Cable Management for My Standing Desk

For approximately thirteen years, the cables under my standing desk have looked like this:

It has always bothered me, but clearly not in an existential way. These cables get practically problematic, though, when I add something to my desk that has a short power cord. As the desk rises, a power strip comes for the ride, eventually dangling in the air (and probably knocking against the wall on the way). Also, vacuuming is a bit dangerous with these wires everywhere.

And so it was finally time to change!

Here are the items I picked up to improve my under-desk cables:

Uprite Ergo Mesh Cable Manager
For me, this was the most important find. The cable manager is easily "opened" from the front without having to access to the back of the desk or having to pull the desk away from the wall. It has velcro to strap things down (cables, power bricks, ethernet switch, etc). So making adjustments means unhooking the front of the mesh and letting everything just hang there under the desk as you tweak things.

10 Outlet Power Strip Surge Protector
For this item, I wanted something with the outlets spaced. There are a number of options for this item, and the only reason I picked the specific version linked is because of the yellow receptacles. I figure they’ll be easier to see in the shadows of my under-desk.

I actually picked up two of these. My power usage is on the border between 10-12 devices, and I could see it growing. Twelve-outlet strips were available, but what if I outgrow it? The fit ended up a bit tight (as these are mounted under the desk and “hidden” between either side of the mesh cable manager). But it’s working!

Cable sleeve
This is used to unify the two cables going down from the power strip to the wall outlet. This ½” sleeve just barely fit, which was good because it looks pretty svelte in person. I may decide to attach this to the desk leg in some manner to make it less visible.

Cable clips
After just a day these seem to have good adhesion. Hopefully that continues! Using them for routing cables (like ethernet) that still need to migrate out of the mesh cable manager. I’m also planning to run some wired headphones and a DAC under the desk, and these clips will help keep things hidden.

So now here we are:

How Easy Was It, Actually?

The biggest challenge in my case was mounting the power strips. Firstly, I do some amateur woodworking so I knew to pre-drill holes in the underside of the desk. I also knew to install the screws slowly/carefully for fear of stripping out the wood/MDF in the desk. Basically, if you use a power driver, don’t drive in those screws as fast as possible.

Even with that knowledge, I still had a challenge because my desk top is rather wide and it has a major design flaw. The desk top is insufficiently supported for its width, and the top has bowed over the years. This has always annoyed me, but became a very real problem when I’m trying to mount a long, flat power strip to a wide, bowed desk.

I decided to mount a long strip of wood under the desk in hopes of flattening out the desk top. So what I actually did was mount that wood plank, then mount the power strip and mesh cable manager to said wood plank. I think the desk top did get a bit flatter, but there is still a bow. So my long power strips were under a bit of stress as I screwed them down anyway, letting metal bend with the pressure. Let’s just say the power strips are certainly unreturnable now. I’m hoping they don’t break over time. 😅

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