Organizing Theory & Artistry

Back-to-School Organizing Ideas From the 2012 IKEA Catalog

The 2012 IKEA Catalog is out! While I generally don’t get too excited about snail mail, the IKEA catalog is one of the best reasons to walk to the mailbox these days. The innovative Scandinavian-modern design always manages to surprise and inspire me. If you didn’t get yours in the mail already, you can browse it online or request a mailed copy at this link.

The theme for the 2012 IKEA Catalog is “A House Doesn’t Need to be Big, Just Smart.” Since this month, we are focusing on back-to-school organizing, I was pleased to see several ideas in the IKEA catalog specifically related to organizing desks for work or study.

Child-parent shared office space. From the 2012 IKEA Catalog. Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.

The office on pages 242-243 (above) shows something we discovered in our family– that kids need a desk and office space too! IKEA does it with style, giving parent and child identical desks but downscaling the child’s desk to have less surface space, a nearby cart with drawers and hanging space on the wall to display art and store more supplies. Having children and adults working side by side may help to motivate both to get their work done while providing some family bonding time. In our case, it also makes for a messier office space—something we are still trying to get under control—but we enjoy working together.

MICKE desk from the 2012 IKEA Catalog. Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
Page 261 highlights a new price on a great desk, the MICKE, which provides a long surface space and two drawers, perfect if you have two little ones sharing a desk.

Pages 248-249 provide great solutions to help keep the surface of your desk clear and ready for work. The flat space on your desk is the most valuable real estate in your office. You want to aim to keep it clear of papers and supplies (and computer equipment if possible!) so that you can spread out and work.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
GRUNDTAL rail system, initially developed for the IKEA kitchen line, can be mounted to the wall and the cutlery caddies used to store pens, pencils, scissors, etc. Rail is $8.99 and each caddy is $5.99.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
GALANT desktop shelf $35. If you have to store papers or supplies on your desk, add some more surface space to your desk with a desktop shelf and store them away from the main desk surface.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
GRUNDTAL knife rack. More repurposing of kitchen organizing tools for the office! The GRUNDTAL magnetic knife rack stores scissors and keys and spice containers can be used for rubber bands, paper clips, thumbtacks, etc. I love the key idea! If you don’t have a designated spot for your car keys, this mag strip could also be placed wherever you tend to dump your keys.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
EKBY slanted shelving. A brilliant IKEA idea to allow you to put shelves on slanted walls. While I don’t have need for this in my office, we have a bathroom that may benefit from this innovation! You may also find a use for this shelving if you need to carve an office out of an odd space.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
RETUR recycling bins. Another creative repurposing for the office. . . IKEA uses its recycling bins as a sort of desk hutch. Mount it above the desk for a way to keep your desk surface clear and hide away any untidy-looking supplies.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
For another great use of the RETUR recycling bins, see page 275 where they pasted kids artwork to the front of the bins to personalize them and display more art!
Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
PLUGGIS waste bins. If you recycle, this is a great way to easily stack and sort the recycling using very small space. You could use one bin for waste and the other for mixed recycling or add another bin and use one for office paper.


5 OTHER 2012 IKEA FAVORITES UNDER $20

Aside from the desk and office organizing ideas, I couldn’t help but notice the great ideas below to add to my IKEA shopping list.

Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
ENUDDEN double toilet paper roll holder $6.49
Holds two rolls AND gives you a small shelf to store other toiletries or decorative items! This would be great for a small bathroom or powder room to conserve space.
Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
LJUSA hand powered flashlight $4.99
A must for your emergency preparedness kit– particularly if children in your home always seem to find the flashlights to play with.
Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
HATTEN side table. The picture showing this table as a storage area for knitting had my attention immediately! Fantastic and a great conversation piece! $19.99
Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
SKURAR hanging planters. These lacy-edged hanging planters are adorable and at $4.99 each add a huge boost of style. These would be particularly great in winter to remind us of plants and greenery as we wait for spring.
Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.
VARMLUFT light. When I first saw this simple paper lamp concept, I wasn’t quite sold on it. But then I saw how the IKEA designer staged it in a group of 3 in this bedroom and I saw its genius. Simple, modern, edgy, cool. And for about $9 with the cord set, a cheap way to give a modern art look to any space.
Image © Inter IKEA Systems B.V. Used with permission.

Something else I loved about the 2012 IKEA Catalog . . .the shots of food starting on page 296. The food looks so fresh and delicious and inspires me to learn how to cook! Maybe next year they will include a recipe or two!

Has your 2012 IKEA Catalog arrived? What IKEA items are piquing your interest these days? Please share in the comments.