Put together a four-leg desk by hand using one of the Allen wrenches IKEA throws in every box, and you'll have an idea what Repetitive Strain Injury feels like. If you've got one left from a previous project, IKEA or otherwise, consider snipping off the angled parts and sticking the long end into a drill. Now you could chain-assemble a dozen funny-named desks, drawers and other furniture with nary a complaint, at least until the battery wears out.
9. Make your workspace cordless.
IKEA doesn't have a cordless desk anywhere in their gigantic stores, but they do offer a $10 "Signum" under-desk attachment that makes elegantly cordless workspaces—like those detailed by Adam and Gina—darn simple. Gina mounted hers under her desk next to an extra-wide, spaced-out power strip hung with some twisted wire. Both guides explain their de-cording process in detail.
Rachael Ray espouses the time-saving and clean-making convenience of the "garbage bowl," a container you shove all your scraps, rinds, small messes, and anything else destined for the trash or compost heap instead of running over to it. If you agree, or tend to make a lot of salads or mixed dishes, embedding a stainless steel bowl into your counter or a wheeled butcher cart might make a lot of sense. Easy to clean out, always available when needed, and it's one less dish you have to clean out after a serious meal. It takes a fair deal of tool work, including router work, but it's perfect for the butcher carts you occasionally see on sale at IKEA, Target, or any other big-box store.
If you're not the type who likes to show off and explain their knife collection, a simple saw cut into any non-permanent rack can save you a good deal of counter or wall space. One hacker thought it worked well on a $60 Bekvam cart, but if you weren't afraid to take a circular (or band) saw to your counter space, and you don't have long-limbed kids to worry about, it makes for a nice quick-grab workspace in the kitchen.
This one's more of an inspiration than a do-this-exactly project. IKEA Hacker picks up a photo-filled forum post detailing how a few spare parts from IKEA furniture—picked up for cheap at the store or yanked from furniture on its way to the curb—can be made into a great place to stash your noise-canceling headphones. The object-oriented parts from many IKEA kits can be put to similar problem-solving use, so it's often worth keeping them in storage until inspiration strikes.
Need to stash two bikes with minimum floor space use? One clever craftsmen took $40 in parts from IKEA's spare catalog—helpfully linked in the IKEA Hacker post—and a few easily-obtained materials to create a solid, economical rack for his two bicycles. Not too hard, no welding required, and you can cut and shape it to fit your particular domicile.
When it comes down to it, your desk need not be much more than a slab that holds your work things which you can stand to look at. Taking a cue from the college playbook, Jonas grabbed a door from the Pax closet system and made it into his workspace. The door itself wasn't all that wide, so he grabbed two Lack racks (those weird, weird names) and created a DIY desk he could be proud of. It's just a few screws and a bit of time between you and the same result, if you want it.
If you dig the idea of a box to contain all your power-hungry gadgets (as illustrated below), but not the energy leeching (or battery weakening) of having your gear plugged in constantly, Instructables takes IKEA box-modding to a higher level. It costs only a tiny bit more than the original, and leaves you with the dual good feelings of DIY accomplishment and eco-friendliness.
2. Make your own custom charging station.
Many of IKEA's smaller storage containers and desktop organizers can be converted into gadget/laptop charging stations that eliminate cord clutter and are often indistinguishable from the rest of your (potentially) orderly desk. You can, for example, turn a $15 Estetisk compartmentalized storage bin into a wooden, laptop-gripping charge station. If your gear goes somewhere other than your desk, a $3 plastic box conversion keeps your cables out of the way and your phones, MP3 players and other toys together.
No, you probably won't need six quad-core processors and the associated fans, RAM sticks, and motherboards for any project you're working on (or even dreaming of). But freelance 3D animator Janne is an inspiring reminder that paying serious cash for the box your computer merely sits in isn't always necessary—especially when units like the $40 Helmer make for such nice CPU homes.