Getting rid of my student desks had a lot to do with relinquishing control of things in my classroom. I am very type A/ OCD/ control freak and this was quite difficult, but really good for me.
Since seeing my classroom set up, my three teammates that I teach 3rd grade with have decided to give up a bit of their control as well. They aren’t ready to get rid of desks just yet, but they have all moved everything out of the kids’ desks and into their cubbies. There are a lot of benefits to this for us in particular because we have the kids switch classes for math and language arts: better student organization, less claims of stealing when we switch seats, and not needing to climb over someone that is sitting at your desk if you forgot something. Some of my teammates have gone a step farther and not given their students assigned desks. Letting the kids pick their desk (much like picking their spot in my room) is teaching them how to make good choices. It also saves hours of time spent making seating charts every time we rearrange the classroom.
The students are capable of much more than I give them credit for sometimes, and I don’t have to control everything. I am much more sane when I don’t try to.