Book Review: Making Peace with the Things in Your Life

With the extreme numbers of organizing books available, this book was on my radar, though cannot be sure where it would have landed if it hadn’t been included as part of the coaching program I took.  We weren’t required to read the whole thing, just a section – though once I had the book I was reading it.  Making Peace with the Things in Your Life: Why Your Papers, Books, Clothes, and Other Possessions Keep Overwhelming You – and What to Do About It by Cindy Glovinsky, M.S.W., A.C.S.W. is quite possibly one of the best books on organizing I’ve read.

This book takes a different approach than many organizing books out there – it’s designed to help you look at the internal stuff that happens around Things in your life.  Often when dealing with all the stuff that surrounds us, we target the physical items first and this doesn’t always work well – the stuff keeps returning.  Cindy Glovinsky is trained as a psychotherapist and walks the reader through many aspects to explore around the problem with Things.  It’s designed to get you ready to use all those other more typical organizing books available.

One of the aspects that I really appreciated was that early on she talks about chaos and order – how “the two interweave in a perpetual, ever-changing dance.”  She spends a little time talking about how these are both part of our universe and serve a purpose.  Here I go again, my passions – the balance, the self-acceptance, the inevitable changes of life – this is part of life.

You might have noticed that when the word Things appears, it’s always capitalized.  This is done throughout the book to draw your attention to it and change your perspective on the stuff around you.  Generally I dislike the device of using capitals in such ways, though I found that it did shift my perspective.  The word itself is wonderfully vague so it can apply to any of us, with whatever it is that we have.  Her language and use of aliens and characters convey her compassion – for others and yourself.

If you want quick and easy answers, this book is not for you.  It takes you through the major tasks needed to make lasting change. The book is broken into 4 parts – Part I: assumptions about Things; Part II: systematic inventory of Thing habits and Thing feelings; Part III: possible causes of Thing problems with suggestions for coping with them; Part IV: putting what you’ve learned into action.  In the introduction she acknowledges that figuring out what is going on for you with Things is hard work and that it might feel like this is a lot of trouble to go through, yet “[O]nly action informed by insight can lead you out of the circles.”

As with many things – from time management and scheduling to organizing and beyond – there’s a need for the foundation.  I look at David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD) as foundational work for scheduling and managing time (at least so far in my reading), which means that Franklin Covey might not work for you until you get the basics of GTD.  If you struggle with handling your stuff well, Making Peace with Things in Your Life is a great foundation on which to start.  Then you might move on to the books dealing with physically handling your stuff and space.

The Balance – of life, stuff, everything

Many years ago I learned about the yin-yang symbol and it immediately resonated with me.  The balance of everything.  Not that life is as evenly balanced as the symbol, yet the idea that with everything, there is another perspective or aspect that we might not think about or even realize.  Initially for me it was that it wasn’t all black or white, that there is a lot of gray – the mix of the black and white.  And even if it appeared to be one thing, it didn’t necessarily make it so.

Life is constantly changing, sometimes in large ways, more often in small ways that we might not recognize.  We’re shifting sometimes from day to day.  I know I will go through phases where a temporary collection of things that are piled up will just about drive me batty, while there’s other times that I can accept that it’s only temporary and also accept that it will get done in time.  There’s a great organizing book that talks about this early on, the natural fluctuations that we all go through again and again over our lives – Making Peace with the Things in Your Life (review coming next week).

The extremes of black and white are on a spectrum, if we didn’t have darkness how would we know light.  And vice versa.  How often do we get caught up in thinking in terms of all or nothing?  Consider your language – as this can be a clue, do you say things are always or never…?  This is an extreme – how often are things “always” or “never”, if you would pause to play devil’s advocate? That’s probably why it’s called black or white thinking – it’s ignoring or discounting the gray between those two extremes.  When we’re really caught up in this, we miss the pieces that would shift us back to the middle ground.

There’s also the idea that within each of these extremes, there is a part of the opposite. Although my understanding is that the symbol isn’t about positive and negative per se, this is part of how I look at this symbol.  Even with the most negative experience, there is something positive that you can take away from it.  On some level this ties in with what I said above, nothing is truly black or white – these are extremes.  From my perspective, there’s always something you can learn from your experiences – if not about yourself, about someone else, or the situation.

I now wear a pair of yin-yang earrings at all times, an expression of my belief that we might not see the whole picture immediately, yet it’s there. This image is my reminder to look deeper, and to not stay in one extreme for too long. I was so fascinated with this idea that when I was searching for a cat to be company for the one I already I had – I picked an all white kitten, a good match for the all black one I already had. They were my yin-yang cats, a reminder that things balance and aren’t always what they appear to be initially.

It’s all about how we look at things. The perspective we take or more importantly how we challenge our perspective, looking for alternatives.  And there is a balance to life – even if it doesn’t appear to be true at the moment.

The Container Store

A couple of weeks ago I was fortunate enough to get back to The Container Store.  It’s over an hour drive one way to get there and I probably go maybe twice a year, with gift cards.  I joke that going to The Container Store for me is like a kid in a candy store.  I can spend hours perusing the aisles – appreciating the options available, discovering new products and ideas, getting inspired with new ideas and approaches, and just simply drooling over all the products there.

This last time I was at The Container Store I became aware of something that has happened every time I am in the store.  First, before I delve into that, let me share that I probably talked to at least 4 different salespersons on the floor while I was there shopping.

The first time was after I found a product that I thought might work for me although I wanted to adhere it in a different way than it was packaged, so I wanted to ask someone.  She was quite helpful, agreeing with me that my idea should work fine, and then she went on to make an alternative suggestion of attaching it to what I wanted that was different from both the packaging and my idea.  She helped problem solve a way to make the product work for what I wanted. Since I was already talking to her, I asked her a couple of other general questions, thanked her, and resumed perusing the aisles.

One of the things I’d done for this trip was to take a couple of the pages from their catalogs of products I wanted to check out, things I thought might work for my husband and I.  When I found one of those, I realized it wasn’t at all what I wanted or needed. So, I found another sales associate to ask if they had any ideas of a product that would meet my needs.  She understood completely what I wanted, agreed that the one product wasn’t good for that and lead me directly to an alternative.

A little later I was back looking more closely at those products, next to me was a salesperson helping someone else.  The customer was apparently looking for something quite specific.  The salesperson was understanding and admitted that she didn’t think The Container Store sold anything that would meet her needs.  Then she went on to suggest another store to check if they might have what the customer needed.  Before the salesperson left, I snagged her to ask some questions about this product.  She asked me some questions about how I planned to use it and shared that it wasn’t the strongest for toting around regularly, the one she used was beginning the tear.  As we continued to talk she checked with me that I wasn’t planning on stacking it with other things – it wasn’t sturdy enough for that either.

Unfortunately my experience in most stores is disappointing.  The people don’t seem to know their products well.  They more often than not seem disinterested in actually helping the customer find what they need.  Even more often, they are unlikely to direct the customer to another store to assist them in getting what they need.  I was pleased to hear each salesperson being helpful and honest with both myself and other customers.

It was a little later that it occurred to me that each time I go to The Container Store, regardless of which storefront it is, I find the staff to be happy to help me – not simply there, but actually pleased to talk and lead me different products.  They seem patient and content to help me as little or as much as I need.  This latest trip was to my third store in the Chicago area and all three stores have been the same in this way.  It’s wonderful to experience great customer service.

Racing – Time & Energy

How does having lots of to-dos make you feel?  The answer might vary depending on many different circumstances.  There is a wonderful feeling of accomplishment when we have lots of things pressing on our time and still manage to get it all done.  It can certainly make you feel alive, your heart is racing, and you can look around and see all that you accomplished.  There is a time and a place for using this energy.

Unfortunately, if this is how you primarily function, your super productive moments might be far and few between, if you do not have that external pressure to get it all done, it is easy to struggle.  This also assumes that you can turn on those super productive times when you want or need them.

There are times when I race around the house, full of energy, getting things accomplished.  My husband will talk to me, but I often hardly hear him, my brain is working so fast it’s like I can’t slow down to speak.  That feeling is wonderful – the energy coursing through me in combination with all the things that I can get done.

Yet, there are consequences to this energy.  Your focus is often not directed when you’re racing around.  The tasks you work on are frequently the easiest and you ignore the pieces that require more attention or are more challenging to accomplish.  If you continue to avoid those tasks that take more time, they won’t get done.

This can look like ADD/ADHD – the attention and energy, although it’s not limited to this situation – this racing energy can affect us all.  You might discover this energy regardless of the length of your to-do list.  Early on when I became a professional organizer, I would come home from working with people, I would be filled with this energy.  I enjoyed using it to get things accomplished.

Sometimes though there are consequences to using this energy.  I would occasionally wear myself out racing around; I wasn’t paying attention to my real energy level.  Other times, after I had settled down I would look around and see obvious tasks I’d missed.  I’ve seen some people struggle with the energy as things actually get messier by the time they’ve finished.

Consider how that energy works or doesn’t work for you.  If you understand the effect of your racing energy, you can then use it to benefit yourself and your tasks.

Your Needs and Values

It’s interesting how these words keep coming into my life.  A friend shared an article about living a values focused life and in the coaching program I’m in, we’ve talked about values and needs – both for ourselves as well as for our clients.  Each student was given slips of paper with words on them and we chose 3-4 words (some say values are 6-10) to identify our values and then again for our needs.

We all know that “needs” are things we can’t live without, yet in some ways it’s more than that.  These are also our personal principles and priorities – the things we need to make sure life is working for us.  These are the values and desires of what matters most to us and they help to create a meaningful life.  As you will see, this is also beyond the basic elements to keep us alive, things that we all need, and is more about personally what our individual needs are – those things that if we didn’t have, there would be a hole.

These are 4 that I’ve identified for my needs: introspection, nature, connection, and self-worth.

What are your needs?

Then we look at our values.  These are things that are your personal qualities or passions.  What is important as you live each day?  What is integral to who you are at your core?  This is a reflection of what matters as you live your life and who you really are.   These are often things that we cherish both in ourselves as well as others, when someone else shares or expresses the same value.

These are 5 that I’ve identified for my values: accountability (self), honesty, creativity, tolerance, and knowledge.

What are your values?

If your needs are not getting met, it can be a challenge to lead that a life that is fulfilling and meaningful for yourself.  These are things that you make sure are part of your life – and the first step to living a life that works for you.  Once you identify your needs, you can then integrate them into your life.

Once you are getting your needs met, you then need to focus on your values.  Our values are shaped by all of our cumulative life experiences and are our compass for directing our choices.

In general terms, when we try to develop new habits and make changes to our life, it can be challenging.  We might know what we need to do to get where we want to go – yet that doesn’t mean it just happens.  How do your goals relate to your needs and values?  When we set goals and make decisions based on our values, it’s more satisfying to accomplish them.

You are more than your job, your home, your clutter, your procrastination, your health, etcetera.  Who are you down at your core?  These are the pieces to remember as life happens – your needs and values.

Clearance and Discount Items – Really a Value?

I’ve been known to be frugal.  I cringe at the price of things; lately that’s been the cost of binders.  My mind is boggled by how much they cost.  This leads me to search for items in discount stores and the clearance section of stores hoping to save my money.  I also frequently browse the dollar area of stores looking for great products at a discounted price.  And you might have already guessed this – there is often a high cost to purchases made in this way.

Let me continue with my search for 3-ring binders.  I went to countless stores searching for less expensive binders.  Some stores had binders at the same price as the typical office supply stores.  Other stores did have binders at a lower price, sometimes not at a significantly lower price.  A couple of stores had some binders in their clearance area.  I cannot tell you how much time I spent driving around and going shopping, which isn’t something I enjoy anyway.  It was all in the effort of saving money and I was motivated.  First off, how much did I really save by all the time, energy, and gas I spent on this quest?

Secondly and maybe more importantly, those less expensive binders I did buy are breaking apart – whether they came of the clearance areas or the discount stores.  I didn’t save myself anything.  Although I spent less money initially, the quality was poor and I needed to get more binders. (Thank goodness for Unikeep’s Ecobinders.)

This is one of the things we don’t always think about when we’re searching to save money – the clearance and discounted items are often less sturdy.  If we think about it, this makes sense – how can something be so inexpensive here and nowhere else?  It’s logical that the quality is less than the “normal.”

I was shopping with a friend and we were looking through the dollar items at a store.  I had stopped at a container, it was a style that I’ve been intrigued with yet don’t want to spend the money to get (at least until I have a strong purpose for it).  It was tempting; it was only a dollar.  I picked it up and was looking at it.  Then I noticed that one of the corners was all smashed up.  I put it down and moved down the aisle.  Then my friend saw the same container and got excited.  I commented how poorly it must be made since a corner was smashed in.  She too put the container back down and moved along.  If one was so easily smashed in, it really suggests the quality isn’t up to the standards of similar containers.

If you examine the discounted items at stores, you can offer discover why they are offering those items at a lower price.  Without naming a store, I was intrigued with a display table of discounted items from a familiar brand – ooh a chance to save some money.  I picked up several of the offerings to see if I needed any of them and played with them.  It quickly became apparent why they were discounted though if I hadn’t stopped to “play” with them, I wouldn’t have realized the poor quality.  It was quite unexpected, as I said, it was a familiar brand, yet whether these were factory problems or just bad design – the products were defective.  That didn’t stop the company from putting them on a nice display table in the middle of the store to tempt people into spending some money to get them.

Sometimes it’s not so easy to tell when something is poor quality, yet pausing to ask yourself, to consider the idea that if these items are being offered at such a reduced price there is likely to be something less than ideal about them.  Stores play on our desire to save money by enticing us with clearance and discounted items – “we’ll get such a deal.”  Even some of the binders I looked in the clearance areas of the office stores were there because of faulty design, which wasn’t apparent until I pulled it off the shelf and started to examine them.

Those discounted and clearance items can certainly be tempting.  I’ve been burned by an impulse decision to save some money and grabbing the item off the shelf and into my cart.  Now, I’ve learned and I closely examine each item for defects and hints of lesser quality.  (Heck this is a good idea no matter where the item is found, as I’ve found poor quality items sitting in their section.)  I haven’t stopped exploring those clearance areas – you can find good deals there – although it’s wise to approach it cautiously.

I hope you will consider “why” a company would be selling something for such a discounted price the next time a clearance item calls to you.  🙂

ClosetMaid Cubeicals – Especially the Mini

4 out of 5 stars

ClosetMaid Mini Off-set Cubeical

ClosetMaid Mini Off-set Cubeical


  • decent construction
  • true cube shaped
  • several finishes available (usually)
  • fabric cubes fit well and come in many colors
  • can connect to others to become customizable
  • can hang on the wall, if you want


  • laminated wood
  • plastic covers to hide screws
  • recommends glue which is awkward to use
  • standard cubeical can waste space if used for smaller items


I’ll admit it; I can go all gaga over cubbies.  That’s exactly what happened when I saw the ClosetMaid mini cubeicals.  I was there looking for the standard cubeicals as I find them quite useful and have used them in several places throughout our home.  But I am getting slightly off topic – I was out shopping for the regular ones when I realized they now offered mini ones.  Oh my! And yes, one of them came home with me along with some fabric cubes to fit in it.  They currently have 2 styles to choose from in the mini style (here’s the other style).

I learned with my first cubeical that it needs to be assembled on a hard floor, carpeting isn’t solid enough to eliminate small gaps between the pieces.  I eagerly tore the box open in the kitchen to get it put together.  Unlike the other cubeicals I’ve gotten, this one included a small bottle of glue to use when attaching the various pieces to each other.  Much to my annoyance in getting the lid off the glue, it squirted all over and the top went flying across the room.  For some reason, I also found it concerning that the piece “needs” glue when none of the other have.

Since I got the mini-offset organizer, it was a little awkward to put it together though still relatively easy.  The other cubeical systems have been quite simple to assemble and it would seem it’s the offset that makes it just a little awkward.  Depending on the cubeicals use, I will sometimes pass on attaching the included cardboard backing as I did with my mini-cubeical.

I can be old-fashioned in that I really would prefer solid wood construction for what I use in our home, though this can be challenging to find.  Considering that solid wood is more expensive and often harder to find in the needed sizes, I appreciate the ClosetMaid cubeicals.  They continue to hold up well and can be customized to fit the spaces you have relatively easily.  They are laminated wood, which can cause some splitting or screws going in crooked, though I have rarely had this problem.

It’s nice that there are different finishes in order to choose what will match your décor.  I appreciate the fitting of the fabric cubes into the unit as they fit well and are not tight.  In one unit I have, the fabric drawer stores extra towels and I have not seen dust collect inside.  There’s a large selection of colors to choose from for the fabric drawers and since the large ones are typically sold individually you can get more than one color easily.  For the mini cubeical, the fabric drawers are sold in a 2-pack.  Since I wanted more than one color, I needed to buy 2 packages, though I would have been happy with just 2 fabric drawers for the mini.

ClosetMaid Off-set Mini Cubeical

ClosetMaid Off-set Mini Cubeical

Although I have never applied this, the ClosetMaid cubeicals are designed for the possibility to attach them to each other in a number of ways if you choose.  They include hardware for attaching the unit to the wall, both as a hanging option as well as just a way to secure the unit.  Since the cubecials are assembled, the screws are visible once you’ve put it together, and they include plastic covers for the screws in the color of your unit.  I’ve found these pieces to be flimsy and they are easily brushed off.  Most often, I simply don’t even try to use them and settle for the visible screws on the unit.

The standard cubeical has perfect cube dimensions, which surprisingly isn’t the case with all “cube” systems.  The standard cubeical can be large for some items, as can the fabric drawers.  I appreciate that they are large enough to fit binders and your standard cleaning supplies (1 unit I have is in my utility closet), though have found that smaller items can get lost in the drawers or the space feels wasted with smaller items.  This is understandably less of an issue with the mini cubeical.  As with any organizational tool, you need to consider what your purpose is for the space.

Considering the mini offset cubeical is my fifth cubeical purchase, it’s easy to say that I like the ClosetMaid cubeicals.  I don’t recommend them to everyone as it needs to meet your needs and meet with your taste – I know one person bought another ClosetMaid product and commented that it was acceptable and inexpensive, though not great, the laminated wood bothered them.  I find them to be a decent option for organizing spaces.  Here are some pictures of some of my cubeicals:

ClosetMaid 2 cube

ClosetMaid Cubeical - 2 cubes

ClosetMaid Cubeical 8 cubes

ClosetMaid Cubeical - 8 cubes


**As usual, I do not receive any compensation for writing these reviews.

Keeping Your Car Organized

From the time I started driving for quite a while longer my car collected various things.  Eventually I would spend some time just getting it emptied out once it got bad enough.  Then there came a time that the car would still get a little cluttered, yet it never required hours of work to get it cleaned up.  It’s easy for our cars to collect things – we’re in and out of them regularly.

As with so much with getting and staying organized, how we handle our cars depends on how you want to do it.  If you are one of the people whose cars collects things and then you eventually set aside some time to deal with – and don’t want to change that – no problem.  You choose how you want to handle your space and things.

Then, there some steps you can take to handle it differently.  You don’t even need to begin the following steps with a clean car; you can begin these from however your car is right now.  We are in and out of our cars often, and there’s things we can do with our efforts to keep our cars organized.

Most of us completely empty the cars of our groceries after shopping.  If we use this philosophy with everything else, we can maintain our car.  Each time you get out of your car, you take a load to where it needs to go.  You can take just one load even, and if you do that regularly, your car will rarely collect much clutter.  If you have trash – you grab as much as you can and drop it in the nearest receptacle each time you get out of your car.  If you are heading into a store, there are usually trashcans by the front door – use those.

Sometimes getting gas can feel like a chore.  This is another great time to spend a little time emptying stuff from the car.  There’s usually a trashcan right by the gas pump, and you’d be amazed by how much you can get done just while your car is getting filled up.  If you tend to procrastinate getting gas, try to curb that and work at getting gas on your way home since you’re likely to feel less rushed.  It might also lessen any resistance you feel toward using that time to clear out the trash.  You can also gather the other things that need to go into the house while the gas tank is getting filled – make it easier to grab the things when you head inside.

I’ve used different techniques over the years for trying to keep the car organized.  For a while I kept plastic bags in the car for collecting trash and recycling and when those got full would take them out.  I discovered that I would procrastinate emptying them though until they were overflowing.  I now keep a reusable bag in case I need it, though I’ve not used it yet.

The habit of each time I left the car I would take at least one load to its place has been the easiest for me.  My procrastination habits interfere the least with this.  It also never feels like a chore…  well, almost never.  🙂  In my case, it’s also now minor stuff and not something I have to do each time – just when I have something for the trash or recycling.

For the various things that I want to keep in the car, and it’s gotten less over the years – I tend to look for ways to contain them.  Before containers, the stuff would slide all around and look messier than it was.  When you’re driving kids around, it can be even more of a challenge.  I encourage you to enlist the children to help, they can return things to where they belong and even help carry things into the house.

As with probably everything about organizing – it requires some discipline and developing habits.  How do you want things to be?  It doesn’t have to require lots of time or energy, though it might in the beginning.  Once you’ve established your routines, it can become easy.  Decide for yourself how you want your car to look and take steps to get it there and then keep it there.

Under the Bed Storage

I’ll admit I use the space under our bed for storage.  It’s not something I generally recommend, though as with so much about organizing – it all varies depending on the person and their situation.  There are certainly pros and cons to not only whether you store things under your bed but also what sorts of things to store there.

First let me talk briefly about simply choosing to use that space to store things.  There’s a great benefit to the space as it’s out of the way – you’ve got an area that will not clutter up your space by keeping things there.  One of the reasons I use it is that I know the things are relatively protected there – there’s not going to be moisture problems, unlike the possibilities of an attic or basement.  It’s fairly accessible if I need to get something from it.  Interestingly one of the reasons I first started storing things there was that it kept my scared-y cat from hiding and crying out of my reach.

Next, if you choose the use the space under the bed for storage you want to make sure how much space you have – the height from the floor to the bottom of your bed.  There are many beds that aren’t high enough to allow for the standard plastic under the bed storage containers.  There are under the bed bags you can get which provide greater flexibility as long as you don’t stuff them too full.  There are also super long plastic containers for under your bed, although if you don’t have enough room around the edge of your bed these become counter-productive.

If you are going to use the space under your bed for storage you need to be cautious about what you decide to store there.  Think about:

  • how often will you need or want to access those things?
  • how much space will these things take up, will it all fit under one bed?
  • how will you feel about having to pull them out from under the bed and then put them back under again?  Consider your energy, flexibility, and reasons for wanting to store them there.
  • are they things really worth saving if you’re relegating them to under the bed?  i.e. magazines – why would keep them if you’re just going to stuff them under your bed, that makes them hard to access and unlikely that you would!

There’s a number of things I can think of that are fairly easily stored under the bed.

  • If you want to keep some clothes that are not your current size, this can be a great place to keep them out of your way yet have them readily accessible for when you fit in them again.
  • If you cycle your clothes with the seasons, this can be an easy place to switch clothes from twice a year.  It’s close to where they’d move to so you’re not dealing with carrying loads of clothes to another floor of your home and back again. It would simplify switching clothes for the seasons.
  • If you have memorabilia that you want to save, yet do not have another good alternative for where to put it.  It’s likely to things you’re not going to look at frequently, yet still want to be protected and saved.

Under the bed storage can be quite useful since it’s out of the way while remaining fairly protected.  Yet there are always aspects to consider when deciding whether to use the storage space under your bed.  There’s even more than what I’ve shared, remember to consider your own circumstances and evaluate whether this is something beneficial for you.

5 Products from the NAPO Conference 2012

The world abounds with organizing products. There are many products to choose from and the NAPO (National Association of Professional Organizers) expo is a great place to discover and play with these tools. As usual, products need to meet your specific needs – not all tools will be useful for everyone. Consider your own needs and style when evaluating these or any organizing products.

I’ve chosen 5 products to briefly share with you; look in future months to see more in depth reviews.

1. WallMates: self-adhesive dry erase planning surfaces from At-A-Glance. These come in various sizes and formats. The entire back is adhesive and they claim they stick to everything. I saw them sticking them to a carpet-covered pedestal repeatedly without problems.

At-A-Glance's WallMate

At-A-Glance's WallMate's self-adhesive dry erase planning surface

2. M by Staples Arc system: customizable notebook system.
These are notebooks of 2 sizes with various accessories that you can easily rearrange and design for your personality and style. There’s a special punch you can purchase to let you use any paper inside the notebook – mushroom shaped for the “tear-out” pages which you can easily put back in anywhere.

M by Staples Arc system

M by Staples Arc system, customizable notebook

3. File Case and Case Wrap from Smead.
A box for keeping file folders that comes with a case wrap for storage. These can replace hanging folders and fit in most file drawers. They are also decorative enough you could store them on a shelf and with the case wrap it won’t even look like a filing system.

Smead's File Case and Case Wrap

File Case and Case Wrap from Smead

4. Mini-cube systems with fabric drawers from ClosetMaid.
You might be familiar with ClosetMaid cubeicals already – have you seen the mini-cube systems? There are currently 2 styles. There are fabric drawers to fit this mini-cube system with a wide variety of colors to choose from.

Mini-fabric drawer for a mini-cube system from ClosetMaid

Mini-fabric drawer for a mini-cube system from ClosetMaid

5. Various adhesive tools from 3M.
– We’re all familiar with Post-It’s and now there’s one with almost a full adhesive back. There are the familiar flags for marking pages.
– The filing tabs are interesting which can be written on and repositionable.
– There are some storage container label pads, even applying to canvas materials securely (as the advertising says).
– You’re probably familiar with the Command hooks as well. It seems quite late, but I saw demonstrated how the adhesive works – they used a Plexiglas sheet in order to see both side of the application and removal. If removed properly it shouldn’t leave any marks on the wall, no matter the material (they mentioned- with the possible exception of stucco walls). They’ve also got Command strips for poster strips and picture hanging. Those picture-hanging strips are fascinating from the non-Velcro connection that is quite strong.

Various adhseive products from 3M

Variety of adhseive products from 3M

These were by no means all the products that I played with during conference, simply ones I found worth sharing. I’m excited to get a chance to get some hands on experience using these products and then sharing what I find with you over the coming months.