September 30, 2015

443 words 3 mins read

A $20 tablet/laptop organizer

Do you have several laptops? Multiple iPads? Do you find yourself with an annoying stack of laptops sitting on your desk that you need to play Jenga with every time you need to switch machines? If this is the case you might be living in the most egregious world of #FirstWoldProblems -or- you work in technology. I fall into the latter group and wanted a cost-effective and nice way of keeping my laptops & tablets organized, charged, and undamaged. What you see to the right cost me about $20 and an hour of time to make.

First, the key components:

  • $12 — Kitchen Organizer — There are a ton of “kitchen organizer” type items available online and at your local supply store. I picked this one because it had plenty of space between the bars and was solid metal (giving it some heft).
  • $9* — Can of Plastidip — Technically this is optional, but I wouldn’t want to put nice metal laptops (e.g. a MacBook Air) against the metal of the organizer. An alternative to this is just covering the organizer in duct tape or gaffing tape.
The instructions:
Step 1 — Clean
We can't be sure how clean the organizer is, so we'll clean it with a little isopropyl alcohol. Try not to handle it (i.e. get your greasy paws on it) too much after cleaning.
Step 2 — Read the PlastiDip instructions
You need to shake the can for at least 1 minute, plus there are some other things to keep in mind. Please read the instructions & safety information
Step 3 — Paint & Dry
Don't get too crazy with the PlastiDip (else it runs); let it dry.
Step 4 — Rotate, Paint, & Dry
I used chopsticks to pickup and rotate the organizer. Painted some more of it, and then let it dry some more.
Step 5 — Repeat Step 4 until Happy
Step 6 — Enjoy!

Looks good up close
I received the organizer and PlastiDip mid-Tuesday and had this project completed before the evening. The more layers of PlastiDip you spray, the longer it will last (it is actually designed to be able to come off). As noted above you could even skip the PlasiDip and use tape, but please use something. Metal on metal is bad (plus a poorly grounded laptop can zap another device). For those who want the cost-effective and easy method of cable management, Instructables has a great tutorial on "

Desk Cord Management Using Binder Clips” which works great.

_* = You can get PlastiDip for cheaper in bulk or locally. I got mine for ~$6/can bringing my project cost down to $18+tax._