord, which are even more likely to become damaged during use. A damaged extension cord is a dangerous extension cord.
Looking for more garage storage ideas? Here is our guide on how to store a motorcycle in your garage.