My wife says I have to clean my desk...

I have two of these that are completely full and overflowing all over my desk. My wife is pretty annoyed at the mess and I really need to do something about it. The problem is, I'm not entirely happy with the 44-drawer cabinet solution. They're great if you have 10-billion resistors, and they even work for things as large as a QuickStart board, but they're not helpful for storing something as large as my ActivityBoard, let alone my Propeller Professional Development Board. I have batteries, battery chargers, large dev boards, motors, steppers, a soldering station, cables, etc etc etc.

Anyone have suggestions? I have two absolute requirements: keep the dust off my stuff and keep my stuff out of sight. Of course, it sure would be nice if it remained more accessible than if I scooped it all into a 20 gallon storage bin.
David
PropWare: C++ HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for PropGCC; Robust build system using CMake; Integrated Simple Library, libpropeller, and libPropelleruino (Arduino port); Instructions for Eclipse and JetBrain's CLion; Example projects; Doxygen documentation
CI Server: http://david.zemon.name:8111/?guest=1
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  • DavidZemon wrote: »
    I have two of these that are completely full and overflowing all over my desk. My wife is pretty annoyed at the mess and I really need to do something about it. The problem is, I'm not entirely happy with the 44-drawer cabinet solution. They're great if you have 10-billion resistors, and they even work for things as large as a QuickStart board, but they're not helpful for storing something as large as my ActivityBoard, let alone my Propeller Professional Development Board. I have batteries, battery chargers, large dev boards, motors, steppers, a soldering station, cables, etc etc etc.

    Anyone have suggestions? I have two absolute requirements: keep the dust off my stuff and keep my stuff out of sight. Of course, it sure would be nice if it remained more accessible than if I scooped it all into a 20 gallon storage bin.

    Small (~5x5x12) plastic containers from Lowes/Home Depot etc. would work. I use a couple of dozen plastic cages about that about that size along with some custom shelves for them that sit under my work bench. Having content labels on them and access to the individual cages is a great organizational help.
    In science there is no authority. There is only experiment.
    Life is unpredictable. Eat dessert first.
  • When Fred Dibnah's house and garden were overflowing with steam engine parts and other historical industrial relics there was only one thing for it, a new wife.

    I think this happened twice before he found one that appreciated such things.

    Just saying...


  • Check out the Really Useful Box. I have dozens of them now.
  • YanomaniYanomani Posts: 698
    edited November 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Heater. wrote: »
    When Fred Dibnah's house and garden were overflowing with steam engine parts and other historical industrial relics there was only one thing for it, a new wife.

    I think this happened twice before he found one that appreciated such things.

    Just saying...


    Then, I must be so dumb ..., or unlucky...

    I'm on my seventh marriage...

    ALL my stuff is already at 20, 10 and even 5 gallons storage bins... outdoors, piled on granite shelves, into a small compartment covered with ceramic tiles, originally intended to house aluminium stairs, gas cannisters, brooms, squeegees and the like.

    The topmost shelve, is actualy partly shared, with a small-birds family's nest.

    Just sad! :depressed:
  • Yanomani,
    Then, I must be so dumb ..., or unlucky...I'm on my seventh marriage...
    Ouch, careful what you write and who gets to read it. You might have to be looking for your 8th wife soon.

    I have been downsized as well in recent years. My work bench / desk is barely over a meter wide. Hardly room to swing a soldering iron. My scope is precariously perched on a nearby shelf. I get space for stack of plastic parts storage boxes in one corner. Everything else has been relegated to a storage area in the basement where it may never seen the light of day again, covered in other junk as it is. Oh, except my electronic relics that are in storage miles away.

    Luckily this hobby does not need so much space now a days. The big box PC is now a tiny Surface Pro, the 50 Kilo monitor is now a flat LCD stuck to the wall. My scope is a tiny RIGOL DS1054, far smaller than the old tektronix.

    Projects are tiny compared to hacking on big aluminium boxes to build tube circuits. Chips are tiny, dev boards are tiny, in fact my current project has disappeared altogether into an FPGA.

    If I ever have the urge to build some kind of robot it will have to be really small...

    Hmmm.... I have been returned to the situation when was 10 years old and all my electronics came in a Philips Electronic Engineer Kit. Mother would insist everything was in it's box and cleared off the table for tea time.
  • I just started using them as well.

    Mike
  • Clock LoopClock Loop Posts: 1,564
    edited November 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    1. Remove everything from the area where your two desks are, including the desks(pull them away from all the walls.

    2. Purchase enough of these shelves to line the walls, so the shelves completely surround your desk, don't worry about looks, at first, this is your work area. So the shelves will be a in a U shape with your two desks in the middle of them.
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honey-Can-Do-18-in-L-x-48-in-W-x-72-in-H-4-Tier-Steel-Shelving-Unit-in-Black-SHF-05225/205706514

    3.Place equiptment and smaller bins on these shelves.

    4. Push desks in front of shelves so desks buts up against shelves.

    5. Place decorative paintings and posters on shelfs to cover them up a bit.

    6. Organize the desks and items on shelves and bins behind the desks, so that the items related to the project you are working on are sitting on the shelfs behind the desks.

    This allows projects/parts to remain close to their desk area, but not own the desk all the time, projects do not like to leave the room or desk, so you compromise and place them on the shelf BEHIND the desk.
    1. Silicon gel filled square. <---2.Sonics(ultra even). 3.Lazers. 4. ?
    https://hackaday.io/project/162734-a-trillion-year-clock
    54 propeller chips were connected to One, to rule them all....
    https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/127983/55-parallax-propeller-s-parallells-processing-of-permanent-perturbations/p1
  • Beau SchwabeBeau Schwabe Posts: 6,384
    edited November 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    You could make them .... Building it could also score wife points, showing off your skills for "other" things that could be done around the house.

    This guy does some pretty amazing work with wood and reminds me a little of Chip.




    Beau Schwabe -- Submicron Forensic Engineer
    www.Kit-Start.com - bschwabe@Kit-Start.com ෴෴ www.BScircuitDesigns.com - icbeau@bscircuitdesigns.com ෴෴

  • ercoerco Posts: 19,320
    edited November 25 Vote Up0Vote Down
    I'm hardly a paragon of organization, but since I moved into an office and had a clean start, I'm amazed at how my productivity & throughput has increased. Just having things organized & marked makes a huge difference. My sloppy workbench at home was a disaster, I just couldn't comply when Ken asked me for a photo of my bench! Too many Ebay China parts stuffed wherever.

    I still need a multidrawer unit like you have for resistors, but TTYTT I primarily use only ~10 values of resistors. I have several of the shoebox-sized clear Sterilite boxes that Rich linked to (but get them at Walmart or Dollar Tree) for larger projects. But my favorite storage boxes for parts & small projects are pencil boxes (Walmart back to school, mainly) and the yellow top-lid partitioned boxes (99 cent store) shown below.

    It also made a huge difference to set up 3 different desks. One is just my desktop computer for programming & general email/web stuff, a second for mechanical building, and the third for electronics & soldering, shown below. Building circuits is ridiculously messy. Solder & rosin drips get everywhere, as do scraps of wire, insulation & clipped component leads. I strive to clean up between projects as much as possible. This from a confirmed clutterbug. That clean start made all the difference, plus it's my studio office and clients visit there, so it's gotta stay mostly presentable.

    The only thing I bought on Black Friday was a Brother P-Touch label maker for $10. Before long I'll even have neat labels on everything. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?

    2560 x 1920 - 1M
    2560 x 1920 - 1M
    1920 x 2560 - 1M
    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • Bento boxes are cheap and easy. Shop around, I was given 100 of them for $5. I like that they aren't airtight. If needed it's easy enough to tape the vents and drop a desiccant in with the contents. Dry erase markers work on the lids, which can be viewed from the side if you stack them. Something like this -

    https://www.amazon.com/Seacoast-Container-Commercial-Microwave-Compartment/dp/B07GVPWWVP

    I think it was an EEVBlog video where some guy had many shelves of parts in take-out containers. A lot of people assumed this person ate a lot of takeout. I didn't think much of it until I started using them. You don't need to order food to get these things lol...



  • Heater. wrote: »
    When Fred Dibnah's house and garden were overflowing with steam engine parts and other historical industrial relics there was only one thing for it, a new wife.

    I think this happened twice before he found one that appreciated such things.

    Just saying...


    Fred Dibnah and Blaster Bates....Haven't thought about those guys in ages!

    Fred is my kinda guy....my live-in GF of 4 years started to get on my case because my house resembles a workshop....I have no need for a conventional living room, never watch mind-numbing TV, etc.
    She was making all kinds of marriage noises and assumed that because of the HUGE age gap (26 years) that I would comply.....Welp, sent her packing almost a year ago and hardly a day goes by that she doesn't ask to come back.... :smiley:

    Love me, love my Prop(s)
    Failure is not an option...it's bundled with the software.
  • I also really like the Plano 3750 storage boxes.

    storage%20boxes.jpg
    1067 x 800 - 272K
  • potatoheadpotatohead Posts: 9,566
    edited November 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Mrs Spud: You need to clean that area up.

    Spud: OK

    [time passes]

    Mrs Spud: You really need to clean that area up.

    Spud: OK

    [more time passes]

    :D

    Should this reach emergency status, I deploy the sheet. Problem solved, next.
    Do not taunt Happy Fun Ball! @opengeekorg ---> Be Excellent To One Another SKYPE = acuity_doug
    Parallax colors simplified: https://forums.parallax.com/discussion/123709/commented-graphics-demo-spin<br>
  • Just wanted to pop in and say thank you everyone for all the suggestions. I've read them all, visited all the links, and am taking it all in... trying to figure out exactly what combination of all this will work well for me (and the Mrs).
    David
    PropWare: C++ HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for PropGCC; Robust build system using CMake; Integrated Simple Library, libpropeller, and libPropelleruino (Arduino port); Instructions for Eclipse and JetBrain's CLion; Example projects; Doxygen documentation
    CI Server: http://david.zemon.name:8111/?guest=1
  • Heater.Heater. Posts: 21,205
    edited November 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    So you're keeping the missus then?

  • heater wrote:
    So you're keeping the misses then?
    Whoa, Heater! You might want to check your spelling. I don't think that's what you meant to say. :)

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Quite right Phil. Fixed now.

    I was thinking it did not look quite right. Was too tired to do anything about it.

    Anyway, David seems to have had 6 misses, perhaps this is the real missus.

  • Heater. wrote: »
    So you're keeping the missus then?

    As long as she'll have me! She's a sooper smrt programmer too, so we have fun. She just doesn't do electronics and therefore has a much neater desk.
    David
    PropWare: C++ HAL (Hardware Abstraction Layer) for PropGCC; Robust build system using CMake; Integrated Simple Library, libpropeller, and libPropelleruino (Arduino port); Instructions for Eclipse and JetBrain's CLion; Example projects; Doxygen documentation
    CI Server: http://david.zemon.name:8111/?guest=1
  • Excellent.

    Buy her a soldering iron, scope and multi-meter for Christmas. And perhaps an interesting kit to build, with a software connection. Sounds like she will soon get into that.

    All thoughts of untidy desks could be displaced by more interesting things.

    A family that solders together stays together :)



  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 14,236
    edited November 26 Vote Up0Vote Down
    A little tip.
    A business friend of mine taught his wife to solder so she could assemble our prototypes. Worked brilliantly for our little socketed boards. Little yellow pillows, and blue ones too. Blue and black combs. Orange something's (tantalums). A couple of transistors. All worked fantastically.

    Then one day we had a much more complex board. The first one worked fine, so we sent her a box of parts and a sample working board.

    Well, my friend taught her to solder, and copy, so she knew things had to be the right way around. BUT, he forgot to tell her that not all 14 pin chips were the same :( She took the first tube of 14 pin chips and put them on all the first boards until she ran out, then used the second tube, etc. No sockets either :(
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • Cluso99,

    If it's one thing that I've learned over and over again, it's that you need to think that production people are idiots because some of them sure act like it.
    That's for tools and documentation because some of them do think and may know more than you.
  • The production people I contract with to do my assembly are smarter than me, thankfully. If they were idiots, I'd be out of business.

    -Phil
    “Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away. -Antoine de Saint-Exupery
  • Cluso99Cluso99 Posts: 14,236
    edited November 27 Vote Up0Vote Down
    Most good contract manufacturers will do precisely what you ask for. It's up to you to provide adequate documentation to enable them to assemble to your requirements.
    And they will provide lots of helpful feedback if you want it.
    My Prop boards: P8XBlade2, RamBlade, CpuBlade, TriBlade
    Prop OS (also see Sphinx, PropDos, PropCmd, Spinix)
    Website: www.clusos.com
    Prop Tools (Index) , Emulators (Index) , ZiCog (Z80)
  • TorTor Posts: 1,959
    edited November 27 Vote Up0Vote Down
    DavidZemon wrote: »
    She's a sooper smrt programmer too, so we have fun. She just doesn't do electronics and therefore has a much neater desk.
    My programming desk is extremely messy compared to my electronics desk.. it's much easier to get away with the former than the latter (i.e. finding things)

  • My workbench is two of these IKEA Alex drawer units on either end holding up a worksurface. I added one extra layer to make the worksurface high enough to allow this other IKEA Alex Drawer unit on wheels to slide underneath when I am not sitting at the bench. It works out very nicely (when I don't have tons of crap piled everywhere). One of the units I got off of craigslist for $40 that looks like new and was already assembled!. (just search for IKEA Alex)
    I also have a couple of the GrabnGo storage units from JoAnn's Crafts that I landed during one of their crazy 50% sales. The nice thing about them is that they use standard containers, so in one of them, I swapped the top container for the Propeller Education Kit container. The down side is the color options. Mine are neon green and purple, but I just say it makes me look hip.

  • Jeff HaasJeff Haas Posts: 305
    edited November 28 Vote Up0Vote Down
    That GrabnGo unit looks like a custom purple version of this Plano Stow N Go:
    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Plano-Stow-N-Go-39-Compartment-Rack-with-3-Organizer-136330/204591385

    I have one of the Plano units, it's great. Anything by Plano is worth it.
    San Mateo, CA
  • My workbench is two of these on either end holding up a worksurface.

    Andrew, you can just say DOOR, we know exactly what you mean. :)

    "When you make a thing, a thing that is new, it is so complicated making it that it is bound to be ugly. But those that make it after you, they don’t have to worry about making it. And they can make it pretty, and so everybody can like it when others make it after you."

    - Pablo Picasso
  • erco wrote: »
    My workbench is two of these on either end holding up a worksurface.

    Andrew, you can just say DOOR, we know exactly what you mean. :)

    My work area is currently a retired Snack Table. One computer an incredible twenty year old Dell Dimension that would out do a certain American college football player and coach, in fact I just got him working again after a nasty failure caused by Windows XP. (Note to Ken, that's where I did much of my earlier BASIC Stamp programming after switching from the early DOS tools.) sits on a computer desk. (The computer does not like the desk!) And a Tek 2213 scope wearing a retired computer station.

    I keep stuff I'm not using immediately in black and yellow bins sold by Home Depot. I keep stuff I'm using constantly in Really Useful Boxes as well. And a few items from the Container Store.
    ---
    And this message is sponsored by the Naboo Free Range for riding birds society. (The Padme Chapter.)
  • erco wrote: »
    My workbench is two of these on either end holding up a worksurface.

    Andrew, you can just say DOOR, we know exactly what you mean. :)

    Haha, good one Erco. It is actually aIkea Linnmon worktop sitting on two wood bedrails for added support. And it does have a full ESD mat.
    About two years ago, I bought a pallet full of demo/old stock from the Ikea scratch and dent area. Paid $40 and the "new" stuff alone was worth of $800. Ended up with 4 of those invisible mount wall shelves still wrapped.
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