"Cordless electronic" is kind of a lie, because behind every portable, sleek, and compact phone, PDA, or MP3 player is a bulky adaptor with a stubborn tentacle of cord. Untangle and tidy up the Gordian knot with a homemade charging station.
Tools and Materials
Two cloth-covered boxes with hinged sides and grommet finger holes. ("Library project" cases,containerstore.com)
Utility knife with a fresh blade
Power strip (with an on/off switch to conserve electricity)
Self-adhesive Velcro strips
Self-adhesive cord hooks (3M Mounting Cord Clips, amazon.com)
1 foot of 1/2-inch-wide ribbon (optional)
1. Prepare the bottom box: On the side of the box that has the grommet hole, draw a 1-inch-tall rectangle at the other end (trace a small Post-it note). Using a metal ruler as a guide, carefully score along this line with the knife until you cut through (do not try to pierce the box and then saw).
2. Push the prong end of the power strip out through the hole from the inside. Use the Velcro to anchor the power strip to the inside back of the box (or the bottom, depending on what best accommodates your adaptors). Plug in the adaptors, and thread their ends out through the grommet hole.
3. Prepare the top box: Space the cord hooks a few inches apart, attaching them near the back of the box to allow room for the gadgets when you shut the lid. Thread the device ends of the adaptors in through the box's built-in grommet hole, and anchor them under the hooks
4.Optional Finish the edge of the rectangular cutout with ribbon and glue. Also optional (if a little messier inside): Use just one box, stick the power strip to the very back, and coil the cords with twist ties.
Tip: Leave the box open when recharging so heat doesn't build up, and so you don't forget to grab your gadgets on the way out.