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Space Saving Technologies for the Home?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the interior-real-estate-preservation dept.

Entertainment 156

An anonymous reader asks: "My wife & I are moving from an 1800 square foot apartment to a 900 square foot apartment this weekend. In order to keep our one size extravagance, a 6' x 6' table, we need to make some compromises. What can I do to solve this problem? What other great space-saving solutions with technology are there?""The first compromise we've made is books. All of my O'Reilly books, and any other book that we can access on Safari is being given away or sold. I've also gotten rid of my outdated tech manuals, except for the VMS books, and historically significant UNIX books.

I've also disposed of all my desktops. My wife is keeping hers, but all I really need is a portable laptop stand which can mount an LCD screen, and my PowerBook.

Now comes the Living Room -- our entertainment center takes up way too much space. 400 DVDs, 100 videos, and countless CDs. We're going to rip all of the CDs, for sure. We're also going to get rid of our television and replace it with a wall-mounted LCD.

This leaves an important question: Digital Media Centers. I've seen a lot of half-there DIY digital media centers involving MythTV or Windows Media Center Edition. I just haven't seen the right solution. The right solution to me needs to allow me to easily rip and encode (though I'd be happy just ripping, because I don't want to sacrifice quality for space. I have 10 400GB hard drives laying in my office waiting for a use)."

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Sell, Give, Freecycle (5, Insightful)

rueger (210566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571688)

Having just moved from a three bedroom house to a one bedroom apartment, I can tell you that you best choice is to just get rid of as much stuff as you can.

Books, records, old software, old computers.... there is no end of stuff that seems too good to lose that in fact you can toss easily.

If it can be easily replaced, sell it at a yard sale, on e-bay, or just give it to friends with less means that yourself. If you haven't used in it in a year, toss it out.

Hell, I've given away cars in the past, and a seven foot aluminum stepladder today. The more that you do it, the ,more fun it is.

Really, any of us have about 300% more stuff than we really need.

Re:Sell, Give, Freecycle (2, Interesting)

Basje (26968) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573996)

Hear hear. I've been homeless for the last three months, moving from place to place. I live out of a suitcase and the trunk of my car. All the other stuff is not neccessary.

But although it is not neccessary, I still miss it sometimes. It's nice to have a place of your own with things that are not neccessary. I will be happy when my new home is finished, but I expect to have a lot of free space for the first year or so.

Re:Sell, Give, Freecycle (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574959)

I've given away cars in the past,

Me too, a 1973 Dodge Dart with the 318 V8. I gave it to my girlfriend's uncle, who used it to go hunting. It was so rusty the roof columns broke and the roof fell in. It's probably still there in the woods, living as a convertible...

Back to topic, I recently moved from a two bedroom apartment to a five room apartment, and never felt so good in my life. I now have a bedroom, computer room, electronics shop, music and reading room, and gym. Giving old things away is OK, but having living space is essential to one's personal well-being.

Stacking (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571699)

make as small a footprint as possible, and then stack as much shit as you can. Drawers are you friend.

Re:Stacking (3, Interesting)

toddbu (748790) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571750)

Drawers are you friend.

As are storage lockers and safe deposit boxes. Personally, I recommend evaluating stuff to see if you really need it. When I had an office, I had a 30 day rule. If I didn't touch it in 30 days, it was gone. It worked really well, and I had virtually nothing in my office.

Re:Stacking (1)

PunkOfLinux (870955) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571803)

Does this mean i Have to throw out my monitor? I haven't touched it in 2 months >.>

Re:Stacking (2)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571837)

It worked really well, and I had virtually nothing in my office.
Was it a virtual office???

Re:Stacking (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571969)

Since it was a real office, having 'virtually nothing' in it means that he imagined it to be an empty space. Reality never was allowed to intrude upon this view, so the fact he couldn't open the door to get into the office means nothing...

Re:Stacking (1)

toddbu (748790) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573284)

Actually, I had the reverse problem. I had one chair, one small desk that I put rollers on, a desktop PC on the floor, a small roller cabinet in the corner, and a chair. I docked my laptop on my desk for a second machine. I could push everything to the wall in about 30 seconds. But this created a real problem for me. When I'd step out for a break, people would move into my office for meetings because it was the only free space in the building. :-)

Re:Stacking (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574613)

If I didn't touch it in 30 days, it was gone.

Yeah, but I'm still like the old girl.

I didn't say that.

Re:Stacking (2, Informative)

D'Sphitz (699604) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572837)

Drawers are ok for small crap, but shelving is great if you're not worried about aesthetics. I have a small apartment, but I like my stuff. I have twelve 6' utility shelves lining the walls and four 4' in the closets. They're pretty cheap ($20ish each at WalMart) and everything has a place, figure i've probably quadrupled the storage capacity of this apartment.

Table (4, Funny)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571707)

Okay... think logically here.. What do you need a 6x6 table for?

I specifically avoided having a table or a sofa in my (1,100 square foot) apartment. Those two items would take up the whole damn place. Instead, I have a treadmill, widescreen projector HDTV and a huge cheap desk with rows of computers.

I can't figure what you'd use a table for that you couldn't use something else (that takes up less space) for...?

Re:Table (2, Interesting)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571894)

It could easily be a heirloom or favorite piece. My Mom had a rocking chair for decades that was one of the only things that survived a childhood fire when she was 16. She rocked all her kids in it. It hardly fit in with the decor, but it had history. She let it go when it ceased being useful (started falling apart), but there were entire rooms of furniture that came and went before the rocking chair left the house.

It could be just that they like it, but having a core piece of furniture that you are attached to is common. My fiance loves an old antique hardwood dresser. Freaking heavy thing that we wound up having to haul cross country. Blearg. But she loves it.


Re:Table (4, Insightful)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572077)

I don't think it's very likely that a dude is going to have much sentimental attachment to a piece of furniture (unless it's a lazy-boy). I could be wrong, but that's been my experience.

People just collect too much crap. If you get rid of the crap you don't need (I have a huge DVD collection that I'm getting rid of, because it makes no sense to take up a whole wall to store them when I have already watched them and will probably never watch them again!). Keep a few of yoru most favorite DVDs (say, your Monty Python's Flying Circus collection and your Black Adder collection and your copy of Equilibrium and Brazil) but get rid of the crap. Are you seriously going to watch Red Dawn again? Or Romeo Must Die?!

And for furniture.. well... don't be sentimental and don't be concerned with having to have what you are told everyone has to have by a certain age. Just because they tell you everyone should have a house, a picket fence, a dog, a sofa, a loveseat, a dining table, four chairs, a bed, two end tables, lamps, nightstand, armoire, phone stand, entertainment stand, hallway table, throw-rug, paintings on the walls and a rocking chair doesn't mean you need them or that you even want them. Get rid of the crap that makes people think you're "all grown up now" and keep the crap that you ENJOY and **USE**.

Everything should be disposable in your mind, so that you can dispose of it when it has served it's purpose. Otherwise you're going to just let material goods run your life. You can't throw something away, because you might need it later. You might watch that DVD again in the next ten years even though you haven't in the last five. You might need that weird AC/DC adapter even though you have 14 of them in a plastic bag in an old cardboard box and you don't know what any of them go to. You might need that old $10 phone from Target that is taking up a bunch of space in a drawer. You just never know! Better keep it all!

Then again, I'm not one of those people who like the "cozy" and "cramped" feeling. My home is very stark. Nothing on the walls. No paintings, posters, pictures. Nothing. No throw rugs on the floor. No decorative anything. I have a plain shower curtain. I have plain desks with my computers on them. I have a plain lamp for light. And a treadmill and a cat-tree thing. And then my big TV. That's it. You could roll around on the floor all day and not feel the need for more space.

Even now, I'd rather have less stuff. Lighter stuff. Ideally, you'd have things in such a way that if you had to pick up and leave and never come back, you could do it all in one day - from packing to cleaning to shipping to physically leaving.

Re:Table (1)

Marxist Hacker 42 (638312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572137)

I don't think it's very likely that a dude is going to have much sentimental attachment to a piece of furniture (unless it's a lazy-boy).

That's funny- because of my favorite three pieces that I AM attached to, one's a combination lamp table, one's a rocker, and the third is- a lazy boy. They originally belonged to, before deaths, my paternal grandmother, my wife's mother, and my wife's grandmother, in the same order.

In fact, when Christopher plays on the rocker, we call it "rocking with Grandma Joyce" because that's her rocker, and she died only a year before he was born.

Re:Table (2, Funny)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572293)

> Then again, I'm not one of those people who like the "cozy" and "cramped" feeling. My home is very stark

I moved into a new apartment and after living there for 2 months, the landlord came over took a look around and said, 'whats going on? why haven't you moved in yet?'


Re:Table (2)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572648)

Are you seriously going to watch Red Dawn again?


Re:Table (3, Insightful)

JabberWokky (19442) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572680)

And I just finished washing my hands from fashioning a Klingon wall hanging from a block of cardboard from an old three ring binder, a strip of natural muslin (I have a couple bolts, as a minimum of several yards get used each month), waxed thread off a spool (I have a dozen spools of various colors), and industrial tile (which I also use to cover my work area to protect it from scratches and as palettes when painting). To decorate I used a black Sharpie and watercolor on the muslin, and acrylic paint (indian red, gold and vermilion) on the hanging tiles.

Tools used were a two inch brush (oh, I have a pot of watered down glue which I keep on hand; I also used it to bind a book earlier in the day), a couple other brushes, a razor blade, a sharpened screwdriver (to score the tile), a pair of needle nose pliers, some sandpaper, and a Dremel powertool (to drill out the holes for the lacing in the tiles). Plus a pushpin to pop the holes in the muslin covered cardboard. Oh, and a pencil and artist's eraser to sketch out the symbol before I painted it.

That's a hell of a chunk of stuff... and I pulled it all out of boxes on shelves above my desk.

I dislike a cozy feeling as well -- my living room has a few pieces of furniture and that is *it*. Even in my office, I have a wall of tools and boxes and another wall with a window and almost nothing else. It's where I face when I'm using my laptop. But at the same time, my hobbies do require a good chunk of "stuff", both tools and raw materials.

I can play music on just a guitar. It's nice, and that bit of wood and wire is all I need. But when I build an entire set of props for a stage production, I need a bunch of "stuff". I have indexed and labeled boxes full of various odds and ends, and it generally winds up getting used. I occasionally even pick up stuff on the ground when walking around -- a beat up hubcap that I found in the gutter became, a bit of clay and a mold casting later, the emblem on a guitar case.

I hate pack ratting... I am very aggressive when cleaning out the pantry, the bookshelves, my bedroom (one bed, one chest of drawers, two side tables with one lamp each, one cage full of mice). But I do have a ton of stuff useful for art and stage: foam heads with wigs in one closet, power tools in the basement, another closet full of fabric.

Don't equate "stuff" with material goods -- it is the useless stuff that are the only things that weigh you down. And the attachment to things that can be replaced (and almost everything can be replaced). I've moved cross country twice in the past few years and dropped quite a bit of stuff in each move. But I immediately start building up a storehouse of useful items.

Because it's not the items that are bad - it's how you feel about them and what you do with them. A football player needs a football. A musician needs an instrument. And other people wind up needing a bunch of stuff that is another man's garbage. The researcher needs their pile of books. The working musician needs a pile of gear. Stuff is not, in and of itself, bad.


Re:Table (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13572780)

And a treadmill and a cat-tree thing.

What? No litter box? Oh wait. I get it. The cat is so well trained that it uses the commode? :-)

Either that or you keep the cat-tree because it reminds you of the kitten you used to have before you started looking at pr0n?

Re:Table (2, Interesting)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573477)


Me? I like my crap.

Although I do agree that one has to take the hobby of crap-collection as a casual thing, not a critical, life-warping obsession, there can be a joy, akin to any other cosmically-useless life endeavor, in getting and displaying new and interesting junk.

I'm a garage-sale fanatic, specializing in the little things that society rarely lets commoners buy on the open market (or, at least, things with that general vibe). I enjoy inspiring "WTF?".

My apartment is pretty much bursting at the seams. I have a collection of downed street signs all over the walls. (Plus one parking meter that I just found in the river... still working!) What that doesn't cover, the various posters (graphic designer = interesting junk mail), maps, and bookshelves do. (I like the vertically-towering weight of a good library... it's like the majesty of a skyscraper. Just be careful what you build them from. I once had a rickety homemade 7-level bookshelf dump about 300 pounds of books on the floor when a mounting broke.)

I've gotten rid of most of the old computers... ancient PC-architecture machines just aren't that sexy. I still have the Mac Classic (standard due reverence) and the Commodore 64 (my first programming box... awwww). I've got two typewriters (one 1930s, one 1970s) and a whole file-drawer of assorted old paper from estate sales, which I can use to make decent prop-forgeries of old paperworks.

I've also got the telephone collection. I'm glad my apartment gets good ringer power, because I've got about 10 live (and a couple I have to hook up) telephones from 1958 to present-era hooked up. It's a glorious cacaphony whenever anyone calls. I love it. (Actually, the whole thing stemmed from my brain not being able to distinguish "telephone" from "alarm clock" when "loud ringing" would wake me up. Now, there's no problem between "alarm clock" and "whole house shrieking".

My car, as well, is well-stocked. I have Michigan (and elsewhere) road maps dating back to 1932 (a modest collection). The front dash has a red roto-bubble light and a yellow rubber duck. The back dash has a yellow flasher and some melting electronics I've been meaning to take out of there. The trunk contains my latest pride-and-joy. I picked up a full Santa Claus outfit (for USD$1! Woot!), and I've worked from there to make my trunk into a mobile costume closet. It's coming along slowly, but costumes and the like are admittedly difficult to come by cheaply. It's mostly hats. Some highlights include a 1940s-60s era (can't really narrow it down) aluminum helmet, a green mosquito-netting hat, an official ref's shirt, an old Army cap with pins, and a very nice plastic Mammoth Caves worker's helmet (which I intend on making more paste-over logos, things like gas/electric company and such) for.

I keep my memories locked up in little boxes of letters and old store reciepts (for some reason, I have a very good recall of events from store reciepts), although most of my "memorables" are digital, packratted away on computer, CD, and offsite.

Not to say that the way you do things is wrong or undesirable... I just wanted to share my Joy of Random Crap.

Re:Table (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573658)

I know a lot of people like that. I know people who like a "busy" house. Posters, paintings, sculptures, collections of all sorts of crazy things. Some of them get to the point where they dont' even have any free space left.

I've made a point of not collecting anything. Aside from just not being interesting enough to find anything interesting to "collect", I just don't want to take up the space.

I guess I'm just the opposite of most of the population. I feel more comfortable when the place I work and live is sterile and bland and empty of anything that isn't utilitarian (facilities is constantly going by my office when I'm gone and asking my coworkers if that is an empty office that they can put someone in). Other people like the cozy, lived-in, full of stuff thing. It's a weird comfort thing, I guess.

Personally, I have as much fun throwing things away and reducing my "posessions" as I do buying them in the first place.

Of course, I'll probably be single for the rest of my life, because no woman is going to want a guy who is this much of a freak. :)

But honestly - if I could have the Intel guys come over and turn my apartment into a giant clean-room, I would so totally live in it for the rest of my life.

Re:Table (1)

coaxial (28297) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574251)

Keep a few of yoru most favorite DVDs (say, your Monty Python's Flying Circus collection and your Black Adder collection and your copy of Equilibrium and Brazil) but get rid of the crap. Are you seriously going to watch Red Dawn again? Or Romeo Must Die?!

Wait. Which Equllibrium are you talking about? The 2002 [] or the 2004 [] movie? I suspect you're talking about 2002 1984 cum fahrenheit-451 cum matrix movie with "gun-kata"? I was given a burned copy of a downloaded vcd from a friend, and I still felt cheated after I watched it.

Now Red Dawn, that's a movie. It's the 80s pre-pubecent boy's wet dream: Taking to the hills and killing ruskies. It's just such a great movie. Invaded from communist Mexico. Europe sitting it out. China having 40% it's population killed by nuclear weapons. And of course, "Avenge me son! AVENGE ME!" I loved that movie growing up. Of course, I was also seven.

I should sometime I should try and track down a copy of 80s craptacular miniseries Amerika [] .

Re:Table (1)

neclimdul (252554) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572371)

Can you say "Bachelor" ;-)

Re:Table (1)

Seumas (6865) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573258)

Well, like I've said before in a similar thread on Slashdot recently - every woman who visits wants to decorate my apartment.

Re:Table (2, Insightful)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573620)

Here's something it sounds like you may never have GUESTS!

(or a social life but I won't mince words here)

Sometimes it's nice to have a clean open space to sit down and actually enjoy a meal or conversation with friends without having to plop them in front of the boob tube or cram them in fold out chairs between your server racks... gah!

My story. (5, Funny)

grub (11606) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571708)

When I got my divorce the ~2200 ft^2 here got a lot bigger. Food costs went down by about 80% too.

Didn't you get the memo? (2, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571715)

Put this on your action item list:


Just blow it all up.

Re:Didn't you get the memo? (3, Funny)

smithmc (451373) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572310)

The first rule of optimizing your living space is that you do not talk about optimizing your living space. The second rule of...

Re:Didn't you get the memo? (0, Flamebait)

foniksonik (573572) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573601)

Hey buddy... just don't go telling people about the FIRST RULE of fight club.... 'kay, I mean you're due for an ass whoopin' anyways but still don't be a 'tard.

Re:Didn't you get the memo? (1)

agraupe (769778) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575116)

I think you're right. I didn't get any sleep last night because I had to run an update of gentoo, because the compiler segfaulted when compiling an update of firefox. If I didn't have a computer, I would have slept happily through the night, and be in a well-rested state at the moment. Sure I like owning and using these things, but that doesn't stop them from making my life, quite possibly, worse off.

Easy to save space (1)

Bootle (816136) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571726)

Just mail out some of those 400gb drives. I'll be glad to free up some space for you. Every little bit helps, right?

See, we're here to help!

random ideas (3, Insightful)

fred fleenblat (463628) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571767)

If you want to keep some of your stuff but don't necessarily need access to it on a daily basis you might want to get a public storage locker.

Another thing you can do is put stuff up on ebay and make money while you gradually clear out your stuff.

Lose the 6x6 table (or uncrew the legs and put it in the aforementioned storage); a 3x5 footer can fit against a wall when you don't have company over.

When I do spring cleaning I look at something and try to decide if I've actually used it in the last year. If not, out it goes.

Re:random ideas (1, Flamebait)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571784)

Way to go. Tell the guy who has too much shit to rent storage space so he can aquire even more shit. Good plan.

Re:random ideas (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13572897)

Hey, careful there. Your tramping on some people's livelihoods. I have a good friend who makes most of his living going to public storage auctions. When the owner of the stuff eventually gives up paying the rent after a few years (and a significant percentage of them DO), the storage company waits a required number of months, then cuts the lock and auctions off the contents. My friend goes to these regularly and snaps up everything he can find that has value and sells it wherever he can. Used bookstores, Amazon, eBay, antique dealers, etc.

He also goes to estate sales, but they are usually run by someon who works on commission and is trying to get as much as they can for the stuff. At public storage, the managers (it's often a family that *lives* at the site) are really motivated to just get the bum's stuff out to free up the space for the next tennant. As a result, things can go a lot more cheaply, or in larger lots.

My friend blames the plethora of public storage places that have popped up like mushrooms in the last several decades on construction trends. Fewer homes are built with attics or crawl-spaces, and as such have not enough long-term storage. Exploring in grandma's attic and finding mirrors and dressmaker's dummies and trunks with cool stuff inside is pretty much the stuff of fiction these days.

Re:random ideas (1)

6th time lucky (811282) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574125)

Lose the 6x6 table ... and go to IKEA and get a drop leaf table. 2 people only need the table half up, and when guests come around (how often does that happen really?) you put the thing up.

For a party and some entertainment, get a large piece of MDF for /or a table tennis table and whack it on top. Paint the underside something nice it store it against a wall as some art work when not in use... unless you are a tennis nut...

Latest & Greatest (3, Funny)

meckhert (186609) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571775)

Look into a new invention called a "dumpster". I hear that its a great way to make room!

Re:Latest & Greatest (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573510)

No, no, no...

All too often, that just ends up in an 1:1 or worse deposit/withdrawal situation (assuming a low-organic-content Dumpster, of course).

steel shelving (1)

St. Arbirix (218306) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571785)

I got some steel shelving at Sam's Club for about $60. It's got 6 shelves and each are supposed to be able to support 200lbs.

It also has wheels. Wheee!

Best Technology of All (2, Insightful)

mcgroarty (633843) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571787)

The best technology money can buy:

A $30/mo storage locker and a push cart.

Stick all you can in the storage locker. Anything you haven't gone and retrieved in a year's time goes on the push cart whenever the Salvation Army is ready for you.

The metric system is your friend!! (5, Funny)

OneDeeTenTee (780300) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571790)

Measure the table in meters to make it smaller.

Measure the apartment in centimeters to make it bigger.


Variable gravity. (1)

Pig Hogger (10379) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571804)

Yup, that's the ticket. Variable gravity!

Re:Variable gravity. (3, Funny)

Jorkapp (684095) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572345)

Or, for those of us unable to change the Gravitational Constant of the Universe, try this:

* Buy inflatable furniture
* Fill it with Helium
* Watch as your furniture floats to the ceiling when you don't use it!

Re:Variable gravity. (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573542)

Does this work? I've always thought of it as an interesting idea, especially if you could get some nice-looking upholstery for the furniture to make it look less temporary.

I'm wondering whether the helium would just bleed (or whatever scientific term describes helium's small molecules leaking through the loose plastic molecules) right through the plastic, though.

Re:Variable gravity. (1)

roseblood (631824) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574366)

I'm wondering whether the helium would just bleed (or whatever scientific term describes helium's small molecules leaking through the loose plastic molecules) right through the plastic, though.

Diffusion via osmosis.

your helium moves from an area of high concentration to an area of low concentration seeking to balance the concentration of the two areas (diffusion) via crossing a barrier consisting of a semi-permeable membrane (osmosis.)

It's all about planning and organization (5, Insightful)

whydna (9312) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571813)

Having slowly moved in the other direction - dorm room to apartment with roommmates to 700 sqft "1+den" aparment to the 850 sqft 2 bedroom condo that I own now - I can tell you that it's all just a matter of planning and organization. Living in small spaces is a matter of efficiently using the space that you have. The gotcha, of course, is doing this while not making your place feel cramped.

Everything has a place. Make sure that everything you own has a place. In small spaces, sometimes you have to sacrifice a little bit of "logical placement" for some "practical placement". For example, I have my pile of extra batteries and spare lightbulbs in a drawer in the nightstand of my bedroom. Does this make sense? Not really; they should probably be in a utility closet or something, but, they fit well there and there was nothing else using that space. The important part is that they've got a place and they're not cluttering up another area.

Efficient use of furniture. When possible try to use furniture that has built-in storage. For example, an end table with a drawer or two can be really useful for storing all sorts of things. Think in 3D. If a piece of furniture is occupying some of your precious square-footage, try to make the best possible use of that space. Storing infrequently used items in drawers or underneath an end-table with a table cloth over it (for example) can make a big difference.

Shelving. You'd be amazed how much you can store on a couple of rows of shelves. If you're not storing books/trinkets or other "decorative" things, you can find wall-mounted book-cases with doors to hide your crap.

Density. In areas that are more-or-less designated for storage (closets, etc), pack densly, but wisely. Well-labelled boxes (like shoe-boxes) can be great for storing all sorts of stuff in a dense manner.

Organization. This one is a big one. Keeping track of where all your stuff is can be tricky. I highly recommend labelling storage containers and remembering to put back what you took out when you're done. When you're stuck in a small space, you'll be amazed how many things you own that you just don't use regularly. Keeping these things accessible but out of the way allows you to retain what you own and now feel too cluttered.

Media Centre.... (1)

gbrandt (113294) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571839)

My wife and I did the same thing about 6 months ago.

For a media centre we kept our VCR, and bought a Mac Mini for playing DVD's and ripped all of our audio on it. As a side benifit it also doubles as our webserver and email server.

works great and is cheap!

IKEA (4, Insightful)

Bruha (412869) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571860)

Seriously they make stuff designed for small rooms or apartments.

Re:IKEA (4, Funny)

HungWeiLo (250320) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573965)

Did you know 1 in 10 Europeans were conceived on an IKEA bed?

Efficient furniture (3, Interesting)

jrockway (229604) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571861)

The furniture you buy can make a huge difference in how much space you have. I live in a small apartment, and have way too many tables (because I write, do homework, tinker with electronics, have multiple computers, etc.) I made room by getting a bunk bed that doesn't have a bed on the bottom. I have my main computer desk `under' my bed, and I sleep on top.

You can find the one I have at IKEA for $200: uctDisplay?catalogId=10101&storeId=12&productId=11 534&langId=-1&parentCats=10103*10144 []

I also have other helpful pieces of IKEA furniture, like a $39 desk-on-wheels for my Linux desktop. It is really easy to move around, so when you have to rearrange furniture, it's not too much effort. Other things I've found helpful are shelves with partitions and things like: uctDisplay?catalogId=10101&storeId=12&langId=-1&pr oductId=15923 []

This lets me store my junk somewhere but not have to look at it. Very helpful, and a very good looking coffee table.

Re:Efficient furniture [and shelving!] (3, Informative)

DeanPentcheff (103656) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571979)

Spend quality time meticulously planning shelving in your closets. You can get far more shelves in than you initially suspect, if you're careful about the layout. Check the "ShelfTrack"-based shelving from Closetmaid (the white wire shelving available at Home Depot) -- [] . You mount one horizontal bracket near the ceiling (i.e. on the wood of the header behind the wallboard there), and the vertical supports hang on that -- hence no searching for studs.

Plan on shelves closer than you normally might: you won't want things stacked more than a foot deep on the shelves, anyway, so you can get them 18" apart (vertically) for almost all things.

Another advantage is that the wire allows for air circulation, keeping things from molding (if that can be a problem for you).

Re:Efficient furniture (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13574027)

"...I made room by getting a bunk bed that doesn't have a bed on the bottom. I have my main computer desk `under' my bed, and I sleep on top..."

Good luck steering a drunk chick up that ladder!

Re:Efficient furniture (1)

6th time lucky (811282) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574144)

i followed your link and find it highly ammusing that they need to state:

"This product requires assembly"

It is freaking IKEA... I even bought a flat pack easter egg once...

As you pack each item you own.... (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Crowhead (577505) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571889)

...ask yourself, "Do I really need this?" If you don't, don't pack it. Dump what is worthless and give the rest to the salvation army. The tax write-off will probably equal the cash you could get for selling everything less all the hassle.

My wife and I did this when we bought a house even though we were more than tripling our space. We got rid of a lot of stuff. We still periodically go through most or all of our possesions looking for useless or redundant crap to get rid of. It's refreshing.

Don't misread me though, I'm not a minimalist. I still have loads of stuff, just not loads and loads and loads of junk I'll never use. Except for computers. And 1 gigabyte hard drives.

typo (0)

dwater (72834) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571931)

>...except for the VMS books, and historically significant UNIX books.

Ah, typo. That should read : ...except for the VMS books, and *other* historically significant UNIX books.

Not sure if it shouldn't read, "*in*significant" too.

Re:typo (0, Offtopic)

darkjedi521 (744526) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572952)

Not a typo - VMS bears little to no resemblence to UNIX, and probably the next closest thing is the WNT kernel.

Re:typo (1)

dwater (72834) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573507)

indeed :) Scratch "UNIX" and it's about right.

Thoughts... (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571959)

First up, media center. If you can put the drives together into a server (or at most two) that you can keep in a closet (remember to make sure it has good air circuilation) you can use a very small front end, such as a Haupauge MediaMVP that plugs into your TV and audio system to deal with most if not all your TV and Sound needs. I can't recomend it as a complete solution, as I am running into limitations with this, but you could alternatively use a laptop with s-video or dvi out, as well as an Audiology SB pcmcia card to work as a front end. There are even solutions that make use of an X-Box to be a front end for MythTV, which means that you would also have a DVD player you can use as needed. The upcoming Sony PS3 may provide you with the hardware you need to do most if not all of your Media Center, including being a game station if you don't like the X-Box for some reason.

For tips on how to make use of a small space for storage, start watching H&G TV, particularly Mission Organization, and This Small Space. Both should be used as 'idea' generators for how to par down, as well as re-organize your stuff to make your place feel larger than it is.

If the 6'x6' table is a family heirloom, you may want to check with family to see if someone else may get better use of it. At the same time if both of you are happy with the decision to hold onto it, pretty much ignore the other comments here. It's only 36 square feet, and should not be taking up a significant percentage of your place. You will be better off finding replacements for other furniture.

That's just my views though, and I am hardly the paragon of good use of a small space. Moved from a fully furnished and cluttered house, to a fully furnished and cluttered house, into a 1 bedroom apartment in under a year. I still have furniture I need to get rid of.


Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1, Interesting)

An Onerous Coward (222037) | more than 9 years ago | (#13571985)

Okay, sit back and think about this. If it takes you five minutes per CD ripped, you can rip twelve in an hour. Guessing that each CD case takes up 9 cubic inches, you're saving yourself a whopping 108 cubic inches for every hour you put into this project. You can't pack three t-shirts into 108 cubic inches. If your primary goal is to save space, this is a very inefficient way to do it.

You can get most of the same benefit much more quickly by getting rid of the ones you're not attached to, throwing the rest on an old CDR spindle, and ripping on an as-needed basis. Not nearly as sexy as having your entire CD collection filed away, but my rule of thumb is that 80% of the average digital music library is stuff the owner wouldn't want to listen to anyways. 95% for me, but I'm the shameless packrat who kept all those SXSW tracks around "just to be safe".

In summary, your media collection (books/movies/CDs) is just one of many things you should be looking at in your quest to unclutter your lives. I have to wonder what makes this table worth all the trouble. Unless it flies around the room granting wishes, remind yourself, "There's just the two of us, we don't need a huge table", then whittle it down with a bow saw.

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

plalonde2 (527372) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572357)

I recently ripped my 500 or so CDs. Took about 2 weeks of flipping disks when I walked by. No big deal.

The space savings is huge though: the amp is hidden in a closet, and iTunes runs on an Airport Express. All other components are gone. I don't need to even have shelving for the CDs. Net savings is a wall-slot for a new book case.

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

Clover_Kicker (20761) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572490)

For only a bit more space, you could put your CDs and DVDs in a few big CD wallets. That way you can actually find what you're looking for.

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

bladesjester (774793) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573942)

I have something on the order of 300-350 cds and currently keep them in large wallets while I boxed up the cases. I have to say that it drives me nuts because I can *never* remember what song is on what track of which cd.

I am really looking forward to having them back in the cases when I am in a place with more space for shelving.

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

6th time lucky (811282) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574199)

Thats why you take the inserts out of the case and put them into the wallet... some wallets are even designed for this with large facing pockets on one side for the jacket labels and a place to put the CD on the other side...

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

Gulthek (12570) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575265)

As a software developer you should have at least already created a database containing albums, songs, artists, etc.

Aside: why stuck with discs? Many quality ripping programs are available.

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572940)

5 minutes???? Were you only ripping one track from each CD? On average, my collection took an hour to ripped at 320 VBR per CD. You must have exagerating a bit there.

-Slashdot Junky

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

Slashdot Junky (265039) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572959)

Okay, I did type 320 VBR, and I did realize how stupid that was after submitting the message. It is not possible to have both variable and constant.

-Slashdot Junky

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573569)

I've heard "VBR bitrates" used to denote the average or target bitrate on VBR/ABR encoding.

That said, with MP3s at least, I don't think you can encode 320kbps VBR, since 320 is the max rate for the format, so 320 average would have to be CBR.

Re:Ripping CDs as a space saver? (1)

I_M_Noman (653982) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575178)

You can't pack three t-shirts into 108 cubic inches
If you can't pack 3 t-shirts into that small a space, you're obviously not the type of person who can travel indefinitely out of one carry-on-sized bag.

Offtopic, I know, but...

Throw it out! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13572020)

400 DVDs, 100 videos, and countless CDs. We're going to rip all of the CDs, for sure.

(1) Junk the videos (unless they're home movies), buy a DVD version of the movies you still want a copy of (since you had the VHS, the DVD version will be cheap - but make sure it's available first).

(2) Get a 400-DVD capacity Sony or Kenwood jukebox player. That way you won't have to worry about ripping the movies, and you'll still have all the DVD features available (captions / alternate soundtracks, etc). I believe some models can be daisy-chained together - with the Kenwood you can daisy-chain 3 to have 1,200 disk capacity (possibly enough for all your DVDs and CDs without having to rip anything).

(3) If you have an Xbox, I'd look at the Xbox Media Center Extender (it'll be standard on the Xbox 360) for playing sound and movies on your TV from a central computer. This way you can organise everything on the main computer and keep the living room for leisure and entertainment.

And if in doubt, throw out / recycle / eBay everything you absolutely do not need (clothes, books, toys, furniture). Chances are that you've not used most of your stuff in several years (and never will again), but it would be easily replacable should you have a change of heart. I can't see that old unix books have any value other than sentimental, so get rid of 'em.

Telecommuting? (1)

slashflood (697891) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572037)

Dilbert Cubicle []

Obviously... (4, Funny)

gfim (452121) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572206)

Just pile everything on the table!

Re:Obviously... (1)

itwerx (165526) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572926)

Just pile everything on the table!

And under it!
      Or take the legs off, strap 'em underneath the top and put the whole shebang on its side against the wall, (or hang it and call it Art! Or Woody, or whatever...)

Now mod me funny for the punny, insightful for figuring out a functional way to get the table out of the way and informative for telling you how to do it...

(Or mod me down just for the hell of it - I don't care - I've got karma to burn - bwaahahhahha! :)

Future Ask... questions! (1, Insightful)

egriebel (177065) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572299)

Articles from The Mysterious Future:
  • "Dear Slashdot, I just won the lottery, what should I do with the lucre?"
  • "Dear Slashdot, I never believed these stories were real until it happened to me..."
  • "Dear Slashdot, my SO just broke up with me, what should I do? And can I keep her kickin' computer?"
  • "Dear Slashdot, I'm a 23 year old male with a double major in CompSci and Etruscian Literature, what kind of jobs have you heard of that would be challenging and use both majors?"
  • And the best for last, "Dear Slashdot, how do you spell 'liturgy', and should it be capitalized?"

Come on, they'd be better than the crappy "Ask Slashdot"s tonite (If this looks familiar, I crossposed it to the other crappy ask question tonite.)

Hang you bicycles from the ceiling (1)

geoswan (316494) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572482)

There are clever hooks for hanging bicycles from ceilings. Maybe you have room to hang your bike near your doorway, without impeding pedestrian traffic?

Do you have a stool, or two or three step, step ladder? Then you could mount some shelves at that height.

recommendations (1)

jaredcat (223478) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572686)

I recently went through a similar experience. I moved from a 2500sqft apartment to one just under 800sqft a few months ago.

I have 3 recommendations:
-think vertical. i know IKEA has been recommended to death, but really, they are a good option there. Cheap stuff, modular, and most of their collections can give you storage units that are 7-8 feet tall. Besides, it all looks fine from 10 feet away.
-rent a storage unit. I rented a 10x19 for $75/month and I think of it as a second closet... that I have to drive to. Anything that doesn't get used at least once every 2 weeks ends up in storage. So now, if I want to bake some bread, I just have to remember to go over and pick up the bread machine before the storage place closes. minor inconvenience.
-any pets? send them on vacation to mom and dad or a close friend. Pets do really poorly in a small apartment. When you've got only 2 rooms, the cat can't hide from the dog, and the dog will jump on your head every morning. Plus, where on earth do you put that litter box? There's no space for stuff like that.

Space Bags (1)

calgar99 (856142) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572697)

I just saw a commerical for those gimmick-y space bags. Anybody ever try them? Do they work? -Matt

Re:Space Bags (2, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574226)

Yes. With caveats.

Yes they do allow you to compress things and as a result save space. However... ...they are too easy to get a hole in, at which point they are simply a bag with a bunch of stuff in them. ...they cost far too much for the space savings they provide. ...if you leave something in these bags for an extended period of time, plan on washing it when it comes out. If for no other reason than to get rid of the wrinkles, though my experience is that something ends up in the bag that propogates smell to everything else as well.

A cheaper alternative is to pick up some clear 35 gallon garbage bags, put a few items in one, then use a vacume to draw all the air out. Now tape, or better yet seal the bag with some sort of thermal seal.

One of the few sets that some people may find worthwhile to own are the camping kit sets. Put a shirt in it, close it, roll the bag up to squeeze out the air, then unroll the bag to get it flat again for packing. It makes a workable way of keeping clothing dry if you go camping and are prone to falling into creeks or rivers, or dropping your backpack or other carry bag that way. Again you will want to watch out for overpacking, as the zip lock seals may very well come appart on you.

That's just my opinion though. Others may note other opinions.


* RIAA ALERT * RIAA ALERT * (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13572747)

We're going to rip all of the CDs, for sure.

Shameless filthy hippy pirate detected. DEPLOY LAWYERBOTS.

Mr. Anonymous (if that's your real name), prepare to be sued. I'm sure our settlement proposal will help you decrease the number of possessions you have to deal with.

Mwah ha ha ha! EVIL PIRATE!

DVD Storage from Dollar Tree, Tall CD tower ,etc. (1)

JoeCommodore (567479) | more than 9 years ago | (#13572863)

Dollar Tree sells smallish (6"x10" or so) interlocking plastic crates. These crates can store 11 standard sized DVDs cases per crate.

Don't buy those fancy grooved CD towers, get one that goes up six feet or more and only has rails and shelves to store all your music and installable medium (no wasted space, minimum footprint). You can get thin jewel cases for single disks and you can also find up to 4-CD standard size jewelcases for your multi-disk software sets.

Ceral boxes are great to store your comics and magazines (that tip from the Tick comics)

Microwave is a must. the George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grillin' Machine is the best for hamburgers.

That's all I can think off right off hand.

Different perspective (1)

Anonymous Cowdog (154277) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573112)

Not long ago we did the same type of move. We also got rid of a lot of stuff.

But after we settled down, we realized it wasn't as cramped as we had been expecting. Now there are things we got rid of that I really miss. Like we had a huge 6-person tent, and I thought, where are we going to store this thing -- turns out it wouldn't have been a problem, and now we don't have it. Suckage.

If I were you, I would hang on to the ORA books and the beige metal/plastic/silicon boxes. You can always toss them later. Give yourself a cooling off period before you panic and get rid of stuff that serves you well. But yes do dump the large empty velvet lined box you've been saving because it might come in handy someday, and anything else in the crap category.

great space saving technology! (2, Informative)

West VA Flamer (638423) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573147)

milk crates, put stuff in 'em and stack those bitches up. very little overhead for how much space they take up and free if you take them from behind a 7-11. also great for organization, just use a label maker over the logo of the company of who it used to belong too. sturdy too!

CDs, DVDs, and *shudder* tapes (1)

Frodo Crockett (861942) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573167)

Put the CDs and DVDs in large storage binders. Recycle the plastic cases. If you want to keep the inserts/sleeves, just store them in a box in the closet. You'll be able to compress your whole collection into a couple of cubic feet.

For the tapes, I think the best thing to do would be to throw them out or convert them to DVD.

Follow the Japanese (1)

johnnliu (454880) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573214)

This is a non-serious comment.

Pack your bed inside your cupboard. At night, fold away your table and take out your blankets and put it in the middle of the floor. Then you can sleep on your floor (It helps if the floor is tatami).

There's a lot of benefits of such a system. For one, you keep both your table and your bed tidy. You can't use the other unless you've packed the current one away.


Personally, I figure if I have that much stuff to sell or give away, I might as well get a bigger apartment, or buy a piece of land design my own home.

900 sq ft, in what configuration? (1)

oneiros27 (46144) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573245)

I'm currently living in a 1400 sq. ft 3 bedroom house, and in many ways, and it in many ways, it seems smaller than the 500 sq ft studio where I lived in college (less closet space, if nothing else)

Part of it is thinking about things differently -- need books? Hit the library ... then give them back when you're done. DVDs? Netflix is your friend.

What I can't understand is the 6x6 table -- 6x4, I can see ... go shopping at IKEA or SCAN, as europeans are much more used to living in small spaces than americans (and by that, I mean those in North America, to include Canadians) If you need the large table for entertaining, try looking into a table that pulls out [] (I hate leaves, as you have to store them somewhere ... although some store inside the table these days)

Remember to use vertical space -- I have a about 24 linear feet of shelving above my couch (3 8' 1x6's, and a few shelf brackets), which would probably hold 500+ dvds in cases ... of course, you could transfer them to books, and it'd take a whole lot less space) You can also place a shelf about 18-24" from the ceiling in your bedroom, and place out of season clothes, or other infrequently used things there. A cabinet above the toilet can hold towels and toiletries.

Of course, I've also made furniture out of a reel-to-reel tape drive, a Wang mini computer, and an IBM terminal server, but those weren't particularly space saving, even if they were technology.

Keep the cds, use wall space (1)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573582)

I have about 300 cds taking up 70% capacity of three 6' IKEA cd towers. The empty space is staggered in the towers, and each is filled with a little "pretty". A bright red little box holds matches, another holds carving from my trip to Italy five years ago.. you get the idea. The cds add to the look.

I'm biased against DVDs, but I'd still say lose them. How many times can you watch a DVD? How many times can you watch 1000 hours of DVDs? (the horror!)

I imagine you want the 6x6 table for projects or gaming. Could you replace it with a fold-away or an extendible table? We're all curious, what it's for?

A single shelf near the ceiling, going around the room can look very nice, and feel comfortable. Ditch any books that you haven't cracked the cover of in three years. (be honest) You can buy or borrow the two or three books of the lot that you find you need a couple years from now. Ditch the ugly ones, the old and fading 8088 instruction set manuals.. keep the rest arranged neatly on the shelfs and use the extra space for decorative storage or photos. You can use colored boxes for in-view storage.

IKEA shelves have optional frosted or solid doors that you can use to hide tools, tech stuff, and camping equipment.

Don't stack boxes. You'll never open the bottom ones, so why not just donate their contents? You can get bin racks for the same purpose.

Trying to find the brand of my laptop stand (Travelrite [] ), I came across this, which has some interesting hidable laptop desks: 2/15/ []

You can easily replace the DVD and CD players with a Mac Mini. A digital wall projector (if you have the money-- only about 100 DVDs worth) can replace a bulky TV, and looks really sharp at night for movies or gaming. If you don't have the wall space, set up a retractable screen. Mount the projector on the wall above the sofa, and for god's sake hide the cables! :)

Watch a couple of the Queer Eye shows for inspiration; every once in a while they do up a one-room home for a work-at-home artist type-of-show.

Re:Keep the cds, use wall space (1)

dreamer-of-rules (794070) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573890)

I forgot to add..

For DVD ripping, you could use MacTheRipper (rips with DVD menus) or HandBrake (dead-easy rip to AVI/MPG).

Keep it uncluttered. Keep it neat, and the place will feel twice as large. Don't let cruft pile up. Leave a some empty space on each surface and around things that draw your eye.

Good luck!

Basement ? Cellar ? (1)

dago (25724) | more than 9 years ago | (#13573787)

Depending on your building, you may want to use your basement or cellar as a server room.

Few will let you pull your own cable or provide with cable from the start, so you'll probably need a wireless bridge.

There are also some other problems (dust, floods, ...) that you have to take into account.

In any case, you don't want more than 1 disk in your PCs, there's not only space, but also noise consideration.

Re:Basement ? Cellar ? (2, Insightful)

LWATCDR (28044) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575379)

The space under the stairs is also prime server space.

cram it all in using three dimensions (1)

cinemabaroque (783205) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574093)

Using all available dimensions is the main point, and get furniture that doubles as storage, trunks are your friend.

Before you do that though, get rid of everything. Except that which you really need/want/use. If I haven't thought about it in a while and I don't need it when I find it then I usually toss or sell said item.

Re:cram it all in using three dimensions (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574629)

Using all available dimensions is the main point, and get furniture that doubles as storage, trunks are your friend.

My father in law has a old Packard (an automobile make if you didn't know it) in his garage. It needs a little work to get it on the road. He's had it there since the mid 70s when I started dating the girl who became my wife. I take this on his word, because I've never seen it. His garage is so "efficiently" packed with boxes of stuff in just the manner you suggest.

The thing is, he never got around to fixing it because he couldn't get at it.

The space/time complexity trade off is not just a fact of computer science, it's a fact of life. When you're in your twenties, you don't see this, but over time possessions become a burden. Better to spend your money on experiences, such as travel and great meals, that don't take up space.

Not to be nosey, but.... (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574539)

If you have '10 400Gb hard drives lying around' and are going to be getting an LCD TV and LCDs+docking stations for laptops, then why move to a house half the size - presumably not to save money?

As for getting rid of the desktops - definitely keep one of them as a fileserver/Myth backend and bung it in a basement or cupboard somewhere, maybe with wireless if you're not a speed freak.

There's also the option of getting a LCD monitor with built in TV tuner - to be used as a TV and docking station for a laptop - two birds with one stone and all that.

I wouldn't bother with Shuttle cases if you're thinking of that, they're just not expandable enough, so you'll end up hanging USB/1394 drives off the back of them so you might as well just use a laptop.

Re:Not to be nosey, but.... (1)

BestNicksRTaken (582194) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574548)

Oh I forgot, put the DVD's on spindles too (maybe print a list of what DVD's are in what spindle) a 100 DVD spindle takes up about the room of what 4 DVD cases?

Much better than a CD rack, or even one of those wallet things, just not so easy to navigate.

I shipped about 400 DVD's from the US to the UK in a small UHaul box as I put them on spindles. I then sold the empty cases and recycled the paper covers.

be more efficient. (1)

Patrik_AKA_RedX (624423) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574819)

Here is something I've been thinking about for some time: We always have too little room, but just consider how much space is unused when you're looking up. If there was an easy to use system to store stuff against the ceiling, we'd have a lot more space. How about mounting some sort of box to the ceiling and store little used stuff there? Or mount the PC there? IMO we're very inefficient with space in our houses.

Re:be more efficient. (1)

CXI (46706) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575240)

You realize, don't you, that if you stored everything on your ceiling that you'd basically just have a lower ceiling, right? Ceiling heights are where they are for a reason (claustrophobia, lighting, ceiling fans, etc). Plus, I imagine because of this suggestion that you don't live where their are earthquakes...

Jack up your bed (1)

Ratbert42 (452340) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574857)

Put your bed up on blocks to get another foot or so of height for more storage.

King sized bed (1)

wom (240411) | more than 9 years ago | (#13574884)

Get a light weight thin mattress and use it on top of the huge table, and dump the bed. You can use those side tables as a step up, or as a coffee table for entertaining. The rolled mattress can make a (very) low sofa like __O.


Media center (1)

swillden (191260) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575101)

The right solution to me needs to allow me to easily rip and encode

You mentioned MythTV and said it wasn't quite right, but it actually does exactly what you say, and does it very well. Want to rip a DVD? Here's the process:

  1. Put DVD in
  2. Select "Import DVD" from the top-level menu
  3. Pick your compression settings... you can just leave it on "Perfect".
  4. Edit the disk name, if necessary. Some disks have crappy, useless names, like "DVD_VIDEO" instead of "GIGLI", or whatever. Most have decent names so you can skip this.
  5. Press '0' to start the rip.

The only problem with MythTV's DVD-ripper is that it only grabs the main title, not all of the extras. That's an advantage for most people, but you have enough storage that you might prefer just to grab it all. In that case, it would be easy to hack a solution that just uses 'dd' to copy the entire DVD image. Then playback would give you all of the menus, etc. If you'd like, I'll gladly build you such a solution for a couple of those 400GB drives :-) (my own Myth box is limping along with only 1TB of disk space... it ain't enough).

Lift the Bed, and constructive shelves (3, Informative)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575169)

Seeing that your married I am going to assume that you and yours have a queen size bed? A full at least? Anyway the foot print of the bed is a huge amount of unused and potentially un discovered space.

1. Lift the Bed on blocks as high as you dare go with it. My wife and I have two queens in our house One of which is an antique cast iron frame. That bed as a good 1.5 feet of clearance under it Alot of stuff fits in that space. (or at least when we had a 1200sft house it did, with nearly 4500sft including the garage and basement now under bed storage space isn't nearly so as important.) The other bed was once upon a time before I meet my wife the one I had in my 1000sft house, at one point I had a 2.5 foot lift goinf with that one practically needed a ladder to get into it. LOTs of storage space there.

2. Use all the typically wasted space. Get those wire (usually closet) shelf setups from Lowes run the around the top of the walls in whatever rooms you can stand them. They have a width thats perfect for CD's/DVD's/VHS (hint laying a strip of cardboard on then putting the objects on works best.) If you have the space do more than one row. That gets the media out of the way.

A garbage truck (1)

dysk (621566) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575395) the perfect space saving technology. Get rid of whatever you can.

lose the table (1)

tomlouie (264519) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575441)

Honestly, are you keeping the table because there's an emotinaly attachment to it, or do you regularly have 10 guests around the table on a nightly basis?

I mean, it's a 6x6' table, plus you'll need to leave about 3' of freespace around the perimeter for people to get in and out of chairs, so you're talking about a 12x12'=144 sq ft chunk of space devoted to this table, or 16% of your total living space.

ClosetMaid? (1)

Asprin (545477) | more than 9 years ago | (#13575467)

If you need storage shelving in the closets, etc. ClosetMaid shelving is very lightweight, modular and flexible system that had for pretty cheap at most Lowes/HomeDepot type stores. A lot of it needs to be bolted into the walls with either stud screws or drywall fasteners, so check with your landlord first.
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