In our tech-heavy house, we have three cellphones and two tablets between the two of us, and all of these devices use a corner of our kitchen as a charging spot. It’s convenient because it’s right inside the door to the garage, and it’s also centrally-located on our main floor so everything is right at hand and/or within earshot.
What wasn’t cool was the constant mess of tangled cords that seemed to get more and more unruly the more I tried to contain them. I didn’t like how disorganized it looked or the fact that it was, at times, barely functional (more than once a phone slid off the counter, dangling by its charger, the victim of a nearby cord that had pushed it over the edge).
It was definitely time for a new solution.
I first spent some time on Pinterest and Google looking around at different ideas and products, but everything I saw was either too complicated, too expensive, too big or too ugly. So, I decided to make my own. After wandering through Michael’s to see what was available, I spotted a nylon woven basket and knew just what to do. And, if I do say so myself, it’s a rather clever solution!
The hidden bonus is that now we also have a place to set our devices while they’re being charged – something that’s not on the kitchen counter and is away from the surface of the stove and any potential spills. This wasn’t something I intentionally designed into my charging station, but it was a very happy accident indeed. I certainly hadn’t anticipated how handy of a feature it would be.
For those of you interested in duplicating this project, I’ve put some more photos and a write-up below. Everything I did centered around the Targus charging station I already had (pictured above in the “before” shot, it contains three outlets and two USB ports), so your implementation might look a bit different. Regardless, here’s the concept, and a little bit more on the behind-the-scenes.
- Nylon Woven Basket
This one was from Michael’s (I think it cost about $6.00 after coupon) but I couldn’t find a link to it on their website. Even if you don’t have a Michael’s nearby, I think lots of stores carry this type of product. They are sold in a variety of colors, but I chose brown because it was the best match for our decor (and because it would make the whole thing less noticeable). I also got one without the handle openings on the sides because I didn’t want any of the cord mess underneath to be visible.
- Ground Converter Adapters
Since the plug on the Targus charging station was 3-pronged, I needed a converter to hook it up to my extension cord (which only accepted 2-prong plugs).
- Extension Cord
This was needed to give me the extra reach so the Targus unit could plug into the wall. I only needed a 3′ cord, but the store was out of stock, so I opted for the 7′. It worked out fine, but there is quite a bit of extra cord bundled up underneath the basket. I also opted for the slimline plug so the final look was more elegant.
Note: If you’re starting from scratch with this project, you can skip #2 and #3 and just get a power strip.
Assembling it was pretty straightforward: plug everything in, poke the ends of the chargers up through the openings in the basket weave (in whatever location is desired), and then push everything else underneath the basket as you settle it in place. That was the benefit of this style of basket: the weave has enough give/flexibility to allow cords to be poked through, but still had enough structure to keep them from falling back down inside again.
Usage note: Sometimes you have to pull a cord out a bit to get enough slack to comfortably charge a device, so don’t bundle the cords underneath too tightly or completely. Leave extra at the end, or don’t bundle them at all. Also, when not in use, I always push the cords back into the basket until just the end is sticking out. Hey, they don’t tease me about my inner Sheldon for nothing.