Accountability – Nasty or Nice?

This word – accountability – has troubled me sometimes.  Too often someone wants to impose his or her version of it on someone else.  Even the definitions I’ve found fail to communicate a strongly positive connotation.

  • From Miriam-Webster: the quality or state of being accountable; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
  • From the state of being accountable, liable, or answerable

Although they’re not necessarily negative either.  There’s a weight to being accountable, you are agreeing to be responsible.

In my coaching classes, we talk about accountability a lot.  Yet, it’s in the context of helping our clients define what accountability looks like for them.  And then, what they want from us around their definition of accountability.  They create the entire experience – according to what works for them.

Sometimes I feel a bit cynical, that the world is becoming filled with people who tend to blame others.  “If only, he or she didn’t… then I wouldn’t…”  Other times I think we’re reluctant to reveal the extent of the responsibility we each feel for things – to be that vulnerable.

Making changes is hard.  Plain and simple.  There are philosophies abounding about how to make them happen.  One of the most successful tactics for realizing changes is to tell people about your intentions.  This makes us most likely to follow through – there’s an accountability built in.  We’re making ourselves accountable by telling other people about our goals.

This is exactly like in our coaching practice (and many organizing clients) – our clients share their intentions and we follow up and see how they are coming.  Of course, we also spend time talking about the details making it specific.

Yet, what happens when someone is critical of our not succeeding in making those changes?  It undermines our efforts.  We’re less likely to broadcast our goals again.

We need to make sure we find supportive people to share our goals with – people who will encourage us at the same time that they won’t let us off the hook easily.  Hence, hold us accountable.  You need to define what that looks like for you – how do you want to be held accountable?  Ideally, even if you don’t manage to meet your expectations, the result is not criticism, but curiosity, “what happened?”

Accountability can certainly develop negative connotations depending on whom you’re sharing things with.  In essence, accountability is a positive concept.  We all need it to some degree, just in our distinct, personal way.  When I think about accountability in this way, whether for myself or for those I work with, I appreciate the value it has.

Follow-up on the Unikeep View Case Binders

As a rule, I do not write reviews of products until I have used the item for a while.  Although I think I can intuit the pros and cons of various products, I want to have the hands on experience to share with you.  How long I use something before I review it varies depending the product.  Yet, how does the product stand the test of time?

I originally posted my review of the Unikeep View Case Binders in February of 2011 after getting one from the NAPO conference in 2010.  This was probably my favorite find from that conference and after using the one I received purchased several more for myself.

These make me happy though I continue to be less than fond of binders as a general rule.  The fact that they are enclosed and of a consistent shape make them easy to use: either standing them up or stacking them.

I did end up breaking one of the rings since writing the review.  It is the binder that I received more than 3 years ago now and I take with me to show clients.  I also tend to abuse it a little to demonstrate how sturdy the rings are despite how they feel.  Of the ones that I use, I have had no problems with the rings.

My husband was drawn to these and asked for one.  He took it to work and used it for a handful of things on spiders.  Recently it came home and he showed me how he was using it and reported how great it was for containing both the papers he needed and the little books that tend to get lost.

Unikeep binder holding both paper and small books

Unikeep binder holding both paper and small books

Unikeep binder open with papers and small books

Unikeep binder open with papers and small books
















My favorite “binder” from them is one without rings as I can load it with whatever I want to work on that day as I leave and it remains contained.  I use this one the most, though have an actual binder I use for my volunteering which I use their tabbed pockets within it.

Another client purchased a set of them to hold some materials that come hole-punched and comments on how easily they line a shelf on her bookcase.  They allow her to organize, contain, and access the papers she needs in a user-friendly way.

If you can’t tell, I am still a huge fan of these Unikeep View Case Binders. 🙂

Revisiting the Past

It’s hard for me to believe that I have been blogging since October 2009.  I thought I would share an oldie but goodie from late 2009 – it seems to be popular.  Maybe you haven’t seen it, although even if you have you might want to re-read it and see if it can inspire you now.  🙂


Loving What You Own

When did you last look around your home with a critical eye? Are the things you have out, things you truly love and value?  And what about those things in boxes hidden around?

Whether you keep things out where you appreciate them or if you store them and rarely look at them – they take up valuable space.  It’s easy to become blind to the things around us, they become part of our normal landscape, and we forget to even think about them.

It’s challenging to take that emotional step backwards to evaluate your belongings.  Yet, If they are … [click to keep reading]


And the question remains, what are you going to find a better home for?

Donating Process

Last week I talked about how organizing is really a process and therefore is never finished.  There’s always more to be done.  If we don’t continue the process of keeping things organized, our homes easily become overrun with clutter – in the purest sense of the word.  We need to discover the process that will work for each of us and for each thing that needs a process – creating the routines for organization.

For many people the process of getting rid of still good things can be the most challenging – especially once you’ve reached that relatively organized state.  Also, making it part of the flow of life means continual work.

“How do I know it’s time to get rid of this?”

Sometimes I struggle to get rid of things – they’re not broken, or torn, or worn out, or stained – they are still quite usable.  Yet, do I use them?  I’ve gotten to the point that if I am not actually using them and cannot imagine using them (sometimes from trying to force myself to make it usable) they go into my donate pile.  The thing is that if you are not using it, is there a good reason to keep it?  I find that I am using things I love and appreciate, so if something isn’t getting used, it’s more likely that I don’t love it.

“I won’t have time to drop this off at a nonprofit for a while.”

If you’ve ever heard me present, I talk about how we’re not finished until we get the things out of our home, out of our garage, out of our car.  This is true – if it’s still in your possession you are not free from the things.  Although this is not a good reason to stop yourself from moving things further along in the process of getting it out of your space.  More important than being able to quickly get it out of your space is to ask how much you’re accumulating that’s waiting to leave?  If you have a lot (and you get the define that for yourself), then you need to make time – schedule it – to get the things out of your space.

“I don’t have time to go through [insert space in your home] to purge things.”

First, theoretically your spaces aren’t in need of a major overhaul – we’re talking about maintaining organizing as part of the normal life.  If we integrate the process of organizing into normal living, we find a way to naturally purge things that are ready to go to their next home.  If you are standing in front of your closet and recognize a shirt that no longer fits, is stained, you now dislike, whatever the case may be – pull it out right then.  The same thing applies in any space – when you see something and recognize that it’s no longer useful to you, it’s time to remove it from that space.

“I can’t believe how much has accumulated so quickly.”

First, congratulations on noticing – that’s great and means that you can take steps to deal with it.  After noticing, the next step is to deal with it and create systems to help limit the accumulation in the future.  This is when systems are important – a way to create a flow for things to leave rather than collect.  From my experience, things collect – period.  If we don’t stay on top of it, the next time we look, it’s grown: kipple is the name I always think of (and wrote about).


The way that I deal with the process of getting rid of things is to have a box in one room – near a door, yet out of the way.  Each time I come across something that is no longer used or loved it makes it’s way to the box.  Once the box begins to fill up, I spend time listing the items in the box for tax purposes and close the top of the box.  Often I do this after I get a call from a charity that is scheduling pick-ups in my area – and I do this regardless of how full or empty the box.  If we’ve been busier with the purging, it really is once the box is full and then I evaluate whether I want to wait for the next phone call for a pick-up or if I want to drop it off myself.

It’s a great way to help kids learn the process – put a box in a corner or in the closet and involve your kids in deciding what they’ve outgrown – both clothes and toys.  I find a box placed strategically the easiest in helping the process of moving things out – whether that is one box or a box per room or per floor.  Remember, whatever works for you and helping you keep things moving through.

Review: 1Password

4.5 out of 5 stars

Password program for Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, Android


  • easy to use
  • option for it to create strong passwords
  • secure
  • trial version & 100% money back guarantee
  • syncs via Dropbox, so it’s always current
  • browser extensions, easy to use in Firefox (at least) with fill in and saving options
  • organizes software licenses as well
  • options for tagging the info
  • available to attach files i.e. photocopies of important papers
  • credit card fill-in options for easy online shopping
  • usable on many devices – Mac, Windows, iPad, iPhone, iPod touch, Android


  • price for each device, so although we bought it for the computers, had to purchase again for the iPad
  • browser extension can get annoying with popping up offering to save the login info even when you don’t want to (though it’s smart enough to know when you’ve already saved the info)
  • passwords created and not saved in the program can be difficult to transcribe – capital I appears the same as lower case l


For several months, my husband and I have talked about how useful a password program would be for us – a way that we could both access shared accounts easily and more importantly, securely.  With the LinkedIn problems recently, this can be even more important – how secure are your accounts from being hacked?  Since my husband enjoys research more than I, he found one that he liked.  It still took time before we made the purchase and installed 1Password onto both our computers.

You probably already know that you should have different passwords for all your different accounts.  These passwords, to be as secure as possible, need to have various combinations of letters, numbers, and symbols.  Most importantly they should not be whole words since that makes it easier to hack.  This makes creating, remembering, and using passwords challenging.  You don’t want to have a list sitting around or a file on your computer simply listing them.  This is where a password program comes in useful – they make it secure and accessible to you.  1Password is easy to use; the fields are clearly defined and simple to fill in.

1Password has the option of creating secure passwords for you.  You can do this for a site you visit regularly, or you can simply ask to create a password.  I recently was working on my computer for someone else, wanting a strong password, yet since it wasn’t my data didn’t want to save it to 1Password, and had them create one.  I copied the password and as I went to read it aloud to her and have her write it down, realized it wasn’t possible to distinguish between a couple of letters – it was either a lower case L or a capital I.  This wouldn’t be a problem if you use it with your own devices.

My husband and I share the program between us so that if the need arises, we can have access to all the accounts.  We each have independent access and are never dependent on having the other around.  We have it set up to sync with Dropbox, into a shared folder between us, which means that it is also always up to date.  We’ve tried out using it for tracking our software licenses, photocopies of birth certificates, as well as all the various logins we need use.  Between the main login place where we can customize the “title” with our names and the option to tag each entry with our names – we never get confused as to whose login it is.

Although I appreciate the option of having 1Password on different devices, I dislike that there’s a separate charge.  For the computer, 1Password charges $49.99.  If you also want it on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, it will cost you an additional $14.99.  It appears to currently be free for your Android phone.  I have come to rely on it for my computer, and decided it wasn’t worth it for my iPad – I was that disappointed in the additional fee, although my husband did get 1Password for his iPad.

For the most part, I use it primarily with my browser and in my case that’s is Firefox.  This means that there is an icon in the browser that I click, type in the one password I have to remember to open 1Password, it’s smart enough to list the website I am on which I click and all the necessary data is input into the website and it opens for me.  The password in the browser resets fairly quickly, keeping my information safe, and it’s easy enough to reenter that one password if I need it for another site.  The browser option also pops up whenever I go to a new site and have to create/enter login information.  This makes it easy to save new information when I need and provides a good cue that it hasn’t been saved yet (since it does know when it’s already a saved entry).  Although when I am working on my computer with someone else, 1Password pops up offering to save the information, over and over again.  This can get annoying as I recently discovered although I don’t often do this work and I can appreciate that it’s simply doing it’s job.

1Password is a great program to safely and easily keep our online activity secure.  It simplifies our lives so we can focus on what matters – not worrying about how clever and obscure our passwords are and whether we can remember which ones go with which website.  It’s a single place to keep all the important information we need to track – from those websites, to our credit card information, to software licenses – it’s all the personal information we want to keep safe yet know where to find it when we need it.

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.

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.