To shelf or not to shelf

Aye, that is the question. Tis it nobler on the eye to have an expanse of desk, or by lifting things up, to tidy and organize them? To clean, to tidy, to Kondo - tis a consummation devoutly to be wished.

I think I may be at the spot where I’m mixing up my desk to avoid work, but I recently re did things to take advantage of Camo - which looks much better than the off-brand webcams I’ve been using in the pandemic. I have a little desk shelf, but it doesn’t hold a ton - basically, it lets me tuck my mini there rather than upon its side, and can be a little garage for my keyboard when not in use. It also lets me prop up an iPad Mac Sparky style, but I haven’t really been doing that much.

What do you think gang?

**Added clarification - the top of the monitor height is the same either way - following the ergo guidelines to have the menu bar at eye height. It’s an aesthetic/utility choice. **

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I also need to tidy the stuff in the background - the bar supplies and some items on top of a shelf on a dog’s crate.

From a more physical point of view, the monitor should be placed in a way, that you can look more or less straight forward, without the need to look way down.

You can find a lot of results with explanations, if you search for “office ergonomics” on the web.

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Pure aesthetics I like no shelf.

Great catch - I edited the post to clarify that the top of the monitor stays the same either way - I’ve got enough adjustment that the menu bar is at/slightly above eye height in either setup.

You have a lovely room and set-up! Looks picked up to me. ;o)

I’d keep the shelf - it adds more structure to your desk and lets you tuck things away, as you mentioned.

While I don’t have a shelf, my monitors and laptop are wall-mounted, so the entire surface of my desk is free for other things. A shelf accomplishes a similar purpose.

In that case, I personally would take the shelf, it fits more with the style of the nice table, and the ugly metal stand is less visible on that.
In addition you get some extra space underneath the monitor.

My 10 cents votes shelf

I’d go without shelf. As you say, monitor height is the same, so you don’t need to raise it. For me the added storage under a shelf is offset by having more of the desk surface obscured. I think better when there’s lots of space around me, so even if I don’t need the desk space to lay out materials for a project, I love cleaning everything away and having unobstructed surface around me as much as possible. Easier when you’re not boxed in by the shelf.

Hmm…without shelf for me. Monitor looks clean and sleek.

+1 for shelf

Gives you space to get rid of the keyboard.

Better position for looking at your monitor, though the 2 photos are taken from different heights I do not think the monitor height is actually that much different between the photos

You can place iPad under the monitor and have seamless universal control between the 2 screens

Shelf looks nicer to me. I have one myself so I’m already a bit biased, perhaps. Nice lighting!

No shelf. The more places you give yourself to put clutter the more clutter you will collect. Keep it as clean as you can.

I’m in the Shelf group. I like being able to move things out of the way under the shelf. But as others have said, it takes discipline not to cover every flat surface with stuff.

A level of discipline I do not have. :frowning:

Put me in the no shelf, cleaner look, less horizontal surfaces for clutter group.

I like the looks of the desk without the shelf but the added space/storage is worth it to me.

Either way, shelf or no shelf, is fine, but what is bothering me is the ergonomics of where everything is placed, or perhaps the photo is distorted. The keyboard is too distant from the front of the desk, as is the trackpad. Likewise, while the height of the monitor is correct it looks too distant. It all looks tiring for the arms and hands, and probably the back if you end up having to lean into it.

I think it’s fish-eyeing or something because I used the wide lens - looking at the pictures, I totally see your point, but in reality, the monitor is an easy to touch from a seated position. I pushed the keyboard a little more forward for the picture - but the whole desk is only about 2 feet from front to back - that’s a Grovemade large desk pad, which is 26”.

This is a regualr lens photo, it’s not elongating it as much.

I’m in the shelf camp, even if it’s only for this reason.

I use a glass shelf for my current setup with (unadjustable) 27" 4K which puts it at almost the perfect height and, I think, will still be in play with the Studio Display I should receive any day now. Originally, I had my USB-C dock under the shelf (and behind the laptop) but I recently bought a longer cable and now there is nothing under the shelf and I still like it.

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