Organized DIY Plug In Station ~ Inexpensively organize plug ins for devices using labeling and a power bar inserted into a dollar store plastic locker bin.
I have been busy organizing a lot of things in what we call the studio in the house. It is used as the craft room and the office. It is furnished with IKEA furniture some of which was bought over 25 years ago and we still use today.
The desk we use for the computer, printer and other tech devices used to be a change table for changing diapers when our daughters were babies. We also recently set up a second desk along another an adjacent wall that we use as a work space for mostly sewing and crafting. Along these two desks there are quite a few items that need plugged in including an iMac computer, printer, modem extender, ScanSnap, lamp as well as a paper shredder that sits on the floor tucked away in a corner under the work table. The items on the work table are a serger, sewing machine, Mac Notebook charger, electric pencil sharpener and the landline telephone.
Fortunately, there is an electrical outlet behind each desk for an eight outlet power bar to be plugged in. Unfortunately, a lot of electrical cords and plug ins are going into each power bar. It is tricky figuring out which plug in belongs to which device and it is a lot of things going on making it look quite messy. I also did not like having to move a bunch of electrical cords around whenever I wanted to dust and wash the floors underneath the desks. Often I would avoid the hassle and just clean around the maze of plug ins and cords. It is amazing how dust can build up when things sit on the floor!
I wanted my solution to be inexpensive and a quick fix. I saw some ideas for attaching the power bar to the desk using glue, Velcro or screwing it on to the furniture so they were hidden and off the floor. I did not want to go this direction because I did not want to do anything to the furniture. Instead I came up with my own idea for an organized DIY plug in station. Technically the power bar and the plug ins are still on the floor but they are stored in a locker style bin I bought at the dollar store. I used a similar idea when I created a Inexpensive Mobile Device Charging Station for the desk in the kitchen. That locker style bin was made of sturdy cardboard and I spray painted it to match the kitchen colours.
I bought two white plastic locker bins for a couple of dollars and because all of the furniture in this room is white I did not bother spray painting them a different colour. If you want to change the colour of your plastic bins it is quite easy to do. In the post Spring Decorated Rain Boot Vases I give a tutorial how to paint rubber boots but you can use the same technique and products to paint plastic locker bins so the paint will last.
Here is how to make an…
Organized DIY Plug In Station
- one or two large-size plastic locker bins with open handles on each side
- label for front side of plastic locker bin (optional)
- 8-outlet power bar
- label maker
- 6mm (.24”) label tape
- washi tape or electrical tape
- white or transparent sturdy twist tie
- small plastic drawers (optional)
This is optional but make a fun looking label for the front of the plastic locker bin. I printed Plug-In Station with a white gel pen on a black chalk painted tag. I attached it to the handle with white paper string tied into a bow.
Place the eight outlet power bar inside the plastic locker bin and pull the electrical cord with the plug in through the remaining handle at the back. Plug in the power bar into a nearby electrical outlet. The power bar I bought has surge protection, a surge indicator light and a lighted on/off switch so it is easy to look inside and see that it is turned on. I also chose a white coloured power bar so it matched the white plastic locker bin.
Pull the plug ins for each device through the handle at the back of the plastic locker bin and plug into the power bar.
Use a label maker to make labels for each device. I used 6mm (.25”) wide tape using a label maker I talk about in Upright Freezer Organizing Ideas. I made two labels for each plug in.
Apply the two labels onto washi tape with a space in between. I also think different colours of electrical tape will look great. Wrap the labeled washi tape around the electrical cord at the base of each plug in. I chose to do the labeling after everything was plugged in so I could attach each label upright and facing the same direction so it was easier to read. I should mention that I just made one label for the adapter plug in and applied it to the top for easy reading.
Pull all of the electrical cords through the handle to reduce any bulk and secure with a white or transparent sturdy plastic covered twist tie. I left the cords a bit loose so it was easy to lift the entire bin without too much tugging.
I added a variation to the second plug in station under the work table. Again I made a label for each device by attaching a label to both sides of washi tape and secured it to the base of the electrical cord near the plug in. The plug in and cord for charging our Mac Notebook is quite long so it is coiled up inside the locker bin.
The plug in and attached foot pedal for the serger and sewing machine take up a lot of room in the plug in station. So I put them in separate labeled plastic drawers and slipped them underneath the plastic locker bin. I can plug them into the power bar whenever I use the serger or the sewing machine.
Here is how the organized DIY plug in station looks under the computer desk…
Here is how the organized DIY plug in station with two plastic storage drawers underneath looks under the work table with a chair pushed in…
Final Comments: This organized DIY plug in station was very easy and inexpensive to make. It is also so worth the effort for several reasons. It reduces a lot of visual clutter. It makes it easy to dust and vacuum underneath and around the area. I also feel a lot better washing the floor around the power bar knowing it is placed inside the plastic locker bin and will not be exposed to a possible water drip or spill. It identifies what device goes with what plug in taking away a lot of the guess work. This storage idea will also keep the power bar, cords and plug ins cleaner longer since they are not resting on the floor. There is one drawback that is minor but I guess it comes from being tall and having long legs. I do occasionally bump the organized DIY plug in station with my foot when I stretch my legs out while sitting at the desk working.
Your Turn: How do you organize your electrical plug ins? Do you have a lot like we do?
Here is a pinnable image for future reading and sharing.
Here are some other craft room store ideas that you might find useful too…
Thank you so much for spending Time With Thea. I so appreciate having you!