Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Organizing • Charging Station

Charging of batteries and devices has become a decor nightmare. Do you have a spot in your home that looks something like this....

Charger Nightmare - no doubt about it.

This is the corner of my husband's desk which he has graciously allowed to become charger and back-up central. This is where the rechargeable batteries, the camera batteries, the jawbones speaker, the vacuum cleaner battery and two laptops get charged. This also where the external hard disks are for backing up the laptops as well. It is a busy corner. It is not a beautiful sight. He asked if I would find a better solution and I was more than happy to help. (How often does your husband invite you to organize their space?)

The parameters were:
  • Stuff be out of sight but still easily accessible. Sometimes the chargers have to be unplugged to travel with us.
  • Flexible - Who knows what that shape of the charger for the next gizmo will be?
  • Expandable - This collection certainly isn't decreasing!
  • Masculine in style

First I tested the box idea with a plastic container. It wasn't pretty but I put all the stuff in it out of sight. I got David's ok for the system of a lidded box and I went looking for an appropriate box. I happened to be visiting IKEA to pick up supplies for my laundry room and so I checked out their selection. I found the Motorp line of containers. One is 13 3/4"  11" x 7" which is the perfect size to fit the surge suppressor inside the lidded box. (Cost $9.99 each!)
I made a variety of adjustments to the container to adapt it to our needs but here is the final result....
Quite an improvement!

How I adjusted the IKEA Motorp box:
Yes another IKEA Hack!
I wanted the lid to float over the box but staggered slightly to the back leaving a gap for needsed cords to drop out.

  • Instead of the lid fitting over the box I needed to create a support structure to hold the lid up higher and positioned toward the back leaving a small gap for the charging cords to drop out from.

  • Working in David's wood shop, I cut some 1x3" pine boards to be new corner supports. The two in the back were notched to position the cover toward the back. (Note: If you don't have access to a wood shop you can craft similar supports out of layers of recycled corrugated cardboard. Just cut them with the notches using and Xacto blade and then glue them together.)

  • I cut one for each corner. They all had to be individually fitted because of the construction of the IKEA containers. The corners were different depths.
  • I also cut a notch large enough for the cord for the surge suppresor. This cord is much heavier and needed its own opening. The Motorp container could be easily sliced with a standard utility knife.

  • This is the cord placed in the notch.

  • I used 5-minute epoxy to seal the edges of the gap to prevent fraying. I just mixed it and spread over all the fabric edges.

  • Using acrylic paint, I painted all of the wood black to blend in with the interior of the box.

  • Once dry, I applied double stick carpet tape to two sides of each corner support and stuck it in place.

  • When all the supports were in place, I loaded up the boxes with the surge suppressors and all the chargers.

  • I had previously purchase some 8" extension cords. These little cords are invaluable when trying to attach multiple charging bricks to one surge suppressor. They are available on Amazon.

What an improvement!

Previous Posts of Interest:
 Check out the other posts in my Organizing Series

©2013 Ashbee Design, Marji Roy  
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  1. I love this idea so much!! I'm definitely going to do something like this under my desk, thank you :)

  2. that is much nicer! We don't even have a central place to charge. It's "hey, here's an open plug!" Why don't you share this post at my blog party :)

  3. I might have to borrow this idea. I can contain charging our phones but when we add tablets and ereaders it turns into a hot mess.

    1. Same for me. The iphones are charged elsewhere. Additional note - I have put a multi-plug surge suppressor in each bedroom also so when the Kids (grown) come home they can charge their devices in their rooms not on my kitchen counter!

  4. Great idea and looks so much better! Love those IKEA boxes...they are great for a variety of ideas. Also love the last entry of putting a suppressor in each bedroom.

    1. I plan on picking up more of those boxes next time I visit. I love the texture. They had them in several size but looking on the website I don't see the small one anymore. I hope it is still there!

  5. I totally need this! All the cords in my house are making me nuts!

  6. looks good! I really need to do something like this here!

  7. Thanks everyone for commenting. My recommendation is to just start with a plastic storage container, see what fits and see if containing the chargers works for you. If it does, start shopping for an attractive container, could be a lidded basket or box. My motto is "Contain to Control!"

  8. Wow - congrats!! That is a great solution. I'm impressed. Thanks for linking up at Romance on a dime!!

  9. I had previously purchase some 8" extension cords. These little cords are invaluable when trying to attach multiple charging bricks to one surge suppressor. They are available on Amazon.