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An unbelievably simple Ikea Hack; a truly Mobile, incredibly Compact Workstation!

Ikea-hack
In order to accompany my spouse who is a hopeless potato couch loves to distress in front of our humongous TV, I have been using the dining or coffee table as my makeshift workstation for the past 6 years .
 
Well, this arrangement is not really perfect since I have to pack up my stuffs whenever it is meal time. Furthermore, since the dining or coffee table is an improvised work area, the poorly equipped impromptu work table translates to poor ergonomics…. and this compounded my shoulder injury!
 shoulder-hurts
Image from knowyourmeme
Hence, it is not long before we decided to embark on a search for a proper workstation.
Well like any other project, the first thing to look out for is to define the detailed requirements. Hence, my needs for a proper workstation are aptly summarized as follows:
1. Affordable at less than $200; 
 
2. Accommodate my laptop, computer accessories such as portable hard disks, card readers, files and so on;
 
3. Extremely compact and takes up as little footprint as possible (around the dimension of my laptop should be suffice) since I do not wish to clutter my dining and living room further;
 
4. Comfortable and allows me to maintain a proper sitting position; which means that I should be able to sit up with my back straight, my shoulders pulled back. The workstation should also enable me to fit my legs below the table top comfortably, with my knees bent at a right angle and both feet flat on the floor;
 
5. Movable and light so that it is easier for me to move the workstation around while I am cleaning the floor. Also with the added mobility, I can choose to work anywhere in my home and;
 
6. Preferably made in metal to complement our home interior design.
Months passed and we found a couple of options but none fits our bills or within our budget. In fact, these are the few options from the internet. They range from the flexible, foldable and recyclable cardboard desk from Refold creators Fraser Callaway, Oliver Ward, and Matt Innes …
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image from kickstarter
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 Image from weburbanist
…..to the StandUp or SitDown Workstation from Amazon.
office-table
Image from amazon
After much deliberation with my partner, both of us decided to pay Ikea yet another visit…..and finally ended with this!

A truly compact mobile workstation which comes with a matching folding chair!

Just perfect for laptops, Mac Air laptops and the much anticipated iPad Pro!!

creative-laptop-table
creative-chair
IKEA HACK IS A SUCCESS!
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Image from giphy
This is a relatively simple Ikea hack and so far, one of our favorites because it fits my needs perfectly without having to break the bank!
You might wonder exactly how easy is this Ikea Hack ? 
creative-ikea-hack
Yes, it is really this easy!
 
The cost?!
dollar-infographic
 Approximately $170
 
 
 
Time taken?
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 2 .5 hours
The tools and materials needed?
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You will need the following ……
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ikea-bjarnum
Please ignore the paint since I didn’t have time to repaint the workstation
 
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1. GRUNDTAL Bathroom Trolley
ikea-grundtal-bathroom-trolley
image from ikea
2. GUNDE Folding chair
ikea-gunde-folding-chair
image from ikea
3. BJÄRNUM Folding hooks
BJÃRNUM-Folding-hooks
image from ikea
4. APTITLIG Chopping board
ikea-APTITLIG-Chopping-board
image from ikea
5. A pair of machine screws
machine-screws
image from grainger
6. A pair of hex nuts
hex-nuts
image from grainger.
7. A strip of Sponge Rubber Foam Tape
sponge-rubber-foam-tape
image from amazon
8.A strip of Self Adhesive Velcro Tape
self-adhesive-velcro-tape
image from ebay.co.uk
9. 2 pairs of Light Duty Non Slip Rubber Protector Pads
non-slip-rubber-protector-pads
image from amazon
10. A strip of Black Hook And Loop/Velcro cord Tape
black-hook-loop-velcro-cord-tape
11. A pair of Socket Cap Screws, Allen Key Bolts
socket-cap-secrews-allen-key-bolts
image from ebay.co.uk
12. Electric handheld drill
electric-handheld-drill
Image from horme
 
The detailed instructions?
 guideline-infographic
Step 1. Follow the instruction sheet and assemble the GRUNDTAL Trolley, skipping the installation of one handle on the left.
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Step 2. Cut 2 strips of the sponge rubber foam and stuff them inside the BJÄRNUM folding hooks. On the left side where the handle is not installed, drill 2 additional holes for the folding hooks.
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Step 3. Install the BJÄRNUM folding hooks with the screws provided by Ikea. Flush the ends with the machine screws and hex nuts (we used the normal screws with the green rubber expansion screw stopper at first since we ran out of the machine screws and hex nuts).
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Step 4. Hang the GUNDE Folding chair onto the folding hooks to test the stability of the trolley when the hooks are in use.
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Step 5. To attach the plastic tray onto the GRUNDTAL Trolley securely, drill 2 holes at the sides of the plastic tray. Next, cut 2 strips of the of black hook and loop velcro cord tapes to secure the plastic tray to the sides of the trolley with the socket cap screws and allen key bolts.
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Step 6. Paste 2 strips of self adhesive velcro tape and 2 pairs of light duty non slip rubber protector pads at the four corners on the trolley plastic tray and the APTITLIG chopping board so that the chopping board will not slide around (alternatively, you can install hinges to attach the APTITLIG Chopping board onto the trolley).
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Step 7. Remove the middle metal shelf from the GRUNDTAL Trolley and the mobile workstation is complete!
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TIPS: If you find the size of this workstation too small, you can easily configure its size by using the different combination of bathroom or kitchen trolley and chopping board.
 

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If you wish to have more work surface for your handphone or mug, you can easily drill and attach a mug holder at the side of the workstation, like what I did! 🙂
 
ikea-mug-holder-diy
 
I have used the metal decorative candle holder from Ikea as the mug holder!
 
Also! This mobile workstation also doubles up as a sleek mobile kitchen island
 
 

My Thoughts

The secret to life hacks is simply just a little bit of thinking out of the box; breaking the ground rules and exploring the limitations of the system or product. I love IKEA, I love it more for the fact that its products are so easily customizable and fun to work with.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed this post as much as I did and do share your Ikea hacks with us too! 🙂

 


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