Organizing

This Is IKEA's Most Versatile Item. No, It's Not the Billy Bookcase.

You'll find a use (or many) in every room in the house.

November  2, 2020
Photo by IKEA

It’s no surprise to anyone who knows me that I’m obsessed with cleaning and organizing. Show me a home product that ticks both boxes at the same time, and I can barely keep it together with excitement. So, it’s no wonder that I’m about to gush a little about my new favorite household helper: the IKEA Råskog utility cart.

I know what you’re thinking: a rolling cart is a rolling cart is a…, but no, even as first glances go, this one’s a looker. (Those curves. That gray-green!) I use mine to hold all my cleaning supplies (of which I have many) that used to previously overflow under the kitchen sink. The bottom shelves offer additional storage, so I can organize them according to priority. My most regularly used cleaners are up top; the second shelf is for gloves, cloths and brushes; and the third I keep for specialized cleaners (Brasso, Magic Erasers, you get it). It makes me feel very efficient to roll it around with me on cleaning day, and when I'm done, I just tuck it neatly into my entryway closet.

And the Råskog can wear sooo many hats. My friend Lizzie recently sent me a photo of her new apartment, and standing proudly in a corner—the Råskog, turned into a rather splendid “gin cart.” Another friend uses it to store camera equipment, and yet another for holding her kid’s paper and art supplies. Need an extra surface to craft on? Just flip the top bin over.

As far as IKEA projects go, this one’s also super easy to put together. My husband and I had previously vowed never to assemble anything IKEA side-by-side, after having reached the brink of trouble many times over. This was not one of those times.

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Top Comment:
“I use it right there, rolled near to an outlet. The height is better than on a countertop. I didn’t think to turn over the top basket but I will now! Brilliant idea!”
— Cherie
Comment

Which is a good thing, because I have every plan to buy another (or many). I'm pretty sure I could find 50 different uses for them—even in my NYC apartment. Here are some I already know of:


A Råskog for every room

An ingeniously-fashioned spice rack, if I ever saw one. This person has utilized every extra inch of surface space—adding hooks for additional hanging, and even plopping on a few smaller magnetic spice tins on the sides for easy access.

I'd suggest popping a plant or two into your Råskog, but why not turn the entire thing into a rolling herb garden? (Tip: Add S-hooks to hang off your garden scissors and mister.) Move it to the window for some extra Vitamin D when needed, and then roll over to the kitchen counter when you need to pinch off some fresh herbs.

All out of creative tiny-bathroom storage ideas? Well, here's one more. We love the matte black option for any style of bathroom (we have a thing for black bathroom accessories around here)—form and function, anyone?

Packing up the sewing machine, tools, and threads when you're done with a project is tedious. Now, you can have them all live in one place. Tip the top bin over for an extra workspace.

Art and craft supplies that can be rolled to the table and then be rolled back out of the way when done with your projects? Yes. Also, add a wooden topper for additional stability—now you have an instant WFH desk.

In need of an instant side table for a dinner party? Or a rolling coffee cart for your guests? With some magazines thrown in for company? A Råskog's your best friend in these cases.

Add extra storage right at your bedside! The three sections make organizing your sleep mask, books, table lamp, and all the others odds-and-ends that inexplicably land on your bedside table really easy—there's even place for your weighted blanket on there.

Just like Lizzie's gin cart, but with some swap-ins—all organized to be both functional and visually appealing. Need some quick tips on stocking the kind of bar cart your Instagram followers will envy? Food52's resident bartender has all the ideas for you to sip in style.

It's 2020, so we're not getting much use for our make-up. All the more reason why you need a place to help you organize all of it, and then stash 'em away. For another day year.

A rolling snack cart is both a genius and a dangerous idea in my opinion—so use at your own risk. I, for one, would never let it leave my bedroom. (Brb, need chips.)

Because if it is cat-approved it must be very, very good. Honestly, whatever it takes to keep Michu off the couch—because we love our cats, but also love nice furniture.

What do you use your IKEA Råskog cart for? Tell us in the comments below!


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Arati Menon

Written by: Arati Menon

Arati grew up hanging off the petticoat-tails of three generations of Indian matriarchs who used food to speak their language of love—and she finds herself instinctually following suit. Life has taken her all across the world, but she carries with her a menagerie of inherited home and kitchen objects that serve as her anchor. Formerly at GQ and Architectural Digest, she's now based in Brooklyn.

10 Comments

susan November 11, 2020
I love this. I have mine next to my desk but I flipped the top bin upside down when installing so that I could set my printer on it.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. December 26, 2020
Great idea, Susan!!
 
Cherie November 10, 2020
I have one of those big ass Kitchen Aid mixers with the bowl lift. It’s too heavy to drag out of a cabinet so I wasn’t using it much. Now it sits perfectly in the top basket and all the accessories fit nicely in the lower baskets. I use it right there, rolled near to an outlet. The height is better than on a countertop. I didn’t think to turn over the top basket but I will now! Brilliant idea!
 
sjg December 26, 2020
Is it really sturdy enough while the mixer is in use? I am shopping for a cart for my mixer so I can free up my work island. Years ago I had my kitchen aid on a FÖRHÖJA kitchen cart and the shaking was very noticeable. Just curious.
 
Alice November 10, 2020
I have three of them! Two black and the old school light turquoise blue. And, I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to them! My blue one hold all my grandkids' crafts, pencils, crayons, markers, coloring books, tablets, etc. My others rotate with books, and with MY crafting items, depending on what I'm doing currently.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. December 26, 2020
Can never have too many, Alice! Honestly, it’s the niftiest little cart!
 
Rachelm November 2, 2020
One in the kitchen for tea cosies, cutting boards and trays, one in the bathroom for everything.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. November 2, 2020
That's awesome! It's such a great little cart (and so sturdy!)
 
SandraH November 2, 2020
These are all great ideas, thanks! Now I’d like to pick up a couple of the carts and maybe one of the wooden covers, if those are available from IKEA too.
 
Author Comment
Arati M. November 2, 2020
You know, when I bought mine, I didn't see a topper for it at IKEA. The ones I saw were from Etsy. IKEA should really start making them!