Title:
Kitchen organizer
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A kitchen organizational device for storage and organization of various kitchen items, including cutting boards, cooling racks, pizza pans and bake ware, is provided. The kitchen items are stored in a vertical position on a counter top or other convenient location. The organizational device may be laterally and/or longitudinally adjusted.



Inventors:
Sheldon, Janice P. (Littleton, CO, US)
Sheldon, David L. (Littleton, CO, US)
Application Number:
10/869142
Publication Date:
12/22/2005
Filing Date:
06/16/2004
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47F7/00; A47J47/16; (IPC1-7): A47F7/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MAGUIRE, LINDSAY M
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Janice P. Sheldon (Littleton,, CO, US)
Claims:
1. A kitchen organizational device which comprises: a base module having a top surface with a plurality of longitudinally extending ridges and a plurality of spaced channels formed therein; at least two vertical support members; and said vertical support members including a short support member and a tall support member.

2. The organizational device of claim 1, wherein said base module length is selected from the group consisting of 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, 16 inches and 20 inches.

3. The organizational device of claim 1, wherein said base module further comprises a bottom surface, said bottom surface comprising an item to prevent slippage selected from the group consisting of rubber, sand paper, plastic, and polymer adhesive.

4. The organizational device of claim 1, wherein said vertical support members include means for securing said base module to a supporting surface.

5. The organizational device of claim 4, wherein said supporting surface is a refrigerator or a wall.

6. The organizational device of claim 5, wherein said means for securing said base module is selected from the group consisting of nails, screws, bolts, brackets, and magnets.

7. The organizational device of claim 1 further comprising means for enclosing a lateral opening of the device.

8. The organizational device of claim 7, wherein said means for enclosing is selected from ribbon, elastic bands, removable walls, and locking hinges.

9. The organizational device of claim 1 further comprising means for fixably mating two or more organizational devices.

10. The organizational device of claim 9, wherein said means for fixably mating is selected from the group consisting of hinges, hook and eyes, locking pins, and track and rail systems.

11. An adjustable kitchen organizational device which comprises: a base module having a top surface with a plurality of longitudinally extending ridges and a plurality of spaced channels formed therein; at least two vertical support members; said vertical support members including a short support member and a tall support member; and at least two moveable sections, wherein said moveable sections provide for lateral and/or longitudinal adjustment of the organizational device.

12. The organizational device of claim 11, wherein said base module further comprises a bottom surface, said bottom surface comprising an item to prevent slippage selected from the group consisting of rubber, sand paper, plastic, and polymer adhesive.

13. The organizational device of claim 11, wherein said vertical support members include means for securing said base module to a supporting surface.

14. The organizational device of claim 13, wherein said supporting surface is a refrigerator or a wall.

15. The organizational device of claim 14, wherein said means for securing said base module is selected from the group consisting of nails, screws, bolts, brackets, and magnets.

16. The organizational device of claim 11 further comprising means for connecting said moveable sections to each other.

17. The organizational device of claim 16, wherein said means for connecting said moveable sections is selected from the group consisting of track and rail connectors, locking track and rail connectors, and locking pin connectors.

18. The organizational device of claim 11 further comprising means for enclosing a lateral opening of the device.

19. The organizational device of claim 18, wherein said means for enclosing is selected from ribbon, elastic bands, removable walls, and locking hinges.

20. The organizational device of claim 11 further comprising means for fixably mating two or more organizational devices.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to kitchen organizational devices and more particularly to devices for storing cutting boards, cooling racks, pizza pans, baking sheets and other large and/or irregularly shaped kitchen items.

BACKGROUND

Storage units for kitchen items are known in the art in which various kitchen items are stored in a vertical arrangement rather than in a horizontal orientation. Vertical storage is advantageous as it allows for efficient space utilization and easy removal of a particular item of interest, rather than removal of all items, as with horizontal storage units.

Previously known storage racks are for placement in cupboards, which are often not large enough to accommodate large kitchen items, such as bake ware and cutting boards. Additionally, even if a cabinet is capable of accommodating such items, a user must bend over, stand on a chair or reach over their head to access the items. If a person has a disability, such action may be impossible for them. The alternative is to prop such items alongside a cabinet or the refrigerator where they may fall down, breaking items as they do.

A vertical organizer for kitchen items, which may be placed on a counter or alongside a refrigerator, is greatly needed to enable efficient storage of large bake ware items and removal without bending over to get the items.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In view of the above, it is a broad object of this invention to provide a storage and organization device for use in conjunction with kitchen items. The device allows for efficient storage of kitchen items, such as cutting boards, baking sheets, wire baking racks, and the like, on kitchen countertops. The present invention overcomes problems with previous devices by providing a device for use on a counter top allowing for easy access of items stored within it.

Items to be stored within the device of the present invention include cutting boards, baking sheets, wire baking racks, pizza pans and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The invention described in this specification will be better understood when taken in conjunction with the drawings wherein:

FIG. 1 illustrates a side plan view of the device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates a front plan view of the device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates a front perspective view of the device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 4A-4C illustrates enclosure means for application to lateral openings according to one embodiment of the present invention.

FIGS. 5A-5B illustrate lateral and/or longitudinal adjustments of the device according to an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates modular devices according to an embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

FIG. 1 illustrates a side plan view of the device according to an embodiment of the present invention. A kitchen organizational device 10 is shown. It has several components including a base module 12 and a plurality of vertical support members 14 used to support bake ware items in a vertical manner. The base module may further provide a plurality of longitudinally extending ridges 16 integral or attached to the base module, to form a plurality of longitudinally extending channels 18. The channels 18 are spaced from a first longitudinal end 20 of the base module 12 to a second longitudinal end 22 (FIG. 3). The end profile and cross-section of the base module 12 illustrate that the ridges 16 form a top surface 24 of the base module 12. Top surface 24 may further be formed of a material or have an additional component added to it which prevents lateral slippage of bake ware items that are narrower than channel 18.

The support members 14 are illustrated in FIGS. 1-3. A short support member 26 and a tall support member 28 are provided in the present invention. The short support member 26 may be any height less than the tall support member 28. The short and tall support members 26, 28 are disposed parallel to one another and perpendicular to the base module 12. The presence of a short support member allows for easy viewing of the items stored within the device. The short and tall support members 26, 28 may comprise contiguous surfaces (i.e. a solid wall-like member) or may comprise a non-contiguous surface, such as slats, a plurality of holes, or some other pattern of perforations.

The channels 18 on the top surface 24 of the base module 12 assist in holding bake ware items vertically in the kitchen organizer. They prevent the items from sliding, for instance when an adjacent item is removed from the rack. Additionally, they act as a placeholder and hold the position for the item that has been removed therefore making it easier to replace items that have been removed from the device.

Means for containing kitchen items in the kitchen organizer 10 may be applied to lateral openings 21 and 23, FIGS. 4A-4C. For example, ribbon or elastic band 41 anchored to pegs 42, removable walls 43 with slots 44 (shown in exploded view) to receive pegs 42, a locking hinge 45 or the like may be used to keep items from sliding in the longitudinal direction.

In one embodiment of the present invention, the base module 12 of kitchen organizational device 10 may be manufactured in a variety of lengths and widths to accommodate a wide variety of kitchen items. For instance, baking racks and cutting boards come in a variety of different lengths and widths and the base module 12 of the present invention may be lengthened and/or widened via different manufacturing protocols in order to accommodate such lengths and widths. In a particular embodiment, the base module length is selected from the group consisting of 6 inches, 8 inches, 10 inches, 12 inches, 16 inches and 20 inches. If the base module 12 is lengthened, the vertical supports 14 may also be lengthened to traverse the length of the base. The bottom surface of the base member may further include an item to prevent slipping, such as rubber, sand paper, plastic or a polymer adhesive.

The kitchen organizational device 10 may further comprise two or more moveable sections 400, shown in FIGS. 5A-5B, thus providing an adjustable kitchen organizational device. The kitchen organizational device may be adjustable in the longitudinal direction (FIG. 5A), in the lateral direction (FIG. 5B), or both. Such structures may be constructed with male and female ends such that the device may expand and contract when force is applied to the longitudinal ends 20, 22 or, alternatively, to the short and tall support members 26, 28. The moveable sections 400 may be connectable, for example, by track and rail connection 420, locking track and rail connection 440, locking pin connection 460, and the like. A track and rail connection consists of a moveable section 400 containing an indentation 421 which may be slidably mated with another moveable section 400 containing a matching protrusion 422. In the locking track and rail system 440, the track or indentation 421 contains “teeth” and the rail or protrusion mechanism contains release means 441. Release means 441 may be pushed inward I to allow moveable sections 400 to be adjusted along direction D. The locking pin system 460 provides pegs 461 and slots 462. A peg 461 may enter a slot 462 formed in moveable section 400. Moveable section 400 is then adjusted such that the stem 463 of peg 461 enters the narrow portion 464 of slot 462, thus locking peg 461 in place. Any of the aforementioned connection means or similar means may be used to adjust the kitchen organizational device in the lateral and/or longitudinal direction. Additionally, no connection means may be used and moveable sections 400 may remain in place, in the absence of excessive force on the device.

Adjustment in the lateral direction requires that the longitudinally extending ridges 16 allow for overlapping of the male and female moveable sections 400, or that no longitudinal ridges 16 are present. In one embodiment, the longitudinally extending ridges 16 may be removeably connectable to the base module 12. The longitudinally extending ridges 16 may be removed prior to lateral adjustment and then attached or re-attached to the base module 12 when kitchen organizational device 10 has been properly adjusted.

In yet another embodiment of the present invention, the kitchen organizational device 10 may further comprise structures used for attaching two or more devices to each other, to create a modular device, as shown in FIG. 6. Such structures, will allow the devices to be attached or removed from each other. The devices 10 may be joined together, for example, by a hinge mechanism 62, locking pin system 64, hook and eye mechanism 66, track and rail system 68, and the like. Hinge 620 may be affixed to any one or more of corners 61. The devices 10 may then be secured together by closing hinge 620 over a corresponding corner on a second device which does not contain a hinge. A locking pin system 64 may also be applied to one or more of edges 63, wherein edges 63 contain holes 65 or pins 67. When two or more devices are matched end-to-end, the holes of one device will align with the pins of another device such that the devices may be fixably attached. The locking pin mechanism may also be used to affix support members 14 face-to-face. A series of pins and holes are formed on the outer surface 64 of support structures 14, such that aligning the support members face-to-face will align the pins and holes in a mutually agreeable configuration. In another embodiment, a hook mechanism may be used to connect two or more devices edgewise. At least one hook 69 is attached to an outer side edge of surface 64, with a corresponding “eye” 70 attached to the outer side edge of surface 64 on a second device. Alternatively, the hook and eye mechanism may be applied to the inner surfaces of support members 14. In yet another embodiment, a track and rail system utilizes an indentation 71 and protrusion 73 such that a protrusion of one device may be slidably mated with an indention of another device. Each of the attachment mechanisms/systems described above may be used alone or in combination to fixably mate two or more kitchen organizational devices in an end-to-end orientation. Some of the mechanisms/systems provide for mating two or more kitchen organizational systems in a face-to-face orientation. It is contemplated, in either orientation, that tall support members of the devices are attached to each other, the short support members are attached to each other, or such that a tall support member is attached to a short support member.

The kitchen organizational device 10 may also further comprise structures used for securely attaching the device to a solid surface, such as a kitchen wall, a cabinet wall or the side of an appliance, thus allowing the device to store and organize kitchen items above the floor or counter top, which is often desirable to create additional storage space under the device and to minimize bending when retrieving the stored items. Such structures include holes, brackets and the like for screwing, nailing or bolting the device to a kitchen or cabinet wall, and magnets for attaching the device to a metal surface, such as the side of a kitchen appliance.

All of the compositions and methods disclosed and claimed herein can be made and executed without undue experimentation in light of the present disclosure. While the compositions and methods of this invention have been described in terms of particular embodiments, it will be apparent to those of skill in the art that variations may be applied to the compositions, and methods and in the steps or in the sequence of steps of the methods described herein without departing from the concept, spirit and scope of the invention. More specifically, it will be apparent that certain parts may be substituted for the parts described herein while the same or similar results would be achieved. All such similar substitutes and modifications apparent to those skilled in the art are deemed to be within the spirit, scope, and concept of the invention as defined by the appended claims.