We recently asked our readers to share their biggest uncluttering and organizing hurdles and they responded. Now, we’re going through the comments to see what we can do to help.
Unclutterer reader Mary asked:
C-Pap Machines for sleep apnea … used every nite … sitting on a small table by my husband’s side of the bed and most visible from adjoining living room … long hose and face piece at end of hose … so ugly but so necessary … storage ideas but still convenient?
Mary, there are a number of approaches you might use to address this challenge. While I’m going to list some specific solutions for CPAP machines, the strategies I’ve included could apply to any ugly-but-useful items we need to keep close at hand.
Make the equipment less ugly
Your options here will depend on what CPAP machine you use and how crafty you are. There are some commercial products, but you could also try a do-it-yourself approach. On the commercial side:
The ResMed S9 Autoset comes in pink, which some people think looks less clinical (and therefore more attractive) than the basic machine.
If you use a ResMed S9 device you can also get a skin (a vinyl decal) for it. Skinit has a program where you provide the image and the company turns it into a custom skin.
Cover it up
Building off the idea of the teapot cover called a cozy, some people have created CPAP machine and mask cozies. I’m not finding anyone who sells a CPAP cozy commercially, but you could either make one yourself or have one made for you.
You can buy hose covers, which serve a functional purpose. But a cover also “makes the CPAP look less clinical,” as one Amazon buyer noted.
Place it somewhere handy but less conspicuous
The CPAP machine doesn’t have to live on top of the nightstand in order to be handy. The Bedside CPAP Table keeps the CPAP close by the bed but off the nightstand, freeing up that nightstand space for other things. (This table is also useful for travel to places where there might not be a nightstand next to the bed.)
You can also take the CPAP machine (and the hoses and mask) off the nightstand by putting everything into the nightstand. Perdue Woodworks makes a nightstand specifically for this purpose, but if you’ve got another nightstand where you’re willing to cut holes in the sides, you might be able to create your own.
Denny Allen Cabinets has a different design, with a side-opening drawer, which could also work well.
When you’re dealing with anything that’s unsightly yet useful, you may find a similar creative way to disguise or hide the item.