9 Practical IKEA Hacks for Your Office & Workstation
April 11, 2016
Is your office setup starting to bore you? Want to clean up the clutter without shelling out a ton of cash? Or are you starting to suffer health problems due to too much computer work? All of these can be resolved with a single trip to IKEA and a bit of elbow grease.
The great thing about IKEA is that its catalog is dirt cheap, and that gives you the freedom to experiment and hack pieces together in ways that IKEA never intended, without having to worry about messing up. If something goes awry, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
IKEA hacks are nothing more than DIY modifications to regular IKEA pieces. Here are some of the more practical ideas we’ve found. Give them a try, but most of all, have fun!
1. Standing Desk
If you spend most of your days in front of a computer, whether for work or leisure, then you owe it to yourself to consider switching over from a sitting desk to a standing desk. Not only is prolonged sitting a serious health risk, but working while standing can also boost your overall productivity.
For $50, you can build your own standing desk using VIKA table top and legs, a LACK side table, and an EKBY shelf for the keyboard. Here’s our guide to how we built this standing desk.
Or you can go all out and build a more advanced version for $150 using our step-by-step guide that’s easy enough for anyone to follow. If you have DIY experience, feel free to alter the design to best suit your needs.
While it’s true that a standing desk can improve your health, it’s important that you actually use the desk in the right way. Avoid these common standing desk mistakes and you should be good to go.
2. Treadmill Desk
If the above-mentioned standing desk is too basic for you, or you want to be even more active in your day-to-day, then consider building a treadmill desk instead. With it, you can stand while you work and run while you watch TV shows and movies. Say hello to good health!
The downside is that treadmills are expensive — even the cheapest models will still cost you a few hundred dollars, and you really don’t want to cheap out on this so expect to spend a bit more. After including the desk itself and other parts, your wallet will NOT thank you.
This treadmill desk on Instructables is pretty simple to build, but if you want something a bit more robust, look into building this one that was featured on Lifehacker.
3. Monitor Stand
If you experience symptoms of eye strain and other issues related to computer fatigue, there’s a good chance that it all comes down to your posture and workstation setup. In fact, one of the more common problems is a monitor that sits at an incorrect height.
For just under $50, you can build your very own EKBY JARPEN monitor stand using a stripped wall shelf and attaching half a dozen six-inch legs to it. You might also want to look into these other cheap ergonomic enhancements that you can make to your office.
4. Cable Clutter Management
The potential for cable clutter is a huge mark in favor of choosing wireless over wired devices, but sometimes you have no choice. In those cases, your only hope is to practice good organizational habits and make sure your cables are kept as tidy as possible.
Want solutions that involve a tiny bit more DIY to them? Here are some cheap tips for cleaning up cable clutter.
5. Charging Station
I don’t know about you but a lot of the clutter on my desk is due to devices that need to be charged but have nowhere to sit while being charged. As such, they end up scattered across the desk — a problem that could be easily solved with a simple charging station.
This LAMPLIG charging cabinet is wonderful if your office has a lot of smartphones that need charging day-to-day. For a private office room, you might fare better with this VETTRE charging station, or if you’re on a budget and don’t really care about looks, then this cheap charging station can be adapted from all kinds of simple materials.
6. Easy Mail Rack
Another big source of clutter is when papers and envelopes pile up on your desk over time. Before you know it, half of your workspace is stolen away and the idea of cleaning up and organizing everything is just too overwhelming to consider. Not to mention the fact that cluttered space actually kills productivity.
The key is to nip the bud before it gets that far, which is obviously easier said than done — unless you hack together a cheap but practical solution like this KNUFF mail rack made from magazine files. With a bit of stain and know-how, you can make it match pretty much anything in your office.
7. Sorted File Rack
If the mail rack solution wasn’t enough, you could also add this KVISSLE wall-mounted magazine rack. The mail rack is great for papers that are quick-in and quick-out, whereas this rack is better for items of longer-term importance, like forms, contracts, reports, etc.
The key here is to give each slot a particular purpose and label them as shown in this post by The Decor Fix. You’ll be surprised by how much desk space gets cleared up once you start using one of these properly.
8. Letter Tray Drawer
IKEA produces a nifty little product called the DOKUMENT letter tray, which you can place on top your desk and use to organize forms and papers. But what if you don’t want your papers sitting out in the open? Or what if you don’t have desktop space for it?
The solution is to hack it into a DOKUMENT letter tray drawer that’s mounted to the underside of your desk, allowing you to hold papers out of sight without unnecessarily taking up valuable workspace area.
Best of all, the instructions are quite simple. All you need is a pipe cutter or hacksaw to tear out the important bits, then a few wood screws for mounting. If you ask me, this is the epitome of IKEA hacking: simple but effective.
9. Pull-Out Printer Drawer
If you have a home office with an all-in-one printer, then you know how bulky they can be. They usually require a dedicated standing area that can make your office feel cramped, but even when you settle for a smaller budget-friendly printer, it ends up cluttering your desktop.
It almost seems like there’s no good place for a printer, which is why you may want to look into this BESTA extending printer drawer setup that keeps your device tucked away until you need to use it. And not only is it practical, but it looks pretty nice too.
If you can’t find the exact BESTA unit in the guide, I’m sure you can adapt the instructions to work with any kind of drawer unit that’s large enough to house your printer.
Hack Your Office Setup Now
Does the idea of hacking IKEA furniture sound like a hobby you’d be interested in? Then hop over to the IKEA Hackers community where you’ll find hundreds of creative ideas for modifying and manipulating IKEA pieces in ways you’ve never thought of before.
In addition, you may want to learn the basics of DIY, such as beginner woodworking skills and beginner electronics skills. If all you care about is DIY related to home renovations, then check out these websites for learning home maintenance instead.
Did any of these IKEA hacks catch your eye? Know of any other office-related IKEA hacks that might come in handy? Share with us in the comments!