As soon as my youngest child started sleeping through the night, I thought I would too. After three kids and four years of at least one of them waking up all night long, I thought I was finally going to settle into years of good, quality sleep.
I even thought that I would begin aging backwards because (of course) sleep plays a huge role in how I look and feel.
Unfortunately, my body had other ideas. It was used to being up at random hours all night long. It was used to watching TV while feeding a child at 1 am and having kids crawl into my bed at 3 am.
When it came to sleeping, my body was messed up.
So I worked to "sleep train" myself. I stopped drinking caffeine at noon. I instituted a strict 10 pm bedtime policy for myself. I made our bedroom a relaxing and calm environment.
And still I was waking up at 2 am every night - unable to fall back asleep.
Finally, I took the final step in my sleep training journey by removing all cell phones and electronic devices from the bedroom.
I'm not going to lie, it was hard. I thought it would be hard because I could no longer reach for it when I woke up at 2 am or to check in on the world when I woke up in the morning.
I was right. It was hard to break those habits.
What I didn't anticipate were the practical challenges that removing cell phones brought.
- I now have an old-school flashlight next to my bed (instead of being able to use the flashlight on my phone) for when a child does need me at midnight.
- I installed a landline phone next to my bed so people can reach me just in case there's an emergency. Or - you know - I can call for help myself.
- I brought out our old alarm clock since I would no longer have my phone to do it for me. (Although - who am I kidding? Our kids wake us up before our alarm clock every day of the week.)
I'm sleeping better than ever. Removing cell phones from the bedroom means I no longer reach for my phone and get sucked in when I do wake up in the middle of the night. And most nights, I don't even wake up at all anymore.
I also find that I'm a little calmer when I greet the family in the mornings before I've had a chance to read the bad news that happened the night before or see drama on social media. It's really, really nice to not take in the world news until after my first cup of coffee in the morning.
You know what else I love? The DIY Charging Station I created to house all of our electronic devices while we're sleeping.
We're no longer dealing with un-charged devices or scrambling to find chargers or figure out who left the iPad where.
Even my husband has been using it to charge his phone overnight - which was a huge step!
How to Create a DIY Charging Station
Whether you decide to get better sleep for yourself and your family by setting up a family charging station outside of the bedrooms - or you just think it makes a lot of practical sense - this DIY charging station is both functional and beautiful (if I do say so myself.) And it's very simple to create.
Gather Your Supplies
You'll need a few things to get this going.
- Power strip
- Binder clips
- 3M strips
- All of your electronic devices + their chargers
RÅSKOG Utility Cart from IKEA ($29.99)
- Optional accessories
1. Install Your Power Strip
I used 3M strips to attach the power strip to the back of the bottom shelf of the RÅSKOG Utility Cart. This helps to keep the cords off the ground.
2. Determine Your Layout
Our kids don't have cell phones yet, and we only have one iPad that the family shares, so our charging station is fairly simple. I decided to put my phone and my husband's phone on the top shelf for easy access. Our iPad on the middle shelf, and my laptop on the bottom shelf.
With your own electronic devices in mind, decide what layout will work best for your family.
3. Add Your Chargers
Once you've decided where you want your things to be, string the power cords along the side of the cart, so they're somewhat hidden from view.
For smaller cords, you'll be able to string them through the wires at the bottom of each shelf. For larger cords, you'll need to string them up along the outside.
To keep them from falling down the cart when not in use, use binder clips to attach the chargers to the side.
Now wind all cords beneath the cart and plug them into the power strip at the bottom.
All that's left to do is add some accessories.
I started with the practical by using a GESSAN BOX ($2.99 for a 2-pack) from IKEA to hold all of our headphones. It seems like someone is also searching for a pair, yet no one can ever find them.
I also added some pretty file folders to line the bottom of the shelves. This is totally unnecessary, but I thought they looked pretty.
It's so refreshing to have a home base for all of our electronics!