The one and only philosophy I live by when it comes to getting and staying organized is making sure everything I own has a “home”, or a specific place to go back to after it has been used. I have found through the years that this is the only way that I can personally maintain an organization system for the long haul. And this is the philosophy that drove my idea for a hidden computer charging station as we started planning the kitchen renovation.
We’ve lived in our house for about a year and a half now, and I never found a “home” that worked for our electronics. Specifically, the ones we use the most, like our laptops, chargers, and my camera. I tested out a few different places, but these daily essentials never found a permanent home that kept these items hidden, organized, and charged. This slowly became more and more of a problem. Our laptops weren’t charged, we would have to check 42 different places to find a charger (ugh!), or these items were always sitting out! I know this is not the end of the world, but these “problems” annoyed me daily. I was determined to find a solution within our new kitchen.
Hidden Computer Charging Station
This is when my idea for a hidden computer charging station was born. And I’m here to report that we’ve been using and maintaining this system for almost two months and I am in LOVE! It sounds dorky, but every time I open it up, I smile because, in the words of the famous Marie Kondo, it sparks joy… so. much. joy!!
Once I knew I wanted to dedicate one of our cabinets to hide all of these electronics, I needed to make sure I had an outlet accessible. I measured where I wanted the outlet to go before the cabinets were installed, and let my contractors know. They wired in the outlet, no problem.
When the cabinets were installed, the contractors simply cut out a box around that outlet so we had access to the outlet inside of the cabinet. They did this same thing in our pantry so we could plug-in our microwave into the pantry and keep that hidden as well.
Then I picked up an electrical strip to keep all of our electronics charged while they stay hidden in the cabinet. Others recreating this charging station may not need an entire power strip.
But I like it because it allows us to keep everything plugged in and even allows us to turn off the power to these devices at any time. If you feel uncomfortable charging things when you’re not home inside of the cabinet, this “off” feature is very helpful!
Does The Cabinet Overheat?
Before I move onto the organization part, let me address the most FAQ I get about this setup. Does this cabinet overheat?
In my personal experience, no. But I would definitely advise you to test your setup out before making a long-term commitment. Also important to note, Matt and I don’t charge our computers when we aren’t home. And we only keep them charging for the necessary time and then let them sit in the cabinet without being plugged in. That way, we never have to worry!
The Pull-Out Cabinet Organizer
The pull-out cabinet drawer is also so helpful in keeping this space functional (more on these drawers here). Is it a necessity? No. But this feature has been very helpful because I can easily pull the drawer out to plug in our computers.
Adding Additional Storage Containers
Remember earlier when I said everything needs a specific home for any of my organization systems to work? This is where the additional containers are so helpful for me.
I added some cheap containers from HomeGoods so every. single. item. has a specific place to call home. I keep a container for my camera, extra lens, external hard drives, and extra cords (like headphones, USB, etc.). It’s almost effortless to keep this drawer organized because after I use something, I don’t even have to think about where it needs to go back to since there’s an empty container.
I also added a large container from IKEA that holds our extra electronic cords. I do this so all things electronic are housed in the same area. This box is full of cords that somehow accumulate. I’m not exactly sure what they all do, but I’m always nervous to throw them away just in case we ever need one!
Last, but certainly not least, I added a double-decker mail sorter from IKEA. A lot of you seem to share the struggle in trying to keep mail/paper clutter in check as it comes into the house. The struggle is real, isn’t it?! Casey shared how she and Finn keep their house paper clutter free in this popular blog post!
This mail sorter is a new system and one we’re still “practicing”, but I’m hopeful it will be the forever solution to all of our paper clutter problems.
As mail, bills, and general paper clutter enter our home, I immediately throw away any junk. The leftover paperwork is usually bills that need to be paid or docs that need to be discussed. I put those items on the top shelf.
Then when I sit down to pay bills, I pull out the pile and Matt and I take action by going through and paying or discussing each item. Ideally, I’ll take the paperwork downstairs right away to be filed, but if I’m being honest, that doesn’t always happen. In those cases, I throw all of these leftover papers that need to be filed on the bottom shelf. Once the bottom shelf fills up or I’m heading downstairs, I’ll take the whole pile downstairs and file everything away.
Hidden Organization For The Win!
After a year and a half of riding the struggle bus, I found a solution that works for our electronics and I could not be more excited.
Not only does everything have a proper home, but it’s all HIDDEN, which is my favorite part. I also added no-show cabinet locks to baby proof this space from Ben (those details coming to the blog on Friday!). I love that these items are super accessible in our home, but we’re not fighting with Ben to keep him out of them.
Does anyone else use in-cabinet charging stations? I’d love to hear your experiences because now I want to plug-in and hide everything. If only my vacuum would fit in one of my cabinets…