In some ways, MDF is lousy stuff: You can ruin it with a single spilled cup of coffee, it doesn't take fasteners well, it has virtually no structural properties and machining it kicks up a horrific amount of dust. However, those of you with shops likely have some MDF lying
I'm not generally a fan of wall-mounted desks because it's often nicer to position as desk so the end user is not looking at the wall. But in some small spaces a wall-mounted desk is the best alternative. We've mentioned the Ledge from Urbancase before, but there are many more
Offices and bedrooms in many homes and workplaces don't usually have enough convenient outlets. And if users are using expensive electronics in areas with power that's not always reliable, they may also feel the need for a surge protector rather than a simple power cord. I tend to think of
As a professional organizer who's always interested in new products that might help my clients, I enjoy scrolling through Kickstarter to see what's on offer. Right now, I'm seeing many interesting items. Even though many of us have a smartphone on us at all times, a wristwatch can still be
Everyone who keeps some wine on hand, whether it's just a few bottles or a full cellar, needs some way to stash those bottles. And I keep finding more interesting designs for meeting that need. There's a lot to like about the modular Nook wine racks, which are sold in
Where do you hang laundry to dry if you don't want to use a clothes dryer? Last week I wrote about drying racks that sit on the floor or in the bathtub, but those aren't the only choices. A ceiling-mounted laundry rack has two advantages: it requires no floor space
While clothes dryers can be wonderful tools, not all end users will want to put all their laundry into a dryer. Maybe there isn't a dryer handy. Maybe they want to save energy. Maybe there are items which are delicate, which could easily shrink or which need to lie flat
Everyone needs some sort of laundry hamper or laundry bag if the dirty clothes (and other items needing laundering) aren't going to just wind up on the floor or tossed over a chair. And a well-designed product can make laundry management easier. There are lots of laundry sorters with separate
Even the most digitally-focused clients I've worked with want something other than just a laptop close at hand when working at their desks, and they struggle a bit when using a desk with no storage space. So I'm always interested in seeing the many ways designers have incorporated storage into
Umbra has always had numerous relatively inexpensive organizing-related products, and the company's newest releases include some items that definitely caught my eye. The Peggy drawer organizers expand from 17 inches to 21.5 inches, so they can fit a wide range of cabinets and closets. The two boards come with 16
Running out of toilet paper in a bathroom is something none of us wants to have happen. But where do those spare rolls get stored? Designers have provided end users with lots of options to fit their various needs. Some people like to keep as much as possible behind closed
No one alarm clock will work for everyone. While many of us use the alarm clocks on our smartphones, physical alarm clocks (vs. just apps) work better for some people. And there are some interesting designs that go way beyond the basic alarm clock. As I've noted before, some
Everyone has his or her preferred way to wash the dishes; people use sponges, dish clothes, brushes and more. When creating kitchen sink organizers, some designers create products intended to hold a specific cleaning tool, while others go for multi-purpose organizers. Sink sizes are styles are another consideration when designing
Even though some of our devices are now wireless, most of us who spend considerable time in the digital world still have a mess of cables to deal with—which explains why cable organizing products are so numerous. The MACO (Magnetic Cable Organizer) from Three1Design is a magnetic cable tie that
Since I don't have the time or money to go visit all the many interesting design and furniture shows around the world, I content myself with gazing at the products shown on the exhibitions' websites. While shows like Maison & Objet rightfully get a lot of attention, others have intriguing
Older homes often lack closet space (as do some other small apartments, condos and houses), which can leave the occupants searching for ways to store their clothes. Freestanding wardrobes may be too bulky, but a clothes rack might work. Some offices and other workspaces might find a clothes rack handy,
Those of us who live in small homes have a number of organizing challenges—and one of those challenges involves small bedrooms where fitting in a nightstand or two may be impossible. People who are bedridden may also want organizing tools that keep things closer at hand than on a nightstand.
One of my challenges as a professional organizer is to find creative ways to store things in small houses and apartments. Even when people have uncluttered their spaces, there are often challenges—so I appreciate thoughtful designs that help make the most of the space that's available. Bulky items can be
An umbrella stand gives the end user a defined place to stash a collection of umbrellas (rather than having them just shoved into a closet somewhere) as well as a place to put an umbrella when coming in from the rain. As I've noted before, there are many ways designers
Many modern desks don't have drawers—and even if they do, some people might prefer to have frequently used items sitting out on the desktop. I've written about desk organizers before, but I keep seeing more that catch my eye. The One Piece from Yuue comes in three variations, each with
When kitchen space is limited, it helps to have kitchen items that take as little space as feasible. Items that stack or nest can minimize the necessary storage space. Pots and pans with detachable handles can nest well, but even those with handles can nest if the design is good.
When space is limited (and even when it's not), wall-mounted organizers are often useful tools. Wall space provides many organizing options: hooks and shelves, of course, but also an array of other designs. The Aitio collection from Iittala, designed by Cecilie Manz, provides storage for all sorts of things.
I've long been aware of Poppin's office furniture and supplies, since so many of the products are organizing-related: file cabinets, staplers, pen holders and much more. So when I learned Poppin had teamed up with the Rochester Institute of Technology for its Metaproject—an industrial design senior project—I was intrigued and
As I've mentioned before, hooks are one of an organizer's favorite tools because they make it so easy to put things away. So I'm always interested when a new design comes along, like the Lift from Ippinka, now available via Kickstarter. Ippinka wanted to design a versatile hook that could
Organizing-related products often show up on Kickstarter; bike storage solutions and key holders are just some of the common items. But recently I've seen some that are a bit out of the ordinary. Tidy Snap was designed to keep children's clothes stashed neatly in a drawer, rolled instead of folded.
While coffee tables can be designed to store all kinds of things, some coffee tables—along with side tables and stools—are designed specifically to hold magazines. Rform's Pi collection has both a bench and a stool/side table with space for magazines. This is easy-to-reach storage for those who have trouble
A coffee table with storage is one way to make the most use of limited space, and there are many different ways to design that storage. The rectangular tables from Huppe's MOVE collection—there are two of them in that photo—have inserts that provide storage. These would be good for larger
While I've never seen a valet stand at any of my clients' homes, I still think they can be really useful—and a real valet stand is nicer than an ironing board or a treadmill serving as a valet stand. The Modo wall valet from Artful is a clever design; clothes
One way to help keep a home or workplace less cluttered is to have appropriate wastebaskets, trash cans and/or recycling bins in every spot that can use one. The 45-liter butterfly trash can from Simplehuman gets raves from purchasers, despite the relatively high price, because there are so many good
Lots of people with wine bottles don't want or need a fancy wine cellar; they're just looking for some sort of rack to keep their wine bottles organized. (Hopefully, if the wine is good, they will keep that rack in a place with a fairly constant moderate temperature.) The Winebowl,
Timers are often used in the kitchen, but they're also helpful in numerous other ways. For example, I use one to remind me to get up from my desk so I don't sit for hours on end. Fans of the Pomodoro Technique structure their work time into 25-minute segments, taking
Lazy Susans have often been used in kitchen cupboards or other cabinets to keep things in the back from being hard to see or reach. But they can also be used quite well on workbenches, desktops and more. The galvanized lazy Susan organizer from Park Designs is a multi-purpose organizer
Dog and cat owners can accumulate a lot of pet-related stuff: toys, clothes, leashes, beds, treats, grooming tools, and bags (and/or cans) of food. And all of that needs to be stashed away somewhere, so there are many opportunities for well-designed storage solutions. Multipurpose bins can often work well, but
An organized refrigerator makes it easy to see what's inside and helps avoid wasted food—no more small hidden items at the back of a shelf. And organization can help make the most of a limited space. Stacking square or rectangular storage containers for leftovers help, and so do some
If you look at a site like The Container Store, you'll see a wide range of hanger designs—enough to meet most end users' needs. But designers have created hangers beyond the ordinary, filling niches that those ordinary hangers don't. The Pantone Universe Studio Hangers, designed by Holscher Design, come
My desktop right now has six cables: power cords for my laptop, monitor, printer and scanner, and cables to attach the scanner and the monitor to the computer. (My new printer, thank goodness, is wireless—eliminating one cable.) And then there are the cords for my smartphone and tablet, which need
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