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How to Wind an Extension Cord Like a Contractor

By Mason Howard

Things Needed

  • Velcro straps
  • Bucket

Extension cords are endlessly useful for extending electrical lines, however storing them can often result in a tangled mess. Properly winding and extension cord will prevent you from having to later unwind a knotted catastrophe. No one uses extension cords more than contractors. To keep your extension cords tidy and organized, take a cue from the way contractors wind and store their cords. Two methods that contractors use are the “looping” method and the “bucket” method.

Looping Method

Hold one end of the cord in your hand. Loop the cord around to make a loose circle. The circle size should be based on the natural flexibility of the cord. The circle should feel natural. Make it loose enough that the cord does not feel like its being bent too much, but taut enough that the circle isn't floppy.

Continue to make additional loops, keeping with the same circle shape. With each loop, give the cord a slight twist in order to prevent it from falling into a figure-8 shape.

Turn the circle and hold it in the other direction one-third of the way through the winding. Now when you twist the cord for each loop you will be twisting the other direction as well, thereby keeping the remaining cord on the ground straight.

Turn the circle and hold it in the original direction two-thirds of the way through the winding to continue to keep the remaining cord straight.

Secure the cord with two Velcro straps. Place the straps so that they pass just under the socket and plug heads of the cord.

Bucket Method

Set one end of the cord so that it sits along the edge of the bottom of the bucket. Five-gallon buckets should be used for heavy-duty cords, however smaller buckets can be used for smaller cords.

Hold the cord in both hands and slowly feed it into the bucket so that the cord naturally falls along and spirals around the sides of the bucket.

Twist the cord slightly as you feed it into the bucket to keep it from falling into a figure-8 shape.

Leave the cord in the bucket for storage or remove it. Retain the circular bundle when you remove it by grabbing around the entire stack of cords. Secure the cord with two Velcro straps. Place the straps so that they pass just under the socket and plug heads of the cord.

About the Author

Mason Howard is an artist and writer in Minneapolis. Howard's work has been published in the "Creative Quarterly Journal of Art & Design" and "New American Paintings." He has also written for art exhibition catalogs and publications. Howard's recent writing includes covering popular culture, home improvement, cooking, health and fitness. He received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of Minnesota.