5 Standing Desk Cable Management Tips For a Clutter-Free Home Office

Tame the mess.

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standing desk cable management tips
Steven McConnell
6 min read

November 6, 2021

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Your standing desk is great for our productivity and health, but without proper cable management, it can quickly become an unsightly, tangled mess.

The problem stems from the desk’s design.

Because standing desks do not have back panels, they make it difficult to hide data and power cables that connect all of your peripherals.

In fact, a lot of people end up regretting their decision to purchase a standing desk because of the ensuing cable chaos.

I get it.

It’s hard to justify your purchase of a $2,000 desk when its clean lines are obscured by a tangle of wires that remind you of Bangkok powerlines.

You can get rid of visual clutter and improve your productivity by following my best 5 standing desk cable management tips.

They take 3-4 hours to implement and once you’re done, you’ll have an aesthetically pleasing, Instagram-worthy home office that leaves you with more space on your work surface, and less unsightly, messy cables under it.

1. Start With A Good Monitor Arm.

Shown in photo: the Desky Single Monitor Arm runs almost 100% of your monitor cable inside its body. This gentleman’s arm is pretty nice, too 🙂

By suspending your monitor in the air, a monitor arm makes your home office setup look much cleaner while freeing up a huge amount of real estate on your desktop.

The best monitor arms, like the Desky Single Monitor Arm, feature integrated cable management systems that run your cables inside an integrated sleeve.

If your monitor arm does not have an integrated cable management system, you can use cable clips or velcro ties to keep control of unruly monitor power cables by tying them to the arm itself. More on these later.

Expert Tip.

If you don’t love the look of monitor arms because they remind you of corporate office cubicles, consider using a desk riser, like this one from JasonL.

2. Invest In A Well-Sized Cable Tray.

Shown in photo: the Desky cable management tray can be optioned with integrated power boards for an even more tidy, clutter-free look.

The cable tray is the heart of your desk cable management system. It gives you the ability to lift all of your power boards off the floor and centralise all of your cables out of sight, under your desk.

All you have to do is run a single cable from your wall power socket to a power board located in your cable tray, then plug individual electronics into it.

Most premium standing desk manufacturers offer one as an option for $50 – $100.

Size does matter when it comes to cable trays, as we all have a tendency to keep adding peripherals. Be sure to choose one that’s at least 70 cm in width.

Expert Tip.

Desky takes it a step further by offering cable trays with integrated 4- or 8- socket power boards. While convenient and minimalist-looking, they do bump the price of your cable tray quite significantly. Expect to pay $138 for a 4-socket and $228 for an 8-socket tray.

Desky’s cable trays with integrated powerboards are not cheap, but are easier to justify if you look at it this way:

If my rationalisation isn’t resonating, you can always buy a couple of power boards from Bunnings and stick them inside the cable tray for a slightly less elegant, but much more cost-effective solution.

3. Invest In A Wireless Keyboard And Mouse.

Shown in photo: Apple wireless keyboard and mouse eliminate cables that would otherwise run almost the entire length of your standing desk, from front to back.

For the ultimate minimalist standing desk setup, you need to replace your wired keyboard and mouse with wireless models.

In doing so, you instantly eliminate two of the most unsightly cables on your desk.

As a Mac user, I’ve been using Apple wireless accessories for years, and can’t recommend them highly enough. There’s no latency, the connection is almost always faultless and built-in rechargeable batteries last forever.

If you’re a Windows user, you have a couple of good options too. My top picks are Logitech MK470 and HP Pavilion 800.

Expert Tip.

If you do insist on using wired accessories, I suggest you use sticky cable clips (like these from Bunnings, for $5.25) on the trailing edge of your standing desk to hold them in place.

4. Relocate Accessories To The Underside Of Your Standing Desk.

Shown in photo: my Rode audio interface hanging happily upside down, below my desktop.

Your peripheral accessories can be attached to the underside of your standing desk, using velcro.

For example, if you have a podcast or record professional video, you’re likely to have a professional audio interface that connects your mic to your computer.

I had mine cluttering up my desktop for months until I realised that I could attach it in the perfect spot under the desk, right next to the up/down controls. This move eliminated yet another cable from my desktop.

(Related: How Long Should You Stand At A Standing Desk?)

5. Tidy Up Using Velcro and Cable Ties.

Shown in photo: clipping excess cable ties (left) and running some of your cables inside a sleeve (far right) reduces clutter.

The last step in building a wire management system for your standing desk involves tidying up excess cable slack.

You can use any combination of:

  • cable ties
  • cable sleeves
  • cable clips
  • zip ties
  • velcro straps

There are no hard and fast rules here, except that you must leave enough slack in cables to allow up/down movement of the standing desk. Move your desk all the way up before you begin tying or claiming anything off.

You can purchase the right ties for just a few bucks at Bunnings or Officeworks.

What Are The Benefits Of Standing Desk Cable Management?

Shown in photo: home office with good cable management. Note how wireless keyboard and mouse are instrumental in keeping the workspace clutter-free.

Standing desks are notorious for becoming very cluttered, very fast. As soon as you buy one, the number of devices you own will begin to grow and stray cables begin to multiply.

This leads to clutter, cost overruns and decreased productivity. Let’s examine the top three benefits of cord management for standing desks.

1. Your Cables Will Last Longer.

Repetitive movement causes cables to fray and break. Beyond the added hassle, they can cost a fortune to replace.

If you’ve ever walked out of an Apple shop holding an invoice for $120 and two new cables, you know what I’m talking about.

2. Your Productivity Will Improve.

I’m a firm believer that a clutter-free home office translates to a clutter-free mind. When my home office is well-organised, I feel:

  • more at peace
  • more focused
  • more productive

3. Your Home Office Setup Will Look The Part.

What’s the point of spending a thousand bucks on a gorgeous standing desk and another thousand on a home office chair that isn’t ugly, if you’re going to ruin it all with electrical spaghetti?

Tangled cords, chargers on the floor and power strips make your setup look unprofessional and unattractive.

By creating a desk cable management system, you create a home office that you’re proud of.

– Steven

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