Sadly it usually looks just like it does here. Piled with books, magazines, papers, remotes, cords, and various bits and pieces, all threatening junkslide at any moment. I lose all manner of stuff inside the two cubbies and can never find anything when I want it.
It's been driving me bananas and I decided I wanted to replace it with a narrow shelf under the window. But I couldn't find a six inch deep, 32" long, 17" high shelf anywhere. So we decided to build one. When we went to town on Thursday we bought two 1 x 6 pine boards, and yesterday we measured them off and Tony cut the pieces. It was quite cold out, so we brought the pieces inside to assemble them, then I took it back outside on the deck to paint it.
My idea was to have three shelves, plus the top surface. On the top, a three inch high decorative molding (a screen door molding bought for a project almost 10 years ago and never used) will keep items from walking off the edge. This provides a spot for my coffee cup in the morning, the cell phone, the remotes, etc. Next a shelf which holds small, shallow boxes for organizing small items, like Sal's glucose monitor, a note pad, computer bits, camera, etc. The next shelf is little deeper and will hold larger boxes. I'm recycling several empty cat food cases to use as boxes. I have some pretty origami paper and will cover them, so they look nice.
The bottom shelf holds two baskets for camera charger, pens, pencils and markers, tape rolls, and the rest of the shelf is devoted to reference and paperback books. Our paperbacks take space in the larger bookcase that could be better used by larger books, and there are several reference books I like to have close at hand that have usually ended up stacked on the floor.
The cat thingie went out on the deck for Sal to sit on. I thought he might ignore it, since he never used it inside, but he immediately took up residence on it and laid there off and on all evening. So everyone's happy.