Effective Standing Desk Storage Ideas To Get Organized

Standing desks are designed around changing your working height, but when it comes to storage, few have anything meaningful to offer. Storage is essential to keeping what you need within reach so you can stay productive at your desk.

Many of today’s standing desks are simply flat table tops on some height-adjustable legs. This is one of the disadvantages we touch on in our article: Are Standing Desks Worth It?

minimal desk setup flexispot E7 standing desk

In this article, we’ll be sharing the most useful standing desk storage ideas so you can keep your desk a convenient place to work. While you’re here, you might also be interested in our dedicated guide on standing desk cable management.

Key Takeaways

  • The first step in getting more storage space is making space. Making more space on your desk can make room for more potential desktop storage solutions.
  • Popular storage solutions for standing desks include desk-mounted drawers, desk organizers, and even desk shelves.
  • If you need higher-capacity storage, drawer units, filing cabinets, and shelf systems will be a more appropriate solution.

Making More Desk Space

Making more desk space is always my first tip for those looking for more storage space. This is because when you make more space on your desk, you are able to accommodate more storage solutions.

Here are easy ways to make more space on your standing desk.

Use Monitor Arms

I am a big promoter of monitor arms. We have a dedicated article on all the benefits monitor arms provide.

The number one benefit that outshines them all is that it gives you some serious desk space back. Here’s a comparison of my desk with and without a monitor arm. (Disregard the different monitors).

BenQ ScreenBar Monitor Light Review (17 of 21)

There is a big difference in the space I can get back and the positional flexibility I get as well.

Full disclosure, if you have a wobbly standing desk, some monitor arms will make your monitor wobble a bit too. That’s the only standing desk-specific disadvantage here.

Keyboard Trays

Keyboard trays move your keyboard and mouse right under your desk in a slide-out tray. This keeps your keyboard and mouse off of your desk so you have more desk space.

This is a great option for those with shallow desks around 20-24 inches deep.

If you don’t want to drill your desk, you can also get the clamp-on versions that mount to your desk in seconds!

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.)

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If you have a thick desktop, check out our article on how to use clamp-on keyboard trays with thick desks.

Hide What You Can

I love making the most desk space possible, which is why I am a fan of hiding a lot of the bulky items typically found on desks.

This includes hiding your desktop PC, docking station, laptop, etc. We have dedicated articles on all three!

Check them out below if you are interested in getting any of those items off of your desk. I highly recommend mounting them to your desk so you can change desk heights worry-free.

How To Hide Computer Tower

Ways To Hide Docking Station

How To Hide Your Laptop

Flexispot E7 standing desk setup

The Best Standing Desk Storage Solutions

Now that we freed up some desk space, let’s get into some standing desk storage solutions & ideas.

Use Standing Desk Drawers

Drawer units are a common desk storage solution for most people. The only drawback is that once you raise your desk, it becomes less convenient. They go from an arms reach away, to a bend and reach. 

That might not sound like a big deal, but doing that a bunch of times throughout the day is surely going to become annoying.

That’s where desk-mounted drawers come in. Under-desk hanging drawers are drawers that attach directly to your desk. This way your drawer travels with you when you move your desk to the standing position.

There are a ton of desk-mountable drawers out there. Before you buy, think about the following factors to ensure you get the correct hanging drawer for your setup. 

Drawer Thickness / Height

First, consider how much room you have available for a drawer when you are seated.

You will feel like you have a ton of room under your desk when in the standing position. You can run into problems when in the seated position though. 

When seated, your legs are much closer to the bottom side of your table and you could have other potential interferences with your desk.

I recommend mounting a drawer to either the left or right side of where your legs usually are. This way you can get a drawer with a more significant depth while keeping your legroom unaffected.

Drawer Capacity

Next, think about how much room you really need in an under-desk drawer.  If you are tight on space grab a small drawer that mainly fits your essentials. 

Gather your commonly used items to get a sense of what your drawer size will need to be. If you just need pens and pencils, one of these adhesive-back compact drawers will work well.

Adhesive Back Under Desk Drawers, 2 Pack

This under-monitor drawer is easy to install with non-marking adhesive tape and a strong load capacity. It's a simple design that helps minimize clutter on your desk.

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Want to store a laptop or papers along with your pens and pencils, you might be better off with something like this: 

23 Inch Under Desk Pencil Drawer

This desk organizer is easy to install and has a roomy design with multiple compartments for maximum organization. It features ball bearing slides for smooth operation and measures 2"H x 23"W x 16"D when assembled.

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If you want a larger drawer, check out the VIVO under-desk pull-out drawer below.

VIVO 16 inch Under Desk Pull-out Drawer

This under-desk storage drawer is made of steel and provides extra space for decluttering your desk. It holds up to 11 lbs of materials and is easy to assemble and comes with a 3-year warranty.

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If you do choose to go with a large drawer, be sure to add some drawer organizers to make your life way easier!

Desktop Standing Desk Storage Solutions

If under-desk hanging drawers are not your thing, don’t worry! There are many different ways to add storage to your standing desk. It doesn’t have to involve sticking drawers under your desk. 

Let’s get into some of the other options out there. On a related note, we also have a dedicated article on how to organize a desk without drawers

Use Desk Organizers on Your Standing Desk

The first recommendation we have, if you don’t want to attach anything under your desk, is to simply keep an organizer on top of your desk. 

We have a dedicated article on some seriously convenient all-in-one desk organizers

These come in all shapes and sizes based on what you need. Your needs can range from a simple pencil cup to a fully modular and customizable storage solution.

Here are some of the best sellers people use as their desk organizers:

Stackable Office Storage Box with Drawers

This stackable plastic drawer organizer is stable and a versatile solution for organizing various items. The tinted drawers ensures the items inside the drawers are not too distracting but still visible.

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2 Drawer, 5 Compartment Desk Organizer

This desk organizer has 3 compartments, 1 top tray, 1 notebook holder, and 2 drawers for organizing office supplies. It's practical for categorizing small essentials, maximizing workspace, and achieving a tidy desk.

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Uplift Desk Hanging Storage Cubby

If you don’t like all-in-one desk organizers or hanging drawers, there is another more unique option. This is the hanging storage cubby from Uplift themselves. 

It’s a hanging storage cubby that slides right onto your desk. This is a large storage compartment and desktop tray morphed into one. 

Any items you place into the large storage cubby at the bottom add weight and make the cubby more stable. A unique design! 

This is not just for uplift desks. It can fit any desk up to 2.3 inches in thickness. The storage cubby is 7.3 inches wide, 14 inches deep, and 17.5 inches high. That is almost large enough for a small backpack!

Because this solution simply slides on and off, it can be placed anywhere and in any orientation on your desk. If you need more room at the moment, you just slide it off. It’s a very flexible storage solution. 

Add Monitor Shelves To Add Organizational Space

The last solution in the desktop storage category is monitor shelves.

We have a dedicated article on all the benefits that monitor shelves offer here. Monitor shelves (also known as monitor risers or desk shelves) are simple shelves that simply sit on top of your desk.

Desk setup with desk shelf and ultrawide monitor

Their main purpose is to give your monitors a bit more height.  A side effect of a monitor shelf raising your monitor stand is that room under the monitor shelf becomes available!

This makes room for storage and organization opportunities!

There is a huge variety of monitor shelves on the market. Some boutique brands like Grovemade cost a fortune and look fantastic, while simpler monitor stands like this one from IKEA are much more affordable.

I opted for this AOTHIA desk shelf below as it comes with a large wood top at a pretty unbeatable price.

Aothia Large Dual Monitor Desk Shelf
  • Comes in three wood grain colors
  • Made with real poplar wood
  • Supports up to 100 lbs.
  • 43 inch by 9.4 inch surface
  • Affordable compared to other wood desk shelves of the same size
  • Cork legs are not the prettiest
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Simpler monitor shelves also do a great job of giving you simple areas to store things. They are also hugely functional for ergonomics by placing your monitor at eye level. 

If you are ever worried about how much weight you can actually load on a typical standing desk, we have a dedicated article on desk weight capacity here.

Storage Around Your Standing Desk

If you would like to store more at your standing desk, here are some other solutions that have a much higher storage capacity.

These solutions won’t be attached to your desk, so there is much more flexibility to be larger and be placed elsewhere in your workspace.

Drawer Sets & Filing Cabinets

If you find that you have a ton of items that require storage, and you need them in your area, it’s hard to beat a nice set of drawers. 

I used to have a dual ALEX drawer desk which felt like infinite storage space. Now that I upgraded to my Flexispot standing desk, I had to ditch one drawer unit. You can find more before and after pictures in my E7 assembly guide..

dual alex drawer desk setup with herman miller sayl
My old dual ALEX drawer desk setup = tons of storage.
minimal desk setup flexispot E7 standing desk
My current standing desk setup with single ALEX drawer on the left side.

Drawers just sit on the floor and can store way more of your items. A nice set of drawers can also complement your room very well. 

Many filing cabinets and drawer units also come in a shorter form factor so they can fit underneath your standing desk. Here’s an example of a relatively short drawer set:

This is one of the many storage solutions under your desk. Check out more under-desk storage solutions here.

Use Shelf Systems Beside Your Standing Desk

The last solution for standing desk storage is using shelf systems beside your desk. Shelves come in all shapes and sizes so you have a lot of flexibility here.

Because shelves keep your belongings visible at all times, you can quickly glance and grab what you need.

For a minimal look, I would recommend some floating shelves. Just be sure your standing desk doesn’t collide with them on the way up!

If you need a larger shelf unit for some serious storage capacity, consider one of these:

4 Tier Bookshelf with Drawer
  • Large four tier design for higher storage capacity
  • Includes bottom drawer for more concealed storage
  • Rustic & affordable bookshelf
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If you are interested in standing desks that have integrated drawers, check out the Flexispot EB8 shown in the video below!

Photo of author


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!

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