With the advent of standing desks, people are benefiting from burning more calories and alleviating back pain during their workday. Those benefits do not come without some compromise.
Recently, after switching to a height adjustable desk, I experienced the need for compromise firsthand. Drawers that held my stapler, tape dispenser, calculator and extra pens disappeared. The only remaining place for those items was on top of my new desk. My clean workspace transformed into a cluttered mess.
You only appreciate a desk drawer just after switching to a sit to stand desk. The loss of valuable storage space is a significant drawback of standing desks. When losing that drawer, the free desk space becomes a valuable property.
Searching for Standing Desk Storage Solutions
After trying to work in my paper wasteland, I decided to use my favorite search engine to find a solution for standing desk storage. There is a library full of articles written on the pros and cons of adjustable height desks. However, one aspect of sit stand desks is most often ignored: storage.
Standing desks represent a substantial investment, yet desk storage seems like an afterthought. In this article, I am going to explore storage options available for electric height adjustable desks, hopefully providing some aspects that you may not have considered.
Taking Storage for Granted
Conventional, or legacy, desks offer plenty of storage. Three drawers on one side with a more substantial utility drawer in the center, below the work surface. More often than not, locking at least one drawer is a featured option for conventional desks.
Alternative Methods for Standing Desk Storage
The first thing that I discovered when starting my search for storage options was there were few options available. Based on what I found, the choices I did locate fall under four categories:
- Trays and Drawers
- Hanging Storage Solutions
- Floor Pedestals
- Mountable Hanging Storage
Trays and Drawers
Have you ever walked out of your house feeling as though you have forgotten something? Whether or not you did, that feeling is maddening and stays with you for the entire day.
That is the feeling I discovered when I switched to my adjustable height table. It took a few moments before I realized why I felt that way. I went to open my pencil drawer to grab a pen and guess what? No drawer!
Fortunately, there are several varieties of trays and drawers for electric standing desks available from a multitude of vendors.
- The ESI pencil drawer measures 20.5-inches wide × 16.25-inches deep × 2-inches high. This ESI pencil drawer lists for $111.
- The Jarvis Fully Desk Drawer measures 22.5-inches wide × 16.25″ deep × 2-inches high. The Fully Desk Drawer lists for $69.
- The Fully Swivel Pencil Tray measures 14.5-inches wide × 10-inches deep × 1.5-inches high and lists for $49.
- The RightAngle Pencil Drawer measures 21.25-inches wide × 16.125-inches deep × 1.75-inches high and lists for $81.
- RightAngle’s Swivel Pencil Drawer measures 8.5-inches wide × 14-inches deep × 1.25-inches high and lists for $52.
Regardless of manufacturer, these solutions have similar advantages and disadvantages.
- They are tiny
- No locking option
- Typically made of plastic
- Limited placement
- They are very light
- Versatile – models offer a variety of options, including a tape dispenser, coin trays, and slot for sticky notes
- Since they mount to the desk, they move along with the table
There are other options available if you do not like to use this idea. Pen holders, tape dispensers, and other accessories compensate for not using the drawer.
Hanging Storage Solutions
The next option is hanging storage solutions for standing desks. Hanging storage is precisely that: the storage area slips over the edge of a desk and hangs underneath.
Safco provides the best example this solution with several options.
- The solid top vertical hanging storage unit features three underdesk vertical file sections. The dimensions are 14.75 inches high × 12 inches deep × 9.5 inches wide. This mesh unit weighs 13 pounds and lists for $54.00.
- The solid top hanging storage unit provides four underdesk trays, but no tray on top of the desk. The dimensions are 12 inches high × 12.375 inches deep × 10.25 inches wide, and it weighs 12 pounds. The solid top unit lists at $54.00.
- The horizontal hanging storage unit features one desktop tray and four underdesk trays. The dimensions are 14.375 inches high × 12.375 inches deep × 10.25 inches wide. This unit weighs 14 pounds and lists for $60.00.
- The primary downside of using this option is the loss of workspace on top of your desk. The position of either the tray or top portion of the unit is awkward at best and intrusive at worst.
- No locking option
- If you are looking for an attractive option for desk storage, this may not be for you. Although the wire mesh is light, it is mesh. All critical paperwork remains accessible to anybody looking.
- To prevent damage to the desktop surface, manufacturers install rubber-coated screws or padding to the units.
- Despite these protective measures, the desktop is still susceptible to scratches and other damage.
- Because of their design, there is a limit to how much weight these units support.
- These hanging storage options move with the desk
- Files and folders are an easy reach away at all times
- These units transfer from one surface to another
If you are seeking a simple and inexpensive solution on a sit stand desk, hanging storage is the right place to start.
By slowly working into a routine while using
a standing desk you allow your body to adjust to
changes. Otherwise, pain and stiffness
stops you from the benefits
One of the most popular storage accessories for sit-to-stand desks is a floor pedestal. These pedestals include box drawers and at least one filing drawer.
- There is one glaring disadvantage to using the pedestal: it stays on the floor. If you are standing and need something, that drawer is not an easy or convenient reach.
- Depending on the pedestal type, it is bulky underneath a desk
- Pedestals provide the same amount of room found in conventional desks
- Optional wheels provide mobility
- Top of the pedestal contains additional workspace
- Optional padded top offers guest seating
Prices for floor pedestals start around $120, and quality varies by manufacturer and material.
Mountable Hanging Storage for Standing Desks
Drawers are synonymous with conventional desks. This next storage option is reminiscent of those eponymous drawers.
Perhaps the most significant advantage mountable hanging storage has over all others is the ability to movewhere and when the adjustable height desk moves. Once attached to your desk, your paperwork, purse, and other items remain an arm’s length away at all times.
There are not very many types of mountable hanging storage units to look consider. I did find four:
- Rebrilliant Hanging Mesh Unit
- MontisaWork Under-Desk Caddy
- Joey Pedestal from RightAngle Products
- Steelcase SOTO
Rebrilliant Hanging Mesh Unit
The Rebrilliant hanging mesh unit features:
- One horizontal letter tray
- Pull out drawer for extra storage and accessory tray
- The unit weighs only five pounds and is easy to mount to the underside of a desktop.
- Dimensions are 14.75-inches wide × 11.75 inches deep × 9.25-inches high
There is no weight capacity listed on the manufacturer’s website, but seeing the installation, I do not recommend adding a lot of weight to the mesh unit.
The Rebrilliant hanging mesh unit lists for $34.
MontisaWork Under-Desk Caddy
The MontisaWork Under-Desk Caddy lists for $257. The Caddy features: Find mounting clearances
- A small, upper drawer for accessories and personal items
- A large, lower drawer for bags and more substantial things
- Dimensions are 9.5 inches wide × 20 inches deep × 20 inches high
- Made of aluminum
The Under-Desk Caddy weighs in around 20 pounds, but the website does not list the weight capacity. Because of the added weight, the Caddy seems to hold heavier items compared to the Rebrilliant option.
Although the Rebrilliant and MontisaWork products are entirely different, they have the same advantages and disadvantages:
- Since these units are small and compact, they do not hold very much
- No locking option
- Small and compact
- They leave the top of the desk alone
The Joey Pedestal is a storage solution for sit stand desks that mount to all the electric RightAngle Standing Desks:
In fact, the Joey works with almost any desk, providing there is ample mounting space. The Joey includes:
- A large file drawer for either hanging folders or storing personal items
- A locking pencil and file drawer
- Solid steel walls provide privacy
- Dimensions are 12.25 inches wide × 14.875 inches deep × 16.625 inches high
- The Joey weighs 23 pounds, yet has a 30-pound capacity
The list price for the Joey Pedestal is $397, expect to pay around $200.
- More substantial than other options;
- The Joey may not work with smaller desks, especially if those desks have an underside crossbar close to the front edge
- Has a filing drawer
- Pencil tray
- Holds up to 30 pounds
The Steelcase SOTO Personal Console lists for a whopping $800. Dimensions of the SOTO vary and depend on the type of accessories chosen. The SOTO features:
- Wireless charging pad
- 2 USB plugins
- Locking Tambour door that pulls up from the bottom
- Similar to the Safco products, you lose workspace on top of your desk. The position of either the tray or top portion of the unit is awkward at best and intrusive at worst.
- The SOTO appears to have only personal storage space
- The SOTO is expensive – list price is double the Joey
- Charging capability
- USB charging ports
The ability to adapt to any environment is one apparent human strength. Greater strength is to adjust an environment to fit our needs. Standing desks test that ability. That may have sounded a little melodramatic, but productivity is how people make their livelihood. Any hurdle that reduces your effectiveness adds a cumulative amount of stress throughout the week with which a person has to cope.
I decided to try the Joey Pedestal because of its versatility. I soon recognized how well the Joey provides plenty of room for filing material combined with personal storage. It does not matter whether I am sitting or standing, those drawers are an easy reach away. Being able to lock the Joey up at night also bolsters my confidence that essential documents remain hidden from prying eyes.