When I was six, I turned a corner of our living room into my “office,” which was anchored by a large cardboard box that I had repurposed into a desk. Armed with a stapler, a calculator, a notepad, and a pen, I pretended to make deals and crunch numbers and jot down plans for world domination. When I tired of my very important pretend job, I turned the box into a hostess station to play restaurant. And when I needed a break from that gig (I was also the chef and waitress), I’d flip the box over on its side, and with the help of a blanket, turn it into a fort. No joke, that box was one of my favorite toys.
Like the humble, versatile box, crates can be used in a multitude ways. Place it upright, and you can use it as a storage box. Turn it on its side, and you can use it as a shelf. And set it upside down, and suddenly you’ve got yourself a side or coffee table. Here are 10 favorites.