Title:
ORGANIZING SYSTEM AND METHOD
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An organizing system and method is described. In one embodiment, the organizing system includes a plurality of divider panels, where at least two of the divider panels have a plurality of corrugations. The organizing system also includes a plurality of connectors that join the divider panels in order to form a plurality of compartments, where the divider panels function as walls of the compartments, and where the at least two divider panels overlap along their corrugations in order to vary the dimensions of at least one wall of at least one compartment.



Inventors:
Watanabe, Robert T. (San Jose, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/756001
Publication Date:
12/04/2008
Filing Date:
05/31/2007
Assignee:
ORGANIZERAGAMI, INC. (San Jose, CA, US)
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
211/184
International Classes:
A47F10/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
BARNETT, DEVIN K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Convergent Law Group LLP (Golden, CO, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An organizing system comprising: a plurality of divider panels, wherein at least two of the divider panels have a plurality of corrugations; and a plurality of connectors that join the divider panels in order to form a plurality of compartments, wherein the divider panels function as walls of the compartments, and wherein the at least two divider panels overlap along their corrugations in order to vary the dimensions of at least one wall of at least one compartment.

2. The system of claim 1 wherein the at least two divider panels are configured to overlap to vary a length of a wall of at least one of the compartments.

3. The system of claim 1 wherein the at least two divider panels are configured to overlap to vary a height of a wall of at least one of the compartments.

4. The system of claim 1 wherein the at least two divider panels are configured to overlap to vary a height of the walls of at least one compartment such that the at least one compartment is a different height from other compartments.

5. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one connector is configured to join the at least two divider panels at overlapping portions of the at least two divider panels.

6. The system of claim 1 wherein a combination of the divider panels being corrugated, the divider panels overlapping, and the connector joining the divider panels at overlapping portions provides structural strength to the organizing system.

7. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one divider panel is configured to bend at an angle.

8. The system of claim 1 wherein at least one divider panel is configured to be curved.

9. The system of claim 1 wherein a wall of a drawer may function as a wall of one or more compartments.

10. A method comprising: determining a plurality of dimensions of a plurality of desired compartments, wherein the plurality of compartments utilize space within dimensions of an inside of a drawer; cutting a plurality of divider panels to fit the plurality of dimensions of the compartments, wherein at least two of the divider panels have a plurality of corrugations; and assembling an organizer system using the plurality of divider panels and a plurality of connectors that join the divider panels in order to form a plurality of compartments, wherein the divider panels function as walls of the compartments, and wherein the at least two divider panels overlap along their corrugations in order to vary the dimensions of at least one wall of at least one compartment.

11. The method of claim 10 wherein the at least two divider panels are configured to overlap to vary a length of a wall of at least one of the compartments.

12. The method of claim 10 wherein the at least two divider panels are configured to overlap to vary a height of a wall of at least one of the compartments.

13. The method of claim 10 wherein the at least two divider panels are configured to overlap to vary a height of the walls of at least one compartment such that the at least one compartment is a different height from other compartments.

14. The method of claim 10 wherein at least one connector is configured to join the at least two divider panels at overlapping portions of the at least two divider panels.

15. The method of claim 10 wherein a combination of the divider panels being corrugated, the divider panels overlapping, and the connector joining the divider panels at overlapping portions provides structural strength to the organizing system.

16. The method of claim 10 wherein at least one divider panel is configured to bend at an angle.

17. The method of claim 10 wherein at least one divider panel is configured to be curved.

18. The method of claim 10 wherein a wall of a drawer functions as a wall of one or more compartments.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Drawer organizers are typically used to organize items such as office supplies, kitchen utensils, tools, etc., in drawers. Drawer organizers enable a user to readily access items and also minimize clutter. Simple drawer organizers typically include a set number of compartments having various sizes that accommodate different types of items. For example, a drawer organizer may have a long and narrow compartment for pens and pencils, a small compartment for paper clips, a large compartment for miscellaneous items, etc.

One problem with conventional drawer organizers is that they may not have enough compartments or the compartments may not be the optimal sizes. Because drawer organizers are typically molded out of plastic, a user cannot change the configurations of the compartments. Consequently, typical drawer organizers may have limited use with respect to some of its compartments. Some drawer organizers may be assembled to create different sized compartments. One problem with such organizers is that the resulting compartment sizes may be limited, because components themselves may have set, pre-determined dimensions.

Accordingly, what is needed is an improved system and method for organizing drawers. The present invention addresses such a need.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides an organizing system and method. In one embodiment, the organizing system includes a plurality of divider panels, where at least two of the divider panels have a plurality of corrugations. The organizing system also includes a plurality of connectors that join the divider panels in order to form a plurality of compartments, where the divider panels function as walls of the compartments, and where the at least two divider panels overlap along their corrugations in order to vary the dimensions of at least one wall of at least one compartment.

According to the system and method disclosed herein, a flexible organizing system is provided that accommodates multiple configurations and dimensions for storing a variety of items.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective-view diagram of an organizing system in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 2 is a top-view of the organizing system of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is a perspective-view diagram of a divider panel and a perspective-view diagram of a connector in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 4 shows a side-view of the divider panel of FIG. 3.

FIG. 5 is perspective-view diagram of a connector strip in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 6 is a top-view diagram of the connector of FIG. 5 in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 7 is a perspective-view diagram of connectors engaged over the top and bottom of two overlapping divider panels.

FIG. 8 is a flow diagram showing a process for assembling an organizing system in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 9 is a top-view diagram of a piece of grid paper in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 10 is a front-view diagram of a divider panel in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 11 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels joined perpendicular to one another in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 12 is a perspective-view diagram of four divider panels that are connected by a connector that has four pairs of arms in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 13 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels that are connected lengthwise by a connector that has two pairs of arms in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 14 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels that are lined up in such a way as to vary the length of a given compartment in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 15 is a side-view diagram of the two divider panels of FIG. 14 in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 16 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels that are lined up in such a way so as to vary the height of a given compartment in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 17 is a perspective-view diagram of the two divider panels of FIG. 16, where the divider panels are connected to each other by a connector in accordance with one embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to organizing systems, and more particularly to a system and method for organizing spaces. The following description is presented to enable one of ordinary skill in the art to make and use the invention, and is provided in the context of a patent application and its requirements. Various modifications to the preferred embodiment and the generic principles and features described herein will be readily apparent to those skilled in the art. Thus, the present invention is not intended to be limited to the embodiments shown, but is to be accorded the widest scope consistent with the principles and features described herein.

A system and method in accordance with the present invention for organizing spaces are disclosed. The system includes divider panels and connectors used to assemble an organizing system. The connectors join the divider panels in order to form compartments into which items such as kitchen utensils, office supplies, etc., may be placed in an organized manner. The divider panels function as the walls of the compartments. Each divider panel is corrugated so that the two or more divider panels may overlap along their corrugations in order to vary the dimensions of the walls of the compartments. The corrugations add strength to the joints of the divider panels, as well as adding strength to the overall organizing system. As a result, the organizing system accommodates multiple configurations and dimensions for storing a variety of items.

Although the present invention disclosed herein is described in the context of drawers, the present invention may apply to other types of spaces such as boxes, cabinets, closets, shelves, etc., and still remain within the spirit and scope of the present invention.

FIG. 1 is a perspective-view diagram of an organizing system 100 in accordance with one embodiment. FIG. 2 is a top-view of the organizing system 100 of FIG. 1. As FIGS. 1 and 2 show, the organizing system 100 includes multiple divider panels 200 connected by connectors 202. The assembly of divider panels 200 creates multiple compartments that a user may use to store a variety of items such as kitchen utensils, office supplies, tools, etc. As FIGS. 1 and 2 show, the divider panels 200 function as walls of the compartments. Also, the sides of the drawer may function as walls of the compartments.

FIG. 3 is a perspective-view diagram of a divider panel 200 and a connector 202 in accordance with one embodiment. FIG. 4 shows a side-view of the divider panel 200 of FIG. 3. As FIGS. 3 and 4 show, the divider panel 200 is corrugated and includes multiple hill-valley cycles 204 of corrugation. In accordance with the embodiments disclosed herein, the corrugations may serve several functions. For example, in one embodiment, the corrugations provide structural strength to the divider panels in that they do not readily bend lengthwise due to the corrugations. Because the divider panels are stronger, they may be thin-walled and light-weight. Because the divider panels are thin-walled, they may be easily cut to any height and length using an ordinary pair of scissors. In one specific embodiment, a given divider panel may be 15 inches in length by 4 inches in height, and may be made of transparent PVC.

FIG. 5 is perspective-view diagram of a connector strip 210 in accordance with one embodiment. As FIG. 5 shows, the connector strip 210 has notches 212. The notches 212 enable a user to snap or break up the connector strip 210 into multiple connectors 202. For example, in one specific embodiment, a given connector strip 210 may be 12 inches in length each having 12 1-inch connectors that can be snapped off at desired lengths (e.g., 1-inch increments).

FIGS. 6 is a top-view diagram of the connector 202 of FIG. 5 in accordance with one embodiment. In one embodiment, the connector 202 has arms 220 that extend relatively long in relation to a divider panel in order securely grab the divider panel. The arms 220 form a slot 222 into which one or more divider panels may be inserted. In one implementation, the arms 220 of the connector are at least long enough to span across one hill-valley cycle of corrugation when placed over the top or bottom of a given divider panel 200.

FIG. 7 is a perspective-view diagram of connectors 202 engaged over the top and bottom of two overlapping divider panels 200 to fasten them together. As FIG. 7 shows, the arms 220 of a given connector 202 are at least long enough to receive one hill-valley cycle 204 of a divider panel, thereby strengthening the connection between the connector 202 and one or more divider panels.

As is also shown, the corrugations of one divider panel line up with one or more corrugations of another divider panel. The overlapping capabilities of the divider panels 200 is advantageous, because the overlapping increases the effective integral strength of the divider panels where the divider panels join and thereby strengthen the walls of the compartments of the organizing system 100. As described in more detail below, overlapping divider panels also function to vary the dimensions (e.g., length or height) of the one or more compartment walls.

FIG. 8 is a flow diagram showing a process for assembling an organizing system in accordance with one embodiment. In an exemplary embodiment, a set of divider panels 200, connectors 202 and sheets of grid paper are provided to consumers as a kit. The process of assembling the organizing system begins in step 802 where the user determines the dimensions of the inside of the drawer. After determining the dimensions, the user inserts a grid paper 801 into the drawer.

FIG. 9 is a top-view diagram of a piece of grid paper 801 in accordance with one embodiment. Referring to both FIGS. 8 and 9, in step 804, the user determines the dimensions of the compartments, where the compartments utilize the space within the dimensions of the inside of the drawer. In one embodiment, to determine the dimensions, the user may place the items for which the user wants compartments on the grid paper 801 and then outline a box around each item using a pen or pencil. Once this process is completed, the user is ready to configure and assemble the organizing system. The user may then remove all of the items from the grid paper 801.

In step, 806, the user cuts the divider panels to fit the dimensions of the compartments. In one embodiment, the user may place one of the divider panels on the grid paper 801 and then mark the divider panel with a pencil or pen at the appropriate length to match the divider panel with a given side of one of the boxes outlined on the grid paper 801. The user repeats these marking steps for each side of each box outlined on the grid paper 801 until the divider panels needed to for all sides of the outlines boxes are marked. The user may then cut the divider panels 200 to the appropriate lengths as marked until the user has enough divider panels 200 to assemble the organizing system.

FIG. 10 is a front-view diagram of a divider panel 200 in accordance with one embodiment. FIG. 10 shows example markings 1002 and 1004 across which the user cuts. FIG. 10 shows a marking 1002 for cutting the divider panel 200 to an appropriate length. In one implementation, the user may allow a predefined length (e.g., ¼ inch) to accommodate for the thickness of the connector 202. As such, the user cuts a given divider panel 200 to the desired length minus the predefined length (e.g., ¼ inch).

With regard to the height of the drawer, typical drawers are either 2 inches or 4 inches in height. Accordingly, if the drawer is 4 inches in height, the 4-inch high divider panels may be used directly, without having to cut them to reduce the height. If the drawer has a 2 inch height, the user may cut the strips in half lengthwise following the corrugated ribs. FIG. 10 shows a marking 1004 for cutting the divider panel 200 to an appropriate height. Cutting the strips in half provides twice the amount of strips is needed for a 2 inch depth drawer and would thus provide enough strips for another drawer.

After the user cuts the divider panels to the desired sizes, the user snaps or breaks off connectors 202 from the connector strips 210. As described above, the user may break off connectors at a desired length. For example, length of a given connector 202 may be equal to the height of a given divider panel (e.g., 4 inches).

Next, in step 808, the user assembles the organizer system using the resulting connectors and dividers. More specifically, the user attaches divider panels 200 together using the connectors 202. As shown below, divider panels 200 may be joined in a number of different configurations. For example, in one embodiment, a user may join two divider panels lengthwise as shown in FIG. 7 above.

FIG. 11 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels joined perpendicular (e.g., at a 90 degree angle) to one another in accordance with one embodiment. As FIG. 11 shows, the connector 202 is connected to the side of one divider panel, and the connector 202 receives another divider panel into its arms. Alternatively, the connector 202 may attach to the side of a drawer wall. In particular embodiments, when a given connector 202 is attached directly to the inside wall of a drawer, the organizing system utilizes the inside of the drawer as a part of the organizing system (e.g., a side of one or more compartments of the organizing system 100 as shown above in connection with FIGS. 1 and 2).

In one embodiment, adhesive tape is pre-attached or attached by the user to the rear of the connectors 202. As such, the user removes a non-stick backing from the adhesive tape. The user then presses the exposed tape against the side of divider panel 200 or drawer wall.

FIG. 12 is a perspective-view diagram of four divider panels 200 that are connected by a connector 1200 that has four pairs of arms, where the slots of the arms face radially outward from the center of the connector 1200 and received the divider panels 200, in accordance with one embodiment.

FIG. 13 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels 200 that are connected lengthwise by a connector 1300 that has two pairs of arms in accordance with one embodiment. As FIG. 13 shows, the slots of the arms face opposite directions and receive divider panels 200 from opposite directions.

FIG. 14 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels 200 that are lined up in such a way as to vary the length of a given compartment in accordance with one embodiment. FIG. 15 is a side-view diagram of the two divider panels 200 of FIG. 14 in accordance with one embodiment. As FIG. 14 shows, the divider panels 200 may slide relative to one another before being joined by a connector (as shown in FIG. 7) in order to vary the length of a given compartment. In particular embodiments, the divider panels 200 may overlap to not only increase and decrease their effective combined length but also to provide rigidity along the overlapping portions. In particular embodiments, divider panels may be combined such that the overlap extends along an entire length of a compartment wall to provide additional strength.

Because the divider panels 200 may slide back and forth relative to one another, the actual length of the combined divider panels may vary without being limited to any particular incremental lengths. In one embodiment, a connector may be connected along the bottom and/or top of the overlap portion of the divider panels (as shown in FIG. 7) in order to securely join divider panels and to provide additional structural strength at the joint and to the overall organizing system. As such, the combination of the overlapping portions of the divider panels and the connector provide strength at the joint.

FIG. 16 is a perspective-view diagram of two divider panels 200 that are lined up in such a way so as to vary the height of a given compartment in accordance with one embodiment. FIG. 17 is a perspective-view diagram of the two divider panels 200 of FIG. 16, where the divider panels 200 are fastened to each other by a connector 202 in accordance with one embodiment. As FIGS. 16 and 17 show, the divider panels 200 may be overlapped to increase the effective height of the combined divider panels. Because each of the divider panels 200 has corrugations, the actual height of the combined divider panels may vary depending on which of their respective corrugations are lined up. One benefit of increasing the height of the compartments is that the full height of a given drawer may be utilized. In one embodiment, different divider panels may be combined in ways so as to provide compartments of different heights. This may be useful, for example, when a user wants a particular compartment to be higher than other compartments. In other words, the walls of one or more compartments may be a different height (e.g., higher) than the walls of other compartments.

Overlapping divider panels provides not only adjustable wall heights for the compartments but also provides rigidity along the overlapping portions. In particular embodiments, divider panels may be combined such that the overlap extends along an entire height of a compartment wall to provide additional strength.

In one embodiment, connectors 202 may be broken off from a connector strip 210 at the appropriate length. In one embodiment, the length of the resulting connector may match the effective height of the combined divider panels 200. For example, if a connector strip 210 is 12 inches in length, multiple divider panels 200 may be overlapped to form a 12-inch high compartment in a very tall drawer.

In particular embodiments, overlapping divider panels 200 may be inserted into a slot of a given connector 202 to form a joint. As such, the combination of the overlapping portions of the divider panels and the connector provide strength at the joint.

In one embodiment, the divider panels may be bent or curved into different shapes in order to create compartments of different shapes. For example, in one embodiment, a given divider panel may be bent at an angle from anywhere between 0 degrees to 180 degrees (e.g., 45 degrees) along a given corrugation. In one embodiment, another divider panel may be connected to the bent divider panel to increase the effective length. In one embodiment, a divider panel may be bent into curves. In one embodiment, another curved divider panel may be connected to the curved divider panel to increase the length of the curve. Alternatively, a straight divider panel may be connected to the curved divider panel to extend its reach.

As FIG. 1 shows, divider panels are typically orientated such that the corrugations run horizontally. If a bent divider panel were used as a compartment wall, the divider panel would be orientated such that the corrugations run vertically instead of horizontally.

Once all the divider panels 200 are connected, the user may then place the organizing system 100 into the drawer, as shown in FIGS. 1 and 2. Items may then be placed in the custom-made compartments of the organizing system 100.

According to the system and method disclosed herein, the present invention provides numerous benefits. For example, embodiments of the present invention provide a flexible organizing system is provided that accommodates multiple configurations and dimensions for storing a variety of items. Embodiments of the present invention also provide robust compartments.

The present invention has been described in accordance with the embodiments shown. One of ordinary skill in the art will readily recognize that there could be variations to the embodiments, and that any variations would be within the spirit and scope of the present invention. Accordingly, many modifications may be made by one of ordinary skill in the art without departing from the spirit and scope of the appended claims.