During exams, your apartment is probably going to end up looking like the site of a pipe bomb explosion. It also means you won’t have the time or money to make another trip to Ikea for assorted Scandinavian organizing junk. Instead, some ordinary household objects can be used to tidy up and manage the ever growing mess that is your desk while making your cheap lifestyle a little easier.
Binder clips -> cord holder
Binder clips are great for just about anything, including keeping those pesky power cords tied up. The more appliances you have, the more tangled the mess around the surge protector becomes. By fastening a binder clip to the edge of a table and running the head of the cord through the clip’s handle, the cord becomes retractable and stays put. String eight or ten of these together for a nice, tidy power station.
Book -> eBook case
The biggest complaint about eBook readers is that “I don’t get the same feeling I do when I read a book.” Problem solved: glue the pages of an old book together, carve out a nook using a kitchen knife, and conceal the eBook reader inside. If you choose War and Peace, the new, stylish case for your reader both protects it from damage and makes you look a lot smarter while reading Twilight. Who knows, it might even rekindle your interest in reading.
Wire -> cable fastener
I’ve got more electronics in my apartment than a Best Buy. This creates a spaghetti style traffic jam when I try to manage which cables belong where. Using old bits of electrical wire to manage the scrambled mess makes this task a lot easier. By rolling up a cord and winding some wire around both ends, you can prevent it from getting tangled up when it’s stored, or you can shorten the cord so that the excess doesn’t get in the way. You can also do this to bind several cables together when running them from A to B.
Old beer cans -> pencil cups
Don’t toss those old PBR beer cans just yet—you can reuse them to hold pens, pencils, and anything else you like. By carving off the top of the can, lining it with electrical tape to protect from sharp edges, and weighing the whole assembly down with a counter-weight rock, you can create a quick and cheap pencil cup for your desk.
Old CDs -> coaster
If you’re too cheap to buy coasters, you can steal them from bars, or you can just use old CDs. By putting a bit of tape across the centre hole, the CD should catch all of the condensation that forms on the drink, preventing it from damaging your nice Ikea table. The best candidates for the job are old Windows install CDs and Justin Bieber albums.