If you’re anything like me, you find great satisfaction from investing in new ways to get organised, and Black Friday deals are a great opportunity to save some money on your clean-up kick.
I’ll preface this with a necessary disclosure: I am messy. There, I said it. I’m a grown-up lady with a real adult job, but my desk generally looks like a whirlwind has torn through it. Twice.
That’s something I think a lot of us can relate to - after all, my desk is now my workstation and my play station, housing my gaming PC, two monitors and a laptop stand for when I’m working from home. By the time I add on other peripherals like my webcam, microphone, headphones, speakers, keyboard and mouse, and sometimes a drawing tablet, it’s a sea of wires.
Add to all of this the fact I have to actually use this space and constantly shift between tasks, and by the end of each day, it’s carnage. Paper and pens, empty mugs of tea, cables and the occasional wrapper from my mid-afternoon snack plague my waking hours.
So, for Black Friday this year I’m ditching lofty ambitions of snagging great Black Friday deals on high-ticket items like TVs, laptops and phones and heading straight for some new desk furnishings. Here are my top picks to tidy up.
How I’m currently working involves switching out my gaming keyboard with a generic one, as the former is wired up under my desk to my PC and it would be too much hassle to switch this out every day to plug into my laptop’s USB hub.
To make things easier, I’m buying the Iczi USB hub, now £11.19 at Amazon, and plan to put its 4ft cable to good use by plugging it into my PC, making for a much easier changeover when I’m in work mode and lets me bin off one of my keyboards entirely.
Iczi four-port USB hub: was
£13.99 now £11.19 at Amazon
The Iczi four-port USB hub comes with a 4ft-long cable, making it just the right length to trail down the back of your desk to your PC, but it also works with other USB-enabled devices. It’s cheap and cheerful, so keep your expectations in check when it comes to the kind of workloads and data it can handle.
I went for the budget option here, so it’s worth noting that Amazon reviews suggest either using four low-load devices or only using a couple of higher-intensity ones.
The slightly higher-priced version I was nearly swayed by was the Rshtech seven port powered USB hub, which is also on sale for 28% off at Amazon for Black Friday, but I wanted one that didn’t involve adding another AC adapter to my plug collection.
Rshtech seven-port USB 3.0 Data Hub: was
£31.99 now £21.18 at Amazon
This Rshtech seven-port powered USB hub offers much better speeds, but needs to be plugged in with an AC adapter to support the load of all of those peripherals. Better for busy desks? Absolutely. Better for my already overloaded extension lead? Nope.
Speaking of my plug collection, the floor beneath my desk currently resembles the vine-y undergrowth of the Upside Down in Stranger Things, so I’ve bought this Yosh 4-pack of zip-up cable tidies which is 38% off at Amazon.
These are great for pet owners (and I’m a prospective one) and parents (though I’m not one of those yet, either), but most importantly they’re great for stashing away wires and can be re-used. Plus, they’re dust- and water-resistant, so should will make my cleaning routine that much easier.
Out of sight, out of mind
The next most important aspect of Marie Kondo-ing my desk was reducing the clutter and using the space better. Short of buying extra shelves, I don’t have a lot of options in my office space to add more furniture for storage, so my best choice is in creating new surfaces.
Nope, that doesn’t mean taking up carpentry - instead, I’m creating space over and under my desk.
First up, I got the 16mm Suptek monitor stand riser, discounted by 21% at Amazon for Black Friday, which is creating not one, but two extra surfaces for me to place things. Now, my notepad, stationary and even my mouse can stash away when I need the deskspace for something else.
Suptek monitor stand riser: was
£25.99, now £20.60 at Amazon
I’ve had my eye on the Suptek monitor stand riser for a while, so I was pleased to see it discounted by 21% for Black Friday. It might be a little tall for some, but there are shorter versions without the extra shelf. Always make sure you have a sturdy desk if you’re using a monitor stand.
As for how I’m creating space under my desk, I’ve picked up the Bontec under-desk keyboard tray, on sale for £36.54 (was £55.99) at Amazon, which I’m hoping will give me more freedom to do my digital art, notetaking and writing at my desk without having to play a game of chess with my peripherals. The tray clamps on to your desk, and out glides your keyboard when needed. Thrilling stuff.
Bontec under-desk keyboard tray: was
£55.99 now £36.54 at Amazon
The Bontec under-desk keyboard tray hasn’t got that many reviews on Amazon yet, so I can’t confidently say it’s the best product out there, but for me it fits the bill: it’s the perfect size, will fit my desk and I love its understated design.
I had great fun looking for different ways to give my workspace a new lease of life, and Black Friday definitely felt like the best time to do it. Hopefully this time next year, I’ll be able to pick up something a little more exciting, but for now I’m quite chuffed with my new setup.
More Black Friday deals
- Amazon: 50% off TVs, AirPods, clothing & toys
- Apple AirPods Pro 2: down to $199 at Amazon
- Best Buy: up to $700 off TVs, laptops & iPads
- Cheap TVs: $79.99 smart TVs from Best Buy
- Christmas trees: prices starting at $38.99
- Dell: laptops from $299.99
- Gifts ideas: 40% off holiday gifts from Amazon
- Home Depot: 50% off tools & appliances
- Lowe's: $750 off appliances, decor & tools
- Macy's: coats, sweaters & boots from $10
- Overstock: 70% off decor and furniture
- Nectar: up to $500 off mattresses + free gifts
- Nordstrom: 50% off UGG, Nike & North Face
- Samsung: $2,500 off TVs & appliances
- Sephora: 50% off makeup, perfume & gifts
- Target: 45% off toys, TVs, Keurig & more
- Toys: 50% off best-selling toys at Walmart
- Ulta: up to 50% off makeup, hair & perfume
- Verizon: get the iPhone 14 Pro for free
- Walmart: 60% off toys, TVs, vacuums & laptops
- Wayfair: up to 80% off sitewide, + free shipping
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Josephine Watson (@JosieWatson) is TechRadar's Managing Editor - Lifestyle. Josephine has previously written on a variety of topics, from pop culture to gaming and even the energy industry, joining TechRadar to support general site management. She is a smart home nerd, as well as an advocate for internet safety and education, and has also made a point of using her position to fight for progression in the treatment of diversity and inclusion, mental health, and neurodiversity in corporate settings. Generally, you'll find her watching Disney movies, playing on her Switch, or showing people pictures of her cats, Mr. Smith and Heady.