It’s the most wonderful time of the year

A guest blog by Bneato team member Lauren Mang.

I’m one of those people who likes to shop throughout the year for Christmas, rather than saving it up until the last minute. Yes, I have completed my shopping/buying by August in the past, and I realize that boggles most people’s minds. Let’s blame it on the organizer/planner in me. About this time of year I already have my carefully planned excel list of gifts by person, and most of those gifts purchased, leaving me to focus on another very important holiday tradition: stocking stuffers! This really is the most wonderful time of the year…

I was like a child on Christmas morning the moment I opened my mail box to find The Container Store’s booklet sized ‘Stocking Stuffers’ catalogue. I dropped the rest of the mail (naturally into a very neat pile, adressed immediately after I devoured said publication) and focused on the catalogue. The Container Store has been my favorite store to shop for stocking stuffers and holiday wrapping for several years now. Their selection is unmatched, and the quality of the products is worth the extra expense. Perhaps it also has to do with how clean and organized the store is: OCD strikes again!

Here are a few of my favorites from this year’s catalogue:

For Everyone: The Guard Your ID Roller. I might buy them out of stock because this product is genius. While I’ve been a fan of the Bed Bath and Beyond version (a simple stamp) this one allows you to block out information on objects of all shapes: like, say, prescription pill bottles. Blocking out your important information (name, address, account or prescription numbers) leaves less paper to shred, and therefore more time for holiday cheer.

For the Jet Setter: The RuMeID QR Decals & Luggage Tags. Gone are the days of writing out your name, address, phone number and email on your luggage for all to see. Did this make anyone else terribly nervous?! With these contemporary luggage tags you create a digital way of tracking any bags that may be misplaced by those overworked and underpaid airport employees. Bonuses: you can also tag important belongings like iPads, smart phones, and maybe even Fido? Furthermore the decals are scratch-proof and weather resistent, while the luggage tags are made from recycled materials! Who needs a white Christmas when you can have a green Christmas?!

For your Host(ess): Tumble Trivets. An apparent throw-back to the old Jacks game, these clever tiny silicon gizmos are a modern take on the traditional trivet. Not to worry, these little guys come with their own container, are safe for extremely hot temps, and can fit a variety of cooking tools: cookie sheets, pots, or your corn-ware.

For Her: The In.bag Handbag Organizer. Do you know someone who is constantly alternating handbags to match her outfit or keep up with the current season? Well, this is the product for them. Not only does it keep the interior of your bag safe from ink stains or snags, it allows women to swap handbags in one quick, organized second. This is the perfect accompaniment to the handbag you’re planning to purchase to put under the tree. If only Santa’s bag was this organized.

For Him: Smart Chargers. Fact: Men love techie stuff. Fact: Men hate running out of power – battery power, that is. Therefore this is the perfect gift for the man in your life. Not only is this great for the holidays (no one wants to wait and charge items when they could be watching/using/playing them!) but it will be great all year round! Just think of how many people could’ve kept connected with this device during Hurricane Sandy? Smart indeed.

For the Kids: The Macaroon Earbud Holders. These colorful holders are the perfect way to tame tangled wires. The best news: it suctions to your iPhone or iPad so they won’t get lost. I’m sensing a fad amongst school children with these thingamajigs. Maybe I’m a kid at heart because I can’t wait to get one of these for myself! Is it Christmas morning yet?!?!

These are just a few of the great stocking stuffers available at The Container Store. Run, don’t walk, before their supplies sell out!

product review: the amelia wallet

been on the hunt for a wallet to replace my 5 year old latico wallet that died probably a year ago. it’s super worn-out and i can barely part with it (and haven’t yet) but decided to test drive the amelia wallet after overland equipment sent one over for me to test out. their slogan is “live actively, organize accordingly.” yea, i can get on board with that. and while i wasn’t super stoked on the designs, functionality sometimes overrules your style preference. the amelia wallet has compartments and slots in spades–which can be a curse to those who don’t assign each category a permanent home. in the video, you’ll learn my favorite parts of the wallet—and my not-so-favorite. and since overland sent me their small wallet to-boot, i plan on doing a give-away on the Bneato FB fan page (if i can get Grace, or someone who knows what they’re doing to build me a tab).


ps; i forgot another plus. you can fit a ton of stuff in this wallet. think phone, gum, lip gloss—and it closes will all that in it. #awesome.

industrial organizers + containers

currently working with a client that would like more of an industrial look to store office supplies and such. here’s some of the items i found (really liking number 5–looks vintage, no?) and let a gal know if you have your own sources for industrial organizers and containers. oh yea, shout out your favs from the above lot!

1. Wire basket

2. Stack N Nest Fiber Glass Containers

3.  Stacking Conductive Bins

4. Locker Bin

5. Steel Stacking Bins

6. Metal Paper Tray

7. Stackable Bin

8. Chrome Letter Tray

9. Black Letter Tray

there’s a new label maker in town

spotted epson’s new label maker in this month’s inc. magazine. it looks like a chubby blackberry phone, which actually, is pretty streamlined for a label maker. it also boasts a QWERTY keyboard (aka modern) and my fave—a back-lit display, for when you’re, um, organizing in the dark? you can pre-order your own epson labelworks lw-400 label printer from amazon for $49.99 (yes, i think i just might).

IKEA catalog inspiration

this week is a big ‘ole love letter to IKEA and there will be more tomorrow with my absolute favorite find from 2012′s catalog (it’s a good one–promise). today, i’m highlighting cool ways that IKEA repurposed their wares to make rooms more organized.

1. fintorp rail repurposed in the kitchen to hang pots and pans + some cooking tools. genius way to maximize that tiny pocket of space in the corner while keeping these unruly instruments accessible. fintorp rail comes in two sizes (the 2 pictured are $9.99 each).

ps; you can make an even longer fintorp rail by connecting 2 of them together using a bracket (oh heck yea).

2 + 3. i usually use hooks to hang coats + other items in the entryway but IKEA stylists put a spin on the old hook and hang a chair and a few violins. it’s a little whimsical and i like it. the catalog doesn’t point it out but i believe they’re using the bjarnum hook found here. it’s either that one or the one that folds up.

4. bless the designers for showing us another way to showcase shoes (affordably). fintorp rail makes an appearance again (this time, for only $7.99 each using the shorter rail).

5. i’m a huge fan of having a proper place to store in-between clothes (and i’m not talking about over the back of a chair or lumped on top of a piece of exercise equipment where nothing is searchable). the stylists step it up a notch and hang a grundtal rail in the closet area (with hooks) as a spot to hang clothes that aren’t quite dirty just yet but you may have worn them once in the past week).


top 12 favorite organizers from 2012 IKEA catalog



okay, so it took me about a week to thumb through the 2012 IKEA catalog… but i’ve finally finished and picked my top 12 favorite organizers (some old, some new) and as a follow up, i’ll be posting a few more IKEA-centric posts later in the week (i promise, i do not get paid by IKEA:). are these products new to you? what are your IKEA favs? shout em out!

1. a plywood box which can hold just about anything. i like that it’s durable, has felt pads on the bottom so it won’t scratch your furniture (respect the wood) and let’s be honest… it’s a good looking box.

2. stackable coffee mugs. mugs can take up prime real-estate in an already cramped kitchen cabinet. save room and banish the themed cat mugs forever.

3. again, a very attractive bowl that can be used to store keys in the entry, your pocket change or jewelry in the boudoir.

4. i can’t get enough of these opaque containers for storing spices. IKEA has more to boot offering different sizes for storing just about anything.

5. this wall pocket adds a pop of color to any room. great for kids to store their goodies or use two for incoming + outgoing mail.

6. drawer dividers rock. IKEA also has this same version but for deep drawers. perfect to use in the kitchen or bedroom.

7. saving space could not be easier with this fold down table. i would use it for extra counter top space in the kitchen.

8. kitchen cabinets can become unruly quick with lids competing for space and getting lost in the shuffle. now, they don’t have to with this lid organizer.

9. another handsome container to corral like items. this one is great because it has handles and comes in red or white.

10. need more workspace? (everyone’s hands just went up). a hutch will keep things in reach while giving you just what you need.

11. in the catalog, they had this fold-down drying rack in the shower. that way, it stays out of view and simply fold it down when not in use.

12. i’m all for using a bankers box to store archival papers that don’t need to take up room in your active work zone. these are too cute to pass up and would make any closet happy.

ditto… the thinnest hangers around

not only are they the thinnest, they’re also the most eco-friendly in town. i was at the brand new GAP yesterday at glendale galleria and i noticed the hangers were made of cardboard. so of course, i had to take a few picks while i was in the dressing room. i also ventured over to ditto’s website and i was surprised to find out each hanger can hold up to a 20lb garment (yowza).  and to boot, you can pick up a 10 pack at your local container store to test some out for yourself.

fun office supplies


because sometimes you just need to keep it interesting at work. i happened upon this website after clicking on one of the items that daily candy editor crystal meers loves in this roundup. meers apparently has a penchant for japanese pens (and lots of other cool stuff). you’ll find plenty more neat office supplies when you visit jetpens site. just don’t go overboard (meaning limit your purchases to only stuff you really need). the rest of my faves after the jump! Continue reading

did i just find my new favorite hanging file folder?

i don’t love that smead left the “t” out of fast tab (i know and i get it but i don’t have to like it, do i)? anywhoodle, during the expo at conference, i spotted smeads fas tab file folders. i swear to the filing gods that staples doesn’t carry this line (i will check online right now).  whatever. it looks like they do carry them—at least on their website. i guess you can call me more of a classic filer and when i’m shopping in the store, i’ll typically zero in on the files with clear tabs. but i may be changing my tune. the only downfall that i can foresee is reusing the files. like what if the current label says “accounting procedures” and you go to reuse it with the category name “auto.” you can see where that might not work…. what do you use? are you a classic filer like moi? or do you change it up with fas tab?