Turn The Back Of Your Monitor Into A Workspace Utility Belt

The back of your desktop monitor is usually nothing more than wasted space. If you have an all-in-one system like an iMac, that space is even more cluttered because it has cables coming out of it in every direction. Let's look at the ways you can turn that unused space into a useful little utility belt for storage and organisation.

Title image remixed from barbaliss (Shutterstock) and Poprugin Aleksey (Shutterstock).

Create Hidden Storage For Small Junk

The majority of monitors have nothing on the back of them, aside from a few ports for cables and a power cord. This means it's a great place to store all the small stuff you have.

Store External Hard Drives

Have an external hard drive cluttering up your desk? This tiny shelf is a simple woodcut that fits snuggly on the back of an iMac. With the shelf installed, you can store anything tiny you desire. It even acts as a cable organiser. It's built for the iMac, but could certainly be repurposed to work with any monitor with a similar base.

The Ambitious "Store Everything" Approach

If you want to go all-out, this build incorporates storage for pretty much everything you'll ever need to get things done, mounted directly to the back of the monitor. You get a light, index cards, speakers, an ethernet switch and even a pen. The bulk of the work is done with the magic of double-sided tape. Even if you're hesitant to take the all-or-nothing approach outlined here, you can certainly learn a few tricks to store other things behind your monitor.

Hide And Organise Cables

Cable clutter is the biggest hassle of getting your desk organised. Arranging them with your monitor in mind can help clear that clutter easily.

The Super-Cheap Paper Pocket Method

If you have a lot of cables sitting around, then this clever pocket system made entirely from paper is a good way to store them out of sight. All you need is card stock paper, double-sided tape and something to cut it all with. This method comes in especially handy with USB cables you need to access frequently, but could be used for lots of other purposes as well.

Add Extension Cables For Easy Access To Tricky Ports

The biggest pain of all-in-one desktops is getting to the cables at the back. One solution is to use Sugru to attach extensions to the side for easy access. If your monitor is made of aluminium, you can also use magnets for a similar effect. The end result is easy access to USB ports without having to flip around your monitor every time.

Mount Everything Else And Keep Your Desk Clear

Of course, not everything on your desk can fit into small little cubby holes or cable organisers. Bigger things need bigger solutions.

Mount Your Laptop To The Back Of Your Monitor

If your primary use for your laptop is via an external monitor then you know the pain of trying to figure out a good place to put it. Instructables user Mattlumpkin decided to go ahead and mount his MacBook on the back of the monitor itself. The idea is actually really simple. Using a small piece of he Mattlumpkin created a shelf on the back of the LCD, and then set up a simple system to quickly attach all the cables. It's certainly not pretty from the back, but who ever looks at the back of your computer?

Add A Headphone Shelf

Headphones ensure we don't annoy others, but those bulky cans aren't easy to store. One solution for iMac owners is Machook, which hangs your headphones on the side of your monitor with a stylish little hook. For non-iMac owners (or people who just don't want to spend the money),a 3M Command Hook will do just as well. The bonus with the 3M hooks is that you usually get two or three in the pack so you can mount all sorts of other items to your monitor.


Comments

    I love my BackPack on the back of my iMac. Got a couple of tiny drives up there and loose cables.

    For monitors with vesa mounting, attach a shelf.

    I wouldn't attach magnets to the back of my iMac, as it seems perilously close to where the hard drives are situated.

      I think that's a myth though (source - http://withmean.in/LpUnBK)

    If your monitor is backed up against a wall - usually the case for 99% of the time - a hanging shower caddy is a simple all in one solution. I put one sturdy hook into the wall to hang it and it holds my Apple Mac Mini, four external USB drives, Apple TV and a host or small devices. As it is behind my monitor and up off the desk, it keeps a potential spaghetti junction of a desk hidden away. The caddies can be found for a couple of dollars in places like Spotlight, Crazy Clarks etc.

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