Anyone who uses a desk and several screens for work at home will know the challenge of keeping cables tidy.
Not only are excess cables unsightly, they make cleaning harder and it can take longer to identify them when you need to. They can also be unsafe if they trail over the floor, creating a trip hazard.
A tidy desk not only makes you feel happier, it also increases productivity. Studies show that having a clutter-free workspace reduces procrastination, stress and anxiety.
Taking some time to improve cable management under your desk is satisfying to do and will make your home office look a whole lot neater.
We’ve put together this short guide to show you how easy it is to organise your cables. Our before and after photos show you what is possible with a few products and a couple of hours:
What you’ll need
- Black cable ties
- Expandable braided sleeving
- Cable tidy tube (split conduit)
- Optional: cable clips, cable management tray, spiral wrap
How to use cable management under your desk
- Prepare your desk area
Start by turning off any devices and clearing out the space under your desk - put your chair to one side and remove any other objects you keep under there. Then pull your desk out to gain easy access to the cables and power supply at the back of your desk.
Pull out and identify all the cables that you want to tidy. This is the messiest part of the process.
You might find that you have cables that aren’t being used. Remove them and store them away.
- Plan where each cable needs to go
This is the most challenging part of cable management and if you have a lot of cables and hardware, it can take a little time to figure out the best way to organise them in the optimal way.
Think about which cables you’ll need to access and which cables will rarely need to be moved. Also consider the route between your hardware and the power supply, and avoid crossing over any wires.
At this point it can help to use a cable management tray or rack which you can fix underneath your desk. They are useful to support the weight of heavy cables, extension leads and laptop chargers.
- Hide unsightly cables above the desk
A simple but effective way to hide cables above your desk is to use cable ties. For example, in the image below we’ve used a cable tie to trail cables from the monitor along its stand and out of sight.
Another option is to drill holes in your desk and thread the cables through.
- Create a path that your cables will follow
In our example, we decided to direct everything to the cable management tray, before routing the cables to the power sockets on the wall and tying up any excess cable.
- Bunch up cables that aren't being used with cable ties
As you go along, it makes things easier to bunch up long cables to get them out of the way. This means you can identify other cables quicker. We used black 300mm cable ties to do this, as well as tying the gathered cables to the rack to keep them in place.
- Gather cables using wrap or tube
If you have multiple cables travelling along the same route, it always looks better to gather them up together. We used expandable wrap and a cable tidy tube to do this. Just thread through the wires that you want to wrap up.
The split conduit tube can also be used for tucking in cables that come from other directions. Pull the cables taught to remove any slack, before pushing them into the tube.
If you have any other hanging cables that you want to hide, you can use tape or cable clips to fix them to the underside of your desk.
- Connect up your power supplies and plug in your devices
You’re almost done. All you have to do now is connect anything you unplugged and turn on your devices to check everything works as it should. Now all you need to do is relax and enjoy your rejuvenated desk space, complete with tidy cables.
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