Monday, September 07, 2009

My First Ikea Hack!

I have two big Expedit bookshelves in my office (that our landlord nicely left for us). I love this system as it can be used as a room divider or bookshelf. Additionally there are a number of baskets and boxes made to fit the cubes that you can hide things away in. You can also purchase drawers and cupboard doors to add to it.

The one thing I have not been able to do with it yet is figure out a good way to use it for hanging files. I can fit filing boxes into the cubes, but they don't look very nice, and it's a hassle to have to pull them all the way out and open the lids to access files.

Then, when I was at Ikea on Saturday (before my nasty cold fortified itself and made a second attack) I found they have a new box designed to fit into the Expedit. This is it. Bonus: It's only 6.99 (compared to 16-24 dollars for all the other boxes/baskets that fit the cubes). Bonus #2: It comes in pretty colors. So, I bought 3 of the turquoise colored ones.

I discussed the need for a better hanging file set up (and my unwillingness to pay $300-600 for ugly filing cabinets), and D. suggested just putting a file frame into the box! Brilliant husband I have.

So, off to staples and I bough three of these:
Actually, as it turns out I bought 6 of them, because I didn't realize there were 2 per box. Each box of 2 was about $12.00 - not bad :). Then, I set up the file frames - using the smallest length (14 inches) and put them into the boxes: Perfect! They slide easily in and out of the bookshelf and hold about as much as a large filing box. My only concern is longevity - the boxes are cloth on a cardboard frame (the type that pop up and zip together), so they may give out after a period of use. I'll let you know though. But hey, the whole thing cost me about 40.00 for the boxes and file systems, so I won't complain! I kept them all on the bottom of the bookshelf, as I think they would be a bit awkward on a higher shelf. This would be perfect if you were using the Expedit as a room divider, as the boxes look nice from both sides and have handles on both sides. And I think this looks MUCH better than a stinky metal filing cabinet!

13 comments:

Victoria said...

cool! I just bought the same thing the other day in black.
and I completely agree about filing cabinets. I just got rid of a couple ugly metal filing cabinets. they are ALways ugly.

RW said...

I am with you on the filing cabinets...

These look good.

T. said...

My dream desk set is the Bedford Series from Pottery Barn - they have filing cabinets that are beautiful..but the Bedford is no where near in my price range right now. Though, I have debated saving up for 1 piece at a time and gradually accumulating it. lol.

biss said...

Ooh! You'll have to let me know how they hold up (maybe the file frame will help them). I was getting pretty desperate for something to help me with all my files, which were sitting in all mannder of misshapen boxes and I just got a heavy-duty 4-drawer filing cabinet and am so glad. But you're right. It sure is incredibly ugly.
So maybe someday...

biss said...

Oh...and I got the filing cabinet off kijiji for ten bucks. No way I'd pay much more for that.

T. said...

Good steal Biss! I looked on craigslist for one forever and couldn't find one that fit the bill.

Lateral Filling Cabinet said...

The papers have been managed quiet smartly however, I think cabinets work perfectly! I have wooden filling cabinets and I use it for the storage of my paper work. However baskets also sounds good if at all we do not misplace it!

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Anonymous said...

Hi! Looks great! Just found this as I'm considering options for file storage for my Ikea Expedit. I know this post was from ages ago but, if you have a moment, I would LOVE to know how your file box solutions held up.

Thanks so much :)

Anonymous said...

Do you think the metal filing frame would work in one of the baskets that are made for the Expedit? I have four baskets from Ikea and I'm hoping I can use them for filing.

Anonymous said...

I just tried to fit a file folder in a basket and the folder itself doesn't fit The boxes she used are much thinner than the baskets are unfortunately.

Anonymous said...

I have both, so I really should try this! Square plastic ( clear ) containers also would fit in the Expedit furniture but the above disguises them.

Anonymous said...

so after all this time, how did those file boxes hold up??