Title:
Modular organizing system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A modular organizing system having one or more modular storage units having a top wall, bottom wall and two opposing sidewalls. One modular storage unit includes an upper compartment and a lower compartment. The upper compartment includes one or more hanging devices for hanging necklaces, chains, beads, and other jewelry or personal accessory items. The upper compartment is enclosed by a transparent door. The lower compartment also include one or more drawers. A second modular storage unit includes two or more drawers. Each drawer of the modular organizing system are dimensionally compatible and are interchangeable. An interchangeable drawer insert for storing and displaying a specific jewelry item and/or personal accessory item. Each modular storage unit includes one or more mating systems for allowing the modular storage units to be stacked. The mating system includes a mating rib and mating depression with each being on a modular storage unit. The mating system can be on a top wall and bottom wall and/or on the sidewalls thus allowing the modular storage units to be stacked vertically or horizontally.



Inventors:
Brower, Susan (Sykesville, MD, US)
Application Number:
10/315175
Publication Date:
06/10/2004
Filing Date:
12/10/2002
Assignee:
BROWER SUSAN
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47B67/00; (IPC1-7): A47B67/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DUNN, DAVID R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP - DC (ATLANTA, GA, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A modular organizing system for storing and displaying objects, such as jewelry and personal accessory items, comprising: a first modular storage unit comprising a top wall, a bottom wall and a pair of opposing sidewalls coupled to the top wall and the bottom wall, with a mating depression on the top wall or the bottom wall and a mating rib on the other; and a second modular storage unit comprising a top wall, a bottom wall and a pair of opposing side wall coupled to the top wall and bottom wall, with a mating depression on the top wall or bottom wall and a mating rib on the other, wherein the mating depressions and the mating ribs are adapted to interact thereby allowing the modular storage units to be stacked.

2. The modular organizing system of claim 1 wherein the first modular storage unit further comprises an upper compartment and a lower compartment with the upper compartment comprising at least one hanging device.

3. The modular organizing system of claim 3 wherein the at least one hanging device is selected from the group consisting of dowels, notches, hooks, and pegs.

4. The modular organizing system of claim 2 wherein the upper compartment further comprises a door adapted to enclose the upper compartment in a closed position and provide access to the at least one hanging device in an open position.

5. The modular organizing system of claim 5 wherein the door is transparent.

6. The modular organizing system of claim 2 wherein the lower compartment comprises at least one drawer.

7. The modular organizing system of claim 1 wherein the second modular storage unit comprises at least one drawer.

8. A modular organizing system for storing and displaying objects, such as jewelry and personal accessory items, comprising at least two modular storage units, each modular storage unit comprises a top wall, a bottom wall and a pair of opposing sidewalls coupled to the top wall and the bottom wall, with a mating depression on the top wall or the bottom wall and a mating rib on the other, wherein the mating depressions and the mating ribs are adapted to interact thereby allowing the modular storage units to be stacked.

9. The modular organizing system of claim 8 wherein each modular storage unit comprises at least one drawer.

10. The modular organizing system of claim 8 wherein the at least one drawer further comprises a transparent drawer front.

11. The modular organizing system of claim 9 further comprising at least one insertable tray adapted to be inserted into the at least one drawer.

12. The modular organizing system of claim 11 wherein the at least one insertable tray is adapted to store objects selected from the group consisting of rings, eyeglasses, pins, watches, bracelets, and earrings.

13. The modular organizing system of 8 wherein each modular storage unit further comprises a back wall adapted to enclose at least a portion of the area formed by the top wall, bottom wall, and opposing sidewalls.

14. The modular organizing system of claim 13 wherein each back wall further comprises a hanging notch adapted to allow for the hanging of the modular storage unit.

15. A modular organizing system for storing and displaying objects, such as jewelry and personal accessory items, comprising a first modular storage unit comprising: a top wall; a bottom wall; a pair of opposing sidewalls coupled to the top wall and the bottom wall; at least one supporting member interposed between the opposing sidewalls; an upper compartment formed by the top wall, the at least one supporting member, and the pair of opposing sidewalls; a lower compartment formed by the bottom wall, the at least one supporting member, and the pair of opposing sidewalls; a mating depression on the top wall or the bottom wall; and a mating rib on the other, with the mating depression adapted to interact with a mating rib from another modular storage unit and the mating rib adapted to interact with a mating depression from another modular storage unit, thereby allowing the first modular storage unit to be stacked with another modular storage unit.

16. The modular organizing system of claim 15 wherein the upper compartment further comprises at least one hanging device and a lower compartment having at least one drawer.

17. The modular organizing system of claim 17 wherein the at least one drawer further comprises a transparent drawer front.

18. The modular organizing system of claim 15 wherein the upper compartment further comprises a door adapted to enclose the upper compartment in a closed position and provide access to the at least one hanging device in an open position.

19. The modular organizing system of claim 18 wherein the door is transparent.

20. The modular organizing system of 15 wherein the first modular storage unit further comprises a back wall adapted to enclose at least a portion of the area formed by the top wall, bottom wall, and opposing sidewalls.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0001] 1. Technical Field

[0002] The present invention relates to a modular organizing system. More specifically, this invention relates to a modular organizing system having one or more modular storage units for storing and displaying objects, such as jewelry or personal accessory items.

[0003] 2. Background Information

[0004] The use of cabinets or containers for storing and displaying jewelry, such as necklaces, chains, beads, bracelets, rings, earrings, etc., and personal accessory items, such as watches, pins, glasses, etc., is well known. Typically, most cabinets or containers for storing and displaying such items provide little flexibility and no modularity. The present invention seeks to overcome these deficiencies by providing a modular system with interchangeable storage and display components. Examples of prior art devices include:

[0005] U.S. Pat. No. 328,681 to Radosevich discloses an ornamental design for a jewelry organizer mountable to a vertical surface. U.S. Pat. No. 3,930,702 to Pichowicz discloses a decorative wall cabinet for retaining an assembly of necklaces, chains, beads, bracelets, rings and ornamental pins. A bar is fixed below the mirror and has outwardly extending pegs or pins to hang the shorter chains or rings thereon. Inside the cabinet is a row of compartments at the top for bracelets and such jewelry, a bar having pins extending outwardly from the bar to hang long chains or necklaces thereon in spaced individual relationships. At the bottom end are two pivoted drawers having chambers therein to receive smaller items of jewelry.

[0006] U.S. Pat. No. 4,776,6500 to Frenzi discloses a wall mounted cosmetic center with a plurality of cosmetic-supporting shelves, a makeup mirror receiving opening, and a pair of drawers having inner surfaces for storing jewelry in an organized manner. U.S. Pat. No. 4,978,001 to Nelson shows a jewelry closet securable to a vertical surface that includes a specific combination of three pivotally mounted sections containing storage offset hooks for necklaces, horizontal rods for rings, and repositionable hooks for various jewelry items.

[0007] U.S. Pat. No. 5,209,344 to Smith discloses a collapsible closet-hanger jewelry organizer and storage device having a plurality of foldable transparent pockets within which jewelry objects may be stored. U.S. Pat. No. 5,370,453 to Wolff discloses a portable jewelry organizer with a series of pivoting bins which, when released by a release mechanism open to provide access to the contents of the bins. Rear and side compartments are used for hanging chains and necklaces. A top compartment having a pivotal cover can also carry smaller items of jewelry.

[0008] U.S. Pat. No. 5,758,936 to Baughan discloses a jewelry security cabinet for necklaces, pendants, rings and earrings. The mounting surface is constructed to hang on a wall or be set recessed into a wall. The inside has pins and hangers so as to hold selected objects. Within the structure are two detachable display cases for transporting jewelry when traveling.

[0009] In light of the combined prior art, it may be appreciated that there is an on going need for a new and improved modular organizing system, wherein the user is not restricted to a single jewelry storage device having a pre-determined volume, compartmental arrangement and internal layout.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0010] The present invention provides a modular organizing system that utilizes one or more modular storage units to store and display, in a convenient manner, an unlimited amount of objects, such as jewelry and personal accessory items. The user can create a customized system that is based upon the quantity and type of objects to be stored and displayed. The modular storage units can be freestanding, wall mounted or recessed into a wall.

[0011] In one embodiment, each modular storage unit comprises a top wall, a bottom wall, a pair of opposing sidewalls, and preferably a back wall. One of the modular storage units is defined as having an upper compartment having at least one hanging device thus allowing a user to store and display jewelry and/or personal accessory items, such as necklaces, chains, beads, etc. The hanging devices can include dowels, notches, hooks, pegs, or other devices to hang jewelry and/or personal accessory items. The hanging devices can be attached to the back wall and spaced apart in an arrangement that provides convenient access for placement of jewelry and/or personal accessory items. The hanging devices are of sufficient length to allow for any particular item to be easily located and removed easily. The upper compartment can be enclosed by a transparent door. Below the upper compartment is a lower compartment having one or more vertically stacked drawers that extend from sidewall to sidewall. Another modular storage unit is defined as having a top wall, a bottom wall, a pair of opposing sidewalls, a plurality of drawers, and preferably a back wall.

[0012] Each drawer in the modular organizing system is dimensionally compatible and capable of mating in all directions with all other units within the modular organizing system. In addition, each drawer in the modular organizing system can include an interchangeable drawer insert with different subdivisions for organizing and protecting a varied array of jewelry and/or personal accessory items. The user can remove, relocate, mix and match drawer inserts for convenience and organization. Each drawer includes a transparent drawer front which allows a user to identify the contents of the drawer without having to open the drawer.

[0013] Furthermore, each modular storage unit is dimensionally compatible and includes an interlocking system enabling the modular storage units to be stacked both horizontally and vertically. The interlocking system can include a mating depression and a mating rib with each modular storage unit including both the mating depression and the mating rib. The mating ribs can be located on the bottom wall or on a sidewall and the mating rib is located on the top wall or on the other sidewall.

[0014] The general beneficial effects described above apply generally to each of the exemplary descriptions and characterizations of the devices and mechanisms disclosed herein. The specific structures through which these benefits are delivered will be described in detail herein below.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0015] FIG. 1 is a front view of a first modular storage unit in a modular organizing system, the first modular storage unit includes four hanging device and two storage compartments in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0016] FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the first modular storage unit of FIG. 1 in accordance with the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0017] FIG. 3 is a side view of the first modular storage unit of FIG. 1 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0018] FIG. 4 is a front view of a second modular storage unit in a modular organizing system, the second modular storage unit includes eight storage compartments in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0019] FIG. 5 is a top plan view of the second modular storage unit of FIG. 4 in accordance with the exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0020] FIG. 6 is a side view of the second modular storage unit of FIG. 4 in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention.

[0021] FIG. 7 includes isometric views of interchangeable storage compartments in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

[0022] As required, detailed embodiments of the present invention are disclosed herein. However, it is understood that the disclosed embodiments are merely exemplary of the invention that may be embodied in various and alternative forms. The figures are not necessarily to scale, and some features may be exaggerated or minimized to show details of particular components. Therefore, specific structural and functional details disclosed herein are not to be interpreted as limiting, but merely as a basis for the claims and as a representative basis for teaching one skilled in the art to variously employ the present invention.

[0023] Referring to FIGS. 1-3, a first modular storage unit in a modular organizing system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. As shown, the first modular storage unit 12 of the modular organizing system 10 is defined by a top wall 14, a bottom wall 16 and two opposing sidewalls 18, 20. In the preferred embodiment, a back wall 22 covers the back of the first modular storage unit 12. In alternate embodiments, there is no back wall 22 or the back wall 22 only covers a portion of the first modular storage unit 12. The first modular storage unit 12 is further defined as having an upper compartment 24 and a lower compartment 26. A supporting member 28 separates the upper compartment 24 and the lower compartment 26. The lower compartment 26 includes one or more drawers 30 for storing and displaying objects, such as jewelry and/or personal accessory items.

[0024] The upper compartment 24 includes one or more hanging devices 32 for hanging objects, such as jewelry and/or personal accessory items. In a preferred embodiment, the hanging devices 32 are dowels. In alternative embodiments, the hanging devices 32 can be notches, hooks, eyehooks, pegs, and other devices for hanging objects, such as necklaces, chains, beads, etc. The hanging devices 32 are attached to the back wall 22 and are spaced apart in an arrangement that provides convenient access to the objects. As shown in FIG. 2, the hanging devices 32 are of sufficient length to allow for one or more pieces of jewelry and/or personal accessory items to be supported on the hanging devices 32.

[0025] In a preferred embodiment, the upper storage compartment 24 is enclosed on the front side by a door 34. Preferably, the door 34 is transparent and is made of glass, plastic, acrylic or another transparent material or materials. The front door 34 is attached to one of the sidewalls 18, 20 using one or more sets of hinges 36. In alternative embodiments, the door 34 is attached to the first modular storage unit 12 using attachment means known in the art. Preferably, the door 34 includes a doorknob 38 and is held in a secured position by a magnetic catch 40 affixed to one of the sidewalls 18, 20 and a washer type metal plate 42 located on the backside of the doorknob 38.

[0026] Referring to FIGS. 4-6, a second modular storage unit in a modular organizing system in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention is illustrated. As shown, a top wall 14, a bottom wall 16, and two opposing sidewalls 18 define the second modular storage unit 44. In the preferred embodiment, a back wall 22 covers the back of the second modular storage unit 44. In alternate embodiments, there is no back wall 22 or the back wall 22 only covers a portion of the second modular storage unit 44. The second modular storage unit 44 includes one or more drawers 30. Preferably, the drawers 30 are positioned one above the other and take up the entire volume of the second modular storage unit 44.

[0027] In the preferred embodiment, the size and construction of the drawers 30 that are used in the first modular storage unit 12 and the second modular storage unit 44 are dimensionally the same, thus the drawers 30 are interchangeable. In the preferred embodiment, the drawers 30 dimensionally extend from the front of the modular storage unit 12, 44 to the back wall 22, extend from sidewall 18 to sidewall 20 and are separated from each other by one or more supporting members 28. In alternate embodiments, the number of drawers 30, the dimensions of the drawers 30, the orientation of the drawers 30 (vertical or horizontal), and how the drawers 30 are separated can differ. For vertically oriented drawers 30, one or more supporting member 28 can separate the individual drawers 30.

[0028] Preferably, each drawer 30 includes a drawer front 46 having a drawer knob 48. In a preferred embodiment, the drawer front 48 is transparent and is made of plastic, acrylic or another transparent material or materials. A transparent drawer front allows for a user of the storage system 10 to identify items stored in a drawer 30 without having to open the drawer 30. In addition, an interchangeable drawer insert 50 can be inserted into a drawer 30.

[0029] Referring to FIG. 7, isometric views of interchangeable drawer inserts in accordance with exemplary embodiments of the present invention are illustrated. The drawer inserts 50 are dimensioned to fit within a drawer 30 and can have different subdivisional arrangements for organizing and protecting objects, such as jewelry and/or personal accessory items. The drawer inserts 50 are removable and interchangeable, thereby providing a user with a myriad of combinations that allows a user to customize one or more drawers 30. For example, drawer insert 50a stores one or more rings, drawer insert 50b stores one or more pair of glasses (sunglasses or eyeglasses), drawer insert 50c stores one or more pins, insert 50d stores one or more watches, drawer insert 50e stores one or more miscellaneous accessories, drawer insert 50f stores one or more bracelets, drawer insert 50g stores one or more earrings, and drawer insert 50h stores one or more bulky accessories.

[0030] Referring to FIGS. 1 and 4, a mating system for interlocking the first modular storage unit 12 and the second modular storage unit 44 is illustrated. The modular storage units 12, 44 are able to be interlocked using a mating depression 52 and a mating rib 54 with the mating rib 54 fitting into the mating depression 52. Preferably, each modular storage unit 12, 44 includes a mating depression 52 on the top wall 14 and a mating rib 54 on the bottom wall 16. In alternate embodiments, the mating depression 52 can be on the bottom wall 16 and the mating rib 54 can be on the top wall 14. In addition, a mating system, such as the mating depression 52 and mating rib 54 can be located on the sidewalls 18, 20 thus allowing modular storage units to be aligned side by side in a mated position (not shown).

[0031] Referring to FIGS. 3 and 6, the modular storage units 12, 44 can include at least one hanging notch 56 for mounting the modular storage unit 12, 44 on a wall. The hanging notch can take various forms as known in the art. In alternate embodiments, the modular storage units can be recessed into a wall as known in the art.

[0032] Although the present invention has been described and illustrated in detail, it is to be clearly understood that the same is by way of illustration and example only, and is not to be taken as a limitation. The spirit and scope of the present invention are to be limited only by the terms of any claims presented hereafter.

[0033] Industrial Applicability

[0034] The present invention finds applicability in the modular storage and display industry. Of particular importance is the modularity of the storage units thus enabling two or more modular storage units to be stacked.