Easy Ways To Get More Space On Your Desk

A desk with more space is objectively a more functional desk. You can do way more on a desk that is not crowded with a ton of “stuff”.  Room to draw stuff, build stuff, stack boxes, everything! 

Some people like the “cozy” feel of being surrounded by all kinds of stuff all the time and having no free desk space. That’s not me, and I’m assuming that’s not you either if you landed on this article. 

If you’re trying to get better at making more room on your desk, that’s what we’re going to teach you in this article. 

Making more space on my desk has actually been a long process for me. I was aiming for little improvements one item at a time, and now my workspace is just a pleasure to be at.

34 inch ultrawide monitor on ikea alex desk

I’m sure you’ll share this feeling once you transform your desk too. 

What we cover in this article is a compilation of my years of tiny improvements. I will give you all of my methods at once so you get your desk spacious and functional much sooner than I did. 

Let’s get that desk space back. 

Main Methods To Gaining Desk Space

Here are some overarching methods I use that not only result in a spacious desk but also help keep my desk that way in the long run. I also touch on tidying up tips for desks in this article. 

Embrace Minimalism

I have an entire article on how and why I recommend a minimalistic desk setup to most people. 

This is where you only keep what you actually need on your desk. That means a monitor, keyboard, and mouse, are probably 75% there. 

Of course, you have to add a little bit of your own style and character to the desk setup to make it inviting and not a drab place to work. 

Not only does a minimal desk naturally give you a more roomy desk because of the fewer items, but it has a few more benefits.

Monitor arm with 27 inch 4k monitor

You are less distracted with fewer items on your desk. There is less calling for your attention! It also provides a huge boost in aesthetics compared to a messy desk. 

To embrace minimalism, start by taking everything off of your desk. Then isolate what you use every single day along with items you can’t really put away after a work day. Such as a monitor, (unless you have furniture that can hide your monitor away). 

Everything else belongs elsewhere. 

Get Organized

The method that helps me actually stick with a spacious desk is giving everything else a home. When everything has a home, the result is complete organization. 

All my pens and pencils are in the top drawer of my ALEX drawer desk. See my full ALEX desk setup here. My electronics are in a drawer on my left. I have my books in the lower drawer on my right. 

Everything has a place. When I’m done with something, it feels weird to leave it on my desk all alone. It wants to be home with its family! Send it home! 

Getting organized ensures that stuff doesn’t collect on your desk as much. It takes some time to completely get acclimated to the “everything has a home” lifestyle, but once you do, it is so much easier to stay organized. 

Also, if you decided to go minimal, it pretty much forces organization. You can’t have a bunch of stuff on your desk, so you have to put your stuff somewhere. 

Hide Items If Possible

The last method that I try and use pretty constantly is hiding items if it’s realistic. For example, I have a 5-port USB hub that powers my chargers and my monitor light bar. 

You won’t see the hub on my desk as the advertisements show them. Instead, it’s double side taped to the underside of my desk. So instead of having a bunch of ugly cables taking up space on my desk, I have zero. But I keep all the functionality. 

Flatten Curled Mousepads (10)

I also did this with my computer tower. I have a dedicated article on how to hide your computer tower. If you look around this website, you’ll see that we like to hide many more things.

If you like the idea of gaining space by hiding items, check out the following articles:

How To Hide Your Laptop

How To Hide Your Docking Station

How To Hide Wires On Your Desk

Tools That Give You More Desk Space

Now that we have some of the core ideas that help us gain a ton of space overall, it’s time to talk specifics. Here are some items that I have used myself that can give back a ton of desk space. 

Monitor Mounts

I always recommend monitor mounts to those who have VESA-compatible monitors. Check out this article on VESA mounting 101 if you are not familiar with VESA monitors. 

Aftermarket monitor mount arms get rid of the large factory stand that your monitor came with. It replaces this factory stand with a small clamp that holds onto a small part of your desk. 

34 inch ultrawide monitor gas spring mount

This gives you a bunch of space that was previously unusable! If you are not sure if monitor mounts will work with your desk, you might be interested in the following articles:

How To Mount Monitors To Thin Desks

How To Mount Monitors To Glass Desks

How To Mount Monitors to Thick Desks

Monitor Light Bars

If you have a typical desk lamp that has a big base, there is much room for improvement.

As long as you have a monitor, you have the option to use a monitor light bar instead of a normal desk lamp. This takes advantage of the fact that you already have something with a stand, why not hold up your desk light too?

I have to say a monitor light bar is one of my favorite additions to my desk. I walk through why in my article on the purpose of monitor light bars

Curved Monitor Light Bar (4)

To summarize that article, here are the major benefits you get when you switch to a light bar. 

  • Zero desk footprint – absolutely none!
  • Wide beam spread centered with your monitor – not many desk lamps do that. 
  • Zero screen reflections or glare – a critical feature that typical lamps fail at. 
  • Adjustable light temperature and brightness – even automatic on higher-end BenQ models. 
  • Easy cable management that flows with your monitor cables. If you hide your monitor cables correctly, you will never see this light bar cable. 

That’s a ton of benefits for a simple desk light. Oh did I forget to mention they are super affordable on Amazon? I own the BenQ Screenbar (original) and wrote a full review here

BenQ ScreenBar Monitor Light
4.7

This is BenQ's most affordable monitor light. It has integrated controls and the superior BenQ build quality we've come to love. It has fantastic glare blocking, light spread, brightness, and light quality.

Check Price on Amazon

BenQ makes the fancy ones that are more pricey. There are hundreds of copycat versions on Amazon that work just fine.

I purchased one of these more affordable versions for my partner, and it cost a third of the price! It was from a brand called MELIFO. It even came with a clean little wireless control dial! Talk about value…

Budget Pick
MELIFO Monitor Light Bar
4.5

Illuminate your keyboard area without reflecting glare on the screen with this budget-friendly monitor light bar. With stepless dimming and memory function, adjust brightness and color temperature to your preference. Its USB power supply makes it easy to use anywhere.

Check Price on Amazon

Laptop Mount Arm

If you are a laptop user and that laptop is sitting on your desk, there is a ton of room for improvement here too. 

I used to use laptop stands (I talk about why I like laptop stands here), but I recently changed over to a laptop arm. This arm clamps to my desk in the same way my monitor mount arm does. 

Check out this article If you want a direct comparison between laptop stands and laptop mount arms

Laptop arms lift your laptop to a more ergonomic viewing height just like a laptop stand would do. But the benefit of a desk-clamped arm is that you have free space underneath your laptop now! 

Laptop Stand vs Laptop Arms (3)

That’s not the case with laptop stands that sit on your desk. Also, a laptop stand becomes easier to knock over the higher you place it. That’s not a risk with a desk-clamped laptop arm. 

Even if you don’t use an external monitor, having a laptop arm will still benefit you pretty dramatically. 

You will have to use a full-size keyboard and mouse which is more ergonomic than a laptop keyboard and trackpad. As we touched on earlier, you will also have your laptop at a much more comfortable viewing height. 

Let’s come to terms that laptops were made to be as portable as possible, and have no real ergonomic value. A laptop mount arm helps transform this around when you’re at your desk. 

Desk Clamp Lamp

If you don’t have a monitor, or don’t really like the monitor light bar we touched on above for some reason, I have an alternative for you. 

The answer is a clampable desk light. 

Ksunun Double Head LED Desk Lamp, Architect Desk Lamps for Home Office, 24W Brightest Workbench Office Lighting-5 Color Modes and 5 Dimmable Eye Protection Modern Desk Lamp for Monitor Studio Reading

Task lights that clamp onto your desk will almost always have a smaller footprint than a dedicated desk lamp. This means more desk space for you with no real drawbacks. 

You probably notice a pattern by now. We are either removing the footprint of existing items or replacing them with a desk clamp. 

There is a huge selection to choose from with these desk clamp lights on Amazon. They come in all shapes and sizes. If you simply search for “desk light with clamp” or something similar, you’ll see what I mean. 

Drawer Sets

For the more minimalist look to be possible, you need a place to store those items that were once on your desk. 

The easiest answer to storing these items while remaining convenient is with a simple drawer set. 

My desk is a dual ALEX drawer desk, and I don’t know what I would do without these drawers. I store so much stuff in them! Of course, it’s all organized. 

Alex Drawer Dimensions (2.1)

Drawers allow you to systematically organize your desk by placing what you use most often in the top drawers, and what you use less often in the bottom drawers. 

We have a dedicated article on how to best organize drawer sets for maximum functionality. Also, be sure to use drawer inserts to keep your drawers tidy and easy to look through. 

Remember that it’s easier to stay organized when everything has a home.  There are some great-looking drawer sets available on Amazon for whatever your style is. 

Laura Davidson Furniture Stockpile Slim Version 3-Drawer Mobile File Cabinet for Home Office Commercial-Grade Pre-Assembled One Size, All Black
  • Cold-Rolled, Powder-Coated Steel. Cold-rolled steel allows for more precise shaping and increased “hardness” that’s up to 20% stronger than steel that has not been...
  • Modern Style with Rounded Corners. While most file cabinets feel like artifacts of a bygone era, our smooth surfaces, inset handles, and rounded corners create a cabinet...
  • Smooth Easy-Glide Drawers. High-quality ball bearing glides ensure a lifetime of silky smooth opening and closing. Three locking EZ-Glide drawers with two unique keys.
  • Designed for Both US Letter and US Legal Hanging Files. No need for any extra accessory racks. All you need is hanging file folders, and you’re all set!
Check Price on Amazon
Laura Davidson Furniture Stockpile 2-Drawer Modern Mobile File Cabinet, Commercial-Grade (White/Wood)
  • Cold-Rolled, Powder-Coated Steel. Cold-rolled steel allows for more precise shaping and increased “hardness” that’s up to 20% stronger than steel that has not been...
  • Modern Style with Rounded Corners. While most file cabinets feel like artifacts of a bygone era, our smooth surfaces, inset handles, and rounded corners create a cabinet...
  • Smooth Easy-Glide Drawers. High-quality ball bearing glides ensure a lifetime of silky smooth opening and closing. 2 locking EZ-Glide drawers with two unique keys.
  • Designed for Both US Letter and US Legal Hanging Files. No need for any extra accessory racks. All you need is hanging file folders, and you’re all set!
Check Price on Amazon

Keyboard Tray

The last item on this list is an accessory that is highly underrated. This item is a good old keyboard tray. 

VIVO Under Desk Pull Out Keyboard Tray

Keyboard trays come as clamp-on options or can also be drilled into your desk. Choose whichever mounting method you are more comfortable with.

We also have an article on how to use clamp-on keyboard trays with thick desks

The benefits list with keyboard trays is way longer than you think. First of all, with regards to desk space, they give you a ton back. A full-size keyboard and mouse take up a huge chunk of space! 

This might be the biggest space savings on this entire list. 

VIVO Under Desk Pull Out Keyboard Tray

This under-desk keyboard tray saves desk space and holds your keyboard, mouse, and small accessories below your desk. It easily slides in and out, extending a maximum of 8.5" from the edge of your desk. The tray is attached with C-clamps that hold everything in place and are easily adjustable. (The tray is not compatible with desktops that have beveled edges.)

Check Price on Amazon

Another huge benefit of these keyboard trays is that they help shorter folks get an ergonomic desk setup. I recently ranted in my article on the average desk height about how average desks are made for tall people. 

Taller people can easily make their desks taller, but shorter people can’t really cut down their desk height.

If your elbows are level with your table and your feet don’t sit flat on the floor, your desk is too tall. This results in most people having to use a footrest. I use one myself. 

Keyboard trays bring down your working height a good two inches or so. If you feel your desk is too tall for you, seriously consider a keyboard tray.

Photo of author

Dasun

I'm a big time workspace enthusiast who is constantly experimenting with my setup. Sharing along the way to help people make their own desk setups more functional and inviting, whether it be for productivity or play!