not again
August 17, 2021 10:59 AM   Subscribe

I have a paper shredder that came with its own bin and I knock that thing over just when I breathe its direction, it is so top heavy. Lid isn't latched or locked on, so every time, I get to vacuum up a bunch of nonconsensual confetti. Help me think of ways to keep this damn lid on, except for when I need it off, of course.

The bin is about a foot high and the shredding lid maybe 10 lbs. Sturdy rubber bands were my first thought, but I don't need more than two, and they come by the pound. I can't improvise duct tape hinges because the lid needs to come completely off so I can empty it without spilling confetti/paper dust.

Other rough ideas: keep something heavy in the bottom of the bin (ideally heavier than 10 lbs - even if I get an exercise weight, that would be a significant amount of bin space taken up); keep the bin in a bigger bin that is more resistant to tipping or at least can contain the mess (clunky). I've thought about hairbands but I think I need something sturdier.

This is really frustrating me, to the degree that if I can't figure out a workaround, I might march out and buy a better shredder - even though this one is perfectly serviceable, just tippy.

Any ideas?
posted by snerson to Home & Garden (23 answers total)
Adhesive baby drawer locks.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:04 AM on August 17, 2021

Alternately you could earthquake strap the shredder part to a stud or table leg so it won't tip and you can take the bin away, but it may be a bad idea to have the heavy sharp part just dangling from the earthquake strap while you dump the bin, especially if you have kids or pets around.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:07 AM on August 17, 2021

posted by mhoye at 11:19 AM on August 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

Find something heavy to glue to the bottom of the bin. I am thinking an old book that you duct tape closed first, or maybe some scrap wood you have around.
posted by soelo at 11:20 AM on August 17, 2021 [4 favorites]

My first thought is to put a brick or plate of steel in the bottom of the bin, but if capacity is an issue, you could glue them to the bottom on the outside.

you could also screw some lumber to the outside like skis to make feet or even just screw the wood together to make a frame the bin sits in, but that might make a trip hazard.
like this:
| bin |
|     |

posted by ArgentCorvid at 11:22 AM on August 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

Do you have to leave the shredder on the bin? Why not just take it off and set it to the side, putting it back on only when you need to shred?

Alternatively, rubber bands are easy to come by. Ask your letter carrier; they’ll have hundreds. Some sandwich shops use them to keep wrappings on the sandwiches. You should be able to find a handful quickly and for free, if that’s the direction you want to go.
posted by kevinbelt at 11:23 AM on August 17, 2021

Gaffer's tape. Sticks just enough, comes off easily. Keep a roll around for when it loses its sticky. (And because gaffer's tape is SO USEFUL FOR EVERYTHING.)
posted by nosila at 11:27 AM on August 17, 2021

Wow - this sounds really annoying. Honestly, I don't think there's any fix that's super easy that will fix every problem you listed. Is there a place you could locate the bin (like in a closet) where it would be less likely to be bumped? Ideally it would be between like, two filing cabinets so it literally can't be knocked over.
posted by bbqturtle at 11:29 AM on August 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Is the shredder standing on a shaggy carpet rather than a flat floor? Either way, instead of gluing something heavy to its bottom, you could try attaching the bottom to something thin and flat with a larger surface area - like large plastic cutting board, for example. That'll make it harder to topple, but not so heavy that you can't easily pick it up for emptying (if that's what you do now).

Otherwise yeah, I'd tie/strap/velcro it on to something else in the room. Or lodge it between two heavier things.

Come to think of it, putting it in a (cardboard/rubbermaid) box with high sides might also do the trick - it might tilt, but not fall over.
posted by trig at 11:53 AM on August 17, 2021

You can minimize the space taken up with a weight by using a really dense weight. Lead is almost 50% heavier than iron (as in an exercise weight). You can get lead disks pretty cheap and choose the size that would fit best. Or you could get some sheet lead and fold/cut it to fit the bottom of the bin perfectly.
posted by mr_roboto at 12:10 PM on August 17, 2021

I would pick up a cheap wooden chopping board, larger than the base of the shredder, and drive a couple of short screws into it from the inside of the shredder bucket. My shredder falls over from time to time, and I've been meaning to do that.
posted by pipeski at 12:18 PM on August 17, 2021

Keep it where you won't bonk into it.
posted by Lawn Beaver at 12:21 PM on August 17, 2021

A luggage strap that wraps around suitcases can be had for a couple bucks at dollar stores and might be less exciting to use than 3' of elastic band.
posted by Mitheral at 2:45 PM on August 17, 2021

Find a slightly larger, heavier, and perhaps more decorative bin to set the shredder and its bin into?
posted by dws at 2:54 PM on August 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Where do you dispose of your shredding to when it leaves the bin? Do that every time you shred, so that the bin lives empty and then there’s no confetti inside to spill. And, if yours has similar geometry to mine, you can then lift the lid/shredder off and put it on its end inside the bin.
posted by penguin pie at 3:34 PM on August 17, 2021

When I need huge rubber bands, I cut up old inner tubes. Tyre repair places will always have punctured or otherwise shredded inner tubes waiting to be recycled, and it costs them money to recycle that stuff, so they'll happily give them away.
posted by flabdablet at 4:47 PM on August 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

If you don’t want to have to buy rubber bands, get a package of narrow elastic and tie it into a loop of the size you need. Presto!
posted by corey flood at 4:48 PM on August 17, 2021

Screwing one of these over-centre latches to each end of the shredder and bin should keep them securely attached to each other but still easy to release. And then you could perhaps screw some kind of handle to the side of the shredder that hooks onto some nearby desk or table leg.
posted by flabdablet at 4:58 PM on August 17, 2021

Put a brick inside the bin.
posted by unreasonable at 5:16 PM on August 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

If you are handy enough, you could discard the flimsy bin entirely and build or modify a sturdier container that the shredder sits on (perhaps attach it to a piece of wood that sits on top of the sturdy box so you can easily move it for emptying).
posted by emjaybee at 5:30 PM on August 17, 2021

+1 put it in something prettier, which if it were me would be something like this structured cat-patterned bag from Ikea. If you manage to knock it over anyway, the chaos will be contained, as you say; and it also gives you somewhere to set down the shredder part when you empty the bin without the paper dust that always clings to it ending up on the floor.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 2:19 AM on August 18, 2021

This is exactly why the Gods invented duct tape.
posted by spitbull at 3:09 AM on August 18, 2021

Velcro / Hook-n-loop
posted by kschang at 4:01 AM on August 18, 2021

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