It’s a bit mind-boggling that it didn’t occur to me sooner to share these various products – whatever they might be. My thinking had been narrow, yet as I shared last time – just because I’m not prepared to write an independent review doesn’t mean these aren’t worth sharing. In this world where we can be overwhelmed with the choices available to us, there’s a line between being informed and being paralyzed by the options.
Without further ado let’s jump right into the products.
1. DoubleSeal Envelopes from Ampad – We’ve probably all known someone who moistens the envelope flap and then puts tape over the flap as well. Heck, there are times when the moistened seal doesn’t seem to be adhering well and we need the tape to keep the contents contained. Here’s a product that provides that tape right on the envelope itself – no running to retrieve the tape – and adds that extra level of security. This isn’t a product for everyone, though if this is something that would make your life easier – know that it’s available.
2. Packaways – This was a new product for me from this year’s 2013 NAPO conference and I really wished they had a miniature sample to bring home with me and let everyone play with it. These are reusable plastic storage boxes that come in translucent and 3 bright colors in all three styles they make: classic (3 sizes), under bed, and tote. There are a number of features which make them unique: they collapse and reassemble repeatedly without anything else required – no tape, they have wipe away panels for labeling on 2 sides of the box, corrugated plastic construction protects from water and humidity, and all styles are designed to have the same footprint which makes stacking them easy. This was certainly a product that surprised me this year – playing with pressing the opposing corners to make the bottom fold into place and then collapsing them – I was impressed with the apparent durability and ease. There’s a good chance I will purchase at least one of these eventually and if it’s as good as it seems, I will share my impressions with you.
3. OrganizedUp Heavyweight Vertical File Folders from Smead – Here’s another organizing product that offers the vertical option, although it does have the option for using and labeling on both the vertical and horizontal to make it more versatile. I’m happy to see that the vertical options are growing – that approach makes it easier to identify the specific papers you are looking for since the title will be at the top of the opening. This style also makes organizing papers in backpacks and similarly designed bags easier. These are water resistant, closed on two sides, and designed to hold up to 25 pages. Each pack comes with 3 colors – either earth tones or bright tones.
4. Pliio – This product is a clothing filer – yes, a way for you to file your clothes (it just might help me shift my reaction to the idea of “filing”). The design makes it quick and easy to fold your clothes while keeping the shape uniform which then means it’s easier to find the clothes you are looking for. How intriguing that by using these you could line your clothes upright; no more toppling stacks of clothes as well as not needing to dig to the bottom of the pile to get the item you want. These help make the most of your storage space and when you are packing for a trip. Even better they are now available at Bed, Bath & Beyond so you can see them for yourself in person.
5. HomeZada – This is online and mobile software for organizing your home with a free version and a paid, premium version ($59.00 a year or $5.95 a month). With the free version, Essentials, they offer: a home inventory where you can collect warranties, owner’s manuals, receipts, and pictures; property documents where you gather insurance and mortgage documents, plans, permits, and tax documents; contacts for your service providers and emergency contacts; and news & alerts which provide you with maintenance tips and seasonal checklists. With the premium version you get everything that Essentials include as well as many benefits relating to home maintenance and a section for home improvements projects: templates, financial planning for the projects, and shopping comparisons, and finally the option to manage up to 3 homes, which could be great for landlords.
As with any and all products it’s important that we evaluate what could help us and avoid the temptation to get simple because it’s neat. For me, the Pliio is the latter – it seems neat and could be fun, yet I already manage my clothes well, it wouldn’t help me simplify. We also need to be mindful for the time and energy we have to put into things – when it comes to programs, it’s easy to become enamored of the idea that it could make things easier except that we’ll need to learn it and use it – sometimes this easier said than done.
I’ve tried to include a variety of products that are out there which were developed to help us get and/or stay organized. These are not products I’ve used (and abused) to see how well the function – they are simply options that I know about. Would any of these meet your needs? Are there things that you need yet the products you know about don’t fill those needs? What products are you interested in knowing more about?