The convenient Light Switch Rack

I spotted the Light Switch Rack in a recent Museum of Modern Art Store catalog, and immediately started to think about all of the places I could use it in my home and office:

The rack, which is designed by Paul Koh, fits over your lightswitch, and then you attach your switch plate to the front of it. I think it would be terrific to hang the switch next to a back door to hold a dog leash and all of those papers you can’t forget to take with you when you leave. You could use it in an office to hold out-going mail and keys to the bathroom. It would also be great to use as it is in the image to sort mail and hold car keys. The Light Switch Rack is a great way to keep from losing those things you need when you’re on the go.

43 Comments for “The convenient Light Switch Rack”

  1. posted by Angelo on

    Wow, that’s really clever. When you think about it, there’s a lightswitch right at the door to any room, almost without exception.

  2. posted by Bill on

    Just make sure you don’t hang your keys next to a window so that a less-than-moral person could smash & grab and unlock everything you own.

  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Bill — Not to upset your sense of safety, but a thief could break that window and come into your house at any time. There are probably much more valuable things inside your home than that key.

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  5. posted by L. on

    Why not just buy pretty hooks for the wall near the light switch? This thing is ugly and would get in the way of, you know, switching the lights on and off.

  6. posted by MrsG on

    I would definitely buy this. It’s great for those of us who live in apartments with light switches that AREN’T WIRED TO ANYTHING. If I had one of these I might feel better about my light switch not pulling its weight.

  7. posted by Rue on

    I like the idea but would rather just have the hooks and not the mail holder. Any mail I have I put in my purse (if an envelope) or in the car (if a box).

  8. posted by Dawn F. on

    This is cool! You could install one in the garage to hold a dog lease and a gate key along with the outgoing mail. So simple yet so handy…

  9. posted by L. on

    I have a place in my house where this would fit perfectly. The main issue I come up with is that there’s a door framed by trim quite close to the switch, and the trim is thick enough that it would get in the way of papers and envelopes held by this place, and sort of force them forward.

    It’s also not very attractive, but then again neither is the kludge I’ve got going right now!

  10. posted by *Pol on

    I am making one immediately! I don’t need the hooks, but I’m always trying to shove envelopes and slips of paper into the gap between the switchplate and the wall by the front door (it’s the perfect place to put things I CAN NOT forget.)… so the letter thing looks handy. I think I will make mine slightly springy so that it holds it against the wall and the draft of the kids rushing down the stairs or closing the door won’t dislodge the papers.

    BTW I made an outlet recharching station out of some flexible plastic like the one you showed so long ago, and it works fantastic for keeping my cellphone off the counter while charging. Arts and crafts for unclutterers!

  11. posted by Bill on

    @Erin – I was thinking more along the lines of opportunity. It’s easy to bust open a window, grab the keys, then unlock the door for easy access.

  12. posted by Mr. D on

    I had to check to make sure that this was Wednesday, because I thought there was no way this wouldn’t be listed for Unitasker Wednesday. I can’t believe this is a serious endorsement! $25 for something you could make with simple hooks or nails that cost a few cents each? Maybe it’s not clutter, but it’s still wasteful.

  13. posted by Melanie on

    Bill’s post reminded me of and organizing/security device we’ve been meaning to purchase. Does anyone out there use a small key storage cabinet that locks with a combination? Apparently its a great way to organize your keys by the door for easy access but prevents thieves from having the same. The theory is that a thief can get into your house,load your car with your valuables and drive away unnoticed with your possessions and your car. I promise I’m not paraniod but have heard this suggestion from several law enforcement professionals in our city.

  14. posted by Beth on

    “I think I will make mine slightly springy so that it holds it against the wall and the draft of the kids rushing down the stairs or closing the door won’t dislodge the papers.”

    *Pol, what a good idea. Please post a photo to Flickr of your results if you can .. that would be cool to see.

  15. posted by Aeon J. Skoble on

    Great idea! Ordering it now.

  16. posted by Liz on

    Great idea, lousy price! While I think this is very clever, the $25 price tag is a bit much. More than a bit, actually. I think a couple of hooks and a giant 6″ paperclip will work just fine.

  17. posted by Shalin on

    Great idea, but I think I’ll fashion one out of some scrap material myself 🙂

    This reminds me of something I’ve been wondering for yeeeeaars now: What can one do with unoccupied telephone wall outlets? I’d like to use the minimal electricity for a clock or just use the space to put a catch-all or mini-storage cubby or something else…


  18. posted by Sooz on

    I like the *idea* behind this, but the reality of it bothers me for 2 reasons:

    – if those hooks are truly shaped like real screws, the edges are probably wicked sharp & one might cut one’s hand/fingers when you make a quick grab for keys or leash or whatever.

    – the space at top looks overly big – notice how the letters shown in the illustration are exactly (and improbably!) balanced on the top of the actual switchplate cover? That doesn’t happen in real life. I’d be worried that any mail placed there could easily be knocked off.

    The person who said they would make one that curved in at the top to hold the mail is on the right track!

  19. posted by Jen C on

    1) It is ugly. I prefer for functional things to add beauty to my life as well.

    2) I think I would take my eye out on the mail holder. My light switches in my current house are quite high and it seems that could be close enough to eye level for bad things to happen. Even if it wasn’t an eye, I’m pretty sure I’d be whacking into it all the time.

    3) Any electricians see any potential safety issues with mail getting where it shouldn’t and causing a fire with a poorly wired switch? Or is this a total non-issue?

  20. posted by Heather on

    At first I thought Wow, what a great concept. I followed the link over to the MOMA store. Where I saw it cost’s TWENTY FIVE DOLLARS for this ugly thing. For twenty five dollars, I could easily buy something or make something much more attractive and hang it by my front door.

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  23. posted by Michael on

    Doesn’t this make much more sense to be installed *underneath* the switchplate?

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  25. posted by Celeste on

    We’ve just installed new switches that are wider, lighted, and connected to a timer, so this wouldn’t fit over it. But I wouldn’t do this anyway because I don’t think it’s aesthetically pleasing. JMHO.

  26. posted by Christy Z. on

    I thought this was a unitasker Wed item too – just what I don’t want – a pile of paper. keys etc all over the house.

  27. posted by Sooz on

    @Michael, I’m not sure, but would imagine it would be against code in most places to install this *underneath* the switchplate.

  28. posted by Pam on

    Melanie, That sounds like a great idea. Maybe I’ll get one for my mother for Christmas. Right up her alley and she never really wants anything she can’t use. We have a door with windows in it so there is a lock which must be opened with a key even on the inside. We have to put it on a hook away from the window. I agree with Bill on this one about it being about opportunity.

    I think this would be nice if you had an entry area that is not seen while in any major rooms. I always have something I need to remember to take with me, esp. items for our son for school.

  29. posted by Melanie on

    Pam, our “key thing” will be out of sight in the laundry room because its basically a glorified pass-through to the garage. I shut the door and no one has to look at it. I’m setting it up as my “staging area” for what I need to bring with me when I leave the house. The white board calendar forces me to look at our schedule on the way out the door, and a plastic shoe pocket over the inner door holds things like sunglasses, socks and shoes(cuts down on toddler chasing), or whatever we need to deposit on the way in or out. Its a work in progress.

  30. posted by Another Deb on

    I think this would be great for hanging my and my husband’s badge holders, keys and sunglasses. The incoming mail could sit there until the person who it is addressed to comes home. The flat side of the holder can hold a sticky, magnetic pen and maybe a magnetic clip to add outgoing mail onto the front instead of inside with my sunglasses.

    Although all of that stuff would look like clutter by the front door, it would be very handy in the mudroom leading to the garage where we enter and exit anyway.

  31. posted by Another Deb on

    Drat! Half of my plan would not work. The aluminum it is made from is not magnetic.

  32. posted by Karyn on

    For outgoing mail and similar items, I have a decorative, sturdy wire letter sorter hanging on the entryway wall from a couple of small nails. It hangs over the entryway table, so there’s no danger of bumping into it and knocking it down.

    I think this switchplate rack is a good idea, but one could probably be molded out of hard plastic, in white and various “decorator” and “fun” colors and/or patterns, and sold for about 5 bucks.

  33. posted by Dave on

    I’ll have to try making one of these, by my door we have a triple switch, nice and wide for mail, I might spring load it, maybe out of clear lexan.

  34. posted by D on

    in the description the light switchplate goes OVER the rack, and in the photo, it is UNDER the rack…I think putting the thing up properly would make it more attractive and less cumbersome looking.

  35. posted by Peter on

    Unfortunately, the light switch next to my front door is a double switch. One for the foyer and one for the porch light.

  36. posted by Pammyfay on

    It’s a clever idea, but I think it would end up being too restrictive, either because someone would always want to leave their sunglasses or GPS device near the front door (GPSs are frequently the target of thieves at night) and there’s no room for that here or, as Peter just wrote, their light-switch configuration doesn’t work for them.

    The letter portion is nice, but if you’re taking only a few regular-size letters. Anything larger, like even a 5×7 padded envelope, would still have to be left on the floor, so the entire sleek look is eliminated.

    I think, tho, seeing this will make people think of how they can make their by-the-door needs work for them by creating their own cubby or hanger system (you could rig up a combination of some hooks and perhaps a wall-mount clear magazine holder), which would still unclutter their lives.

  37. posted by Karen on

    Erin –

    Bill had a much better point than you seem to realize. If a house has two-sided deadbolts and windows that are narrow or far above the ground, keeping the keys too close to the doorknob seriously lowers the effort required to get into the house. That doesn’t matter much in a suburban environment where at least one side of the house is well hidden, but in an intown neighborhood, I think protecting your keys could make a huge difference. Also — again, this only applies to houses with two-sided deadbolts everywhere — you can only get so much stuff out the window.

    I love my deadbolts, but they are a bit scary since there’s no good place to put the my keys near the door. This lightswitch thing is a great idea — though I think I’ll copy it by screwing a cup hook into a wooden switch plate ($.25) rather than buy this way cool objet d’art ($31).

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  39. posted by Lucretia on

    Not only is it ugly in that white, it is USA-centric, only fits light switches from that country which is a shame. If it was prettied up (brushed aluminium, anyone?) with nice hooks on the bottom instead of those ugly screw things and someone marketed it to fit switches in different countries it could be a mega-seller!

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  41. posted by sinead on

    This performs basically the same function for a fraction of the price and comes in different colors too. No need to limit its placement to a light switch either…

  42. posted by sinead on

    Sorry- here’s the link…

  43. posted by Jess on

    I don’t know – to me this seems like just another excuse to create unsightly clutter that you have to clear up later. Surely there aren’t many things whose home is really on the light switch of a room?

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