Letter Organizer Turned Chalkboard Electronics Corral

So, with three phones, one iPad, one iPod, and three kindles all needing to charge at some point, our counter was starting to look more like an electronics store than part of our kitchen. Well, technically, just four of the devices live on our kitchen counter… But that had become FOUR TOO MANY.

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And although I love the very elegant and slightly genius solution of putting all of them in a designated drawer, drilling those cabinetry holes and running the electric felt a little beyond my comfort zone.

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So when I saw this little old letter organizer at LuLu’s Consignment for about $10, I knew I had a possible device corral on my hands!

And yes, I know it’s not my taste.Β But the bones were good!

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First I painted it the same blue as the china cabinet and then sanded it back. [But I changed the color again before I called it done, so please ignore the color if it switches back and forth a time or two through this post.]

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And I found a power strip that would both provide the needed outlet for our chargers and would fit in the drawer width.

I started cutting holes in the bottom of the holder (hidden by the base) and the drawer just large enough for the plug to fit through. My initial holes weren’t quite right, making it tough to tuck the cord out of the way while pushing in the drawer. And I quickly realized that the best way to easily fit the power strip, all the plugs, and their accompanying cords out of sight was to cut out the entire bottom of the drawer and the base of the organizer. [And by “quickly,” I mean like by the, um, third or fourth time I’d cut openings in the bottom of the drawer and/or organizer. I’m swift like that.]

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Anyhoo, once I finally made the call to hack the thing to bits, I proceeded the same way as pictured above: I drilled holes at the corners big enough to get my jig saw tip in, then cut out corner to corner until I’d removed the bases of the drawer and the organizer.

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So now the base of the drawer and under the drawer are open. Bottomless.

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Next I needed to open up the two spots to feed through the charger cords. But this wasn’t as simple because I couldn’t fit my jig saw down in there. So my less elegant solution was to drill several holes where I needed one bigger hole. [A 1″ paddle drill bit would have made this simpler and prettier, but as these two holes are in a hidden spot, I have not gone back and prettied up the openings.]

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So, all that was left was to plug in all the charger cords into the power strip, thread the charger ends through the appropriate holes (phone/ipod in front and kindles in back), and tuck the the whole mess or strip and cords under the organizer out of sight. I love that the myriad cords are tucked out of sight.

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So just the power strip cord sneaks out, unlike the multiple cords we had snaking all over the place before.

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And it has lived in our kitchen quite happily since December. The boys know to always plug in their devices here, and I have an easy central place to keep them.

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I was never quite sold on the blue for it, though, so this weekend, it got a coat of black chalkboard paint.

Perfect.

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I’m not sure why you’re supposed to color all over chalkboard paint with the side of chalk to finish it, but I was sure to do that step too.

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And now it’s great for notes, too.

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Hmm… maybe a little “don’t even ask me to play until this is done” prompt…

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Or, with a chalk marker, you can add the kids’ names, then check off each box with chalk to count down either the time let to play, or check off each box when game time is earned.

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Also in the “don’t even ask” category would be this schedule, so kids know exactly when they can play on their devices.

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It’s so much easier to maintain the mayhem when things have a place, non? Wheeee!

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