Given that many of us have taken to screaming at our televisions and staying up past our bedtimes in support of the American Olympians partaking in the 2012 Summer Games, I thought it would be only appropriate to feature a clever new home/dorm room organization solution that has USA! USA! USA! stamped all over it.

Conceived by 25-year-old Atlanta-based designer Jenny Drinkard as a super-hip and super-versatile update on the humble dorm room staple known as the milk crate, the Quirky Crate modular storage system is the first Quirky-borne product to be made entirely American made (it’s tooled in New Jersey and assembled in Vermont, to be exact). 

Quirky, a community-driven online design platform that allows hopeful young inventors/designers to elevate their creations from the conceptual stage to production, has always turned to China on the manufacturing front. But with Drinkard’s crate concept, Quirky switched things up, primarily to cut back on shipping time so that they could be ready for back-to-school season. Explains Quirky founder Ben Kaufman: “When Jenny came to Quirky, she had a really good definition of what the problem she wanted to solve was. For over two years we’ve been doing business overseas. Now, we’re bringing the business back here.”

The stackable Quirky Crates are sold a la carte for $20 a pop. A total of ten accessories ranging in price from $5 to $30 — metal casters, drawers, shelves, cord clips, hooks, wooden legs, connecting links, cork board and dry erase panels, and, last but not least, a cushion top — allow space-starved users to customize the crates to their liking for a variety of organizational needs. Because what young dorm-dweller doesn't need a wheeled stool that doubles as a laundry hamper with a dry erase board on the side? Or how about a side table with a drawer to stash your undies and a hook to hang your headphones? A tower in which to stash a collection of vinyl LPs that's much more secure/stylish than a wobbling stack of milk crates? 

Quirky Crates are available not only directly through Quirky, but through OfficeMax and at select Target stores (always the excellent dorm room outfitter) as well. 


Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Quirky Crates: A domestically produced, dorm-perfect spin on milk crates
Rooting for the homegrown athletes currently competing across the pond? Show your support for American manufacturing, too, with Georgia Tech grad Jenny Drinkard