5 Cable Management Tips to Declutter Your Workspace
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No matter your desk setup budget, unsightly cables are guaranteed to ruin the aesthetic of your desk if you don't give them some attention. Like organizing your living space, a little bit of effort goes a long way towards making your desk an enjoyable place for work and leisure for years to come. Here are five easy cable management tips to keep your desk setup tidy and decluttered.
Tip 1: Use an under-desk cable tray or cable box
If you're like most people, you have a limited number of power outlets to work with which means you will need to rely on a power strip to distribute power for your gear. After positioning your desk near a power outlet, an essential first step is to use an under-desk cable tray or cable box to hide your power strip and all the cables that connect to it. This will serve as the "hub" of your cable routing system discussed in Tip #3.
Products like the Monoprice Under Desk Cable Tray or IKEA SIGNUM Cable Management mount on the underside of your desk top and should be your first choice. We recommend using 3M Command Strips to adhere the cable tray under your desk. These velcro-like adhesive-backed fastening strips are super-strong, non-marking, and make it easy to detach and re-attach your cable tray when needed.
If you have a glass desk that would reveal a hidden cable tray, then a cable box like the D-Line Cable Management Box will perform the same duty but instead sit on the floor.
Tip 2: Use monitor arms
Mounting your monitor(s) with monitor arms both removes loose cables from your desk and frees up the space beneath your monitor on your desk top. To get this high-end look with monitor arms, you will need to ensure that your monitor is VESA-mount compatible by checking the backside of your monitor for 4 screw holes in a square pattern (usually 100 x 100 mm or 75 x 75 mm). There are multiple approaches you can take to mount your monitors:
Wall-Mounted Monitor Arm
For the more adventurous DIYers out there, the wall-mounted approach gives your monitor a truly "floating" appearance. Products like the WALI Single LCD Monitor support your monitor by screwing directly into your wall and provide integrated cable routing. You can then route your cables using a cable raceway like the D-Line Cable Cover or run them through your wall for a truly seamless aesthetic.
Desk-Mounted Monitor Arm
A more popular approach requiring no permanent modification is to use a desk-mounted arm to support your monitor. The North Bayou Gas Spring Monitor Arm is a top choice, providing integrated cable routing and tremendous adjustability in a low cost package.
Most desk-mounted monitor arms include clips that can be used to route your power and display cables behind or within the monitor arm so that only the arm itself is visible. To produce a similar "floating monitor" look with this approach, you can position your monitor arm off to one side of your desk like in the setup shown below.
Tip 3: Route your cables
Once you've positioned your power strip in a cable tray or cable box, its time to neatly route the cables that connect your components. Use OHill Self-Adhesive Cord Holders to hold your cables in place along their routes and then use VELCRO cable ties to coil up any unnecessary length of cable. Then you can tuck this excess length of all your cables in your cable tray or cable box as the central cable routing location. If you have multiple cables running together in the same direction (like from your monitor to a cable box on the ground), a clean solution is to bundle them together in a protective sleeve like the Alex Tech Cable Sleeve.
Tip 4: Use bluetooth peripherals
Using bluetooth peripherals is an immediate way to declutter your desk and reduce the number of visible cables. Wireless peripherals like keyboards, mice, speakers, and headphones continue to decrease in price and increase in quality, making them an easy win for your setup. Look for devices with built in rechargeable battery packs so you don't have to worry about buying replacement batteries. The Logitech MK550 Wireless Wave Keyboard and Mouse Combo is a fantastic choice to keep your hands and wrists healthy with a long lasting battery life.
Tip 5: Make frequently reattached cables accessible
You likely have some charging cables for your laptop or phone that you need to keep accessible but also tidy. A great way to accomplish this is to use a cord holder like the ENVISIONED weighted cord holder or Adhesive-Backed Cable Holder Clips. These cable holders can be positioned out of the way near the edge of your desk to keep your frequently used cables at arm's reach when you need them and out of the way when you don't.
Cable management is truly an art in itself. We hope these tips give you some ideas to make the most of organizing your desk setup.
For more inspiration, check out the setups page where you can filter remote work setups by category like ergonomic, monitor arms, and standing desk and view the detailed cable management hardware used in each setup.