I don’t know about your home, but suddenly we have a lot of screens. With those screens, as you know, comes a lot of cords and chargers. Oh, and a lot of arguing about who took whose charger and where they left it. Literally and figuratively, it’s all quite ugly. And that’s why I was inspired to create a hidden charging station!
All you need for this project is a charging station and a basket big enough to hold it while devices are charging.
The Problem: Devices
I don’t know if it’s because my kids are getting older, if it’s because Grandma and Grandpa passed down old iPhones, or if it’s because our reliance on screens has increased with the pandemic, but I now humbly admit we have more screens than I know what do to with. I don’t even want to count.
And, of course, they all need to be charged. As does the extra power bank for charging on the run.
It’s all just too much to keep track of and too much to look at. Luckily, I came up with a solution that works for my family and makes me happy because I can’t see it.
Here’s how we keep all of our devices and chargers right in our living room without it being an eyesore.
Hidden Charging Station: The Materials
Let me start by saying, none of this was intentional. This hidden charging station was part inspiration from Azure @livecomposed, part boredom when I had a sick kid at home, and part having the right materials on hand. It was the perfect storm.
We purchased this bookshelf from Wayfair several years ago. It fits perfectly in this corner of our living room that was otherwise unused. It houses our library books, a couple of games, magazines and our movie candy (a Friday night essential).
I like this shelf because the wooden (plastic) top and metal label holders add interest. Plus, the shelves are adjustable, which makes my organizer’s heart happy.
While the shelf came with a plain white backing piece, I had some extra shiplap peel-and-stick wallpaper left from a project, so I applied it to the backing for a little added interest.
Formerly, I had natural fiber baskets in my pantry. They were lovely, but messy. The natural fibers shredded as we pulled the baskets in and out, in and out to access our food. I swapped them out for plastic (less environmentally friendly, but much neater) and had some baskets left over.
As luck would have it, those Large Hyacinth Baskets from The Container Store that used to live in my pantry were a perfect fit for the bookshelf! Plus, with a smoother surface than our wire shelves and much less use, they hold up much better now.
One basket stores games, one basket stores magazines, and one basket stores random kid stuff that I find lying around. And I had one extra…
The Charging Station
My husband purchased a charging station (the exact one we have is no longer available, but this one is very close) and we placed it on an empty shelf. It was convenient, but an eye sore.
As our devices multiplied, it made little sense to have children carrying screens around and plugging them in all over the house. We wanted one central location where we could charge all the items — and where they would spend the night.
Side note: Not all charging station units are created equal. Many others I researched had images of singed cords and reviews stating that the units got hot. This one is a bit pricier and doesn’t come with cords (add them on for about $8) but it has additional safety features.
Hidden Charging Station: The Process
While watching a movie with a sick kiddo, I spent a few minutes tidying up my bookshelf — which gets messy with the influx of library books and perusing of movie candy. Then it hit me.
I could put the charging station inside a basket and hide it all.
This bookcase was … inexpensive, and you can tell by its construction, however, that benefitted me in this project.
When I assembled the bookcase, I had to nail the backing onto the sturdy structure. Now, I detached the charging station from its cord, plugged the cord into the wall, pushed the bookshelf backing out from the shelf and slipped the narrow end of the cord through the space.
After pulling several feet of cord through, I fed the cord through the handle of the Hyacinth Basket, then plugged it back into the charging station base. I settled the base into the basket and pushed the whole thing back onto the shelf.
To make sure everything would work, I found all the devices I could and plugged them in. We have two iPads and at least three [old, deactivated] iPhones. I plugged them all in, largest to smallest, and stood back to admire my handy work.
If you look hard, you can still see the tops of the iPads over the top of the basket, but it’s sooo much better than it was when there were cords and phones thrown all over the shelf.
Our Hidden Charging Station
Our hidden charging station is working out perfectly.
When I find a phone, I toss it in the basket. I don’t charge it for them — I’m not that nice. But 9 times out of 10 when they ask if I see their phone, I can reply, “Check the basket.” and it’s most likely there.
I love that I can’t see the mess, and they love that there’s a reliable spot to look for their missing phones.
Could you use a solution like this in your home?