- BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
The present invention relates generally to storage organizers and, more specifically, to a device for storing and organizing goods within a container, wherein internal compartments enable organized storage of a variety of goods, dispensers facilitate access thereto, and wherein the container has adjustable leg supports and a work surface, thereby enabling conversion for use as a work table. The present invention is particularly useful for, although not strictly limited to, utilization for storing and organizing gift wrap, wherein compartments are dimensioned to receive wrapping supplies, such as scissors, bows, cards, gift tags, folded paper, rolled paper, tape, and the like, wherein collapsible legs enable conversion to a standard height wrapping table, and wherein dispensers in the container enable access to pop-up tape, ribbon, roll paper, and the like, during use as a wrapping table.
Most individuals enjoy giving gifts to friends and loved ones to recognize birthdays, weddings, holidays, and other special occasions. Each time a gift is given, thought typically goes in to the selection of the mode of presentation, as well as the contents. That is, it is well recognized that the wrapping of the gift can serve to peak the excitement of the recipient upon initial presentation of the gift.
Therefore, most individuals desire to store at least a minimal quantity and selection of wrapping supplies in the home. Several frequently occurring events and occasions easily come to mind, such as weddings, children's birthday parties, baby showers, and the like, wherein stylized papers, bags, and/or other wrapping materials could be called for to wrap gifts. Moreover, holidays traditionally involving gift exchanges, such as Christmas and Hanukah, often result in the wrapping of large numbers of presents over a relatively short period of time. During such times, storage of a variety of themed wraps and wrapping supplies often becomes necessary, with easy access desirable to facilitate repeated use.
Unfortunately, organization of wraps and wrapping supplies can be frustrating. Many components, such as three-dimensional bows, florals and/or other package decorations are difficult to store. Further, the size of rolled gift wrap prohibits storage in most traditional home storage receptacles. As a result, most households likely contain boxes, bags or otherwise unsorted accumulations of original product packaging, wherein loss due to damage during storage can be prohibitive and the inability to locate desired wrapping materials can disadvantageously necessitate the re-purchase of wrapping supplies at the time of need.
Additionally, even after assembling the necessary materials, work space constraints in the average home can inhibit an individual's ability to locate a free work surface for wrapping. Especially during holidays, when wrapping requirements are often at their highest, dining tables are often laden with food and desserts. Desks and countertops are often too cluttered. Sometimes a temporary folding or card table can be erected. However, many times the gift wrapper is simply forced to take to the floor, wherein less than desirable cleanliness can be a problem, in addition to interruption from pets and small children.
Several types of storage units have been proposed to enable convenient organization and storage of gift wrap supplies for easy access. Each type offers some measure of compartmentalization within a generally minimized exterior, in an effort to facilitate maximum storage within minimal space. For example, hanging organizers have been fashioned with opposing pockets, wherein pockets are sized for the reception of common gift wrapping materials, such as rolled wrap, and essentially flat folded wrap, gift bags, and cards. Unfortunately, three-dimensional bows and other decorative accessories are oftentimes crushed in such organizers during hanging storage within potentially, and maybe even typically, cramped closets. Further, support for such a hanging organizer is likely to be disadvantageously limited in the area surrounding typical wrapping work surfaces, such as the dining room or kitchen table, thereby limiting convenient access to supplies during the wrapping experience.
Another style of storage organizer is an elongated generally rectangular container, typically either intended for vertical or upright storage, or horizontal and flat storage, and often fashioned from cardboard boxes or plastic storage bins. Cardboard boxes can be disadvantageous because they are especially susceptible to degradation and can fail to provide reliable protection for their contents. Plastic storage bins are more long lasting, but nonetheless require storage space and must be transported to the work area and temporarily stored either adjacent to or on top of the work surface. Unfortunately, none of the known receptacles offer any other benefit or serve any other purpose other than storage.
- BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a device for storing and organizing gift wrapping supplies, wherein a plurality of internal compartments are dimensioned to receive wrapping supplies, wherein dispensers in the container enable access to frequently used wrapping tools and supplies during use, and wherein collapsible legs enable conversion to a standard height to enable use as a wrapping work table.
Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such a device by providing a protective structure, wherein interior compartments are formed to enable retention of a variety of items, wherein frequently utilized items are accessible while the structure remains essentially closed, and wherein adjustable supports enable utilization of an exterior surface of the structure as a work surface from a standing or seated position.
According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention is a device for organizing gift wrapping supplies within a sturdy, yet lightweight container, wherein the exterior container surface facilitates access to supplies during use, in addition to acting as an adjustable height wrapping table/work surface.
More specifically, the present invention in its preferred form is a plastic storage container having a plurality of shaped internal compartments enabling organized storage of a gift wrapping supplies, such as scissors, bows, cards, gift tags, folded paper, rolled paper, tape, pens and the like. The internal compartments are defined, in preferred form, within a drawer that is slidably held within a generally surrounding frame, having an upper lid surface that is preferably also capable of hingedly opening to expose the contents of internal compartments, thereby enabling viewing and access from above.
The hinged lid and slidable drawer both enable unrestricted access into the interior storage compartments for placement and/or removal of gift wrapping supplies, such as, for exemplary purposes only, rolled wrap, folded wrap, gift bags, cards, ribbons, bows, tape, pens, scissors, decorative accessories, and package decorating tools and implements. Additionally, accessways are provided on the exterior of the storage container, preferably in the lid, wherein the arrangement of the accessways enables retrieval of suitable wrapping supplies, such as pop-up tape, decorative ribbon, rolled wrapping paper, and the like. Further, on-board organizational tools are provided, such as a linear measurement reference ruler, an erasable note-board, and a reference chart for paper requirements for a selection of box dimensions and shapes.
A feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to enable a user to quickly and easily access stored materials.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to serve as a work table and to concurrently store wrapping supplies.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to store bows, florals, and other decorative accessories not suitable for placement in a crushable receptacle.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide individuals with an easily accessible means of preserving gift wrapping supplies for maximum utilization thereof.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be utilized as an adjustable height work surface while also facilitating storage of goods.
Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be utilized at a preferred adjustable height by individuals confined to a wheelchair.
Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to assist in the protection of its contents from adverse environmental conditions.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a portable wrapping environment, wherein any location can quickly and easily be supplied with a wrapping table and necessary supplies.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to utilize windows to enable access to stored goods, without necessitating opening of the lid.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to incorporate a slidably accessed drawer, wherein essentially all contents can be accessed without impacting the usability of the upper exterior surface.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to incorporate and display holiday depictions, emblems and notable themed coloration to enhance visual display.
Another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to assist a user with organizational tasks with on-board measuring devices, reference data, and/or gift log recordation.
- BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
These and other objects, features and advantages of the invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.
The present invention will be better understood by reading the Detailed Description of the Preferred and Alternate Embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:
FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a combination gift wrap storage organizer and wrapping table device according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
FIG. 2 is a front, elevational view of the combination gift wrap storage organizer and wrapping table device of FIG. 1, showing the support legs folded.
- DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND ALTERNATE EMBODIMENTS
FIG. 3 is an overhead, perspective view of a combination gift wrap storage organizer and wrapping table device according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing the lid opened, enabling interior access.
In describing the preferred and alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in the figures and/or described herein, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.
Referring now to FIGS. 1-2, the present invention in its preferred form is a combination storage organizer and table device 10 having container 20 and support member 50. It is important to understand that the present invention is suitable for utilization for any type of storable objects, wherein protection and organization of contents would be beneficial and subsequent use of the stored objects would be facilitated by the provision of a conveniently available work surface. Therefore, while the present invention is described conveniently with the preferred utilization as a gift wrap storage organizer and wrapping table, it is not limited to application or implementation with only such objects or for only such use. Other types of suitable objects and/or uses include, for exemplary purposes only, storage of craft materials, hobby components, puzzles, games, sewing materials, and the like.
In the preferred embodiment, container 20 generally defines a rectangular box 23. While other shapes could be utilized and are anticipated within the scope of the invention herein described, the rectangular-surfaced configuration of container 20 is preferred for maximizing work surface space and for minimizing storage requirements. Alternate three-dimensional configurations could include, for example, a triangular design for setup and use as a corner table, and a cubic design for maximizing interior storage space and minimizing necessary leg length, or any other desirable configuration appropriate for combining the storage function with the work surface function of the invention as herein described.
Preferably, combination storage organizer and table device 10 is plastic, thereby enabling the sturdy and lightweight construction. It is recognized, however, that other suitable materials could be utilized such as, for exemplary purposes only, synthetic wood-like materials, wood, metal, foam board, cardboard, or any suitable synthetic and/or polymeric material. Container 20 preferably includes outer compartment 24 and drawer 22, wherein drawer 22 is slidably related to outer compartment 24. It is envisioned that in an alternate embodiment, outer compartment 24 and drawer 22 could be integrally formed, wherein the slidable relationship would be eliminated.
Preferably, outer compartment 24 is defined by work surface 24 a, base surface 24 b, first sidewall 24 c, second sidewall 24 d, and closure sidewall 24 e. It is intended within the scope of the present invention that outer compartment 24 could be formed without closure sidewall 24 e, whereby drawer 22 could be slidably accessed from either side of outer compartment 24. As depicted in FIG. 3, in the preferred embodiment, work surface 24 a is hingedly related to closure sidewall 24 e, whereby work surface 24 a functions as an openable lid 26, permitting full access to the interior of container 20.
It is contemplated herein that lid 26 could be provided with organization tools including reference chart 26 a and/or note board 26 b. Preferably, reference chart 26 a provides data regarding standard gift box dimensions and the quantity or measurements of wrapping paper necessary for wrapping same. Preferably, note board 26 b is an erasable board, wherein a user can keep track of gifts purchased and/or wrapped, such as during holidays. Although an erasable board is preferred for note board 26 b, one skilled in the art would readily recognize that a writing tablet, chalk board, or the like could be suitably substituted to facilitate recordation of memoranda.
Preferably, work surface 24 a is generally rectangular shaped, wherein utilization as a wrapping or work table is facilitated thereby. Further, it is preferred that dispenser 40 is defined through work surface 24 a to enable access to frequently utilized and/or otherwise suitable components for dispensing such as, for exemplary purposes only, pop-up tape dispenser 32, curling ribbon dispenser 34 and/or rolled wrap dispenser 36. Preferably, reference measurement markings 37 are provided proximate to rolled wrap dispenser 36, wherein the ruler/yard stick capabilities thereof facilitate measurement of paper and other supplies, such as ribbon. It is envisioned that cutting edge 40 a may be provided with any dispenser 40 in order to facilitate clean tears or cuts of wrapping materials dispensed therethrough. Although it is preferred that dispenser 40 is provided in plurality, in order to enable maximization of accessible stored goods, container 20 could be formed with no such dispenser, or with any desirable number of dispensers. Additionally, dispenser 40 could be provided in sidewalls 24 c, 24 d and/or 24 e in addition to or in lieu of in work surface 24 a. Such sidewall placement would enable access to dispensed goods without sacrificing any work space.
Preferably, drawer 22 is defined by floor 28 and peripheral wall 30, wherein interior compartment 36 is preferably subdivided in a manner suitable to the intended components. That is, in the preferred embodiment, as depicted in FIG. 3, elongated sub-compartment 38 a is preferably dimensioned to receive rolled gift wrap. A plurality of internal sub-compartments 38 b-f are also exemplarily depicted, wherein the number, shape and size of the internal sub-compartments is preferably coordinated to the intended contents; for example, a small compartment, such as sub-compartment 38 f, is suitable for gift tags and the like, and a larger compartment, such as sub-compartment 38 c, is suitable for bows and the like.
Preferably, peripheral wall 30 of drawer 22 includes handle 42 to enable grasping by a user to facilitate slidable movement. It is envisioned that if outer compartment 24 is formed without closure sidewall 24 e, drawer 22 could include an additional handle on an opposing side of peripheral wall 30, thereby enabling access thereto from either side of outer compartment 24. Also preferably, wheels 31 are provided proximate to at least one side wall 24 b or 24 c, in order to facilitate transport of device 10, wherein wheels 31 can be of any design, recessed and/or extended nature without deviating from the intended focus of the present invention.
Preferably, support member 50 is provided for container 20 to facilitate height adjustment thereof. In the preferred embodiment, cross-folding legs 52 extend from base surface 24 b in any type of foldable, hinged arrangement as known in the art to enable a variety of positions, preferably including essentially flat placement proximate to base surface 24 b during storage, fully extended and locked position relative to an average standing individual, and a selection of intermediate and lockable positions, such as relative to an average seated individual. Although cross-folding legs 52 are preferred, one skilled in the art will readily recognize that any type of collapsible, adjustable, and/or foldable support structure could be utilized to support combination gift wrap storage organizer and wrapping table 10, such as, for exemplary purposes only, a grouping of four corner-positioned, hinged legs as with a traditional card table and as pictured in FIG. 3, a pair of opposing fold-down legs as with a traditional elongated portable table, a pair of opposing hingedly and slidably related leg structures as with a traditional tv-tray table, or any other arrangement that would provide secure positioning and essentially flat storage. Further, the configuration may be selected in order to best facilitate utilization by individuals confined to a wheelchair, wherein the adjustability of the height enables seated and/or standing use.
Base surface 24 b could alternately be provided with an elasticized, hook and loop, snapping, or any other type fastening system 51 in order to secure plurality of support members 50 thereto.
In an alternate embodiment, support member 50 could have two or more interlocking, telescoping or otherwise connecting members.
In the preferred use, either drawer 22 is slidably opened or lid 26 is hingedly opened and selected gift wrap, wrapping tools and accessories are placed within container 20 for storage. When the need arises to wrap a gift, a user retrieves container 20, positions support member 50 at a desirable height, and accesses wrapping supplies via drawer 22 and/or lid 26. Utilizing work surface 24 a as a wrapping work center, the user can access pop-up tape 32 and ribbon 34 without opening container 20. Upon completion of the wrapping job, support member 50 is re-collapsed and container 20 is replaced in storage.
Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.