Before and after: Stockholm project case

One of the most problematic clutter areas for me is my desk. Typically, I have many projects going, but can only really work on one at a time. The result is usually a small valley of workspace nestled among mountains of project clutter.

My solution is to use project cases. A project case is basically a magazine file with a lid that I leave open on my desk while working from it, then store away somewhere when I move to the next project.

It doesn’t matter what kind of stuff I’m working with — magazines, books, notebooks, CDs, DVDs, photos, or anything else that will fit — the project case takes the piles of stuff that would normally exist on my desktop and gets them out of the way so I can focus and get work done.

The best ones I’ve found so far are the Stockholm Project Cases from The Container Store. Made from recycled fiberboard, and finished with heavy paper exterior and interior and a reinforced hinge, they’re durable. The Stockholm cases are a bit larger than most of the other project cases I’ve found, so they easily accommodate not only letter sized paper, but larger items such as magazines and sketchbooks.

Project Case

15 Comments for “Before and after: Stockholm project case”

  1. posted by Mark on

    I place my laptop on top of the base of the cinema display as well for my desk arrangement. That would give you a little more space.

  2. posted by Brian on

    Thanks for the suggestion, Mark. I’m actually keeping my eyes open for a stand that will elevate the display just enough to slide the laptop underneath, though your method would certainly work equally well.

  3. posted by Pierre Lourens on

    Looks good. It’s a good thing you focus on one thing at a time; I don’t really believe in the multitasking myth.

  4. posted by Chris Rasco on

    Very nice suggestion. I didn’t know something like this existed. I’ll have to pick some up for the home office as well as work.

  5. posted by Gretchen Rubin on

    This is GENIUS. Everything is right at hand, yet also put away neatly, and organized by subject. Usually I oppose any anti-cluttering measure that requires a purchase, but in this case, I may have to pick up a few.

  6. posted by Eddie on

    @ brian

    They actually sell a stand like that at staples. I think it comes in a silver color, or black. It will probably be more space than you need, but I haven’t seen anything made especially for laptops.

  7. posted by sunny on

    that is such a good idea! a simple but stunning away to group projects and keep them off the desktop. I may not use the project case but some plastic envelopes or project holders would work well for me. your posting gave me the idea.

  8. posted by jessica duquette on

    Finally, someone who admits their desk gets messy sometimes. I like the idea of the project boxes, but truth be told, I wouldn’t use them on a long term basis because I (like most of my clients) am LAZY and don’t like to take extra steps. I just sort my projects into piles on my desk and deal with them as they come up. It works well for me, but I recognize that there are many out there who are looking for a visually appealing way to contain their piles. I call my solution “The Door”. I close my door when things start getting a little….ummm…creative! Before too long, I reach my threshold of messiness and the unruly piles get coaxed into order. I have come to realize that the whole cycle is part of the process of how I work, how I bring a project to completion.

    It’s just important to recognize that everyone has their own way of processing information, and that’s why it’s so great that there are so many voices out there in the organizing blogger world.

    good to hear from you!


    Jessica from It’s Not About Your Stuff

  9. posted by Sara on

    Have you found a good way to label these boxes?

  10. posted by d on

    Does anyone know where I can get Stockholm Project Cases outside of the US? The Container Store only ships to the US and I’m over in the UK and in love with those boxes!

  11. posted by shajo on

    You call THAT desk MESSY? The ‘before’ image is just a little unorganized, not really very ‘messy’.
    Come to my house, or my office. We’ll show you messy.

  12. posted by ShawnJ on

    These are nice for storage, but not so useful for desk organization IMHO. Although, I can see putting these on shelves, filled with recent magazines, articles, bills, files, etc., that I might need soon rather than later. But, unless I need quick access, anything else gets cataloged and filed away. Keeping these on my desk would just take up (elbow) space. I am a graphic designer, and a gamer, and do a lot of moving in and around my desk. I can imagine constantly bumping these boxes, spilling the contents, while working/playing – using my mouse, graphic tablet, or some-such. At least the papers lay flat and won’t easily get knocked over.

    To counter my own musings; What is nice is that they are a redesign of the cardboard versions that have been around since the 1960-1970 era. Coincidentally, we still have a few of those relics (in great shape BTW) used for storing magazines and such. I would certainly prefer the more modern durable ones from companies like these, though.
    When it comes to storage and organization, I look for things that are a little more into ‘found-space’ or utilizing wasted space.

  13. posted by km519 on

    For elevating the monitor, I saw this on Lifehacker

    It is a set of 4 PVC pipes cut to height with a shelf on top. My brother made the same, but substituted HDPE sheet (high-density polyethylene ) and painted the PVC pipes.

  14. posted by Brian on

    Great idea km519. Affordable and would get the job done, with the benefit of being able to build it to whatever size I need. It seems that many off the shelf stands want to be both a CRT and LCD stand, which somewhat negates the benefit of having a small footprint monitor.

  15. posted by Miriam on

    Ooh, nice! I like that it keeps things tidy and mobile, plus storable on a shelf rather than the usual ungainly, overstuffed file drawers.

    They’d also make a great thing for yarn stash storage. I’ve only got a small stash, but the last thing I want around the house is another damned plastic bin.

    How are they labelled? $10 is a lot for cardboard, if I see cheaper elsewhere I’ll comment again.

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