Somehow, my life has become a jumbled mess of power-cords. There’s a charger for this, that, the other thing. A whole drawer is filled with the clutter of cords. It is highly cringe-worthy. I’m embarrassed.
I know I’m not alone.
Enter the modern need for power-charging stations. We’re not quite at the Jetsons stage yet, though, kids.
These charging stations are pretty ones that hide the Ugly but don’t inhibit function.
Naturally, manufacturers are trying to sell us one-size-fits-all fixes, but each of us has such a variety of gadgets we employ that many one-size-fits-all fixes will really take some tweaking to work just right in our lives anyhow, so why not save some money, and get personal about it?
Thankfully, the creatives are on it, trying to come up with charge-up solutions that have visual appeal packed with functionality.
Here, I’ll share a few of the great ideas for charging stations I’ve found while scouring the interwebs. Hopefully a few will spark some ideas for you.
My Favorite: The Upcycled Train Case
Over at designsponge.com, they’ve done an incredibly clear step-by-step photo method for converting a vintage travel case into a power station and memo box. The great thing about this one is that the peg-board approach means it’s tidy but also highly flexible for changing out cords in the future.
If you dislike the retro or feminine stylings of the train case, consider using the same method for a briefcase or other cases of a convenient size, like this groovy strappin’ chest that smacks of manliness and MacGyver re-runs.
A Variety: The Breadbox Solution
If you’re a friend of collectibles and vintage stores, you know there’s a whole world of breadbox styles out there. A trend in charging-station fixes is that of repurposing breadboxes for the digital era. This model here, with sleek aluminum roll-top, is an awesome repurposing of retro goodness that went viral in the DIY sites earlier this year, for good reason.
I also really like the retro wooden breadbox too, and here’s a cute country-chic approach that should also have wide appeal.
The Mail Sorter: For the Ever-Charging Mother on the Go
If you’re a family on the go and your gadgets are used more than they’re not, then this mother-of-three’s crafty solution might be just what your busy life needs. What’s great about this design is that it’s built for tablet devices, too. You’ll know when your iPad or Galaxy is getting pinged because they’re not behind some closed lid. This is your typical mail-sorter found on sale, and our mommy-blogger got some holes drilled into it, and a few minutes later she’d tweaked out a a great charging solution for her clan’s digital gadgetry.
Easy Does It: A Modified Box
If you’re this close to snapping if you see your junk drawer all tangled up with cords but you don’t want to shell out the bucks for vintage pieces or you favour a more simplified approach, even Martha Stewart’s gotten in on the chargin’ scene with this Tiffany-esque blue-box approach that’s easily done by anyone in a short time.
It Gets Easier: The Trusty Document Clip
Those crafty Dutch folk have got the easiest answer of all for a charging station solution. While this link is in Dutch, we don’t need no stinkin’ translation. It’s easy. If your desk/table is under 1.5” thick, grab the right thickness of binder clip, clamp it someplace close to a plug that allows your cables to hang unseen, slide your adapter into place, and there you have it: A functional, simple solution. Oh, the mighty binder clip, how we love thee ever-useful ways.
In the end, whether you choose to go elaborate with a beautiful vintage upcycled piece, find middle ground with nice boxes you can modify, or keep it simple by way of clamps and clips, the point is to keep it functional and get rid of the ugly cables.
And, of course, we here at Build Direct want to remind you that if your charging cables are always plugged into a power source, you’ll be draining power — both costly and enviro-unfriendly. Be sure there’s an easy on/off solution, like a handy powerbar you can power down when you’re all charged up, and you’ll keep your world uncluttered yet powered up without draining your hydro bill.