This page isn't so much a how to do it type thing but an invitation to stretch your thinking and make better use of space.
Your set up most likely won't look anything like mine... but maybe your need to declutter and organize is similar but you haven't come up with any ideas... or the budget doesn't permit?
This is gonna be on the order of a picture story with 'before' and 'after' shots to spark your brain.
Time passes on, replace one of the monitors so that now I have a matched pair, first time ever, for that. My communications center is in this shot.. and my dabble at dressing up my keyboard with an overlay. Books got moved to a bookshelf, so was the printer.
So, the point is that things change over time and you get more 'stuff' and it starts getting tougher to put stuff in order. My project yesterday was to work on that. I'm still without battery for the camera, so I'm using the web cam.. sorry for the small, and not so sharp, shots... but I think it will give you an idea ....
The infamous before shot. This turned into a catchall. Stuff stuck on top, and next to, the desktop case. Papers and my cereal-box fan stuck between the tower and the monitor, stuff stuck under the monitor.. Most of it stuff that I use a lot so it needs to be handy... but I was tired of the clutter. The gadgets that I made to day gave me places to put all this stuff away, while still keeping in handy. This spot now looks like this:
Now a spot that has bugged me for a LONG time. I didn't get a before shot of it... I just clean forgot about it. But if you look at the dark shot of the whole desk above, just north of the keyboard, you can just make out where the scanner tucks under the center monitor. That scanner got replaced and wasn't used anymore, it became a good spot to tuck my two 'not used as much' keyboards so that they were handing but not actually taking up desk space. Then, since they weren't used so much I started sticking stuff on top of them... so it was always junky... I wanted to make better use of that space.
I'd made a stack of little drawers for part for that space a couple of years ago and decided to expand on that. I aimed for making two shelves that were dedicated for the two keyboards. Just enough room to slide them in and out. No space to slide junk in above them. Now I had a almost three inches of space left above that, and, knowing me, knew that I had to put something there, or it would end up another catchall spot.
My first three little drawers were made using 2 lb cheese boxes (like Velveeta boxes). I had been saving them (I save junk for use 'someday') and lined them up on that new shelf and found that it fit four with a bit of space to spare. That meant I could put in four drawers with cardboard supports in between. Turns out the it fit perfectly.
I have the four new drawers made, and put new fronts on the three old ones to match. The two shelves are in place and I slide the two keyboards into their new homes, the pic to the left. MUCH nicer. but.... the cords looked crappy.... so I unplugged stuff and rerouted cords and turned the keyboards so that they faced the same way and came up with a crisper look. The bottom keyboard is for my XP machine. I don't use it much so I prefer the keyboard out of the way. When I do need it I can just slide it out and give it a 90 degree spin and it's ready to use. The keyboard above it hooks up to my KVM switch and gets used much less often. Now when I need it I can just slide it out and set it on the desk when I need it, you can just make out the patch cables that go to the switch box by the wrist rest of that keyboard. The shelves for the keyboards were made from a cardboard box and cut to fit the space. It's all open back and uses the riser for the monitor (that was made from scrap wood) as it's support. The little drawers are cheese boxes and the pretty blue fronts are from two different pattered empty Kleenex boxes. Total cost for this little project, so far, nothing. All the material was boxes that would have been thrown away. Already had a small bottle of glue... that's it. Shoot... wish I'd done a before shot... It would have been more impressive... sigh.
Now for the other end of the desk. It had become a catchall too. The space between the top of the computer and the monitor above it... I took 'befores' of it from two angles to show just how horrid it was.
So, for this end I grabbed a flat muffin box that I'd had stashed and did a bit of trimming so that it would fit in that space for height and for width. Put a bare piece of cardboard on the front side to cover the printing on the box and slid it in place... it looked a bit bare... so I painted just that side black. Looks pretty good, I think, I can pull it out like a drawer, it's big enough to hold all the stuff that was on top of both desktops and some other little odds and ends that were tucked under the monitors.. It's easy to get to, easy to find stuff in and looks a LOT nicer.... Now I just have to move the blue network cable and reroute a permanent one around to the other desk!
I put in some little shelves between the two monitor risers, in the space left next to my KVM switch box. The stuff I use a LOT and just made a mess on the desk. Pill box, glasses (two magnifications, one for reading and one for working on itty bitty parts in them machines) my remotes, stuff like that. I'd done that a few weeks ago. We had a storm go through and I had to unplug the machines and got soooo bored. I fixed that spot... That ended up making the other three spots look even worse, hence yesterday's project!
And the final result is.... out of focus! hehehehe:
But even more important.. all my stuff is till right in arm's reach, I just don't have to look at it all the time...
Total cost for the entire 'makeover'?
1 - Cardboard box saved from trash.
3 - Kleenex boxes saved from trash.
2 - box flaps from box that is still set aside and not in trash.
1 - Muffin box saved from trash.
Some school glue and the use of a pair of scissors, a ruler and a box cutter. And last, but not least, it sparked a STRONG desire for a replacement camera battery! hehehehehehe
Did it spark any thoughts in your head on making better use of space? If it did, I'd love to hear!
April 17, 2006