He inspires no dread. He does not bring havoc.
Bloodthirsty and rapacious he is not.
A Viking invader yes, but tirelessly charitable.
He brings only order and calm.
His name is Skalberg.
Skalberg is one of two main items in my life that keep me organised, the other being a Moleskine Diary.
Moleskine Diary’s are famous so nothing more needs to be said about them here. Less so Skalberg.
This humble rack of wire trays is one of the best designs I’ve encountered in my life.
Why is Skalberg so important to me?
It just works.
The brilliance is four-fold:
First, Skalberg is lightweight and modular.
Heavy, bulky furniture is a chore to move around and relocate, especially when moving house. Skalberg is a light metal rack and the wire trays that form the storage component of Skalberg slide out completely. This means if you need to move anything you can just take out the trays one by one.
Moving is a breeze. Just knowing this is a big reduction of stress in your day to day life. Last time I moved house, I simply unloaded and reloaded all of my Skalberg trays and their respective racks one by one.
No need to pack everything into boxes. No losing or breaking possessions. No moving into a new place only to be surrounded by box loads of mismatched items. No worries. My Polish removal man was disappointed at how easy it was.
Second, the modular design of Skalberg accommodates the 80/20 rule of possessions.
That is that a small proportion of the things you own will be used a lot, the 20% and the remaining 80% will be useful but only for the much smaller proportion of time you spend using them.
With Skalberg you use the more accessible trays for high frequency items , the things you use daily, and the less accessible trays for low frequency but still worthwhile items. This is an important distinction from strict minimalism.
A minimal aesthetic is welcome, but there are still things that are rarely needed but essential when you do need them. So bicycle pumps, table tennis bats and good books all need a place.
Third, the wire trays of Skalberg keep everything visible.
This is essential. Immediate visual feedback lets you generally keep track of what you have without having to consciously take an inventory of where things have been squirrelled away. This has saved me truckloads of time over the years.
Visibility also makes it easy to do periodical purges of things you no longer need by simply glancing at what you have acquired.
The dimensions of the Skalberg storage trays are perfect. It would be difficult to come up with a better combination of width, length and depth.
Need a tray for underwear? Skalberg works. Gym stuff? Easy. CD or books? Sorted. Folded trousers.? Simple. Foolscap files and A4 documents? Done. Shoes? They sit neatly. Best of all, if you need more depth you can simply remove a tray from the row above to give you more height.
In summary, Skalberg’s modular nature ensures any future moves are as frictionless as possible. It’s neat stacking layout and tray system allows you to store things with an efficient arrangement corresponding to frequency of use. Visibility makes it easy to keep what you own to a minimum. And the sizing is just so.
Skalberg is a design masterpiece.
All the more so for being so bland it is nearly invisible in day to day use.
I own three separate Skalberg racks housing twenty one trays in all. My aim is to be able to have all of my possessions contained within these neat containers.
Unfortunately Ikea now have stopped manufacturing the Skalberg range. The replacement is fussy and less utilitarian. Less masculine. They have ignored that Skalberg is such a successful design precisely because it is so plain. Snap him up secondhand if you can.
We salute you Skalberg!