Title:
All-in-one planner and organizer including hanging folder file box with multi-purpose lid
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
The present invention provides improvements in both container design and product offering for a filing system. The invention provides four improvements over current art in hanging file storage containers. First it provides a unique method of folding that allows a pop-up style hanging file box to be collapsed to approximately one third the size of existing art. Second, the container lid has a unique design that allows it to function in three distinct ways: as a retail package, as an additional storage container, and when slightly altered, as a traditional file box cover. Third, it introduces snap on side rails to stabilize the box and allow for files to glide easily. And fourth, the storage container has taller ends to provide for more room inside and to prevent the box top from crushing the files. Finally, because of the improved and more efficient size and storage elements, the invention provides a ready made, all-in-one filing and organization system of an acceptable size for multipurpose, retail and home use, heretofore unavailable.



Inventors:
Dicrosta, Paula Jean (Harrington Park, NJ, US)
Harrington, Mary Elizabeth (Harrington Park, NJ, US)
Application Number:
10/842511
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
05/11/2004
Assignee:
DICROSTA PAULA JEAN
HARRINGTON MARY ELIZABETH
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B42F15/00; B65D5/02; B65D5/22; B65D5/44; B65D5/66; (IPC1-7): B65D69/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DEMEREE, CHRISTOPHER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Paula Jean DiCrosta (208 Martha Road, Harrington Park, NJ, 07640, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A container comprising a first pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming ends of the container; a second pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming sides of the container and a base panel forming a closed bottom of the container; wherein the panels have upper edges that provide an open top of the container, and the panels forming the ends of the container have a height that is greater than that of the panels forming the sides of the container to provide a predetermined space between the upper edges of the ends of the container and the upper edges of the sides of the container.

2. The container of claim 1 wherein the side panels are connected along side edges and the base panel is formed as an extension of a first side panel.

3. The container of claim 2 further comprising a reinforcing structure that includes a third pair of opposed, generally rectangular panels with each panel located adjacent to a panel forming an end of the container.

4. The container of claim 3 wherein the reinforcing structure includes a generally rectangular bottom panel connecting the third pair of panels, with the bottom panel formed as an extension of the second side panel.

5. The container of claim 4 which further comprises aligned openings in the first and third panels for grasping the container.

6. The container of claim 1 wherein the panels are made of corrugated cardboard and further comprises rail forming members associated with the top edges of the side panels.

7. The container of claim 6 wherein each rail member is made of plastic and configured to have a top portion and a pair of spaced side portions wherein the top edge of a side panel is received between the side portions of the rail member.

8. A container comprising a first pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming ends of the container; a second pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming sides of the container and a base panel forming a closed bottom of the container; wherein the panels have upper edges that provide an open top of the container, wherein the panels have upper edges that provide an open top of the container; and the container further comprises rail forming members associated with the top edges of the side panels.

9. The container of claim 8 wherein each rail member is made of plastic and configured to have a top portion and a pair of spaced side portions wherein the top edge of a side panel is received between the side portions of the rail member.

10. A container forming blank comprising a single sheet of foldable material configured to provide generally rectangular panels for forming the container; and including a first pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming ends of the container; a second pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming sides of the container and a base panel forming a closed bottom of the container; wherein the panels have upper edges that provide an open top of the container, with a first side panel connected along side edges to the end panels, a second side panel connected along a side edge to an end panel and along a bottom edge to the bottom panel, and the first side panel connected along a bottom edge to the second bottom panel.

11. The container of claim 10 wherein each edge connection is creased so as to be foldable to assist in forming or collapsing the container.

12. The container of claim 10 further comprising a tab member for adhering the second side panel to an end panel.

13. The container of claim 12 wherein the tab member extends from a side edge of the second side panel.

14. The container of claim 10 wherein the panels have upper edges that provide an open top container, and the end panels have a height that is greater than that of the side panels to provide a predetermined space between the top edges of the ends of the container and the top edges of the sides of the container.

15. The container of claim 14 wherein the first end panels have crease lines for folding each end upon itself.

16. A collapsed container comprising the container forming blank of claim 15, wherein the second side panel is joined to the end member by the tab member, the creased ends are folded upon themselves, the bottom panel is folded upon the folded ends, the third end panels are folded upon the bottom panel, and the base panel is folded upon the folded ends.

17. A method of forming a container from the collapsed container of claim 16, which comprises moving the base panel away from the creased panels, moving the third end panels away from the bottom panel, moving the bottom panel away from the creased ends; straightening the creased ends to arrange the ends and sides in a rectangular structure, folding the base panel into the rectangular structure and adjacent the second side panel, folding the third end panels onto the bottom panel, folding the bottom panel into the rectangular structure, folding the third end panels against the first end panels, and folding the base member onto the bottom member.

18. The container formed by the method of claim 17.

19. A container lid forming blank comprising a container lid forming portion which can be folded to form a container lid; and a lid closing portion connected to the container lid forming portion along a weakened fold line; the lid closing portion including a base member and three side members, wherein the container lid can be formed while attached to the lid closing portion, the sides of the lid closing portion can be received in the lid to form a closed temporary container, and the lid closing portion can be removed along the weakened fold line when the temporary container is no longer needed.

20. The lid forming blank of claim 19 wherein the container lid forming portion includes a base portion and four side portions of the base portion, wherein the weakened fold line is located between a side portion and the base member of the lid closing portion.

21. The lid forming blank of claim 20 wherein two side portions of the container lid forming portion include reinforcement in the form of an additional side portion and two other side portions of the container lid forming portion each include a pair of tab extensions, wherein the side portions are folded to form the container lid with the tab extensions positioned between the two side portions and additional side portions.

22. A temporary container comprising a container lid having a base portion and four side portions extending therefrom, and a lid closing portion connected to a side portion of the lid by a weakened fold line, the lid closing portion including a base member and three side members extending therefrom such that the sides of the lid closing portion can be received within the lid portion to form the temporary container, and the lid closing portion can be removed along the weakened fold line when the temporary container is no longer needed.

23. A kit for forming a container and lid, which comprises a temporary container comprising a container lid having a base portion and four side portions extending therefrom, and a lid closing portion connected to a side portion of the lid by a weakened fold line, the lid closing portion including a base member and three side members extending therefrom such that the sides of the lid closing portion can be received within the lid portion to form the temporary container, and the lid closing portion can be removed along the weakened fold line when the temporary container is no longer needed and the collapsed container of claim 17 located within the temporary container.

24. An organizing system comprising the kit of claim 23 and one or more of file folders, filing information, labels, markers, or instructions placed adjacent or within the container lid and lid forming portion.

25. An organizing system comprising the kit of claim 23 wherein the end panels of the collapsed container have a height that is greater than that of the side panels; and additional components of hanging file folders, index tabs for the file folders, rail members for engaging the top edges of the side panels of the container to provide a sliding surface for the hanging file folders, and, optionally, other file folders, filing information, labels, markers, or instructions, wherein the additional and optional components are placed adjacent or within the container lid and lid closing portion.

26. A method for assisting an individual in a project planning process, comprising: providing in a container or box: a plurality of General Resource Folders of a first color; a plurality of indexing members for the General Resource Information Folders; a plurality of Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors that is distinctive from the first color of the General Resource Folders; and a plurality of blank indexing members for use with the Specific Project Folders; and correlating the Specific Project Folders with the General Resource Folders in order to enable the individual to organize, file and track all physical paperwork associated with the project planning process.

27. A system for assisting an individual in a project planning process, comprising: a plurality of General Resource Folders of a first color; a plurality of indexing members for the General Resource Folders; a plurality of Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors that is distinctive from the first color of the General Resources Information Folders; a plurality of blank indexing members for use with the Specific Project Folders; means for correlating the Specific Project Folders with the General Resource Folders; and a container or box for housing the General Resource Folders and the Specific Project Folders together; wherein the correlation of the Specific Project Folders and the General Resource Folders enables the individual to organize, file and track all physical paperwork associated with the project planning process.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

[0001] Applicant claims priority of Provisional Application for Patent application serial No.: 60/473,727 filed May 28, 2003.

FIELD OF INVENTION

[0002] This invention relates to the field of storage containers, and particularly relates to an all-in-one container and method of organizing, tracking and filing the actual physical paperwork of countless general-purpose projects and to an apparatus for use with the method.

BACKGROUND ART

[0003] Every year, especially since the introduction of personal computers, projects that require organization and planning have proliferated in large and small businesses and with individuals. Fueled by the information age, the organizing of specific tasks such as (but not limited to) tax planning, estate planning, financial planning, wedding planning, home improvement project planning, family medical organizing, planning for the care of an elderly person, or organizing, tracking and filing the paperwork for the college or graduate school application process, has grown in numbers, sophistication and complexity. Whether for business or personal use, individuals who embark on planning and organizing a specific task first face the dilemma of resolving what actual physical materials should be utilized to best organize, accumulate and track the expected data, contents and work product.

[0004] Many sources, including, but not limited to how-to-books, and Internet sites offer reasonable guidance in the qualitative aspects of the planning process. Similarly, stationery and office supply companies offer an array of material supplies such as file folders, tabs, inserts and containers with, and into which the data and work product could be stored. Typically, the aforementioned supplies, or any assortment of supplies must be picked or purchased individually before or during the process of organizing or planning, thereby taking away from the efficiency and timeliness of the project. In fact, little or nothing exists to provide individuals with an all-in-one, ready made, physical infrastructure with which to organize and control the planning process.

[0005] Thus, there is a need for an all-in-one, ready-made container, comprising a method and system of organizing, tracking and filing the paperwork part of a process, and this need is now satisfied by the present invention.

[0006] Pop-up storage containers with lids are known. An example of such a container and lid is shown in Perma Products STOR-ALL Stock Number 03325. During setup, parts of the pre-cut shape are folded into the sides and another part folds down to construct the bottom. Another, separate pre-cut shape can be folded to form a lid.

[0007] The current art for pop-up construction hanging folder file boxes with lids provides for two separate pieces folded flat. The approximate size for these two pieces on a retail shelf would be 27 ¾ (L) inches×22 ¼ (W) inches. This is unwieldy and not a manageable size, and would require an office stock room or retailer to set aside large amounts of storage space and also keep track of the two pieces: the hanging folder file box and the lid. Extensive searching failed to find a pop-up hanging folder file box with lid that is presented in a convenient, smaller size package. In fact, little or nothing exists to provide such a smaller, all-in-one hanging folder file box system.

[0008] Thus, there is a need for a storage container and lid unit, whose size is small enough to be useable and practical as one unit, and this need is also satisfied by the present invention.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0009] The invention relates to a container comprising a first pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming ends of the container; a second pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming sides of the container and a base panel forming a closed bottom of the container. In one embodiment, the panels have upper edges that provide an open top of the container, and the panels forming the ends of the container have a height that is greater than that of the panels forming the sides of the container to provide a predetermined space between the upper edges of the ends of the container and the upper edges of the sides of the container.

[0010] Preferably, the side panels are connected along side edges and the base panel is formed as an extension of a first side panel. Also, it is advantageous to provide a reinforcing structure that includes a third pair of opposed, generally rectangular panels with each panel located adjacent to a panel forming an end of the container. This reinforcing structure generally includes a generally rectangular bottom panel connecting the third pair of panels, with the bottom panel formed as an extension of the second side panel. Usually, the container includes aligned openings in the first and third panels for grasping the container.

[0011] In another embodiment, the panels are made of corrugated cardboard and the container further comprises rail forming members associated with the top edges of the side panels. Preferably, each rail member is made of plastic and configured to have a top portion and a pair of spaced side portions wherein the top edge of a side panel is received between the side portions of the rail member.

[0012] The invention also relates to a container forming blank comprising a single sheet of foldable material configured to provide generally rectangular panels for forming the container; and including a first pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming ends of the container; a second pair of opposed generally rectangular panels forming sides of the container and a base panel forming a closed bottom of the container. In this blank, the panels preferably have upper edges that provide an open top of the container, with a first side panel connected along side edges to the end panels, a second side panel connected along a side edge to an end panel and along a bottom edge to the bottom panel, and the first side panel connected along a bottom edge to the second bottom panel. Advantageously, each edge connection is creased so as to be foldable to assist in forming or collapsing the container. Also, a tab member is generally provided for adhering the second side panel to an end panel, with the tab member preferably extending from a side edge of the second side panel.

[0013] Another embodiment of the invention relates to a collapsed container comprising the container forming blank described herein. In that blank, the first end panels have crease lines for folding each end upon itself, and the second side panel is joined to the end member by the tab member. The container is collapsed with the creased ends folded upon themselves, the bottom panel folded upon the folded ends, the third end panels folded upon the bottom panel, and the base panel folded upon the folded ends.

[0014] Yet another embodiment of the invention is a method of forming a container from the collapsed container described herein. This method includes the steps of moving the base panel away from the creased panels, moving the third end panels away from the bottom panel, moving the bottom panel away from the creased ends; straightening the creased ends to arrange the ends and sides in a rectangular structure, folding the base panel into the rectangular structure and adjacent to the second side panel, folding the third end panels onto the bottom panel, folding the bottom panel into the rectangular structure, folding the third end panels against the first end panels, and folding the base member onto the bottom member.

[0015] The invention also relates to the container formed by the previously described method.

[0016] Another feature of the invention is a container lid forming blank comprising a container lid forming portion which can be folded to form a container lid; and a lid closing portion connected to the container lid forming portion along a weakened fold line. The lid closing portion preferably includes a base member and three side members, wherein the container lid can be formed while attached to the lid closing portion, the sides of the lid closing portion can be received in the lid to form a closed temporary container, and the lid closing portion can be removed along the weakened fold line when the temporary container is no longer needed. The container lid forming portion preferably includes a base portion and four side portions of the base portion, wherein the weakened fold line is located between a side portion and the base member of the lid closing portion. Also, two side portions of the container lid forming portion can include reinforcement in the form of an additional side portion and two other side portions of the container lid forming portion each can include a pair of tab extensions, wherein the side portions are folded to form the container lid with the tab extensions positioned between the two side portions and additional side portions.

[0017] This results in the formation of a temporary container which represents yet another embodiment of the invention. This includes a container lid having a base portion and four side portions extending therefrom, and a lid closing portion connected to a side portion of the lid by a weakened fold line, the lid closing portion including a base member and three side members extending therefrom such that the sides of the lid closing portion can be received within the lid portion to form the temporary container, and the lid closing portion can be removed along the weakened fold line when the temporary container is no longer needed.

[0018] In yet another embodiment of the invention, a kit for forming a container and lid is provided. This kit comprises a temporary container comprising a container lid having a base portion and four side portions extending therefrom, and a lid closing portion connected to a side portion of the lid by a weakened fold line, the lid closing portion including a base member and three side members extending therefrom such that the sides of the lid closing portion can be received within the lid portion to form the temporary container, and the lid closing portion can be removed along the weakened fold line when the temporary container is no longer needed and the collapsed container described herein placed within the temporary container.

[0019] This kit may be used to provide an organizing system when one or more of file folders, filing information, labels, markers, or instructions placed adjacent or within the container lid and lid forming portion. Specifically, the end panels of the collapsed container have a height that is greater than that of the side panel; and the additional components include hanging file folders, index tabs for the file folders, rail members for engaging the top edges of the side panels of the container to provide a sliding surface for the hanging file folders, and, optionally, other file folders, filing information, labels, markers, or instructions, wherein the additional and optional components are placed adjacent or within the container lid and lid closing portion.

[0020] Implementations of the organizing system include a method for assisting an individual in a project planning process and a system for carrying out the method. The method comprises providing in a container or box: a plurality of General Resource Folders of a first color; a plurality of indexing members for the General Resource Folders; a plurality of Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors that is distinctive from the first color of the General Resource Folders; and a plurality of blank indexing members for use with the Specific Project Folders; and correlating the Specific Project Folders with the General Resource Folders in order to enable the individual to organize, file and track all physical paperwork associated with the project planning process. The system includes a plurality of General Resource Folders of a first color; a plurality of indexing members for the General Resource Folders; a plurality of Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors that is distinctive from the first color of the General Resources Information Folders; a plurality of blank indexing members for use with the Specific Project Folders; means for correlating the Specific Project Folders with the General Resource Folders; and a container or box for housing the General Resource Folders and the Specific Project Folders together. The correlation of the Specific Project Folders and the General Resource Folders enables the individual to organize, file and track all physical paperwork associated with the project planning process.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING FIGURES

[0021] The accompanying drawings, which are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate the particular embodiments of the invention, and together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In general, FIGS. 1-3 depict the method of organizing the invention, including a specific example, while FIGS. 4-18 depict the various physical embodiments of the invention. Specifically:

[0022] FIG. 1 is a flowsheet of the components that are provided in the containers of the invention;

[0023] FIG. 2 is a more detailed flowsheet of the components that are provided in the containers of the invention;

[0024] FIG. 3 is a flowsheet of a specific embodiment of the use of the container of the invention;

[0025] FIG. 4 is an illustration of a container-forming blank;

[0026] FIG. 5 is an illustration of a container structure made from the blank prior to final assembly of the container;

[0027] FIGS. 6A-6F show the steps used to form a collapsed container;

[0028] FIGS. 7A-7C are further illustrations of the collapsed container;

[0029] FIG. 8 is an illustration of a blank for forming a temporary container that includes a lid for the collapsed container;

[0030] FIGS. 9A-9D shows the steps for forming the temporary container;

[0031] FIG. 10 illustrates the assembly of the collapsed container into the temporary container (i.e., container, the lid and lid closing portion);

[0032] FIG. 11 illustrates the components of a typical organizing kit according to the invention;

[0033] FIGS. 12A-12F show the steps for assembling the file box from the container structure of FIG. 5;

[0034] FIGS. 13A-13B illustrate the side rail reinforcements and their location on the sides of the container;

[0035] FIG. 14 is an illustration of the container of FIG. 13B with hanging file folders therein;

[0036] FIGS. 15A-15B illustrate final formation of the container lid;

[0037] FIG. 16 is an illustration of the lid on the container with hanging folders inside;

[0038] FIGS. 17A-17B are two views of the final formed container; and

[0039] FIGS. 18A-18C compare the compact size of the kits of the invention compared to conventional folded containers.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0040] The invention basically relates to a method for assisting an individual with a planning project that entails the production, accumulation and sorting of records in a particular fashion. A number of certain items are provided. in a specifically designed container or box. The items include a plurality of General Resource Folders of a first color; a plurality of blank indexing members for use with the General Resource Folders; a plurality of Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors that is distinctive from the first color of General Resource Folders; and a plurality of blank indexing members for use with the Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors. Additionally, the General Resource Folders of one color are correlated with the Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors in order to enable the individual to organize, file and track all physical paperwork associated with the planning project.

[0041] The invention also relates to a system for assisting an individual with a planning process. This system includes the box, folders and indexing members mentioned above, along with means for correlating the General Resource Folders of one color with the Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors. This system presents a convenient way to collect, manage and retain all paperwork related to the planning of a project.

[0042] Finally, the present invention also relates to four physical improvements to existing art for hanging folder file boxes with lids. First, it is desirable to reduce the size of the unconstructed hanging folder file box and lid so that it may be stored in about one-third the storage space or less. The present invention provides for this. Second, it is also desirable to have the hanging folder file box lid function in more ways than the current product: as a retail package, as an additional storage container, and as a traditional lid for the hanging folder file box. The present invention provides for this. Third, it is desirable for hanging folders to glide easily along a reinforced top edge of the hanging folder file box, and to maximize storage space inside the box. The present invention provides for this. Finally, it is desirable to allow for space when the lid is placed on the container with the hanging files in it, so that the indexing members are not damaged and to provide increased storage. The present invention provides for this need.

[0043] FIG. 1 depicts the basic arrangement and set-up of the invention. Printed Materials according to the invention are filed into the General Resource Folders, which are then labeled and stored in a specifically designed Hanging Folder File Box (file box).

[0044] FIG. 2 depicts the flow of data from outside sources (indicated by broken lines) to the Invention. General Research and Background Data from outside sources (e.g. brochures/articles, forms, directories, on-line print outs and other general type information) is sorted and filed into the General Resource Folders, labeled, and stored in the file box. Information pertaining to the specific project or project components (e.g. data generated by the user and/or those associated with the specific project) is sorted and filed into the Specific Project Folders, and stored in the file box.

[0045] FIG. 3 depicts an example of the present invention using family health care as a model. General Research and Background Data from outside sources like general medical brochures/articles, health plans, physicians directory, medical forms and other general type information are sorted and filed into the General Resource Folders, labeled and stored in the file box. Specific Project Data like individual family member medical records, bills, reimbursements, medical reports and correspondence are sorted and filed in the Specific Project Folders, labeled and stored in the file box.

[0046] FIG. 4 depicts the sheet of material used to form the file box blank 10 according to the specifications for the present invention, showing the file box blank 10 after it has been cut from stock material, but before it is glued, folded and packaged. The blank 10 includes a first end panel 15, a first side panel 20, a second end panel 25, a second side panel 30 and a base panel A. The first side panel 20 is connected to end panels 15, 25 along fold line F, and is also connected to bottom panel C along a fold line. The bottom panel is connected to further end panels B, D by fold lines. End panel 25 is connected to second side panel 30 by a fold line while base panel A is also connected to second side panel 30 by a fold line. End panels 25 and B, and 15 and D, are not connected. The blank 10 also includes cut-out portions 40 which align in the formed container to provide band grasping openings. Also, cut-out 60 is provided to assist in placing base panel 40 in correct positions during formation of the container. Furthermore, side panel 30 includes tab member 50 which is used to join side panel 30 to end panel 15, preferably by an adhesive or by staples when the blank is made of corrugated cardboard. When other materials, such as plastics or composite materials, are used to form the blank, the tab member can be attached by ultrasonic or heat welding or other ways that are suitable for or compatible with the material of the blank 10. Preferred dimension for these panels are also provided.

[0047] FIG. 5 depicts the file box structure 70 after tab member 50 is glued to end panel 15 but before it is collapsed and packaged. The end panels 15, 25 of structure 70 include crease lines 80 for collapsing the structure to compact form.

[0048] FIG. 6 depicts the method of folding or collapsing the file box along the crease and fold lines and according to the present invention. First, the file box ends 15, 25 collapse inward along the crease lines 80 so that sides 20, 30 move toward the center of the file box as shown in FIG. 6B. Then, the file box bottom flaps fold up and in against their respective file box sides as shown in FIG. 6C. Panels B, D are folded onto panel C as shown in FIG. 6D, while base A is folded onto the collapsed structure, thus creating the final folded box shown in FIG. 6E that fits into the file box multi-purpose lid as described herein.

[0049] FIG. 7A depicts a front view and dimensions of the final folded file box, ready to be inserted into the file box multi-purpose lid. The folding method of the file box as in the present invention FIG. 7B results in a smaller retail package than prior art for file boxes. As shown therein, the dimensions of the collapsed box are 12″ by 15 ⅜ as shown in FIG. 7C and it is approximately ¾ to ⅞′ in thickness when the panels are made of conventional corrugated cardboard.

[0050] FIG. 8 depicts the sheet of material used to form the file box multi-purpose lid after it has been cut from stock material, but before it is assembled to serve as the retail package and file box lid as outlined in the present invention. Blank 100 includes lid forming portion 105 and temporary closing portion 175. Lid forming portion 105 includes base member 110 and side portions 115, 120, 125, 130. Side portions 115, 125 include reinforcement in the form of additional side portions 135, 145 joined thereto by fold lines F. Side portions 120, 130 include lock members 140. Side portions 135, 145 include tabs 155 that fit into slots 160 when those side portions are folded over side portions 115, 125. To assemble the lid, sides 115, 120, 125 and 130 as folded to be essentially perpendicular to base member 110, tabs 140 are folded to be parallel with sides 115, 125 and sides 135, 145 are folded over the tabs with the lock members 155 inserted into a locking position in slots 160. Temporary closing portion 175 includes a base member 180 and side flaps 185. This can be used to close the lid and form a temporary container that can be used to transport articles. Side 130 is attached to base member 180 of closing portion 175 along a weakened fold line and can be separated therefrom when the lid is to be placed on a container.

[0051] FIG. 9 depicts assembly of the file box multi-purpose lid so that it may serve as a retail package according to the present invention for holding all the materials included in the present invention.

[0052] FIG. 10 depicts the insertion of the folded file box of FIG. 7A into the assembled file box multi-purpose lid of FIG. 9D before the remaining materials are included and the product is complete for shipping.

[0053] FIG. 11 depicts the insertion of all materials of the present invention (Hanging Folder File Box of FIG. 7A, U Channel Side Rail Reinforcements of FIG. 13A, Directional Guide, Hanging File Folder Tabs and Tab Label Inserts, Hanging File Folders) into the fully assembled file box multi-purpose lid of FIG. 9D so that the present invention is ready for shipment to the user.

[0054] FIG. 12 depicts the assembly of the file box by the consumer to ready it for use.

[0055] FIG. 13 depicts the embodiment and placement of plastic U Channel side rail reinforcements for the file box as in the present invention, whereas the user snaps the rails onto the sides of the fully assembled file box before he inserts the hanging file folders.

[0056] FIG. 14 depicts the insertion of hanging file folders by the user into the fully assembled file box wherein the hanging file folders are placed on the U Channel Side Rail Reinforcements.

[0057] FIG. 15 depicts converting the file box multi-purpose lid of FIG. 9D for use as the file box lid, whereby the user detaches the top piece with flaps on the file box package along a perforated line as shown in FIG. 15A, leaving a fully assembled lid for use as a standard file box lid as shown in FIG. 15B.

[0058] FIG. 16 depicts the file box multi-purpose lid functioning as a cover for the file box after the top piece with flap has been removed. It also depicts a side view of the file box with lid on top, whereby there is added space above the file folders with tabs, and added space below the hanging file folders. The hanging files are shown in phantom.

[0059] FIG. 17 depicts front and side views of the ends of the file box which have a greater height and on which the file box lid will rest according to the present invention.

[0060] FIG. 18 depicts a front view comparison of the final retail size of the present invention versus the final retail size of the prior art.

[0061] The invention addresses the deficiencies of the prior art by providing individuals with a multi use schematic and storage tool by which they can monitor the activity flow during the course of the planning process. The primary benefit of using this invention is that all materials are collected and organized so that they can be consolidated efficiently into one place.

[0062] Specifically, this invention:

[0063] Provides an easy to use, easy to store, all-in-one kit that is suitable for a variety of projects

[0064] Allows individuals to set up and organize everything needed to handle the actual planning process, from the beginning to the end

[0065] Offers the individual one physical place to sort, review, track and store all information pertinent to his planning project

[0066] Supplies directional guidance for the filing process which enables individuals to be organized, and to therefore utilize time to work on the actual planning content rather than the setup

[0067] Supplies the retailer or a consumer with a well-sized, all-in-one unit that can be stored easily in a warehouse, displayed easily in a retail location, or stored conveniently in a home.

[0068] Makes available multiple items in one place for use as the infrastructure for a planning project

[0069] Offers fingertip availability of all planning and control documents at any point in the process

[0070] Provides peace of mind and stress reduction that comes from being in control of the process

[0071] Reduces likelihood of losing or misplacing important documents

[0072] Allows opportunity to cross reference information.

[0073] The invention also addresses deficiencies in the prior art by providing four improvements to the hanging folder file box and lid:

[0074] It includes a unique folding design that allows a full size hanging folder file box to be collapsed into less than one third the size of existing containers. This hanging folder file box is then nested into its own lid, thus providing a retail package that requires less than one third the shelf space of existing products.

[0075] Second, the hanging folder file box lid has a unique design that allows it to function in three ways rather than the one use lid of existing products. Specifically, it serves:

[0076] as a retail package for the filing product,

[0077] as an additional storage box, and

[0078] as a traditional box cover for the hanging folder file box.

[0079] These benefits are accomplished through unique design elements. The lid is fully constructed unlike existing file box covers that are delivered in a folded flat state. This allows all filing product materials, including the hanging folder file box itself, to be contained inside. Then, the lid has an additional top piece with a perforated connection and flap sides so that it can be folded over and tucked in, thus allowing the total unit to function as a mailing box, or if desired by the consumer, as an additional storage box. Further, the top piece is connected to the lid by means of a perforation, so that the consumer can remove it without damage to the lid. Once removed, the lid can be used as the traditional cover to the hanging folder file box.

[0080] The hanging folder file box has snap on side rails that stabilize the box and allow the hanging files to glide easily and provide increased storage space since side rails are not recessed into the box as they are in existing art. The use of this type side rail system reduces manufacturing costs because they are less expensive than built in side rails, and because the labor of putting the side rails on is now provided by the consumer.

[0081] The hanging folder file box is designed to have taller ends that allow the lid to sit above the files. This unique feature prevents the lid from crushing the indexing members on the hanging folders and also provides increased storage space within the hanging folder file box.

[0082] The most preferred arrangement for the kit of the invention is described as follows:

[0083] Physical Components:

[0084] General Resource Folders of One Color:

[0085] 4 to 6 letter size, hanging file folders of one color with tabs and blank tab inserts

[0086] Specific Project Folders of a Second Color or Colors:

[0087] 4 to 6 letter size, hanging file folders of another color or colors, with tabs and blank tab inserts

[0088] 1 HANGING FOLDER FILE BOX (pop-up style); box can be easily constructed to hold all folders and eventual planning materials

[0089] MULTI-PURPOSE LID, which is used as a retail package until time of use, may be used as a separate container for ongoing storage, or may be used as the cover to the pop-up hanging folder file box

[0090] DIRECTIONAL GUIDE for setting up system

[0091] 2 PLASTIC U CHANNEL SIDE RAILS to stabilize container and allow hanging folders to slide easily within the box

[0092] Explanation of Use of Physical Components:

[0093] General Resource Folders of First Color:

[0094] The General Resource Folders represent data collection from outside sources to be used as research and background pertaining to the project. For example if a consumer is using this kit for managing his Family Health Care, these General Resource Folders might include medical brochures/articles, health plans, a physician directory and medical forms. These are generic information folders.

[0095] The number of folders to be utilized depends upon the number of different categories of information that the individual wishes to organize, and four to six (4-6) folders are generally suitable but as high as ten (10) or more can be used if necessary or desired.

[0096] All of the General Resource Folders, and their plastic tabs, will be a distinctive color, such as yellow, to set them apart immediately and distinctly from the remaining contents of the box.

[0097] General Resource Folder inserts of the first color will be labeled by the user in accordance with the categories of information deemed appropriate by the user based on the planning project that is undertaken. The user will type or write that name on the insert, place the insert into the tab and place the tab on the folder. Then the General Resource Folders of a first color will be ready for the user to employ.

[0098] Finally, the user will sort and store information received by or generated by the planning project into the appropriate folder.

[0099] Specific Project Folders of a Second Color or Colors:

[0100] Specific Project Folders represent data generated by the individual for the specific project. For example, using the Family Health Care model, the folders might include topics such as individual medical records for each family member, bills/reimbursements, medical reports and correspondence.

[0101] The number of folders to be utilized depends upon the number of different categories of information that the individual wishes to organize, and four to six (4-6) folders are generally suitable but as high as ten (10) or more can be used if necessary or desired.

[0102] All of the Specific Project Folders and their tabs will be of a second color or colors to set them apart and be distinct from the first color General Resource Folders.

[0103] The Specific Project Information Folder inserts of a second color or colors will be labeled in accordance with the specific information deemed appropriate by the user for his particular planning project. The user will type or write that name on the insert, place the insert into the tab, and place one tab on each folder. Then the Specific Project Folders of another color or colors will be ready for the user to employ.

[0104] Hanging Folder File Box

[0105] A Corrugated Box with approximate assembled dimensions of: 11′(H)×12⅛″(W)×15⅜″(L), designed to pop-up for use as a receptacle, with a lid, will unify the General Resource Folders of the first color and Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors in one place. The preferred size is sufficient to hold all of the preceding folders, but this may be varied depending upon the amount of written materials and the number of folders. If necessary, more than one box can be used.

[0106] The “General Resource Folders of the first color” are preferably placed in the front of the box, while the “Specific Project Folders of a second color or colors” are placed behind them.

[0107] Multi-Purpose Lid:

[0108] The lid initially serves as the retail packaging and/or mailer for the kit. Once the kit becomes operational, the user may utilize the lid as an additional storage container. Or, if it is more preferred, the user may tear the extended portion along the perforation and use the remaining lid as a cover to the hanging folder file box.

[0109] Directional Guide

[0110] The Directional Guide provides instructions for setting up the kit and for organizing the project.

[0111] U Channel Side Rail Reinforcements

[0112] The U Channel side rail reinforcements provide stability for the file box, an easy gliding surface for hanging file folders, increased durability for the file box because files are sliding on the rails instead of directly on the corrugated material, and finally, increased storage space below the files, due to the placements of the rails on the top edge of the file box sides as opposed to placement within the file box. U Channel rails are constructed of lightweight PVC-type plastic, 15″ in length, top width of {fraction (3/16)}″ with the bottom opening to approximately {fraction (3/16)}″.

[0113] In this description, the terms “container” and “box” have been used interchangeably to designate a structure that is capable of holding or transporting various items, and in particular paper, file or office products. These containers generally have an open top which is covered by a separate lid. In the most preferred embodiments, the containers are made of panels of corrugated cardboard and are provided in the form structure generally known as a “Banker's Box” or “Paige Box”. These are provided in a collapsed condition and are unfolded to form the container or box as described herein.

[0114] While the invention has been described in connection with illustrated embodiments, it is not intended to limit the invention to the particular forms set forth above, but, on the contrary, is intended to cover such alternatives, modifications, and equivalents as may be included within the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.

[0115] For example, the materials used to form the container are not limited to corrugated cardboard or chipboard, but may be any foldable material. The container may be formed from one integral piece of material, or may be fabricated from multiple components glued or otherwise attached to act as one piece of material. It may be of a shape other than rectangular, and may have a number of sides other than four. The lid may extend from the inner portion rather than the outer portion, may be comprised of multiple panels, and may be sealed by means such as gluing or stapling. In another embodiment, the lid may not completely close the top end of the container. In yet another embodiment, flaps on the lid may extend to the interior of the container and provide a barrier to separate the contents.

[0116] While one embodiment of the container of the present invention provides for an improved support structure in a collapsible container, the improved support structure of the present invention may be used with other, non-collapsible containers as well. The support structure may hold objects other than hanging files. The flaps and panels used to form the improved support structures may differ in form. The improved support structures may be used with a container having any sort of lid, or no lid. Also, the temporary container may be used to ship other items which are usable with the container whether the container is shipped either separately or associated with the outside of the temporary container, such as by being wrapped thereto with stretchable plastic film. The skilled artisan can realize many different embodiments, all of which are intended to be covered by the appended claims.