Messy desk suggestions

I believe I have a problem. I’m open to suggestions for tidying this up.


Some people thrive in empty, clear workspaces; others thrive in busy, “messy” spaces.

Neither camp is better or worse than the other, (though a lot of the people who live in the first camp find that hard to believe).

It’s an innate preference, just like being left or right-handed, and no one would suggest you swap your mouse to the other side of the keyboard because that’s how they like it.


If you want to change the desk: mount the powerstrip below the desk? Also the mini? :thinking: If you don’t need the scanner all the time, put him away and win some space (mine is tored in the cabinet and only comes out if i need something to scan.

If the monitor too low for good working? :thinking: Put both speaker sideways and a board on top? Then the monitor on top there - you don’t have to bend over and look straight at the screen?


If that’s a problem I’m doomed lol.
Biggest improvement is to try and get as many wires in line as possible. Try and route them along the same route and bundle them together with velcro.That’ll get you 75% of the way there.
Next…you’ll just have to put away stuff you’re not using, which looks like is 3 things.

One thing that might give you more space (or at least the feeling) is to elevate your screen (maybe a Vesa mount?). That will allow your notebook and calculator to slide under, and maybe whatever that grey thing is. Also, elevate your speakers (as long as they are positioned correctly to your ears of course).


Mount anything you need around your desk, but don’t need to see / access under the desk.

Embrace Wireless devices.

Use your Mac Mini as a Monitor stand to reduce the footprint used by both.

Anything you need to access, but not see, get some drawers for under your desk

Mount some shelves above your desk to store things you like to look at but only need occasionally.

Set a regular calendar appointment to tidy and dust/clean your desk whether than be at the end of each day, once a week or once a month. At this time restore your desk to what “Good” is.


I pulled my desk away from the wall enough to put two wooden TV trays between the wall and the desk. The trays are about 3-inches lower than the desk and make a nice recessed shelf to keep all the cables and gear off the desktop.


This is exactly what I thought. :slight_smile:

Lots of random ideas, in no particular order - and some contradicting one another.

The Mini could tuck back by the monitor.

Unless the distance on the speakers is somehow important, those could push further back into the corners from the looks of it.

Agree that the power strip could mount underneath pretty easily.

The headphones could go on a Command hook somewhere nearby, or on the edge of the table (no idea how thick that surface actually is).

And reusable velcro is your friend. If you have a Harbor Freight, you can buy a 25’ spool of double-sided velcro that you can cut to whatever length you need. Alternatively, look on Amazon for cables that actually fit the spaces you have. That’s more expensive than Velcro, but definitely cleaner.

The iPad could go on a little stand on top of the Mac Mini. Unless you’re driving that thing pretty hard, putting a little angled stand for the iPad on it won’t cause any problems.

If you don’t need to USE the iPad on the desk, IKEA has this goofy little stand that would handle your headphones and your iPad:

Also, Mac Minis can be stored vertically - and even wall-mounted if the desk isn’t a sit/stand style. For the average Mac Mini, this can be as simple as some Command strips. Just get the heavy-duty ones and put a few of them on the base of the Mini. :slight_smile:

Lots of options for little incremental improvements.


Thank you everyone. I’ll give those suggestions a try. As for the height of my monitor, I keep getting moaned at by the health and safety guy at work during a workstation audit. He says my monitor is too low too. My response is it is comfortable for me. He puts forward a strong case for compliance and I in turn ignore him. The dance on that one continues.


Clearly that big calculator is not necessary. Remove it and desk sorted out! XD

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Things I would consider:

  1. Everything on the desk looks useful, so it’s probably about organising that removing
  2. As @geoffaire said, embrace wireless (e.g., your mouse)
  3. Tidy the cables - I have this issue too - love @karlnyhus suggestion to have the lower desk shelves
  4. Tape as much as you can to the bottom of your desk - if you don’t need to touch or look at something, you don’t need it on the top side of your desk - Velcro tape is great for this
  5. Whilst your desk isn’t “tidy”, it is very functional, so if it doesn’t stress you out, it’s probably fine as it is!
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Just out of curiosity what is he using to decide it’s too low? I’ve always been told that when sitting straight on your eyeline should be just below the top of the screen. I’m short, even with extra cushions I can’t get my wrists in a comfortable position and get the screen that low. My eye line is about midway down the screen of my iMac.

Good ergonomics suggest that the top of the screen should be at your eye line so your head is at a natural angle (looking slightly downwards) while using the screen.

In reality everyone is different, but it’s easy to miss telltale signs of fatigue and aches which become long term problems.

As always the less time you use your screen for continuously, the lower the potential for damage and the impact of such use.

We will need pictures of the “after” desk, Dave. #accountability! :rofl:

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Probably a bit much to get to from where you are now but I saw this video yesterday that has me in complete ENVY…zero wires showing


I’m beginning to think I am the problem. This is my work desk.


Love that setup. I especially like the speaker stands and the cable routing for the speakers.

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Okay, coupla things:

  1. Do you really need the Macquarie Dictionary?
  2. PC box goes on the floor (unless is it needed to prop up the tissue box)
  3. Your pen choice is elite!
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But where’s your keyboard for the organ? Need to fit that in too?

Get one of these monitor stands and you’ll kill two birds: the safety police will be happy and you’ll gain tons of new desk space. Just lower your monitor all the way down and it will be close enough to the height you have it now. Comes in Large or Small sizes… If there’s room, I’d get large:

Or go super high-end with Grovemade: Desk Shelf

Normally, you’d be able to use a Mac Mini VESA mount on the back of your monitor… but, you’ve got a Dell monitor and the stand must be removed to access the VESA holes… So, instead, you can use the same Mini VESA mount, just use straps to hold it to the back of the monitor arm: I built my own CUSTOM M1 iMac... - YouTube

You can also use the mount to bolt the Mini to the underside of your desk, but I generally don’t like that location because it can be hard to get to… on the other hand, you don’t have to do it very often.

Mac Mini VESA mount:

Or, if you don’t like that, get a vertical stand and put the Mini behind the monitor:

Get those speakers raised up, giving you even more desk space, while improving sound fidelity:

It’s time to go wireless keyboard and mouse! … I can’t live without a numeric keypad, so I’d get either an Extended Apple keyboard or a Logitech MX Keys - but both are available in the mini size. If you go Logitech, make sure you get the Windows/PC version of the MX Keys so that you get the Unified Receiver plug and can therefore bypass the bluetooth connection in case you experience the notorious Mini bluetooth problems:

There are some good wireless Logitech mice as well (that can also communicate with the unified receiver instead of bluetooth). I use the MX Master 3, but there are less complicated ones too:

One of these will get your power strips, bricks and USB hubs off the desk:

It looks like you may have room for a small under-desk drawer unit on the right side. That’ll help get rid of miscellaneous desk junk:

That ScanSnap scanner can be put in front of the printer on the left side file cabinet. … And, there are many above and below desk stands/mounts for those headphones.

Finally, if you wish to maintain your white color theme, many of the above items can be spray painted with a white semi-gloss.


At least you are consistent. :grinning: