5 accessories you need to cut down your cable clutter

A collection of charging devices to save you from cable clutter
(Image credit: Nomad, Anker, Belkin, Rolling Square)

We’ve long been in the wireless era, yet it still feels like we’re constantly surrounded by heaps of cables. Keeping it all organized can be a nightmare, even with the best laptops or best monitors. Zip ties can take us only so far and don’t fix what fundamentally leads to clutter: the sheer volume of wires we own. Have you considered cutting down some cables from your life altogether? 

With the help of a few accessories, you can reduce how many cables you have to manage throughout your home and when you’re on the go. Hybrid chargers can swap out dedicated adapters and wires for each of your devices with one, sleek station. Universal cables can do the job you’d normally need a handful of wires for. Here are the best accessories and steps you can take to get your cable clutter under control.

Three-in-one wireless chargers

Mophie 3-in-1 travel charger with MagSafe wireless charger

(Image credit: Laptop Mag/Sean Riley)

The one purchase that has cut my cable overhead by more than half is a three-in-one wireless charger. It allows me to wirelessly charge my phone, smartwatch, and earbuds side-by-side on a single slab. I don’t have to fuss with each of their unique connectors (USB-C, Lightning, Apple Watch) and the only cable is the one plugging the charger itself to a power source. 

Most of these are heavy so that they don’t topple over when you tap your screens, but some of them are foldable and lightweight for additional space and portability. Alternatively, you can opt for a two-in-one, which can top up a phone alongside a pair of earbuds or a smartwatch, depending on how many gadgets you have. 

You’ll find three-in-one wireless chargers in most accessory makers’ catalogs. Nomad Goods’ Stand One Max is a reliable and high-end option for Apple devices, while Belkin’s BoostCharge Pro is a sleek, two-in-one dock that you can also partially fold to save space. For a foldable 3-in-1, you can get Anker’s MagGo charging station. All of these, however, are compatible only with an Apple Watch. If you need one for a Samsung smartwatch, your best bet is the phone maker’s own Wireless Charger Trio.

Universal cables

Have you considered merging your cable mess into one, Frankenstein-esque accessory? Instead of carrying multiple cords for your devices, you can opt for a universal cable that’s equipped with a bunch of different output connectors like Lightning, USB-C, and micro-USB. 

Rolling Square’s multi-port cable, for example, has a total of six charging combinations. There are two inputs: USB-C and USB-A; and three outputs: USB-C, Lightning, and micro-USB. You can mix and match based on what you need at any moment and dump the box of wires you have to carry every time you travel. 

Shrink your cables

Living with shorter cables, especially when you’re out, is another way you can avoid clutter. They’re ideal for quick power bank top-ups or computer transfers where you don’t need to stretch to reach a power source. 

For instance, Nomad Goods’ ChargeKey is a keychain-sized cable with two magnetic USB-C or Lightning connectors that expand into a mere 12-cm cord and can collapse back again into a handy form factor when no longer in use. That does not mean it compromises on transfer speeds, though. It supports USB 2.0 and can fast charge devices at up to 60W.

Anker 521 Power Bank

Anker’s 512 power bank may seem like the odd one out on this list, but it solved a common problem for me. Earlier, I had to carry a USB-C to USB-C and a USB-A to USB-C cord to connect my devices because my adapter and power bank didn’t have the same port. 

The Anker 512 is a hybrid power bank that doubles as a 5000mAH battery pack and a 45W charging brick. It has a pair of USB-C on one side and retractable prongs on the other. I also appreciate that the power bank itself charges when you’ve got devices plugged into the wall outlet, eliminating the need for me to carry an extra cable to simultaneously charge my power bank on trips.

Get your clutter in order

If you’re struggling to minimize the number of cables in your life, you can consider investing in accessories that can help you better manage, and more importantly, hide your clutter. 

A charging station like Anker’s 637, for example, allows you to plug in numerous gadgets like desktops, monitors, and phones into a single, tidy hub as opposed to them all sticking out of their independent adapters on a power strip. It comes with eight slots, including two USB-C ports, two USB-A, and a trio of AC outlets. You’ll also find a magnetic wireless pad on the front to place your phone on. Further, for the cables that do poke out of your station and other adapters, you can buy a magnetic cable management slab that keeps your wires organized rather than dangling off your desk. 

Shubham Agarwal is a freelance technology journalist from Ahmedabad, India. His work has previously appeared in Business Insider, Fast Company, HuffPost, and more. You can reach out to him on Twitter