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Publication numberUS20070159040 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/363,229
Publication dateJul 12, 2007
Filing dateFeb 27, 2006
Priority dateJan 9, 2006
Publication number11363229, 363229, US 2007/0159040 A1, US 2007/159040 A1, US 20070159040 A1, US 20070159040A1, US 2007159040 A1, US 2007159040A1, US-A1-20070159040, US-A1-2007159040, US2007/0159040A1, US2007/159040A1, US20070159040 A1, US20070159040A1, US2007159040 A1, US2007159040A1
InventorsJulio Fernandez, Michelle Coates
Original AssigneeFernandez Julio A, Coates Michelle L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Expandable drawer inserts and organizers with hinged trays
US 20070159040 A1
Abstract
Aspects of the present disclosure relate to various exemplary embodiments of drawer inserts or organizers. One particular exemplary embodiment includes an apparatus for use within a sliding drawer. The apparatus generally includes a base having at least one storage compartment and at least one tray including at least one storage compartment. At least one link couples the tray to the base such that the tray is pivotably moveable relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position with the tray remaining generally horizontal relative to the base. The apparatus is configured relative to the sliding drawer and structure supporting the sliding drawer so as to not interfere with the sliding operation of the drawer when the apparatus is positioned within the sliding drawer and the tray is in the stowed position.
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Claims(31)
1. An apparatus for use within a sliding drawer, the apparatus comprising:
a base including at least one storage compartment;
at least one tray including at least one storage compartment; and
at least one link coupling the tray to the base such that the tray is pivotably moveable relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position with the tray remaining generally horizontal relative to the base;
the apparatus configured relative to the sliding drawer and structure supporting the sliding drawer so as to not interfere with the sliding operation of the drawer when the apparatus is positioned within the sliding drawer and the tray is in the stowed position.
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the link is removably attached to the base and the tray.
3. The apparatus of claim 2, wherein the link includes resilient finger portions having protuberances configured to be engaged within corresponding openings of the base and the tray.
4. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one link includes at least a first pair of links coupling a forward portion of the tray to the base, and a second pair of links coupling a rearward portion of the tray to the base.
5. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the base includes at least one slidably adjustable portion that allows selective adjustment to a size of the base.
6. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the link couples the tray to the slidably adjustable portion.
7. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the base includes at least two slidably adjustable side portions for allowing a width of the base to be selectively adjusted for frictionally engaging sidewalls of the drawer for inhibiting movement of the apparatus relative to the drawer independent of mechanical fasteners.
8. The apparatus of claim 5, wherein the base includes at least one slot along at least a portion thereof, and at least one sliding member configured to be slidably received within the at least one slot, whereby engagement of the at least one sliding member within the at least one slot helps guide the sliding movement of the at least one slidably adjustable portion.
9. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the at least one slot comprises at least one dovetail slot, and wherein the at least one sliding member comprises at least one dovetail.
10. The apparatus of claim 8, wherein the base includes a bottom surface, wherein the at least one sliding member is disposed along at least a portion of the bottom surface of the base, and wherein the at least one slot is disposed along at least a portion of the at least one slidably adjustable portion.
11. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the at least one tray includes first and second trays coupled by links to the base such that each said tray is pivotably moveable relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position, and wherein the first and second trays are generally opposite one another and have generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation when moving between their respective stowed and deployed positions.
12. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tray has a range of pivotal motion relative to the base greater than about ninety degrees.
13. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the axis of pivotal motion of the tray is generally parallel with a slide plane of the drawer.
14. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the tray in the stowed position is laterally disposed within a footprint of the base, and wherein at least a portion of the tray in the deployed position is at least partially disposed laterally outside the footprint of the base.
15. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the apparatus is configured relative to the sliding drawer and structure supporting such that, when the apparatus is positioned within the sliding drawer and the tray is deployed, at least a portion of the tray is laterally disposed outside a footprint of the drawer and vertically disposed at a height above a top edge portion of the drawer.
16. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one partition removably attachable to at least one of the base and the tray.
17. The apparatus of claim 1, further comprising at least one mounting clip having at least one fastener hole and at least one protuberance removably engaged within at least one opening of the base.
18. An apparatus for use within a sliding drawer, the apparatus comprising:
a base including first and second slidably adjustable side portions that allow selective adjustment to a width of the base;
a first tray coupled to the first slidably adjustable side portion for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position;
a second tray coupled to the second slidably adjustable side portion for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position;
the first and second trays being generally opposite one another and having generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation when moving between their respective stowed and deployed positions.
19. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the first and second slidably adjustable side portions allow the base's width to be selectively tailored for frictionally engaging sidewalls of the drawer for inhibiting movement of the apparatus relative to the drawer independent of mechanical fasteners.
20. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the base and the first and second trays are configured relative to the sliding drawer and structure supporting the sliding drawer so as to not interfere with the normal sliding operation of the drawer when the apparatus is positioned within the sliding drawer and the first and second trays are in their respective stowed positions.
21. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising:
a first pair of links pivotably coupling a forward portion of the first tray to the first slidably adjustable side portion;
a second pair of links pivotably coupling a rearward portion of the first tray to the first slidably adjustable side portion;
a third pair of links pivotably coupling a forward portion of the second tray to the second slidably adjustable side portion; and
a fourth pair of links pivotably coupling a rearward portion of the second tray to the second slidably adjustable side portion.
22. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein each of the first and second trays has a range of pivotal motion relative to the base greater than about ninety degrees, and wherein the axis of pivotal motion of each of the first and second trays is generally parallel with a slide plane of the drawer.
23. The apparatus of claim 18, wherein the base includes at least one slot along at least a portion thereof, and at least one sliding member configured to be slidably received within the at least one slot, whereby engagement of the at least one sliding member within the at least one slot helps guide the sliding movement of at least one of the first and second slidably adjustable portions.
24. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the at least one slot comprises at least one dovetail slot, and wherein the at least one sliding member comprises at least one dovetail.
25. The apparatus of claim 23, wherein the base includes a bottom surface, wherein the at least one sliding member is disposed along at least a portion of the bottom surface, and wherein the at least one slot includes a first slot disposed along at least a portion of the first slidably adjustable portion, and a second slot disposed along at least a portion of the second slidably adjustable portion, whereby engagement of the at least one sliding member within the first and second slot helps guide the sliding movement of the first and second slidably adjustable portions relative to the bottom surface of the base.
26. The apparatus of claim 18, further comprising at least one mounting clip having at least one fastener hole and at least one protuberance removably engaged within at least one opening of the base.
27. A method for improving organization within a drawer with an organizer having a plurality of compartments, the organizer including a base having at least one slidably adjustable portion, and at least one tray coupled to the base for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position, the method comprising:
selectively adjusting the size of the organizer to more closely correspond with the drawer's size by sliding the at least one slidably adjustable portion relative to another portion of the base;
positioning the organizer within the opened drawer to thereby make the organizer's plurality of compartments available for storing items within the drawer; and
closing the drawer when the tray is in the stowed position.
28. The method of claim 27, wherein the base includes at least one storage compartment at least partially concealed by the at least one tray when the at least one tray is in the stowed position, and wherein the method further includes moving the at least one tray to the deployed position to gain access to the storage compartment of the base.
29. The method of claim 27, wherein the method includes sliding the at least one slidably adjust portion to selective tailor the organizer's size for forming an interference fit between the organizer and at least two of the drawer's sidewalls when the organizer is positioned within the drawer, the interference fit inhibiting movement of the organizer relative to the drawer independent of mechanical fasteners.
30. The method of claim 27, wherein the base includes at least one slot along at least a portion thereof, and at least one sliding member configured to be slidably received within the at least one slot, and wherein sliding of the at least one slidably adjustable portion relative to another portion of the base includes sliding the at least one sliding member within the at least one slot.
31. The method of claim 27, further comprising attaching the organizer to the drawer using at least one mounting clip engaged to the organizer, and at least one fastener positioned through at least one fastener hole defined of the at least one mounting clip.
Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/757,511 filed Jan. 9, 2006. The disclosure of this provisional application is incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to expandable drawer inserts and organizers having hinged upper trays.

BACKGROUND

The statements in this background section merely provide background information related to the present disclosure and may not constitute prior art.

Many homes and business have cabinets, dressers, desks, and other similar furniture having sliding drawers. A wide range of items may be stored within a sliding drawer, such as kitchenware, cooking utensils, cutlery, pencils, pens, office supplies, etc. Without some type of organizing device within the drawer, however, it may take considerable time for a user to rummage through items haphazardly stored within the drawer before finding a particular item the user wants.

SUMMARY

According to various aspects of the present disclosure, there are provided various exemplary embodiments of drawer inserts or organizers. One particular exemplary embodiment includes an apparatus for use within a sliding drawer. The apparatus generally includes a base having at least one storage compartment and at least one tray including at least one storage compartment. At least one link couples the tray to the base such that the tray is pivotably moveable relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position with the tray remaining generally horizontal relative to the base. The apparatus is configured relative to the sliding drawer and structure supporting the sliding drawer so as to not interfere with the sliding operation of the drawer when the apparatus is positioned within the sliding drawer and the tray is in the stowed position.

In another particular exemplary embodiment, an apparatus for use within a sliding drawer generally includes a base having first and second slidably adjustable side portions. The first and second side portions can be slidably adjusted to allow selective adjustment to a width of the base. A first tray is coupled to the first slidably adjustable side portion for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position. A second tray is coupled to the second slidably adjustable side portion for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position. The first and second trays are generally opposite one another and have generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation when moving between their respective stowed and deployed positions.

Other aspects of the present disclosure relate to methods of using organizers with drawers, for example, to improve organization within a drawer. In one exemplary embodiment, an organizer has a plurality of compartments, a base having at least one slidably adjustable portion, and at least one tray coupled to the base for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position. An exemplary method of using such an organizer generally includes selectively adjusting the size of the organizer to more closely correspond with the drawer's size by sliding the at least one slidably adjustable portion relative to another portion of the base. The method can also include positioning the organizer within the opened drawer to thereby make the organizer's plurality of compartments available for storing items within the drawer. The method can also include closing the drawer when the organizer's at least one tray is in the stowed position.

Further aspects and features of the present disclosure will become apparent from the detailed description provided hereinafter. In addition, any one or more aspects of the present disclosure may be implemented individually or in any combination with any one or more of the other aspects of the present disclosure. It should be understood that the detailed description and specific examples, while indicating exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure, are intended for purposes of illustration only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure.

DRAWINGS

The drawings described herein are for illustration purposes only and are not intended to limit the scope of the present disclosure in any way.

FIG. 1 is an upper perspective view of a drawer insert according to one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 2 is an upper view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 3 is a partial elevation view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1 aligned for positioning within a drawer;

FIG. 5 is a perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1 positioned within the drawer shown in FIG. 4 with the trays in their deployed positions;

FIG. 6 is a perspective view of the drawer insert and drawer shown in FIG. 5 with the trays in their stowed positions;

FIG. 7 is a perspective view of the drawer insert and drawer shown in FIG. 6 with the drawer partially closed;

FIG. 8 is an exploded perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1 with the partitions or dividers removed from the drawer insert for clarity;

FIG. 9A is a perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1 aligned for positioning within a drawer;

FIG. 9B is a perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 9A with the drawer insert expanded and aligned for positioning within a drawer wider than the drawer shown in FIG. 9A;

FIG. 10 is an exploded perspective view of the base portion of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 1 with the side portions exploded away for clarity;

FIGS. 11A and 11B are perspective views of one of the links shown in FIG. 1;

FIG. 12 is an upper perspective view of a drawer insert according to another exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 13 is an upper view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 12 with the drawer insert's side portions slidably positioned such that the base has a reduced width as compared to FIG. 12;

FIG. 14 is a front elevation view of the drawer insert shown in FIGS. 12 and 13 with the drawer insert's side portions slidably positioned such that the base has an intermediate width less than that shown in FIG. 12 but greater than that shown in FIG. 13;

FIG. 15 is an upper perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 13 with the trays in their stowed positions;

FIG. 16 is a front elevation view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 15;

FIG. 17 is a lower perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIGS. 12 through 16;

FIG. 18 is another lower perspective view of the drawer insert shown in FIG. 17;

FIG. 19 is an upper perspective view of the middle base portion of the drawer insert shown in FIGS. 12 through 18;

FIG. 20 is a lower perspective view of the middle base portion shown in FIG. 19;

FIG. 21 is a front elevation view of the middle base portion shown in FIGS. 19 and 20;

FIG. 22 is an upper perspective view of the left side portion of the base of the drawing insert shown in FIGS. 12 through 18;

FIG. 23 is a lower perspective view of the left side portion shown in FIG. 22;

FIG. 24 is a front elevation view of the left side portion shown in FIGS. 22 and 23;

FIG. 25 is a perspective view of a mounting clip with fastener holes for receiving fasteners that can used for fastening a drawer insert to the inside of a drawer according to exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 26 is a partial perspective view showing the mounting clip of FIG. 25 engaged to a drawer insert according to one exemplary embodiment of the present disclosure;

FIG. 27 is a perspective view of a rib divider which may be used with a drawer insert according to exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 28 is a perspective view of a knife divider which may be used with a drawer insert according to exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure;

FIG. 29 is a perspective view of a spoon divider which may be used with a drawer insert according to exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure; and

FIG. 30 is a perspective view of a fork divider which may be used with a drawer insert according to exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The following description is merely exemplary in nature and is in no way intended to limit the present disclosure, application, or uses.

According to various aspects of the present disclosure, there are provided various exemplary embodiments of drawer inserts and organizers. Other aspects of the present disclosure relate generally to methods relating to using, assembling, disassembling, and/or tailoring drawer inserts and organizers. Still further aspects of the present disclosure relate to kits including components capable of being assembled into drawer inserts and organizers, and methods that generally include receiving such a kit, and assembling the components within the kit into a drawer insert or organizer. Additional aspects of the present disclosure relate to kits and/or methods in which there are provided differently sized drawer inserts that do not have any sliding expandable/collapsible features such that each drawer insert's width and length are fixed. Accordingly, a user can select from these differently sized drawer inserts the particular drawer insert having the most suitable size for the particular drawer (or other location) in which the drawer insert will be used.

Any one or more aspects of the present disclosure may be implemented individually or in any combination with any one or more of the other aspects of the present disclosure.

One particular exemplary embodiment includes an apparatus for use within a sliding drawer. The apparatus generally includes a base having at least one storage compartment and at least one tray including at least one storage compartment. At least one link couples the tray to the base such that the tray is pivotably moveable relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position with the tray remaining generally horizontal relative to the base. The apparatus is configured relative to the sliding drawer and structure supporting the sliding drawer so as to not interfere with the sliding operation of the drawer when the apparatus is positioned within the sliding drawer and the tray is in the stowed position.

In another particular exemplary embodiment, an apparatus for use within a sliding drawer generally includes a base having first and second slidably adjustable side portions. The first and second side portions can be slidably adjusted to allow selective adjustment to a width of the base. A first tray is coupled to the first slidably adjustable side portion for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position. A second tray is coupled to the second slidably adjustable side portion for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position. The first and second trays are generally opposite one another and have generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation when moving between their respective stowed and deployed positions.

Other aspects of the present disclosure generally relate to methods of using organizers with drawers, for example, to improve organization and compartmentalization within a drawer. In one exemplary embodiment, an organizer has a plurality of compartments, a base having at least one slidably adjustable portion, and at least one tray coupled to the base for pivotal movement relative to the base between at least a stowed position and a deployed position. An exemplary method of using such an organizer generally includes selectively adjusting the size of the organizer to more closely correspond with the drawer's size by sliding the at least one slidably adjustable portion relative to another portion of the base. The method can also include positioning the organizer within the opened drawer to thereby make the organizer's plurality of compartments available for storing items within the drawer. The method can also include closing the drawer when the organizer's at least one tray is in the stowed position.

In various embodiments, there are provided modular expandable cabinet drawer inserts and organizers with hinged or pivotably coupled trays. By way of example only, some embodiments provide an expandable/collapsible design in which the drawer insert width's can be selectively adjusted, for example, for fitting relatively precisely within a drawer. In some embodiments, the drawer insert's width and/or length can be adjusted accordingly so as to maintain a friction or interference fit with the drawer and, in some cases, without requiring any additional hardware (e.g., mechanical fasteners, etc.) and without requiring any tools for installation or removal. In alternative embodiments, drawer inserts can be secured within drawers by using fasteners, mounting clips, hook and loop fasteners, releasable adhesives, etc.

In one particular embodiment, a drawer insert has slidable side portions, which allow the drawer insert's width to be selectively adjusted for relatively precisely fitting within differently sized drawers, such as a drawer having a width within a range of about thirteen inches to about twenty two inches and a drawer depth of about nineteen inches. Other embodiments of the present disclosure can be used with drawers and other enclosed spaces which are larger or smaller than these specified ranges, as the dimensions set forth in this paragraph (as are all dimensions herein) are exemplary only, and can be varied or tailored depending, for example, on the particular application.

Various embodiments include partitions and dividers (e.g., rib dividers, knife dividers, spoon dividers, fork dividers, etc.), which may be removable, fixedly attached, or integral to the drawer insert. The partitions and dividers can be used to more efficiently organize and compartmentalize flatware or other items stored within a drawer insert.

By using one or more of the devices of the present disclosure, a user may improve organization of items stored within a drawer (or other storage enclosure). This, in turn, can make it easier to locate and retrieve items from the drawer.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary embodiment of a drawer insert or organizer 100 embodying one or more aspects of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 1, the drawer insert 100 includes a base 104. The base 104 generally includes a bottom portion, outer walls or side portions, and interior walls extending upwardly from the bottom portion of the base 104. In the particular illustrated embodiment, the outer sidewalls and interior walls cooperate to define four generally rectangular compartments 120, 124, 128, 132. These compartments 120, 124, 128, 132 may be used, for example, to store any of a wide range of items therein. In some embodiments, one or more of the compartments 120, 124, 128, 132 can be tailored or designated (e.g., shaped, sized, etc.) for holding a particular type of item, and each compartment 120,124, 128,132 need not be tailored for holding the same type of item.

Alternative embodiments can include drawer inserts having more or less walls and/or walls in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures. In such alternative embodiments, the drawer inserts could include more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

With continued reference to FIG. 1, the drawer insert 100 also includes trays 136, 140 pivotably coupled to the base 104 by a plurality of links, pivots, or arms 144. As described and shown herein, the trays 136 and 140 can be pivotably moved relative to the base 104 between at least a stowed position (FIG. 9A) and a deployed position (FIG. 1). As shown in FIG. 7, the insert 100 can be configured (e.g., sized, shaped, etc.) relative to a drawer 300 and supporting structure 304 (e.g., cabinetry, other structure supporting the drawer, etc.) so as to not interfere with the normal sliding operation of the drawer 300 when the insert 100 is positioned within the drawer 300 and the trays 136, 140 are in their stowed positions.

The drawer 300 (FIGS. 4 through 7, and 9A) and drawer 400 (FIG. 9B), however, are only examples of the types of drawers with which can be used one or more of the inserts or organizers of the present disclosure. In other embodiments, inserts or organizers of the present disclosure can be used with a wide range of other drawer configurations besides what is shown in the figures, including drawers in different sizes and/or drawers mounted to different supporting structure at various locations (e.g., closets, bathrooms, business offices, etc.) using any suitable mounting means (e.g., rails, brackets, etc.). Accordingly, aspects of the present disclosure should not be limited to implementation with any specific form/type of drawer. Plus, aspects of the present disclosure should not be limited to drawers either, as embodiments of the present disclosure can also be used with a wide range of other storage devices and storage spaces, including shelves, slidable shelves, open shelves, enclosed shelves, storage boxes, storage cabinets, etc.

With continued reference to FIGS. 4 through 7, the insert 100 can be configured (e.g., sized, shaped, arranged, etc.) such that the insert 100 and trays 136, 140 (when stowed) are disposed entirely within the interior defined by the drawer's bottom 308, front wall 312, back wall 316, left wall 320, and right wall 324. As shown in FIGS. 6 and 7, the insert 100 with the trays 136, 140 stowed is vertically confined within the drawer's depth as defined between the drawer's upper edge and bottom surface, and is laterally confined within the drawer's footprint as defined between the drawer's walls 312, 316, 320, 324. Accordingly, the insert 100 with the trays 136, 140 in the stowed position will not interfere with the normal sliding movement of operation of the drawer 300.

When in their stowed positions, the trays 136, 140 are laterally disposed within the footprint of the base 104. When deployed, however, at least a portion of the trays 136, 140 can be at least partially disposed laterally outside the footprint of the base 104 (FIGS. 3 and 4) and, in some embodiments, also outside the footprint of the drawer 300 (FIG. 5). Also shown in FIG. 5, at least a portion of the trays 136, 140 when deployed can be vertically disposed at a height above an upper edge of the drawer 300.

In addition, the trays 136, 140 can remain generally horizontal relative to the base 104 and drawer 300 when the trays 136, 140 are pivotably moved between their stowed and deployed positions. This, in turn, can help inhibit spillage of items stored within the trays 136, 140 as the trays are being moved.

In the illustrated embodiment, each tray 136 and 140 generally includes a bottom portion and walls or side portions. As shown, each tray's bottom portion and walls cooperate to define a single generally rectangular compartment 154 (FIG. 8). The compartments 154 may be used, for example, to store any of a wide range of items therein. Alternatively, other embodiments can include more or less than two trays, can include one or more trays having more or less walls and/or can include one or more trays having walls in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) besides what is shown in the figures. In such alternative embodiments, one or more trays can include more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

In the illustrated embodiment, links 144 respectively couple forward and rearward portions of the trays 136, 140 to the base 104. As best shown in FIGS. 1 and 11, each link 144 has a first end portion 158 for pivotally coupling to one of the trays 136, 140, and a second end portion 162 for pivotably coupling to the base 104. These pivotal connections allow the trays 136, 140 to pivotably move relative to the base 104 between at least a stowed position (FIGS. 6, 7 and 9A) and a deployed position (FIGS. 1, 4, and 5). The pivotal connections also allow the trays 136, 140 to remain generally horizontal relative to the base 104 as they are being moved between their stowed and deployed positions. This, in turn, can help inhibit spillage of items stored within the trays 136, 140 as the trays 136, 140 are being pivotably moved relative to the base 104.

When the trays 136, 140 are pivotably moving from their stowed positions to their deployed positions, the trays 136, 140 will move generally away from one another with generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation. Conversely, the trays 136, 140 will move generally toward one another with generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation when the trays 136, 140 while moving from their deployed positions to their stowed positions.

In some embodiments, the trays 136, 140 may abut and contact one another when both trays 136, 140 are in their stowed positions. Alternatively, other embodiments include trays configured (e.g., sized, shaped, pivotably coupled, etc.) such that a spaced distance separates the trays when both trays are in their stowed positions.

In various embodiments, the links 144 are removably connected to the base 104 and to a corresponding one of the trays 136, 140. Accordingly, a user may choose to remove one or both trays 136, 140 and/or one or more links 144 from the insert 100 before the insert 100 is positioned within a drawer (e.g., 300, 400, etc.). Having removable links 144 and trays 136, 140 can provide a user with more available options for customizing the drawer insert 100 for a particular application.

In some embodiments, there may be provided a plurality of interchangeable trays with different configurations in order to enable a user to select which trays to use with a drawer insert. In such alternative embodiments, a user may remove an existing tray from an insert (if there is an existing tray), and then removably attach another tray to the insert.

Some embodiments may include a plurality of interchangeable links with different lengths in order to enable a user to select the particular height at which a tray is positioned relative to the base when the tray is deployed. Other embodiments may include links that are fixedly attached to a tray, a base, or both.

As shown in FIGS. 11A and 11B, the links 144 include resilient or spring-biased finger portions 166 having protuberances 168. The finger portions 166 are defined generally by slots or slits 169 (FIG. 11B) extending partially along the links 144. This configuration allows the resilient finger portions 166 to be moved inwardly to provide clearance for positioning the protuberances 168 within corresponding openings 170 of the trays 136, 140 and corresponding openings 172 of the base 104, as shown in FIG. 3. Accordingly, the protuberances 168 can be removably received within these openings 170, 172 to couple the links 144 to the trays 136, 140 to the base 104. Alternative embodiments can include links removably or fixedly attached to a base and a tray using other suitable means, including rivets, mechanical fasteners, among others.

With continued reference to FIG. 3, the links 144 pivotably coupled to the first tray 136 can remain generally parallel with the other links 144 pivotably coupled to the first tray 136 as the first tray 136 is pivotably moved between the stowed and deployed positions. Similarly, the links 144 pivotably coupled to the second tray 140 can remain generally parallel with the other links 144 pivotably coupled to second tray 140 as the second tray 140 is pivotably moved between its stowed and deployed positions, as shown in FIG. 1.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIGS. 5 through 7, the axis of pivotal motion for the trays 136, 140 is generally parallel with a slide plane of the drawer 300. Other embodiments, however, can include one or more trays having an axis of pivotal motion that is not parallel to the drawer's slide plane. By way of example, one alternative embodiment includes a tray that pivotably moves from a stowed position to a deployed position in a generally back-to-front direction relative to the drawer. In such alternative embodiment, the tray's axis of pivotal motion is generally perpendicular to the drawer's slide plane.

A comparison of FIGS. 1 and 9A shows that the links 144 provide the trays 136, 140 with a range of pivotal motion relative to the base 104 greater than about ninety degrees. Alternate embodiments can include one or more trays having a greater range or a lesser range of pivotal motion (e.g., less than ninety degrees, etc.) than that shown in the figures.

In various embodiments, the trays may open automatically (e.g., spring-loaded, etc.) when the drawer is slidably opened and/or after a user releases one or more catches otherwise holding the trays in their stowed positions. For example, biasing devices (e.g., coil springs, etc.) may be employed for causing the trays to pivot to their deployed position when the drawer is open and after the user releases catches associated with the trays. Other embodiments, however, include one or more trays that must be manually deployed by the user.

Various embodiments provide an expandable/collapsible design in which a drawer insert includes at least one portion slidably movable relative to another portion that allows selective adjustment (increase or decrease) to at least one dimensional aspect (e.g., length, width) of the drawer insert. This sliding expandable/collapsible feature can allow a drawer insert to be slidably expanded or collapsed to relatively precisely fit the drawer width and/or drawer length without requiring any permanent alteration to the insert. In various embodiments, this sliding feature allows the insert's size to be tailored such that the insert can frictionally engage the drawer's front and back walls and/or the drawer's right and left side walls. In various embodiments, this friction or interference fit can be established to inhibit movement of the insert relative to the drawer independent of mechanical fasteners and without using tools. In some cases, the friction fit may be strong enough to inhibit movement of the insert relative to the drawer even as the drawer is slidably opened or closed and/or even during pivotal movement of an insert's one or more trays. Accordingly, this sliding feature allows a user to selectively adjust a size of an insert or organizer for fitting within a wide variety of drawer sizes, and/or allows the insert to be moved from drawer-to-drawer as desired.

A drawer insert can be provided with a sliding expandable/collapsible feature in various ways. As one example embodiment, one portion (e.g., left and/or right side portion, middle portion, left and/or right side compartment, main or center compartment, etc.) of a drawer insert's base can include at least one lip or overhang that slidingly receive at least one corresponding portion (e.g., upper edge, lower edge, etc.) of another portion of the drawer insert. The lip and corresponding portion can be configured to frictionally engage one another for inhibiting relative movement therebetween, for example, as the user selectively tailors the width (or length, in some applications) of the drawer insert for the particular size of drawer in which the insert will be used. Moreover, the engagement of the lip with the corresponding portion can also help guide the relative sliding movement. Other embodiments, however, do not include any such lips or overhangs whereby the side portions can generally freely slide inward and outward relative to the middle base portion with little to no friction or contact between the sidewalls of the side portions and the sidewalls of the middle base portion. In addition, other means can be employed for achieving the relative sliding motion and/or for guiding the sliding movement, such as through the engagement of at least one dovetail member within a corresponding dovetail slot (e.g. dovetail member 585 and dovetail slots 589 as shown in FIGS. 17 through 24, etc.), grooves and corresponding ribs, detents and dimples (e.g., at predetermined standard drawer widths, etc.), combinations thereof, etc. In still further embodiments, one or more drawer inserts may be provided without any sliding expandable/collapsible features such that drawer insert's width and length are fixed. In such embodiments, a plurality of these fixed-size drawer inserts may be provided in different sizes to thereby allow the user to select the particular drawer insert having the most suitable size for the particular drawer (or other location) in which the drawer insert will be used.

As shown in FIGS. 9A and 9B, the insert 100 includes left and right side portions 174, 176 slidingly engaged to forward and rearward medial portions 178, 180. Alternative embodiments, however, can include more or less than two sliding portions and/or more or less than two medial portions. For example, another exemplary embodiment includes only one slidably adjustable side portion. As another example, a further embodiment includes two medial portions being monolithically formed as a single component such that there is only one medial portion.

As shown in FIG. 9A, the side portions 174, 176 can be slid inwardly towards the medial portions 178, 180 to decrease the width of the drawer insert 100 for positioning within the drawer 300. Or, as shown in FIG. 9B, the side portions 174, 176 can be slid outwardly away from the medial portions 178, 180 to increase the width of the drawer insert 100 for positioning within the wider drawer 400.

In the particular illustrated embodiment, the side portions 174, 176 can be slid at least partially under the medial portions 178, 180. In alternative embodiments, however, this sliding or nesting arrangement may be reversed such that the medial portions can be slid at least partially under the side portions.

In some embodiments, the side portions 174, 176 may be able to slide inwardly towards one another until the side portions contact and abut one another. In other embodiments, a drawer insert may include one or more stops (e.g., protuberances, walls, or other means) for inhibiting inward sliding movement of the side portions 174, 176 beyond a certain point such that a. spaced distance remains between the side portions 174, 176 even when the drawer insert is in its fully collapsed configuration.

As shown in FIG. 1, the side portions 174, 176 cooperate with the medial portions 178, 180 to define three forward compartments or storage areas 120, 124, 128 and only one rearward compartment or storage area 132. Alternative embodiments can include more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

FIG. 9B illustrates the drawer insert 100 with the side portions 174, 176 adjustably positioned relative to the medial portions 178, 180 for fitting within the drawer 400. For wider drawers, however, the side portions 174, 176 may be slid further outwardly than what is shown in FIG. 9B. Conversely, for narrower drawers, the side portions 174, 176 may be slid more inwardly than what is shown in FIG. 9B. Or, for example, a user may choose to slide only one of the side portions 174, 176. Accordingly, having two slidable side portions 174, 176 can provide a user with more available options for customizing the drawer insert 100 for a wider range of drawer sizes.

In the illustrated embodiment, the trays 136, 140 are pivotably coupled to the respective slidable side portions 174, 176. In other embodiments, however, one or more trays may be pivotably coupled to one or more stationary portions (e.g., a non-sliding portion) of a base.

As shown in FIG. 10, various embodiments are configured such that the side portions 174, 176 are readily removable from the base's middle portions 178, 180. Accordingly, a user may choose to remove one or both side portions 174, 176 from the insert 100 before the insert 100 is positioned within a drawer (e.g., 300, 400, etc.). Having removable side portions 174, 176 can thus provide a user with more available options for customizing the drawer insert 100 for a particular application and drawer size. In other embodiments, one or both side portions may be slidingly coupled in a non-removable manner.

In some embodiments, there may be also provided means for retaining the positioning of the slidably adjustable side portions 174, 176 relative to the medial portions 178, 180. In such embodiments, the side portions 174, 176 after being slidably adjusted relative to the medial portions 178, 180 may be inhibited from sliding, for example, by a friction or interference fit formed between the side portions 174, 176 and medial portions 178, 180. Alternatively, other suitable means may also be employed for inhibiting sliding movement of the side portions, such as via the engagement of at least one dovetail member within a corresponding dovetail slot, detents and dimples (e.g., at predetermined standard drawer widths, etc.), mechanical fasteners, hook and loop fasteners, among others.

In addition (or as an alternative) to forming a friction fit with the drawer's side walls by way of the selective adjustment to the drawer insert's width, various embodiments include one or more members disposed on the insert's front and/or back portion for establishing an interference or friction fit between the insert and the drawer's front and back walls. By way of example, FIG. 4 shows the insert 100 with a resilient member 182 that can be used for establishing a friction or interference fit between the insert's front and back portions and the drawer's front and back walls 316, 320. This friction fit can inhibit movement of the insert 100 within the drawer 300, for example, when pivotably deploying the trays 136, 140. Alternative embodiments can include other suitable means for inhibiting movement of the insert within a drawer, such as fasteners, mounting clips (e.g., mounting clip 510 shown in FIGS. 25 and 26, etc.), hook and loop fasteners, releasable adhesives, etc.

FIGS. 12 through 18 illustrate another exemplary embodiment of a drawer insert or organizer 500 embodying one or more aspects of the disclosure. As shown in FIG. 12, the drawer insert 500 includes a base 504. The base 504 generally includes a bottom portion, outer walls or side portions, and interior walls extending upwardly from the bottom portion of the base 504. In this particular illustrated embodiment, the outer sidewalls and interior walls cooperate to define four generally rectangular compartments 520, 524, 528, 532. These compartments 520, 524, 528, 532 may be used, for example, to store any of a wide range of items therein. In some embodiments, one or more of the compartments 520, 524, 528, 532 can be tailored or designated (e.g., shaped, sized, etc.) for holding a particular type of item, and each compartment 520, 524, 528, 532 need not be tailored for holding the same type of item.

Alternative embodiments can include drawer inserts having more or less walls and/or walls in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures. In such alternative embodiments, the drawer inserts could include more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

With continued reference to FIG. 12, the drawer insert 500 also includes trays 536, 540 pivotably coupled to the base 504 by a plurality of links, pivots, or arms 544. As described and shown herein, the trays 536 and 540 can be pivotably moved relative to the base 504 between at least a stowed position (FIGS. 15 and 16) and a deployed position (FIG. 12). The insert 500 can be configured (e.g., sized, shaped, etc.) relative to a drawer and supporting structure (e.g., cabinetry, other structure supporting the drawer, etc.) so as to not interfere with the normal sliding operation of the drawer when the insert 500 is positioned within the drawer and the trays 536, 540 are in their stowed positions. But the drawer insert 500 can also be used with a wide range of other storage devices and storage spaces, including shelves, slidable shelves, open shelves, enclosed shelves, storage boxes, storage cabinets, etc.

In various embodiments, the insert 500 can be configured (e.g., sized, shaped, arranged, etc.) such that the insert 500 and trays 536, 540 (when stowed) are disposed entirely within the interior defined by a drawer's bottom and sidewalls. The insert 500 with the trays 536, 540 stowed can be configured such that they are vertically confined within the drawer's depth as defined between the drawer's upper edge and bottom surface, and such that they are laterally confined within the drawer's footprint as defined between the drawer's sidewalls. In such embodiments, the insert 500 with the trays 536, 540 in the stowed position will thus not interfere with the normal sliding movement of operation of the drawer.

As shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, the trays 536, 540 are laterally disposed within the footprint of the base 504. When deployed, however, at least a portion of the trays 536, 540 can be at least partially disposed laterally outside the footprint of the base 504 (FIGS. 12, 13, and 14) and, in some embodiments, also outside the footprint of the drawer. Also, at least a portion of the trays 536, 540 when deployed can be vertically disposed at a height above an upper edge of the drawer.

In addition, the trays 536, 540 can remain generally horizontal relative to the base 504 when the trays 536, 540 are pivotably moved between their stowed and deployed positions. This, in turn, can help inhibit spillage of items stored within the trays 536, 540 as the trays are being moved.

In the illustrated embodiment, each tray 536 and 540 generally includes a bottom portion and walls or side portions. As shown, each tray's bottom portion and walls cooperate to define a single generally rectangular compartment 554 (FIG. 15). The compartments 554 may be used, for example, to store any of a wide range of items therein. Alternatively, other embodiments can include more or less than two trays, can include one or more trays having more or less walls and/or can include one or more trays having walls in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) besides what is shown in the figures. In such alternative embodiments, one or more trays can include more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

In the illustrated embodiment, links 544 removably couple forward and rearward portions of the trays 536, 540 to the base 504. In this particular example, links 544 are substantially identical to links 144 as shown in FIG. 11 and described above. Alternative embodiments can use include other means for pivotably coupling the trays to the base, including other suitable links removably or fixedly attached to the base and/or trays, and other suitable means, including rivets, mechanical fasteners, among others.

As shown in FIG. 12, each link 544 has a first end portion 558 for pivotally coupling to one of the trays 536, 540, and a second end portion 562 for pivotably coupling to the base 504. These pivotal connections allow the trays 536, 540 to pivotably move relative to the base 504 between at least a stowed position (FIGS. 15 and 16) and a deployed position (FIGS. 12, 13, 14, 17, and 18). The pivotal connections also allow the trays 536, 540 to remain generally horizontal relative to the base 504 as the trays 536, 540 are being moved between their stowed and deployed positions. This, in turn, can help inhibit spillage of items stored within the trays 536, 540 as the trays 536, 540 are being pivotably moved relative to the base 504.

When the trays 536, 540 are pivotably moving from their stowed positions to their deployed positions, the trays 536, 540 will move generally away from one another with generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation. Conversely, the trays 536, 540 will move generally toward one another with generally opposite directions of pivotal rotation when the trays 536, 540 while moving from their deployed positions to their stowed positions.

As shown in FIGS. 15 and 16, a spaced distance separates the trays 536, 540 when both trays 536, 540 are in their stowed positions. In alternative embodiments, the trays may be configured (e.g., sized, shaped, pivotably coupled, etc.) such that the trays abut and contact one another when both trays are in their stowed positions.

In various embodiments, the links 544 are removably connected to the base 504 and to a corresponding one of the trays 536, 540. Accordingly, a user may choose to remove one or both trays 536, 540 and/or one or more links 544 from the insert 500 before the insert 500 is positioned within a drawer (e.g., drawer 300 (FIG. 9A), drawer 400 (FIG. 9B), etc.). Having removable links 544 and trays 536, 540 can provide a user with more available options for customizing the drawer insert 500 for a particular application.

In some embodiments, there may be provided a plurality of interchangeable trays with different configurations in order to enable a user to select which trays to use with a drawer insert. In such alternative embodiments, a user may remove an existing tray from an insert (if there is an existing tray), and then removably attach another tray to the insert.

Some embodiments may include a plurality of interchangeable links with different lengths in order to enable a user to select the particular height at which a tray is positioned relative to the base when the tray is deployed. Other embodiments may include links that are fixedly attached to a tray, a base, or both.

With reference to FIGS. 14 and 16, the links 544 pivotably coupled to the first tray 536 can remain generally parallel with the other links 544 pivotably coupled to the first tray 536 as the first tray 536 is pivotably moved between the stowed position (FIG. 16) and deployed position (FIG. 14). Similarly, the links 544 pivotably coupled to the second tray 540 can remain generally parallel with the other links 544 pivotably coupled to second tray 540 as the second tray 540 is pivotably moved between its stowed position (FIG. 16) and deployed position (FIG. 14).

A comparison of FIGS. 14 and 16 shows that the links 544 provide the trays 536, 540 with a range of pivotal motion relative to the base 504 greater than about ninety degrees. Alternate embodiments can include one or more trays having a greater range or a lesser range of pivotal motion (e.g., less than ninety degrees, etc.) than that shown in the figures.

In various embodiments, the trays may open automatically (e.g., spring-loaded, etc.) when the drawer is slidably opened and/or after a user releases one or more catches otherwise holding the trays in their stowed positions. For example, biasing devices (e.g., coil springs, etc.) may be employed for causing the trays to pivot to their deployed position when the drawer is open and after the user releases catches associated with the trays. Other embodiments, however, include one or more trays that must be manually deployed by the user.

As shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, the insert 500 includes left and right side portions 574, 576 slidingly engaged to a middle or medial portion 578. Alternative embodiments, however, can include more or less than two sliding portions and/or more or less than one medial portion. For example, another exemplary embodiment includes only one slidably adjustable side portion. As another example, a further embodiment includes two medial portions.

The side portions 574, 576 can be slid inwardly towards the medial portion 578 to decrease the width of the drawer insert 500, as shown in FIGS. 13, 15, and 16. Or, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 14, the side portions 574, 576 can be slid outwardly away from the medial portion 578 to increase the width of the drawer insert 500.

In the particular illustrated embodiment, the side portions 574, 576 can be slid at least partially under the medial portions 578, as shown in FIGS. 17 and 18. In alternative embodiments, however, this sliding or nesting arrangement may be reversed such that the medial portion can be slid at least partially under the side portions.

In various embodiments, a drawer insert may include one or more stops (e.g., protuberances, walls, or other means) for inhibiting inward sliding movement of the side portions 574, 576 beyond a certain point. For example, and with reference to FIGS. 19 through 23, the middle base portion 578 defines grooves or slots 579 each having an end wall 581. The slots 579 respectively receive portions 583 (FIG. 22) of the side portions 574, 576, with the end walls 581 operating as a stop such that contact or abutment between the end walls 581 and portions 583 inhibits continued inward sliding movement of the side portions 574, 576 relative to the middle base portion 578. In addition, the dovetail members 585 and the dovetail slots 589 can also operate as a stop. That is, contact or abutment between the end portions 587 of the dovetail members 585 and the end walls 591 of the dovetail slots 589 can inhibit continued inward sliding movement of the side portions 574, 576 relative to the middle base portion 578.

In various embodiments, a spaced distance may remain between the side portions even when the drawer insert is in its fully collapsed configuration. In alternative embodiments, the side portions may be able to slide inwardly towards one another until the side portions contact and abut one another.

As shown in FIGS. 12 and 13, the side portions 574, 576 cooperate with the medial portion 578 to define three forward compartments or storage areas 520, 524, 528 and only one rearward compartment or storage area 532. Alternative embodiments can include more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

In the illustrated embodiment, the trays 536, 540 are pivotably coupled to the respective slidable side portions 574, 576. In other embodiments, however, one or more trays may be pivotably coupled to one or more stationary portions (e.g., a non-sliding portion) of a base.

With reference to FIGS. 19 through 24, various embodiments can be configured such that the side portions 574, 576 are readily removable from the base's middle portion 578. Accordingly, a user may choose to remove one or both side portions 574, 576 from the insert 500 before the insert 500 is positioned within a drawer or other storage device. Having removable side portions 574, 576 can thus provide a user with more available options for customizing the drawer insert 500 for a particular application and drawer size. In other embodiments, one or both side portions may be slidingly coupled in a non-removable manner.

With continued reference to FIGS. 17 through 23, the middle portion 578 includes to dovetail members 585 disposed along a bottom surface thereof. The left and right side portions 574, 576 include corresponding slots 589 for slidably receiving the dovetail members 585. The engagement of the dovetail members 585 within the slots 589 can help guide the relative sliding movement. The engagement of the dovetails 585 with the slots 589 can also help retain the positioning of the slidably adjustable side portions 574, 576 relative to the medial portion 578. For example, the side portions 574, 576 (after being slidably adjusted relative to the medial portion 578) may be inhibited from sliding by a friction or interference fit formed between the dovetails 585 and the sidewalls defining the slots 589. In some embodiments, the drawer insert 500 can be configured such that its side portions 574, 576 can slide generally freely relative to the middle base portion 578 with little to no friction or contact between the sidewalls of the side portions 574, 576 and the sidewalls of the middle base portion 578.

Alternative embodiments can include other means (in addition to, or as an alternative to, dovetails and slots) for achieving the relative sliding motion and/or for guiding the sliding movement, such as through the engagement of at least one T-shaped member within a corresponding T-shaped slot (a member and slot each having a generally T-shaped transverse profile), detents and dimples (e.g., at predetermined standard drawer widths, etc.), mechanical fasteners, hook and loop fasteners, among others. Still further embodiments may not include any means for guiding the sliding movement and/or any means for inhibiting sliding movement of the side portions relative to the middle base portion. Indeed, some embodiments include drawer inserts that do not have any sliding expandable/collapsible features such that each drawer insert's width and length are fixed.

In addition (or as an alternative) to forming a friction fit with the drawer's side walls by way of the selective adjustment to the drawer insert's width, various embodiments include means for securing the drawer insert to at least one interior portion of a drawer. By way of example, FIG. 25 illustrates an exemplary mounting clip 510 that can used for fastening the drawer insert (e.g., drawer insert 500, etc.) to the inside of a drawer according to exemplary embodiments of the present disclosure. As shown, the clip 510 includes fastener holes 511 and a protuberance 513. The protuberance 513 can be configured to be engagingly positioned within an opening 515 of the drawer insert 500, as shown in FIG. 26. With the protuberance 513 within the opening 515, the drawer insert 500 can thus be captured or secured within a drawer by fasteners (e.g., wood screws, etc.) positioned through the fasteners holes 511 and attached to an interior sidewall of the drawer. Alternative embodiments, however, can include other suitable means for inhibiting movement of a drawer insert within a drawer, such as via a friction or interference fit between the drawer insert and the drawer, hook and loop fasteners, releasable adhesives, etc.

Various embodiments also include one or more dividers or partitions, which can be used to increase the number of storage compartments or spaces associated with a drawer insert or organizer. This, in turn, can even further improve organization of items stored within the drawer. The partitions or dividers can be configured to define compartments or storage locations for a wide range of items therein. In some embodiments, partitions or dividers can define compartments or storage locations particularly suited (e.g., shaped, sized, etc.) for holding a certain type of item, such as a particular type of flatware (e.g., knives, spoons, forks, etc.) or a particular type of office supply (e.g., pens, pencils, paperclips, etc.). And, each partition or divider does not need to define or establish compartments tailored for holding the same type of item.

A drawer insert can include one or more removable partitions, fixedly attached partitions, integral partitions, combinations thereof, etc. In embodiments with one or more integral partitions or dividers, a drawer insert may be monolithically formed (e.g., molded, etc.) along with one or more partitions or dividers as a single component structure. In which case, the integral partitions or dividers would not need to be separately attached to the drawer insert. In embodiments in which a drawer insert includes one or more removable partitions or dividers, the removable partitions or dividers may include tabs configured to be engagingly received within openings of the drawer insert. Alternative embodiments, however, can include one or more removable partitions or dividers removably attached to a drawer insert using other suitable means, such as magnets, snaps, Velcro, etc. In embodiments in which a drawer insert includes one or more fixedly attached partitions or dividers, various means can be employed for fixedly attaching the partitions or dividers to a drawer insert, including adhesives, mechanical fasteners, etc.

A drawer insert or organizer of the present disclosure can include partitions and dividers at various locations. The particular location, number of, configuration, and method by which a drawer insert is provided with partitions or dividers can vary depending, for example, on the particular application. Some embodiments provide a plurality of interchangeable partitions and dividers with different configurations such that the user can select which particular partitions and dividers to use with a drawer insert. In such embodiments, a user can remove an existing partition or divider from an insert (if there is one) and then removably attach another partition or divider to the drawer insert.

In the illustrated embodiment of FIG. 8, the trays 136, 140 are provided with removable dividers or partitions 184. The dividers 184 include tabs 186 configured to be engagingly received within openings 188 of the trays 136, 140. Alternative embodiments include one or more trays having one or more integral and/or fixedly attached partitions or dividers.

In addition (or as an alternative) to trays with partitions or dividers, the base portion may also be provided with one or more partitions or dividers. For example, FIG. 2 illustrates a partition or divider 190 (also shown in FIGS. 12 and 27) coupled to the base portion 104 within the compartment 124, whereby the partition 190 essentially converts the compartment 124 into two compartments that can be conveniently used for respectively storing two different types of items. As shown in FIG. 27, the divider 190 includes tabs 194 configured to be engagingly received within openings (e.g., openings 596 in FIG. 12, etc.). With continued reference to FIG. 2, partitions or dividers 192 can also be disposed within one or more of the other compartments, such as compartments 120 and 128. The partitions or dividers 190, 192 can be integral, removably or fixedly attached to the base portion 104, 504. In one particular embodiment, the dividers 190, 192 are removably attached to the base portion 104 in a manner similar to way in which the dividers 184 are removably attached to the trays 136, 140 (e.g., by positioning tabs 186 within openings 188 as shown in FIG. 8). Alternative embodiments include a base portion having one or more integral and/or fixedly attached partitions or dividers.

FIG. 28 illustrates an exemplary knife divider 584 that may be used with any of the drawer inserts of the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 12, the drawer insert 500 includes knife dividers 584 within the trays 536, 540. the knife dividers 584 include tabs 586 configured to be engagingly received within openings 588 of the trays 536, 540.

FIG. 29 illustrates an exemplary spoon divider 590 that may be used with any of the drawer inserts of the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 12, the drawer insert 500 includes a spoon divider 590 coupled to the base portion 504. As shown in FIG. 29, the spoon dividers 590 include tabs 592 configured to be engagingly received within openings (e.g., openings 594 of the base 504).

FIG. 30 illustrates an exemplary spoon divider 597 that may be used with any of the drawer inserts of the present disclosure. As shown in FIG. 12, the drawer insert 500 includes a spoon divider 597 coupled to the base portion 504. As shown in FIG. 30, the spoon dividers 597 include tabs 598 configured to be engagingly received within openings (e.g., openings 599 of the base 504).

Further embodiments can include drawer inserts having more or less partitions and/or partitions in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures. In such alternative embodiments, the partitions or dividers may be integral, removable or fixedly attached to a drawer insert. The partitions or dividers can also define more or less compartments and/or compartments in different configurations (e.g., differently sized, spaced, oriented, arranged, etc.) than what is shown in the figures.

A wide range of materials may be used for the components of the various drawer inserts and organizers of the present disclosure, and the same material need not be used for each component. In some embodiments, a drawer insert and its components are all made from a “dishwasher-safe” material. Exemplary “dishwasher-safe” materials include plastic, among others.

A wide range of manufacturing processes can be employed for making the components of the various drawer inserts and organizers of the present disclosure, and the same manufacturing process need not be used for each component. Exemplary manufacturing processes include cutting, injection molding, etc.

Various aspects of the present disclosure relate to kits including components capable of being assembled into a drawer insert or organizer (e.g., 100, etc). Other aspects relate to methods that generally include receiving such a kit, and assembling the components within the kit into a drawer insert (e.g., 100). In some embodiments, a kit can include a plurality of interchangeable components (e.g., different trays, different links, different partitions or dividers, etc.), such that the user can select certain components and then tailor the assembly of the drawer insert for a particular application.

By way of example only, various embodiments provide kits that include base portions (e.g., 104, etc.), links (e.g., 144, etc.), trays (e.g., 136, 140, etc.), and removable partitions or dividers (e.g., 184, 190, 192, etc.). In some embodiments, the kits can also include a plurality of interchangeable trays, interchangeable links, and/or interchangeable partitions or dividers with different configurations, whereby the user can select which trays, links, and/or partitions/dividers to use with a drawer insert. Accordingly, various aspects of the present disclosure recognize benefits for drawer inserts and organizers to be sold as a kit for customized assembly by the end-user.

Additional aspects of the present disclosure relate to kits and/or methods in which there are provided differently sized drawer inserts that do not have any sliding expandable/collapsible features such that each drawer insert's width and length are fixed. Accordingly, a user can select from these differently sized drawer inserts the particular drawer insert having the most suitable size for the particular drawer (or other location) in which the drawer insert will be used.

Certain terminology is used herein for purposes of reference only, and thus is not intended to be limiting. For example, terms such as “upper”, “lower”, “above”, and “below” refer to directions in the drawings to which reference is made. Terms such as “front”, “back”, “rear”, “bottom” and “side”, describe the orientation of portions of the component within a consistent but arbitrary frame of reference which is made clear by reference to the text and the associated drawings describing the component under discussion. Such terminology may include the words specifically mentioned above, derivatives thereof, and words of similar import. Similarly, the terms “first”, “second” and other such numerical terms referring to structures do not imply a sequence or order unless clearly indicated by the context.

When introducing elements or features of the present disclosure and the exemplary embodiments, the articles “a”, “an”, “the” and “said” are intended to mean that there are one or more of such elements or features. The terms “comprising”, “including” and “having” are intended to be inclusive and mean that there may be additional elements or features other than those specifically noted. It is further to be understood that the method steps, processes, and operations described herein are not to be construed as necessarily requiring their performance in the particular order discussed or illustrated, unless specifically identified as an order or performance. It is also to be understood that additional or alternative steps may be employed.

The description of the disclosure is merely exemplary in nature and, thus, variations that do not depart from the gist of the disclosure are intended to be within the scope of the disclosure. Such variations are not to be regarded as a departure from the spirit and scope of the disclosure.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7380894 *Mar 16, 2005Jun 3, 2008Berger Andrew LExpandable drawer organizer
US7681871Mar 2, 2008Mar 23, 2010Edison Nation, LlcCutting board assembly having cutting board storage recess
US8696079Mar 24, 2011Apr 15, 2014Judith Bonnie SoloDrawer display and storage organizer system
US8807355 *Jun 28, 2012Aug 19, 2014Thomas B. MereyExpandible container
US8839956 *Sep 9, 2013Sep 23, 2014Robert Bosch GmbhSystem module of a storage system
US20110156564 *Dec 23, 2010Jun 30, 2011Aktiebolaget ElectroluxSpace efficient multi-function kitchen appliance
US20140076759 *Sep 9, 2013Mar 20, 2014Robert Bosch GmbhSystem module of a storage system
US20140210331 *Jan 30, 2013Jul 31, 2014Whirlpool CorporationAdjustable divider assembly for refrigerator storage unit
Classifications
U.S. Classification312/348.3
International ClassificationA47B88/00
Cooperative ClassificationB25H3/023, A47B88/20
European ClassificationB25H3/02B2, A47B88/20
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
Mar 30, 2006ASAssignment
Owner name: CLAIRSON, INC., DELAWARE
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:FERNANDEZ, JULIO A.;COATES, MICHELLE LYNN;REEL/FRAME:017390/0922
Effective date: 20060227