Homes for the little things?
December 5, 2005 7:10 AM   Subscribe

How do your organize all your little stuff (ipods, wires, knick knacks, doojobbies, etc.)?

I'm beginning to realize that traditional furniture and a contemporary lifestyle don't always mix well. It seems like my life is saturated with all kinds of little "things" that I can't find a home for.

Anyone have any suggestions on nice, high-quality furniture or accessories that make it easier to organize a bunch of little things?

(My wife and I tend to be more Pier One than Ikea, so I'd prefer to avoid the overly modern-looking stuff.)

If I don't find something soon, I'm just going to snap and go buy a dewey card cabinet for all the little drawers.
posted by oissubke to Home & Garden (12 answers total)
wires/cables go over a clothes hanger rail in a spare closet. keeps them untangled and easy to find what you need.
posted by andrew cooke at 7:26 AM on December 5, 2005

I was in Pier One last week, and they had a dresser-like piece with a bunch of little drawers that might work well for you.

In, two, three, four, five little doohickie organizers.

We also use a small, attractive wire basket atop our coffee table to store remotes.
posted by frykitty at 7:34 AM on December 5, 2005

I... I actually have a card catalog unit in my house for organizing supplies. Thirty drawers, solid oak, and a total steal at $40 from a public school warehouse auction. It's great for my library-themed music studio. However, there are apothecary-style chests that serve a similar purpose and work better with traditional decor.

My living room is more traditional. What I've done is to make sure almost every piece of furniture has some sort of storage element. My coffee table has a small drawer. The end tables are wedge-shaped trunks. An incidental table has a bookshelf under the tabletop.

Instead of a TV stand, I have an entertainment armoire -- that alone affords me a good deal of storage space that is easily hidden. You can get a similar effect with bookshelves that have door panels on the lower shelves.

I use small baskets quite a lot. My bookshelves, for example, have two small baskets on every other shelf -- these mainly hold paperbacks, but a few hold loose objects. My coffee table also has a series of baskets for things like the remote, whatever PS2 games I'm currently playing, etc.

Unused cords, adapters, etc. go into separately labeled ziplock baggies and then a file cabinet in my office -- another way to keep them from getting tangled.
posted by Sangre Azul at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2005

I'm just going to snap and go buy a dewey card cabinet for all the little drawers.

I don't want to be a wiseass, but that's exactly what I use and it works great.
posted by jessamyn at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2005

Compartmentalized drawer inserts; or clear plastic baskets on closet shelves, with visable labels. And like things go with like: all batteries, all adapters, all light bulbs, etc. So I know if I'm looking for the charger for the video camera that I go look in the hallway closet and look for the basket marked "chargers/adapters", and the charger is labeled "video".

Took me a month to get all the crap organized but I love how much easier that made daily life.

Usually the first place you think to look for something is the best place to store it.
posted by LadyBonita at 8:06 AM on December 5, 2005

I got a bunch of Mouton Cadet wine boxes from a guy who worked at a French restaraunt. They look sort of like this. One holds office supplies, one holds knick knacks I'm not currently displaying, and one holds cables and mini DV tapes.

I keep them in the closet now, but at one time, I had them stacked up in an artsy sort of pile in my living room.
posted by ArsncHeart at 8:10 AM on December 5, 2005

I had a chance to get a card catalog for free from a dumpster and didn't. Still kicking myself.
posted by craniac at 8:52 AM on December 5, 2005

I've got one of those CD cases that looks just like an old card catalogue cabinet. The dimensions of the drawers are a little wider and taller but not quite so deep as an actual card catalogue. It works great for my gadgets.

A bonus for me is that it's relatively small size (just three drawers) allows me to put it on my desk instead of giving it its own space in room. Of course, if you need a lot of storage you can get a bigger cabinet. I got mine at Target a few years ago. It is similar to these.

So basically, this is yet another vote for the card catalogue form factor.
posted by oddman at 9:11 AM on December 5, 2005

Velcro cable ties are quite useful for bundling up computer cruft. I keep spares (USB, Ethernet, monitor, etc.) in my laptop bag, neatly bundled with the ties. If you keep one end of the tie attached to the cable it makes it faster to unwrap or re-wrap the thing after use.

At home, drawers are your friend. Consider the cheap wire mesh baskets available at Bed Bath & Beyond - usually used for organizing silverware, but the little compartments would be great for organizing other stuff as well. They have some small randomly sized ones too; they would stack well in a deeper drawer.
posted by caution live frogs at 9:28 AM on December 5, 2005

I have an old, small, chinese chest that looks sort of like a coffee table, but it's in the bedroom. In those drawers go audio stuff (cd players, ipod accessories, headphone sets) and optical stuff (cameras, binocs, card reader, battery charger.)

At the Container Store I bought white wire baskets that slide under any shelf, and come in several widths. I have them in the kitchen (paper plates, oven mitts, coffee filters) my bedroom closet (misc. items) and laundry room (pillow cases, candles, etc.)

For all my cables, wiring, etc, I bought stackable plastic drawers, and have everything divided up according to use: stereo; tv; computer; electrical. Resides in laundry room. All cables are tied up with twisties, and labeled.
posted by shifafa at 9:44 AM on December 5, 2005

I got my wife to sew me up a roll up holder for that sort of stuff. She used a piece of naugahyde (I wonder how many naugas they had to skin?) for stiffness. She then attach a strip of 3" elastic, sew across it to form loops of various sizes. I just wind up the cord and stuff it in, no need for tie that would get lost. The bigger loops can hold chargers and card readers and stuff. Its nice for travel, because I know I will have whatever adaptor I need (like a 4 to 6, a 6 to 6 and a 4 to 4 firewire cable).
posted by 445supermag at 11:17 AM on December 5, 2005

I am cheap, so I sort stuff into big (gallon) ziplock bags then put the bags in a box in the appropriate area (hardware stuff in our tiny tool closet; computer stuff in the office, etc.)
posted by selfmedicating at 7:34 AM on December 22, 2005

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