6 Genius Ways to Repurpose Old Charging Cables That'll Help you Declutter Your Home

We discover how to make use of unused cords and cables for a more sustainable, clutter-free home

A home office with a tall standing lamp by the desk
(Image credit: General Assembly)

Every home is guilty of having that one drawer full of old cables that aren't in use or just don't work at all. We're not sure if it's our inner hoarder or if it's simply the guilty pleasure of saving things despite the barely-there emotional sentiment, but we all have that entangled bundle hiding somewhere. Sound familiar? We're here to tell you it's finally time to let go.

Consider this your sign to clean out that drawer and rid your home of the clutter. Not only will it create room for items that you actually use but it'll also allow you to feel at ease every time your deep cleaning day rolls around for you'll no longer have to dread the drawer of outdated cables.

Instead of throwing away your cables, however, we've found some nifty tricks that'll help you declutter your home this spring while also making use of the cords in creative ways. Here, we spoke to some experts and they've given us their top tips for upcycling old cables so that you can benefit from a more clutter-free, sustainable home.

1. Garden Ties

A group of tomato plants in terracotta pots

(Image credit: Getty)

As president of the APDO and founder of Sorted, professional organizer Siân Pelleschi tells us that a great way to upcycle old charging cables is to use them as garden ties. 'Unused cables that may be damaged can actually be used in the garden for tying your plants to help support them while they grow,' she says.

With the onset of spring, plenty of us are spending more time tending to our gardens and our veggie patches, and some blooms require a little help to grow upright cables happen to be a great substitute for regular garden ties. Not only will this decluttering trick save you a bit of money, but it'll also help you put your unused cables to work.

2. Cable Organizers

a desk with drawers

(Image credit: Anthropologie)

Ensuring that you have a clutter-free study area and kitchen countertop makes for the perfect finishing touches when perfecting the look of a minimalist home. Having pesky wires pooling around and taking up space gives a messy first impression, which is something all of us like to avoid.

Not to get into the inception of it all, but we think that using old unused wires to organize your cables that are actually in use can make a big difference in the overall aesthetic of the room and Siân agrees. 'Cables tend to be pretty sturdy so it's a great idea for you to use them to organize other cables that are in use and keep them neatly in place,' she says.

3. Arts & Crafts Projects

a stylish craft room in a large house

(Image credit: Nathan Kirkman. Design: Kadlec Design. Construction: BGD&C Homes)

Siân points out that nowadays artists are commonly found looking for unusual and creative ways to utilize old household items, such as cables, in their crafting endeavors. 'Cords can often be used as the key element in an art project to craft decorative items like bracelets, coasters, and keychains,' suggests Siân.

Often the coolest art comes from the most seemingly bizarre items and while cords might not be the first thing you reach for when you're in your creative zone, you may want to give them a second glance. So the next time you're in an artsy mood, try coiling them to make fun coasters for your dining room or winding them into an eccentric mixed-media piece that could end up adding a touch of whimsy to your space. You may be surprised to find that those cables had a second life to them after all.

4. Curtain Ties

A kitchen with long, cotton curtains

(Image credit: Lillie Thompson. Studio credit Nexus Designs)

According to recycling expert Jennifer Burton, cables are strong enough to make great curtain ties, especially on drapes made from heavier fabrics. 'Most cables can be tied together and may work well enough on their own, but you also use colorful clips for an added touch of creativity,' she says.

If your cables are covered in a plastic film like most cables are, you may even be able to spray paint them to match the color of your living room walls or even the tone of your curtains for a put-together finish. We suggest tying them so that the tied end is hidden behind the bulk of the curtain for a cleaner look.

5. Furniture Trim

A living room with large croissant-shaped sofa

(Image credit: Max Iwert. Design: TINNAPPELMETZ)

Consider this trick an elevated artistic method to use your cords for a neat furniture embellishment. Jennifer tells us that cables make great trim around the furniture in your home that's in need of a fun makeover. 'Think trim around coffee or end tables, chair frames, or kitchen cabinets and counters,' she says. 'And you can always use spray paint to give the cables the perfect accent color to complement the furniture itself.'

We've seen a ton of DIY interior design trends float by on social media and many of them require tons of supplies that you won't find in and around a regular home. But this particular trick is a perfectly sustainable way to spruce up your furniture. And the next time you have guests over and they ask you about your eye-catching furniture facelift, you'll have a fun trick to share.

6. Recycle them

We can't deny that technological advancements have added a significant amount of waste to our homes. This will only continue to increase, so it's up to us to be sustainably smart where possible and do our bit to ensure that we aren't contributing to the environmental decline. Living more sustainably could mean anything from cultivating your own vegetables to switching to degradable alternatives and controlling your waste output.

And tending to your old damaged cords may be the best way to start or the next best step in your recycling journey. Jennifer recommends donating them to school art programs as craft materials. 'They can be used in art classes for projects or in theater programs for a variety of props and stage decoration,' she notes. Otherwise, run them down to your local recycling center where they'll be disposed of responsibly by your local waste services.

Whether you donate them, send them for recycling, or use them around your home by following one of our thrifty hacks, don't ignore that drawer of old cables. Dredge them out of their storage space, sort through them, and find a way to repurpose them. It'll definitely make you feel better and it might just make your space look better, too.


News Writer

Amiya is the News Writer at Livingetc. She recently graduated with a Masters Degree in Magazine Journalism from City, University of London and has lent her words to beauty, fashion and health sections of lifestyle publications including Harper’s Bazaar and Women’s Health. Her experience as a research analyst has equipped her with an eye for emerging trends. When she’s off the clock, she can be found reading, listening to music or overanalysing her latest Co-Star update.