Review: Ziploc Brand Flexible Totes

4 out of 5 stars

Ziploc Brand Flexible Totes


  • flexible which makes them easy to stuff them places and fold up when not in use
  • semi-transparent plastic makes it easier to see what’s inside
  • breathable, mesh strip under the zipper
  • rectangular (I like the corners as less potential for wasted space)
  • shape makes them easily stackable
  • comes with built in handles
  • sturdy (claim it can handle 40 pounds)


  • only 2 sizes
  • breathable areas mean that you want to be mindful of where you store these as bugs and dirt can get in through the mesh


OK, so let me confess that I have a bias toward storage containers with corners.  Although round or even rounded corners can be nice for some things, I tend to feel like there is wasted space – either in the container itself or in its placement in the home.  If I can avoid wasting space, I want to – and for once, there is a flexible plastic storage container with this corner idea in mind, the Ziploc Flexible Totes, yet another product I’ve been able to use and review from my involvement with NAPO.

Often with these “new” tools for organizing, I can admire the designs and ideas, but struggle to think how and where I would use them for myself.  I already have systems and tools in place that work for me.  These flexible totes were one of these, though I also wanted to use them, I do like the idea.  Last year as I was beginning work on one of our rooms, I realized I had at least one good use for them – some fabric I had laying around.  Right away I opened up the flexible tote and moved the fabric in and now the tote is squished a little to fit under a shelf.  It’s been a great solution for me.

Ziploc flexible tote holding fabric scraps

Ziploc flexible tote holding fabric scraps

Since they are plastic, they are sold folded flat and they are easy to return to this compact size when they are not in use.  They are easy to fill, as there is a zipper that goes around 3 of the sides, and the top can be simply folded back as you fill the tote.  The plastic is sturdy; Ziploc says these are thicker and more durable than their Big Bags and each size can hold up to 40 pounds.  They also have built in handles to allow for easy transportation.

Just under the zipper is a strip of mesh that allows the plastic and it’s contents to breathe.  This can be good in order to stop moisture and mustiness from developing.  On the other hand, it also means that dirt and bugs can get in through that same mesh area – therefore, just be mindful of where and how you use these flexible totes.

I find it a bit surprising that there are only 2 sizes.  Maybe I’m a bit odd, but part of me wishes there was a smaller size of these.  They talk about being able to be squeezed under the bed, though I see this as impractical – they are much deeper than any bed I have see and then you are wasting the storage space they provide to store them under a bed.

Speaking of the bed, I had been reusing the plastic zipper container that our comforter came in – that is, until it broke.  Aha, Ziploc flexible totes! The XXL size comfortably fits our king size down comforter while the XL size has extra room after the duvet cover and winter sheet set.  Depending on the weight of what you store in your flexible totes, I have found that I am comfortable grabbing only one handle on my XXL tote with the comforter in it.


Ziploc flexible totes holding all the winter bed linens

Ziploc flexible totes holding all the winter bed linens

One client I worked with used one of these totes for storing her sewing fabric and pillows (for a project), which made the material easily visible and accessible, while minimizing the pet fur.  Overall I like these Ziploc flexible totes.  Consider if these could meet any needs you have – remember I am not a fan of people getting organizing supplies until the specific need has been identified! 😉

Consider Changing Your Routine

I’ve probably said this before; I like routines.  It’s soothing for me to have a plan.  This doesn’t mean I won’t (or can’t) change my plans; nevertheless I enjoy making rough plans.  For years, Thursday and Friday were my prime laundry days.  I certainly had to change that for vacations and when the days filled up with other things, yet I would simply choose another more fitting day for that week.  When I started taking a class, it made sense to completely change my laundry plan.  I decided Tuesday and Wednesday would work better.

The strangest thing happened – at the end of the week I felt tremendously lighter.  It was like a load had been lifted (no laundry pun intended!).  I was no stricter with myself about being flexible.  I was simply less stressed.  And I don’t have an explanation.  Yet not understanding the logic of this doesn’t make it less true.  I feel tremendously better and months later, it holds true.

This is something I would not predict – for myself or anyone else.  We all have things we have to accomplish each week and each month.  This is true whether we plan for those things or not.  I certainly believe that we each have our own way of approaching things – from planning to how we handle our chores.

It can be amazing the effect of making some small alterations to our behaviors. They cannot always be predicted or even predictable.  This is one of the reasons I am a fan of trying things out, looking at things like an experiment and seeing what the effects are.   Years ago I did this with mowing the lawn.  I varied all sorts of factors from the basics of whether I mowed the front or back yard first, to directions and height.  This also revealed something rather strange to me – doing the backyard first left me more tired at the end.  I see no logic to this, yet it held true over and over.  If I had not experimented, I would not know this.

Have you ever noticed a difference in your energy level when you are caught up – when you don’t have tons of things left on your list to do?  This is what I think about with the “eat the frog” idea – you do the most important and hardest things first each day.  When I apply this, I feel more on top of things – I don’t have them hanging over me, knowing I still need to get to them.

These are some of the ways I notice changes happening around me.  And those changes can have profound effects on me.  As I’ve talked about before, embrace change – the freedom to play with it in your life can open up doors you didn’t even recognize before.  This doesn’t mean you need to regiment your life into routines (who wants that degree of control?), yet experiment and find your own way to be lighter and happier.

So Little Space

I remember with some embarrassment how excited I was about our house before we moved in.  Walking through the spaces, imagining how spacious most of it seemed.  The full bath was admittedly tiny, yet just across the hall was a big linen closet.  Many of the spaces seemed full of potential.  Using the spaces wasn’t quite as simple.  Whether you realize the space limitations before or after you move in, you still want to make the most of what you have available.

When you space is physically small, the first thing to consider is going vertical with your storage options.  Although many of our rooms are small, the taller pieces make the most of the available height – from our over 6 foot tall bookshelves to the tall and narrow “lingerie” dressers.  In the bathroom, we had a new medicine cabinet and matching cabinet installed over the toilet – creating some good depth and enclosed storage options.  Using the vertical space can mean furniture although it can also be simply installing some things onto the wall higher up.  Is there room for a stand-alone pantry?  Remember if you go vertical, keep in mind how easy or hard it is to access those things on top, and opt to store lesser-used items in the hard to reach places.

Small bathroom- medicine cabinet and cabinet over the toilet

Small bathroom- medicine cabinet and cabinet over the toilet (no room for an over-the-toilet rack and pedestal sink so no storage room underneath)

When dealing with a physically small space, one of the main tasks is to figure out what is critical to have in the space.  What can live elsewhere?  In our tiny bathroom, it felt luxurious when we got the cabinet over the toilet installed; we suddenly had this additional storage space.  Only the frequently used items live in the bathroom, and the rest are divided between the linen closet and the half-bath upstairs.  The bedroom linens don’t live in the linen closet at all – it made more sense to store those upstairs closer to the bedroom in a chest we have.  What absolutely needs to be kept in the limited space available to you?  Where can you store the back-up items or lesser-used items?

That linen closet I was so excited about is too deep and the fixed shelves too far apart for our ideal use.  To deal with this, I started with those items that could be stacked in front of each other – the towels have two stacks, so once we get through the front stack, it’s easy to access the second stack.  This is surprisingly not uncommon – I have seen this too frequently, it makes me wonder what people think when designing closets.

There are several options for making the most of closets and pantries – consider a Lazy Susan, maybe even a double tiered one – these can be especially useful in closets or pantries that go around corners, which can be challenging to use effectively.  Any tools that are double-tiered can be useful, as long as you don’t need to get behind it for things.  Depending on the items and placement, an under-the-shelf basket can help utilize the space well.  Often what helps is to put the front items into baskets, bins, or containers of some kind.  If you use this, you can pull out the container in one movement and easily get at the things behind them.

I’m a big fan of thinking non-traditionally.  Where can you store things that aren’t a “normal” place?  I’ve shared before how I purged some shoes to make room for the partial bookshelf in the bottom of my tiny closet – this isn’t where you’d typically think of putting books.  I’m currently using part of a bookcase to store office supplies – they are behind closed doors so it’s not obvious and they’re in a different room from the printer and mail supplies.  You’ve probably heard or seen people storing various items in their hutch – from photo albums or kids art supplies, not your traditional table linens, china, or silver.  We sometimes think of under-the-bed storage as an option – and with the canvas bags this becomes more of an option when your bed isn’t high enough for the traditional bins.  You can apply this same idea to under your dressers and other furniture – and keep it relatively hidden.

One of the popular ways to store things is to use the basement or attached garage.  I’ve seen people install virtually floor to ceiling shoe racks – using both non-traditional storage options and thinking vertically.  The basement and attached garage can also be useful for those back-up items – you move things from there into your home when needed and stock back up to the garage or basement.

There are such a plethora of options for how to make the most of your limited space.  Of course, you need to make sure you have exactly what you need and use – there’s frequently an opportunity to purge, even if it’s just a handful of things.  We almost have too many options for storing things – it can be tricky just sorting through them.  Also, you want to think about how you use things, make things work for you – despite much acclaim for storing cleaning supplies where you use them, this is often problematic when you have limited space.  Can you embrace the challenge to make the most of the space you have?

If not, call me!  I now offer virtual organizing. 😉

Anthropomorphizing Your Belongings

After watching a video with my mom recently, we started talking about anthropomorphizing.  My observation of the video was that the animals were being credited with some human characteristics.  She agreed and commented sometimes we go out of our way to avoid recognizing “human” characteristics in animals and shared an experience she’d had.  She observed some elk sliding down a hill, front legs splayed in front of them while their haunches was on the ground.  Now, even that is cute, but after they got to the bottom of the hill, they jumped up and ran back to the top and did it again.  They were sledding, it was play – this served no other purpose.

Yeah, so what does this have to do with organizing?

Anthropomorphizing isn’t limited to animals.  We can view our belongings with a certain amount of personality.  We might be reluctant to throw things away or even give them away.  This always makes me think of The Velveteen Rabbit, where a toy can become real once it’s owner really and truly loves it.

What we tell ourselves about our stuff affects how we deal with it.  Some people throw things out easily once they’ve lost their usefulness while others have a hard time parting with them at all.  And this is just talking about when the things might need to leave – what about how we treat our belongings while they are in our possession?

There’s another argument that a certain amount of anthropomorphizing could be helpful.  If you loved your keys and cell phone, you be less likely to misplace them.  You’d be conscious of them and where you laid them down – mindful of how you treated them, maximizing their chance to be useful.

If you valued your things as if they personality, or maybe more that they had a job to do – to help you – you might want to help them accomplish this.

  • Your papers – accessible and logical so you can find what you need when you need it.
  • Your clothes – arranged and easy to access whenever you want
  • Your dishes – clean and ready to be used whenever you need
  • Your photos and memorabilia – available when you want to share it with someone or even to take a trip down memory lane for yourself
  • Your jewelry – if you know where all of it is, you can wear it when you want
  • Your décor – pleasing and rewarding for you so that you would smile as you walk through your home
  • Your random lost items – peace at being able to find exactly what you need when you need it
  • Your “whatever” – to make your life simpler and more enjoyable

Show your things your compassion and care so they can help you – the give and take that relationships require.  And even if we think of it differently, we do have relationships with things, so let’s nurture that.

Once your things have stopped helping you, it’s time to let them move on.  If appropriate, moving them onto someone else who can appreciate what they have to offer.  What better blessing that gifting that usefulness to someone else?  If they’ve outlived their ability to serve, then simply letting them go.

If our things had feelings, I imagine they’d be sad to become clutter since they served us so well, that’s not what they would want.  If you want a more magical approach, in The Velveteen Rabbit, although it looks like a dire end to a well-loved toy who sheds a real tear as he’s about to be burned (the boy had Scarlet Fever), the Nursery Magic Fairy comes, kisses him, and makes him a real rabbit – who the boy sees romping in the wild and thinks of his old toy.  Even with things, it is still a relationship – what would you do to treat that relationship with care and respect?

Information Collecting

You might say that I am an information junkie.  I love learning and there is so much out there I could learn.  And it seems like it’s getting easier and easier to have access to a plethora of information – at your fingertips, whenever you want.  I will hold myself back from a rant about the reliability of this information, yet with the Internet so accessible, there’s tons of information to be had.  We might not stop and think about our collecting in this realm.

Our collecting information might be fairly limited to certain topics or it might be more general.  It doesn’t matter which one it is if you have a tendency to collect it.  It’s relatively easy to collect information and physically less cluttered if it’s digital.  Nevertheless, it’s collecting in either form.  We don’t see the space in the same way when it’s digital, yet this doesn’t mean it’s not getting cluttered.

First, is your collecting of information getting in your way? How much time and energy are you spending on collecting this information? Are you referencing this information again? Can you find what you know you saved when you want it again?  Do you have guilt that you aren’t using the information you’ve collected?

Just like with most stuff that you can collect, if you are keeping it, you don’t want to be controlled by it.  It’s there to serve and help you. Period. You also want to be able to easily find it.  Since information these days is both physical and digital, it can be challenging to keep everything together.  (I’m moving strongly into the digital realm, as it’s searchable and saves paper.)  It doesn’t matter which one suits you as long you make it work for you.

Sometimes this means taking a hard look at what your response is to information.  Do you have a desire to collect it?  If you collect it and then do something with it, then there’s nothing wrong.  If you seem to have information that you haven’t even looked at, it’s time to consider what matters in your life.  Do you want to spend your time and energy going through and examining all that information? (Are you really going to make time and energy to do that?) More importantly, are you going to continue to collect information for this unknown future point when you will use it?

How much are you collecting because it “might be useful one day”? Do you lack the confidence that you could find the information when it became relevant?  Have you thought about how fast information changes, so saving something that might be relevant down the road might really be saving irrelevant information?

I struggle with these limits.  As I’ve already said, I love learning.  When I look on my computer or at my papers, I’ve been amazed by how much I’ve saved.  It’s hard to part with them – yet this is exactly what I’ve been doing – examining what I’ve kept and tossing what I can.  I’ve also made some changes in how I handle information: I’m starting to scan certain things and I’m re-organizing the digital information so I can access it more readily.

As with all organizing projects, I see it as a process.  Your vision can change at any moment.  Additionally, our first step really needs to be examining what we’re collecting and considering what happens for us with collecting.  Even the most organized person collects – it’s what they do with the collecting that differentiates them.  Is the information you are collecting worth your time and energy? Challenge yourself with your answer – it can open up a new way of viewing your stuff.

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 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.

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.

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.