Title:
Nestable, multi-function, multi-tiered organizational device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Media organizational devices may be stacked in a nesting configuration in which a first device fits within a storage cavity of a second device and, in turn, is adapted to receive a third organizational device within the storage area of the second organizational device so that multiple devices can be stacked together in a nested configuration. These media organizational devices may contain various numbers of storage receptacles in a single row or in multiple rows side-by-side, with each storage receptacle separated from one another, and with each storage receptacle having its own elevation, enhancing the presentation of the media stored therein. These organizational devices may be used in a vertical standing position on a surface, or may be used in a horizontal, laying position on a surface, or may be mounted in a vertical manner onto a surface.



Inventors:
Smith, Aaron W. (Plainfield, IL, US)
Application Number:
11/501973
Publication Date:
02/14/2008
Filing Date:
08/10/2006
Primary Class:
International Classes:
B65D25/04
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
VOLZ, ELIZABETH J
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
MARSHALL, GERSTEIN & BORUN LLP (CHICAGO, IL, US)
Claims:
1. A nestable organizational device comprising: a front wall; a rear wall; first and second side walls spanning from the front wall to the rear wall, the first and second side walls being tilted away from one another such that there is a greater distance between a top of the first side wall and a top of the second side wall than between a bottom of the first side wall and a bottom of the second side wall; and a divider intermediate the front and rear walls and separating a storage cavity defined between the front, rear and side walls into a first storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the divider toward the front wall and between the first and second side walls, from a second storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the divider toward the rear wall and between the first and second side walls.

2. The nestable organizational device of claim 1, wherein the first storage receptacle is further defined by a first bottom portion extending from the divider in a direction toward the front wall and spanning at least partially from a bottom end of the first side wall to a bottom end of the second side wall; and the second storage receptacle is further defined by a second bottom portion extending from the divider in a direction toward the rear wall and spanning at least partially from the bottom end of the first side wall to the bottom end of the second side wall, the second bottom portion having a different elevation than the first bottom portion.

3. The nestable organizational device of claim 2, further comprising a second divider intermediate the front wall and the rear wall and separating the second storage receptacle from a third storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the second divider toward the rear wall and between the first and second side walls.

4. The nestable organizational device of claim 3, wherein the third storage receptacle is further defined by a third bottom portion extending from the second divider in a direction toward the rear wall and spanning at least partially from the bottom end of the first side wall to the bottom end of the second side wall, the third bottom portion having a different elevation than at least one of the first bottom portion and the second bottom portion.

5. A nestable organizational device including a plurality of storage receptacles comprising: a first side wall having a front edge and a rear edge, at least one of the front edge and the rear edge being slanted in a direction away from the other of the front and rear edge; a second side wall having a front edge and a rear edge, at least one of the front and the rear edge being slanted in a direction away from the other of the front and rear edge; a front wall extending between the front edges of the first and second side walls; a front divider disposed between the first and second side walls; a rear wall extending between the rear edges of the first and second side walls; a first storage receptacle including a space at least partially defined between the first side wall and the second side wall, and between the front wall and the front divider; a second storage receptacle including a space at least partially defined between the first side wall and the second side wall, and between the rear wall and the front divider; a first bottom portion disposed in the first storage receptacle, the first bottom portion having a first elevation; and a second bottom portion disposed in the second storage-receptacle, the second bottom portion having a second elevation, the second elevation being closer to a top of the side walls than the first elevation.

6. A nestable organizational device comprising: a first organizational device comprising: a front wall; a rear wall; first and second side walls spanning between the front wall and the rear wall, the first and second side walls being tilted away from one another such that there is a greater distance between respective top edges of the first and second side walls than between respective bottom edges of the first and second side walls; a storage cavity defined between the front, back, and side walls, the storage cavity being wider near respective top edges of the side walls than near respective bottom edges of the side walls; a first divider between the front wall and the rear wall, substantially perpendicular to the first and second side walls that separates the storage cavity into a first storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the divider toward the front wall and between the first and second side walls, and a second storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the divider toward the rear wall and between the first and second side walls; and an opening in a bottom of the first organizational device adapted to receive a portion of a second divider of a second organizational device within the storage cavity of the first organizational device and a storage cavity of the second organizational device adapted to receive a portion of the front, rear and side walls of the first organizational device when two or more organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration.

7. The organizational device of claim 6 wherein the first storage receptacle has a first bottom portion and the second storage receptacle has a second bottom portion.

8. The organizational device of claim 7, wherein the first bottom portion and the second bottom portion are not co-planar with one another.

9. The organizational device of claim 7, further comprising a second divider between the front and rear walls, substantially perpendicular to the side walls and the second divider separates the second storage receptacle from a third storage receptacle, the second storage receptacle extending between the first and second dividers and the third storage receptacle extending between the second divider and the rear wall.

10. The organizational device of claim 9, wherein the third storage receptacle has a third bottom portion.

11. The organizational device of claim 10, wherein the third bottom portion is not co-planar with either the first or second bottom portion.

12. The organizational device of claim 6, further comprising a foot on a bottom of the organizational device.

13. The organizational device of claim 12, wherein a bottom surface of the foot provides a stabilizing surface when the organizational device is placed upright on a support surface.

14. The organizational device of claim 6, further comprising a foot on the bottom of the first organizational device, wherein a foot of the second organizational device is received between the divider and one of the first and second side walls when the first and second organizational devices are in a stacked and nested configuration.

15. A nestable organizational device comprising: a first organizational device comprising: a front wall; a rear wall; first and second side walls spanning between the front wall and the rear wall, the first and second side walls being tilted away from one another such that there is a greater distance between respective top edges of the first and second side walls than between respective bottom edges of the first and second side walls; a storage cavity defined between the front, back, and side walls, the storage cavity being wider near respective top edges of the side walls than near respective bottom edges of the side walls; and a divider having a hollow space, the divider positioned between the front wall and the rear wall, substantially perpendicular to the side walls, the divider separating the storage cavity into a first storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the divider toward the front wall and between the first and second side walls, and a second storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the divider toward the rear wall and between the first and second side walls; wherein a divider of a second organizational device is at least partially disposed within the hollow space of the divider of the first organizational device when the first and second organizational devices are removably stacked in a nested configuration.

16. The organizational device of claim 15, the divider comprising first and second spars separated by a center portion, wherein the first spars abuts the first side wall and the second spar abuts the second side wall, but the center portion is spaced apart from each of the first and second spars.

17. The organizational device of claim 16, further comprising a foot disposed on a bottom of the organizational device.

18. The organizational device of claim 17, wherein the space between either the first or second spar and the center portion of the first organizational device receives a foot of the second organizational device when the first and second organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration.

19. The organizational device of claim 17, wherein the foot forms a stabilizing surface when the organizational device is disposed on a surface in a generally upright orientation.

20. The organizational device of claim 15, further comprising a plurality of dividers.

21. A nestable organizational device comprising: a first organizational device comprising: a front wall; a rear wall; first and second side walls spanning between the front wall and the rear wall, the first and second side walls being tilted away from one another such that there is a greater distance between respective top edges of the first and second side walls than between respective bottom edges of the first and second side walls; a partition having a hollow partition space substantially perpendicular to the front and rear walls and spanning between the first and second side walls, the partition separating a first storage cavity from a second storage cavity. the first storage cavity being defined between the front wall, the rear wall, the first side wall and the partition, the first storage cavity being wider near a top edge of the first side wall than near a bottom edge of the first side wall; the second storage cavity defined between the front, back, the second side wall and the partition, the second storage cavity being wider near respective top edges of the side walls than near respective bottom edges of the side walls; a first divider between the front wall and the rear wall, substantially perpendicular to the first and second side walls, the first divider separating the first storage cavity into a first storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the first divider toward the front wall and between the first side wall and the partition, and a second storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the first divider toward the rear wall and between the first side wall and the partition; and a second divider between the front wall and the rear wall, separating the second storage cavity into a third storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the second divider toward the front wall and between the second side wall and the partition, from a fourth storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the second divider toward the rear wall and between the second side wall and the partition; wherein a divider of a second organizational device is at least partially disposed within the hollow space of the divider of the first organizational device when the first and second organizational devices are removably stacked in a nested configuration.

22. The organizational device of claim 21, further comprising a notch in the front wall.

23. The organizational device of claim 21, further comprising a plurality of partitions and a plurality of storage cavities.

24. The organizational device of claim 21, further comprising a plurality of dividers.

25. A nestable organizational device comprising: a first organizational device comprising: a front wall; a rear wall; first and second side walls spanning between the front wall and the rear wall, the first and second side walls being tilted away from one another such that there is a greater distance between respective top edges of the first and second side walls than between respective bottom edges of the first and second side walls; a partition having a hollow partition space substantially perpendicular to the front and rear walls and spanning between the first and second side walls, the partition separating a first storage cavity from a second storage cavity. the first storage cavity being defined between the front wall, the rear wall, the first side wall and the partition, the first storage cavity being wider near a top edge of the first side wall than near a bottom edge of the first side wall; the second storage cavity defined between the front, back, the second side wall and the partition, the second storage cavity being wider near respective top edges of the side walls than near respective bottom edges of the side walls; a first divider between the front wall and the rear wall, substantially perpendicular to the first and second side walls, the first divider separating the first storage cavity into a first storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the first divider toward the front wall and between the first side wall and the partition, and a second storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the first divider toward the rear wall and between the first side wall and the partition; and a second divider between the front wall and the rear wall, separating the second storage cavity into a third storage receptacle which extends in a direction from the second divider toward the front wall and between the second side wall and the partition, from a fourth storage receptacle, which extends in a direction from the second divider toward the rear wall and between the second side wall and the partition; and an opening in a bottom of the first organizational device adapted to receive a portion of a second divider of a second organizational device within the first storage cavity of the first organizational device and a first storage cavity of the second organizational device is adapted to receive a portion of the front, rear and side walls of the first organizational device; wherein the hollow portion of the partition of the first organizational device receives a portion of the partition of the second organizational device when first and second organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration.

Description:

BACKGROUND

1. Technical Field of the Disclosure

This present disclosure is generally directed to media storage and organizing products, and more particularly to stackable and nestable media organizational devices.

2. Description of the Related Art

Organizational and storage devices for media are known in the art. These devices are intended typically for stand-alone use or for side-by-side use. Such devices are often shipped and displayed as individual, unstacked units. Consequently, these known organizational devices take up a relatively large amount of retail shelf space and also a significant amount of space during shipment.

The consumption of relatively large amounts of retail shelf space by such conventional organizational devices is problematic, as retail shelf space is extremely valuable and manufacturers compete vigorously for adequate shelf space to display their products. Any inefficient use of retail shelf space can lead to a manufacturer's product not being adequately displayed, as well as a reduction in the number of different products a manufacturer may be allowed to display, in a neat, orderly, consumer-friendly fashion, in a given retail store. Further, because plastic document organizational devices are relatively inexpensive items, profit margins tend to be small, so the use of shelf space to display these items must be efficient.

Further, a means for packaging these items in a compact manner is desirable for reducing shipment and handling costs.

Typical organizational devices are not nestable with more than one identical device. To stack a pair of such devices, in some instances it is possible for one device to be inverted and rotated 180 degrees relative to the other. The two devices can then be rested on top of one another, but no other devices can be nested with these two. Therefore, currently available organizational devices cannot be compactly stacked together in groups of more than two.

Often, it is desirable to sell such organizational devices in groups of more than two, e.g. to provide multiple levels of storage. However, currently available organizational devices cannot be efficiently displayed, stored or shipped in groups of more than two. Further, if more than two devices are packaged or shipped together, additional packaging material such as cardboard, Styrofoam, plastic film and the like must be utilized to prevent product damage from relative movement between devices, such as due to scuffing or scratching during shipment and handling.

SUMMARY OF THE DISCLOSURE

Stackable media organizational devices are disclosed which address one or more of the aforenoted problems. In one embodiment, a plurality of devices may be stacked tightly together in a nested configuration for packaging, shipment, handling, and for display in a retail environment. Each organizational device may include a front wall, a rear wall, and a pair of opposed side walls spanning between the front and rear walls. A storage cavity is defined between the front, back and side walls, the storage cavity being wider at a top of the storage cavity than at a bottom of the storage cavity. First and second dividers are disposed within the storage cavity, dividing the storage cavity into first, second and third storage receptacles. A bottom of the organizational device may include an opening to receive a divider of a second organizational device when two or more organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration.

Another disclosed embodiment includes first and second storage cavities separated by a partition, the first and second storage cavities further being separated into a plurality of storage receptacles by dividers. This side-by-side arrangement provides double the amount of storage space, while retaining the ability to nest together with like units, similar to the first embodiment, to minimize total bulk. Furthermore, a single storage cavity organizational device is nestable with a multiple storage cavity organizational device. Still further, two multiple storage cavity organizational devices having a different number of storage cavities are nestable with one another. The storage receptacles may have different widths (i.e., so as to accommodate different sizes of documents or other media), while retaining the ability to nest together with like units to minimize total bulk.

Each embodiment herein organizes stored materials for easy access and allows for efficient separation of individual storage receptacles within. Various tiers or elevations of storage receptacles allow for an enhanced presentation of the media stored therein. The disclosed organizational devices are flexible as to the width of the embodiments, the number of storage receptacles contained within each embodiment, and the number of side-by-side rows of storage receptacles within the embodiment, as dictated by the needs of the consumer.

Other advantages and features of the disclosed embodiments will become apparent upon reading the following detailed description in conjunction with the drawing figures and forthcoming claims, and upon reference to the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1A is a front view of one example of an organizational device constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure;

FIG. 1B is a top view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1C is a top perspective view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1D is a rear perspective view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 1A;

FIG. 1E is a front perspective view of a pair of organizational devices of the type shown in FIG. 1A, nested with one another;

FIG. 2A is a front view of an alternate embodiment of an organizational device constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure;

FIG. 2B is a top view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2C is a bottom perspective view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2D is a left side view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 2A;

FIG. 2E is a front perspective view of a pair of organizational devices of the type shown in FIG. 2A, nested with one another;

FIG. 3A is a front view of another alternate embodiment of an organizational device constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure;

FIG. 3B is a top view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3C is a top perspective view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3D is a rear perspective view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 3A;

FIG. 3E is a front perspective view of a pair of organizational devices of the type shown in FIG. 3A nested with one another;

FIG. 4A is a front view of a yet another alternate embodiment of an organizational device constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure;

FIG. 4B is a top view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 4C is a bottom perspective view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 4A;

FIG. 4D is a left side view of the organizational device shown in FIG. 4A; and

FIG. 4E is a front perspective view of a pair of organizational devices of the type shown in FIG. 4A, nested with one another.

It will be understood that the drawings are not to scale and that, in some instances, details which are not necessary for an understanding of the disclosed embodiments or which render other details difficult to perceive, may have been omitted. It should also be understood that this disclosure is not limited to the embodiments specifically illustrated in the drawings.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

A nestable multi-function, multi-tiered organizational device, hereinafter described as an organizational device, for storing and organizing papers, files, documents, and the like, in a vertical or horizontal orientation is shown and described. The disclosed organizational devices can nest with one another in a stacked configuration to reduce the amount of retail display shelf space and shipping space that is required for more than one of these devices. The disclosed organizational devices, when nested, take up much less space than comparable traditional devices. Shipping costs are also reduced relative to conventional non-nested organizational products.

In one embodiment, the organizational device may contain at least one storage cavity, the storage cavity is separated into at least two storage receptacles by a divider. The number of storage receptacles per organizational device is limited only by the number of dividers disposed in the storage cavity. Similarly, the width of the organizational device is selectable based on the media to be stored in the organizational device. Typically, each storage receptacle may be designed for a particular maximum size item to be inserted into the storage receptacle. These items typically can be, by way of example only, papers, file folders, documents, and the like. In at least one other embodiment, the number of storage receptacles built into the organizational device can be doubled by repeating the layout of the storage receptacles laterally adjacent to the first set of storage receptacles and connecting them all together as one unit. Of course, alternate embodiments could be produced in which the number of storage receptacles could be tripled (or quadrupled, etc.) by repeating the layout of the storage receptacles laterally adjacent to the first set of storage receptacles and connecting them all together as a unit, doing so in such a way as to maintain the nestable nature of the organizational device.

Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 1A-1E illustrate an organizational device 10 constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure. The organizational device 10 includes a front wall 12, a rear wall 20, first and second side walls 19, and first, second and third bottom portions 32, 52, 72. A storage cavity 11 is defined between the front wall 12, rear wall 20, first and second side walls 19 and above the bottom portions 32, 52, 72. The storage cavity 11 is further divided into a plurality of storage receptacles 30, 50, 70 by first and second dividers 24, 26. The first and second dividers 24, 26 are disposed within the storage cavity 11 and span between the first and second side walls 19.

In this example, the organizational device 10 may hold media, such as, envelopes, files, papers, and the like in an upright vertical orientation within a first storage receptacle 30, a second storage receptacle 50, and/or a third storage receptacle 70. The first storage receptacle 30 includes space defined between the first and second side walls 19, the front wall 12, the first divider 24, and above the first bottom portion 32.

The second storage receptacle 50 includes space defined between the first and second side walls 19, the first divider 24, the second divider 26, and above a second bottom portion 52. The second bottom portion 52 is preferably not co-planar with the first bottom portion 32 and more preferably the second bottom portion 52 is disposed at a higher elevation than the first bottom portion 32. This arrangement of the first and second bottom portions 32, 52 creates a higher tier for the second storage receptacle 50, relative to the first storage receptacle 30 enhancing presentation of the media stored therein.

The third storage receptacle 70 includes space defined between the first and second side walls 19, the second divider 26, the rear wall 20, and above the third bottom portion 72. The third bottom portion 72 is preferably not co-planar with either the first bottom portion 32 or the second bottom portion 52, and more preferably, the third bottom portion 72 is disposed at an even higher elevation than the second bottom portion 52 enhancing presentation of media stored therein. Edges of stored media, such as paper, rest against one of the first, second and third bottom portions 32,52,72. As will be evident to those having ordinary skill in the art, the disclosed organizational device 10 may be alternatively configured to hold other types of media, for example, envelopes, documents or paper in a horizontal orientation, as opposed to an upright, vertical orientation. In such a configuration, the media rests against one of the first and second dividers 24,26 or the rear wall 20.

In the disclosed example shown in FIG. 1A, the front wall 12 wraps around a front corner edge 16, leading to the pair of generally opposed and spaced apart first and second side walls 19. Each side wall 19 continues wraps around a rear corner edge 18, and connects to the rear wall 20. The front wall 12 includes a front bottom edge 14, two front corner edges 16, and a top edge 13, which may have an indentation 15, in order to facilitate access to any media stored in the first storage receptacle 30.

Each side wall 19 includes a top edge 17 which may rise from the front corner edge 16 to the rear corner edge 18. The rear wall 20 may have a higher elevation than the front wall 12, which combined with the tiered structure of the first, second and third bottom portions 32, 52, 72, forms a multi-tiered arrangement of storage receptacles. A top edge 22 of the rear wall 20 may have an indentation 23, in order to facilitate access to any material stored in the third storage receptacle 70. One or more mounting holes 28 may be provided on each side of the rear wall 20, each of which may receive a fastener to secure the organizational device 10 to a wall, or other surface.

FIG. 1B shows details of the first divider 24 and the second divider 26. The first divider 24 may include a first spar 42 attached to a crosspiece 38. This crosspiece 38 may extend away from the first spar 42 until it connects with a second spar 34, forming an arch or inverted U-shape. This arch or inverted U-shape has an opening, thereby providing the first divider 24 with additional flexibility, allowing the first divider 24 to bend. The same can be said for the second divider 26 having a respective opening. Divider flexibility assists in the nesting capability of the organizational device 10, as will be discussed with respect to FIG. 1E, where first and second dividers 24, 26 are pressed against respective first and second dividers 24, 26 of a second organizational device when first and second organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration.

The second divider 26 may be constructed in a similar fashion as the front divider 24. However, a space 21 exists between the second divider 26 and the first side wall 19 and between the second divider and the second side wall 19. This space 21 is sized and shaped to receive a foot 80 (FIG. 1D) of a second organizational device 10 when first and second organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration. Furthermore, the foot 80 of the second organizational device rests on the third bottom portion 72 of the first organizational device, when two or more organizational devices 10B, 10A are nested with one another (see FIG. 1D and FIG. 1E).

To achieve nestability, the first and side walls 19 are slanted, i.e. angled, outwardly from one another from the bottom portions 32, 52, 72 toward the top 17 of the side walls 19. As seen in FIG. 1C, the side walls 19 are also shaped such that the rear corner edge 18 of each side wall 19 is slanted rearwardly, with the rear corner edge 18 extending farther away from the front wall 12 at the top 17 of the side walls 19 than at the bottom portion 72. The rear wall 20, which joins the side walls 19 along the rear corner edge 18, is also slanted rearwardly. Alternately, or in addition, the front corner edge 16 of each of the side walls 19 may be slanted forward, with the front corner edge 16 extending farther away from the rear wall 20 at the top 17 of the side walls 19 than at the bottom portion 32. The front wall 12, which joins the side walls 19 along the front corner edge 16, may also be slanted forward. While the front wall 12 and rear wall 20 are shown as flat panels, one or both could alternately be curved or bowed in a direction away from one another, or a portion of the front wall 12 and/or rear wall 20 may be curved or bowed. Likewise, while the side walls 19 are shown as flat panels, they may alternately be curved or bowed in a direction away from one another.

One or more of the bottom portions 32, 52, 72 includes an opening 25, 27 (FIG. 1B) through which first and second dividers 24, 26 of a second organizational device are inserted when first and second organizational devices are stacked in a nested configuration. The openings 25, 27 allow the first and second dividers 24, 26 of the second organizational device to be received into the storage cavity 11 of the first organizational device. It is desirable to align the first divider 24 of the second organizational device with the second storage receptacle 52 of the first organizational device and align the second divider 26 of the second organizational device with the third storage receptacle 72 of the first organizational device. Further, the openings 25, 27 are large enough to receive more than one divider. For example, if three organizational devices were stacked in a nested configuration, each opening may receive portions of at least two dividers of other organizational devices.

FIGS. 2A-2E illustrate an alternate embodiment of an organizational device constructed in accordance with the teachings of this disclosure. In this example, the organizational device 210 may hold media, such as, envelopes, files, papers, and the like in an upright vertical orientation within a first storage receptacle 230, a second storage receptacle 250, and a third storage receptacle 270. The first storage receptacle 230 is the space defined between first and second side walls 219, a front wall 212, a first divider 224, and above a first bottom portion 232. The second storage receptacle 250 is the space defined between the first and second side walls 219, the first divider 224, a second divider 226, and above a second bottom portion 252. The third storage receptacle 270 is the space defined between the first and second side walls 219, the second divider 226, a rear wall 220, and above a third bottom portion 272. Edges of any media stored in the organizational device 210 rest against the bottom portions 232, 252, 272 of one of the storage receptacles 230, 250, 270. The disclosed organizational device 210 can be alternatively oriented to hold media, such as envelopes, other documents or paper in a horizontal orientation. In such an orientation, the media rests against one of the dividers 224,226, or the rear wall 220.

As shown in FIG. 2A, the organizational device 210 includes the front wall 212 which wraps around a front corner edge 216 rearward, leading to the pair of generally opposed and spaced apart side walls 219. Each side wall 219 continues rearward and wraps around a rear corner edge 218, and connects to the rear wall 220. The front wall 212 includes a front bottom edge 214, two front corner edges 216, and a top edge 213, the top edge may include an indentation 215, which facilitates access to media stored in the first storage receptacle 230 shown in FIG. 2B.

Each side wall 219 includes a top edge 217 which may extend from the front corner edge 216 to the rear corner edge 218. The rear wall 220 may have a higher elevation than the front wall 212 as seen in FIG. 2D. This higher elevation of the rear wall 220 provides a tiered arrangement for the storage receptacles 230, 250, 270, the first storage receptacle 230 being lower than the second storage receptacle 250, which in turn is lower that the third storage receptacle. A first bottom portion 232 may be set lower than a second bottom portion 252, which in turn may be set lower than a third bottom portion 272. The varying heights of the bottom portions 232, 252, 272 allow for the enhanced presentation of media stored in the storage receptacles 230, 250, 270. A top edge 222 of the rear wall 220 may include an indentation 223, that facilitates access to any media stored in the third storage receptacle 270 shown in FIG. 2A.

One or more mounting holes 228 may be provided on the rear wall 220, each of the mounting holes 228 may receive a fastener to secure the organizational device 210 to a wall or other surface.

FIG. 2B shows details of the first divider 224 and the second divider 226. Since the first and second dividers 224, 226 are similarly constructed, they are described concurrently. Each divider 224, 226 includes a first spar 240, 260, a second spar 234, 254, and a third spar 236, 256. Disposed on the top of each second spar 234, 254 is a crosspiece 238, 258. Each crosspiece 238, 258 facilitates keeping stored material separated into respective storage receptacles 230, 250, 270. Divider flexibility, especially of each first and third spar 240, 260, 236, 256, assists in the nesting capability of the organizational device 210, as can be seen in FIG. 2E. The dividers 224, 226 of a first organizational device are pressed against dividers 224, 226 of a second organizational device in the nested position. In FIG. 2E, the respective components of the first nested organizational device 210A have an “A” appended to their reference numerals, whereas like components of the second nested organizational device 210B have a “B” appended to their reference numerals.

As shown in FIG. 2B, there are three bottom portions 232, 252, 272. The first bottom portion 232 may extend the entire width of the organizational device 210, spanning from the first side wall 219 to the second side wall 219. However, the second bottom portion 252 may extend only partially between the sidewalls 219 leaving a gap 221 between the second bottom portion 252 and the sidewalls 219, and likewise, the third bottom portion 272 may extend only partially between the sidewalls 219, leaving the gap 221 between the third bottom portion 272 and the sidewalls 219. Each of the crosspieces 238, 258 may have a small notch 229 at either end. Also, as seen in FIG. 2C, there may one or more be a feet 280 located on an underside of the organizational device 210, to support the organizational device 210 when it is in an upright vertical position on a surface. When two or more organizational devices 210 are nested (see FIG. 2E), a bottom part 283 of each foot 280 of the second organizational device 210B rests upon the third bottom portion 272 of the first organizational device 210A. Portions 281 of the feet 280 of the second organizational device may extend through an opening in the third bottom portion 272 of the first organizational device 210A.

To achieve nestability, the first and second side walls 219 of the organizational device 210 are slanted, i.e. angled, outwardly from one another from the bottom portions 232, 252, 272 toward the top 217 of the first and second side walls 219. As seen in FIG. 2B, the first and second side walls 219 are also shaped such that the rear corner edge 218 of each side wall 219 is slanted rearwardly, with the rear corner edge 218 extending farther away from the front wall 212 at the top 217 of the side walls 219 than at the third bottom portion 272. The rear wall 220, which joins the side walls 219 along the rear corner edge 218, is also slanted rearwardly. Alternately, or in addition, the front corner edge 216 of each of the first and second side walls 219 may be slanted forward, with the front corner edge 216 extending farther away from the rear wall 220 at the top 217 of the side walls 219 than at the first bottom portion 232. The front wall 212, which joins the first and second side walls 219 along the front corner edge 216, is also slanted forward. While the front wall 212 and rear wall 220 are shown as flat panels, one or both could alternately be curved or bowed in a direction away from one another, or a portion of the front wall 212 and/or rear wall 220 may be curved or bowed. Likewise, while the side walls 219 are shown as flat panels, they may alternately be curved or bowed in a direction away from one another.

In at least one other embodiment, the number of storage receptacles built into an organizational device can be doubled by repeating the layout of the storage receptacles laterally adjacent to the first set of storage receptacles and connecting them together as one unit, with a partition such that the nesting nature of the organizational device is maintained. Referring now to the drawings, FIGS. 3A-3E illustrate an organizational device 310 having such an array of storage receptacles. The organizational device 310 is essentially two organizational devices of FIGS. 1A-1E placed side by side and joined by a partition 390.

The partition 390 includes a fin 391 disposed on a wedge 392. The partition 390 splits the storage receptacles 330, 350, 370 and their respective bottom portions 332, 352, 372 (see FIGS. 3B and 3C). The wedge 392 may be hollow on the underside (see FIG. 3D) and may extend from the rear wall 320 (see FIG. 3D) toward the front wall 312 (see FIG. 3A). This wedge 392 and the fin 390 extend from the rear wall 320 to the front wall 312. As seen in FIG. 3E, when a first organizational device 310B is nested on top of a second organizational device 310A, the nesting is complete when an underside of the wedge 392 of the first organizational device 310B receives the fin 390 of the second organizational device 310A. Otherwise, the organizational device of FIGS. 3A-3E nests with like organizational devices in a similar manner to the organizational devices of FIGS. 1A-1E.

Edges of any stored media, such as paper, rests against one of the bottom portions 332,352,372. The organizational device 310 can be alternatively oriented to hold other types of media, such as, envelopes, other documents or paper in a horizontal orientation. In such a horizontal orientation, the media rests against one of the dividers 324, 326, or the rear wall 320. The organizational device 310 may include more than one partition. Additionally, when first and second organizational devices 310 are nested, the first and second organizational devices 310 may have a different number of partitions 390.

FIGS. 4A-4E illustrate another alternate embodiment of an organizational device 410 having an array of storage receptacles. In this example, the organizational device 410 may hold media, such as envelopes, files, papers, and the like, in an upright vertical orientation within a first storage receptacle 430, a second storage receptacle 450, and a third storage receptacle 470. The embodiment of FIGS. 4A-4E is essentially two organizational devices of FIGS. 2A-2E joined together in a side by side orientation, joined with a partition 490. A fin 491 is provided on top of a wedge 492 in the storage receptacle 411 of the organizational device 410, splitting the storage receptacles 430,450,470 and their respective bottom portions 432,452,472 (see FIGS. 4B, 4C and 4E). As seen in FIG. 4C, the wedge 492 is hollow on the underside and may extend from the rear wall 420 toward the front wall 412 (see FIG. 4A). This wedge 492 has the fin 491 sitting on top and extending from the rear wall 420 until it joins the front wall 412. As seen in FIG. 4E, when a first organizational devices 410B is nested with a second organizational device 410A, such nesting is complete when the underside of the wedge 492 of the first organizational device 410B receives the fin 491 of the second organizational device 410A. Otherwise, the organizational device of FIGS. 4A-4E nests with like organizational devices in a similar manner to the organizational devices of FIGS. 2A-2E.

Of course, the organizational device 410 may include more than one partition 490. Additionally, when first and second organizational devices 410 are nested, the first and second organizational devices 410 may have a different number of partitions 490.

If desired, the openings (25,27, 325, 327) or gaps (221) maybe closed by plugs (not shown) when the organizational devices (10, 210, 310, 410) are not stacked and nested (i.e., being used as individual units to store media) to prevent small media from falling through the openings or gaps. The plugs may be sized and shaped to cooperate with the openings or gaps to form a substantially solid bottom portion (e.g., 32, 52, 72). The plugs may be designed to be temporarily secured in the openings or gaps such that the plugs may be removed to allow multiple organizational devices (10, 210, 310, 410) to be stacked and nested. Alternatively, the plugs may be designed to be inserted into the openings or gaps in a snap-fit arrangement such that the plugs are not removable once inserted into the opening or gap. In this manner, an effectively solid bottom portion may be provided so that virtually any size media may be stored in the storage receptacles (30, 50, 70, 230, 250, 270, 330, 350, 370, 430, 450, 470).

To-prevent scuffing of the outer (cosmetic) surfaces of the organizational devices (10, 210, 310, 410), the dividers (24, 26, 224, 226, 324, 326, 424, 426) and openings (25, 27, 325, 327) and/or gaps (221) may be arranged such that bearing surfaces of the organizational devices (10, 210, 310, 410) when stacked are interior surfaces (i.e., the dividers) as opposed to the outer surfaces of the walls (12, 19, 20). In this way, the outer (cosmetic) surfaces do not contact other surfaces when the organizational devices are stacked and nested and thus the outer surfaces do not become scuffed or scratched and maintain a more pleasing appearance.

While various embodiments have been disclosed herein, it will be understood that variations may be made thereto without departing from the scope of the present disclosure, or the appended claims.