Figuring out the smartest places to store your stuff is time well spent—mostly because it results in time you don't spend cleaning. Here are 10 smart storage solutions for your excess cords, shoes, spices, and all kinds of computer stuff.
10. Make Your Shoes Float
Formal shoes, work boots, summer wear, running shoes, the spare brown pair—even those with minimal fashion sense can end up with lots of these suckers. You could pick up one of many hanging/sliding shoe storage solutions, but we dig both the look and convenience of this DIY "floating" shoe rack. For a slight upgrade, This version goes one better, hiding the hanging hardware entirely out of sight. (Original posts: one, two).
If your filing cabinet serves more function as unintended shelf space than an actual filing destination, it probably needs some work. Gina showed us her extreme filing cabinet makeover, touching on the physical changes she made to make paper shuffling more convenient. Jason gave us a tour-de-force of his filing system workflow, which gave order and purpose to his old documents and made him actually want to file things away. Photo by Matthew Cornell.
USB headsets, USB cables, and other sometimes necessary gear will creep its way into your workspace if there's nowhere to put it all. MAKE points us to a DIY iMac monitor shelf, utilizing the space between a flatscreen monitor and a wall to tuck away items so they're within reach but out of sight. There's also a commercial version, if you don't like building your own mini-shelves. This Slashdot thread contains the thoughts of some very hardcore peripheral geeks on tidying up their wares (think velcro ties, not plastic zips), and our featured workspaces have provided some inspiration before, like these hollowed out shelves, or this IKEA cabinet-turned-workspace. (Original posts: monitor shelf, IKEA cabinet).
We've covered far too many cord management tricks, techniques, and one-offs to cover inside one list item, but here's an attempt. Adam and Gina have both detailed their own comprehensive cord clean-ups, and we've posted a notably cordless dorm workspace. Gina previously rounded up 10 cable control tips, and our full cord management tag page is getting regularly updated. Don't let your cords litter your space and distract your mind—bend them to your will.
1. Hide Your Cables in Plain Sight
If you can't find a space or a compartment to tuck your cords into, do the next best thing—consider creatively arranging them in plain sight. If design and sketching isn't your forte, you don't have to get quite so fancy—something like a green cable "flower stem", or an equivalent cable-as-hanging-platform idea, can fly just as well. If it's a short distance and a flat space, and you're willing to spend a little bit on style, we've dug the idea of FlatWire, too.