8 Ways to Store Your Child’s Phone at Night

By Andrea Nelson
January 18, 2024
Cell phone lock box examples

It’s no secret that using devices before bed is bad for sleep. To help kids develop healthy sleep habits, it’s a good idea to limit their phone use before bed — and a cell phone lock box is a practical solution the entire family can use to develop a nighttime device routine that actually sticks. Check out these eight cell phone lockers that help you store devices overnight, ranging from funny and decorative to lock-and-key serious.

8 cell phone lock box options

The hilarious: Phone bed

If you’re eager for your family to put away their devices at night, but you’re struggling to get them similarly enthused, consider using humor to get everyone on board. Enter the phone bed. After all, you’ve likely spent years bringing your phone with you to your actual bed — doesn’t it deserve a cozy place of its own to sleep and recharge? 

If you’re looking for something a little less pricey, try an Ikea hack with this simple doll bed. You can take the gag as far as you want, adding a pillow and sleeping mask, tucking your phones in for the night, and even signing them a lullaby. It might feel silly at first, but you never know, this could be your family’s new favorite nighttime ritual. 

The ultra basic: Simple wooden tray

If you’re interested in minimal effort and maximum efficiency, grab a tray or a bowl you have lying around, toss it in a common area of the house, and use it as a storage site for devices. For an upgrade that won’t break the bank, check out this cute tray from Target. (Bonus: when it’s not serving Zzzs for your family’s phones, it can do double duty and serve drinks for the adults.) 

The ultra-practical: Charging station 

Are you the kind of family who prefers to take care of business without the fuss or fluff? Then you might want to opt for a charging station. Stick it in a cupboard to get it out of the way and you’ve just created a device cabinet. Boom. 

The we-mean-business: Lock box 

Do the kids in your house (or — be honest — the adults) have a hard time not sneaking their phones out of bed after lights out? Your situation might call for something more drastic. This cell phone lock box keeps devices secure until it’s time to wake them up. Just make sure you pick the person in your family with the most self-control to be in charge of the combination. 

The DIY: Shoebox charging station 

Calling all crafters! If this is you, then I know you have a spare shoebox and some decorative paper lying around. Enlist your kids to help you snazzy up the box and drill a few holes in the side. You’ll have yourself a bespoke charging station tailored to match your design aesthetic. 

The incognito: Repurposed bread box

If your decor is less high-tech and more cottagecore, you’re a perfect contender for a bread box charging station. Depending on your level of commitment to the lifestyle, you can either DIY it or pop over to Etsy for an endless selection. 

The botanical: Planter charging station

Bring a little green into your home with a charging station that doubles as a planter. Your kids can use the built-in LCD clock to know precisely the moment they can reclaim their devices in the morning. And if fake grass isn’t your thing (is it anyone’s?), you can replace it with the plant of your choice. 

The bottom line

A cell phone lock box might seem like an extreme solution, but it’s a practical way to create a barrier between hands and screens. For the best results, get the whole family involved: have everyone commit to a time when their devices go into the cell phone locker (or bed, or planter).

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