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Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
NAPO Expo 2012 Recap (Part 4) -- New Twists On Old Favorites

Paper Doll gets a real kick out of roaming the NAPO Expo floor and exploring, seeking out new paper organizing products, meeting veteran and new vendors, and tucking secrets away in my pockets to share with readers. I particularly love new twists on old favorites.

This year, three products particularly caught my eye because they offered something comfortable (high quality, for example, or proven concepts), twinned with something novel (either visually or functionally). They're things that make you say, "Oooooh!"


As we've discussed previously, Bankers Boxes® aren't the stuffy file boxes they used to be. Fellowes has made some nifty strides in modernizing what used to be a product for simply boxing up documents. Nowadays, they're a snap to assemble, have internal dividers to keep papers from getting squished or falling over, and can come complete with internal file rails to make use of hanging folders. Bankers Boxes® even come in fashionable colors and are made from environmentally-friendly recycled materials.

So, I suppose I shouldn't have been surprised when I came across the Bankers Box® display at the 2012 NAPO Expo, but I have to say, I did a double-take.

Fellowes Representative Al Arends with a New Expo Star

When I'm here with you, I'm wearing my Paper Doll hat, but as a professional organizer who works with residential as well as office clients, I've often wished that Bankers Box® would branch out and apply their excellent quality standards to home organizing tools. After all, with so many people banking online, you might say we're all our own bankers. (OK, you probably wouldn't say that. But stick with me.)

I'm pleased to report on the new Bankers Box® Home Organization Stackable Storage boxes. Most notably, as you can see in the photos above and below, the new boxes are PRETTY! A classy black and white brocade pattern makes them attractive enough that one needn't feel the obligation to hide them in the basement, attic or the back of a closet. These boxes would not be amiss sitting on shelves in a home office, bedroom or craft room, and one wouldn't want hide them away if unexpected company were to arrive.

Each lidded Bankers Box® Home Organization Stackable Storage box has:

--A large vertical window to make it easy to identify the contents stored within

--Heavy-duty double-wall or triple-wall construction to make the boxes sturdy enough to stacking and long-term use

--Sturdy, reinforced plastic handles that snap into place, easing lifting and carrying, and maintaining the structural integrity of the box

--Patented FastFold® design which allow for easy set-up without glue, tape or complicated instructions

In addition, all of the Bankers Box® Home Organization Stackable boxes fold flat when not in use, helping you maximize storage space. Because of the heavy-duty construction, you can use, fold flat and reuse the boxes with minimal impact or wear. Fellowes designed the stackable boxes to fit standard-sized shelving:
  • Small Stackable: 6" high x 12" wide  x 15" deep
  • Medium Stackable: 10" high x 12 wide x 15" deep
  • Large Stackable: 10" high x 15" wide x 24" deep
The Stackables are suitable for storing memorabilia, non-archival photographs, school papers, craft projects, baby blankets, and so on -- whether you've got paper, clothes, home décor or whatever, you can bank on this solution. (C'mon, you'd have used that pun, too!) They're sold four to a package.

There's also a Small Underbed box, with the same features (though not designed for stacking) measuring 6 1/4" high by 17 1/2" wide by 27" deep. The underbed boxes come two to a package.

Fellowes is also manufacturing a line of Holiday Stackable Storage boxes. The green-lidded, red-bodied boxes have many of the same features as above: a large, clear plastic window to view contents, easy FastFold® set-up, heavy-duty construction and the ability to fold flat. However, instead of snap-in handles, the holiday versions have built-in plastic handles and a multi-level design with adjustable dividers for protecting delicate ornaments.

The Large Ornament Box measures 8" high x 15 1/2" wide by 23" deep and is sold in packages of two.

Bankers Box® Home Organization Stackable Storage boxes can be purchased at Staples, Office Depot, Office Max, Walmart and Sam's. To see how the boxes come together and fit ideally into your home, take a peek at this video.


Abundance Organizing, a company run by five professional organizers, had a nifty display of organizing products at the 2012 NAPO Expo, none more captivating to Paper Doll than the magnetic task organizers called Pile Tiles™. Each of the colorful, cloth-covered magnets is coded with a large letter standing for an associated task or category.

At first glance, Pile Tiles™ may merely seem adorable, but they serve an important organizational purpose. First, they can be used in a traditional manner to help sort papers and hold them down (to protect against a wafting breeze); instead of using sticky notes or index cards, these re-usable darlings are environmentally-friendly and charming to behold.

But not everyone has the space or the inclination to pile up or spread out papers to sort them. By making use of magnets (and a spare refrigerator, metal door or even hanging baking sheet), you can easily sort and hang papers vertically, without the need for paper-poking pushpins or a bulletin board.

In either respect, Pile Tiles™ are perfect for visual learners and they add a delightful decorative note, allowing you to feel good about leaving your papers out even when company arrives.

Pile Tiles™ come in three color combinations (grey/yellow, red/black and pink/green) in two different sets:
  • The Starter Set categories are: Financial, Legal, Medical, Insurance, Home, Car, Keepsake and Action.
  • The Action Set includes: Calendar, Call, Discuss, File, Pay, Pending, Research and Sort
The Starter Set of Pile Tiles™ is designed to help you initially sort your papers. Once your piles are organized, the Action Set is focused on helping you tackle individual tasks, like phone calls, scheduling, and paying bills. Each set sells for $39.

(Special thanks to organizational product maven Jeri Dansky, who made sure I hightailed it over to the Abundance Organizing booth to see the Pile Tiles™.)


Certainly, between file folders and three-ring binders, paper peeps haven't been at a loss for products to contain their papers. But Smead's My Organizer (MO) System has three elements that replace the need for hanging folders and binders, while still promising to keep project paperwork collated, tidy and vertical, whether on your desktop, shelved, or tucked away in file drawers.

The MO Kit has three basic elements:

1) MO File Cases -- Each file case is a sturdy snap-open, fold-into-place, flat-bottomed file box capable of holding up to 750 sheets of letter-sized paper. The File Case fits most standard file drawers, including those with hanging file rails already in place, or can be easily placed vertically (narrow edge outward) on bookshelves.

The file cases are envisioned for sub-dividing categories of documents or individual projects, but can also be used as small desk-top file boxes for action or quick-reference items. Die-cut handles make the open-top file cases easy to lift out of file drawers and transport to meetings or events.

The cases come in Navy and Black Circle designs (as shown above), as well as in Moss Circles, similar to the black pattern above, but in a creamy beige and moss green.

2) MO Kits -- Each kit includes standard letter-size SuperTab® file folders, pre-printed and blank labels, and an easy-to-follow instruction sheet with organizing tips for starting common projects, like taxes. Options include Medical, Financial, Project and Starter kits. Because the file folders are standard, they can be used within the MO File Case, or, as necessary, in standard hanging folders.


The MO Kit file folders come in three colors: Camel, Moss, and Light Blue, while the oversized, SuperTab®-ready label templates are keyed to the individual kit types:

Projects -- with label templates for budgets, contracts, expenses, invoices, etc.
Medical -- with labels for medical history, dental procedures, insurance claims & EOBs, receipts and HSA records, etc.
Financial -- with templates for bank statements, tax information, investment records, charitable contributions, etc.

3) MO Case Wraps -- Available in Navy, Black Circles and Moss Circles to match the case files, the MO Case Wraps, as noted by Smead, "provide security and discretion for important files and hold documents securely for easy storage."

Made from durable, professional-quality corrugated paper, the Case Wraps are designed to pack flat, "pop open" into shape and stand up to heavy usage. Top die-cut holes and side die-cut half-moons provide easy access for sheathing/unsheathing the cases without pinching or paper cuts.

The MO system offers a secure, attractive, streamlined alternative to hanging folders or binders. Use the kit folders to sort the essential documents of any project -- tax records, trust documents, divorce paperwork, etc. Gather the kit folders in a File Case to keep vital papers together. Finally, for your 007 Super-Top-Secret documents, wrap it all in a Case Wrap for extra security, preventing files from falling out and non-essential documents from being mistakenly tossed in.

Next week, we'll close up our tour of the 2012 NAPO Expo with some mom-themed organizing resources -- just in time for Mother's Day.

posted on: 5/1/2012 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

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Discuss This Post

by Janet Barclay on 5/25/2012 3:22:24 PM:

I am really liking those MO kits, even though they put my own Personal Medical Organizer to shame!

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 5/25/2012 3:31:36 PM:

Janet, bear in mind that Smead is a multi-million dollar company. When you're bringing in the multiple millions, you can upgrade!

by Janet Barclay on 5/29/2012 7:05:59 AM:

What came first? The multiple millions or the innovative ideas? :-)

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Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

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Julie Bestry, President of Best Results Organizing in Chattanooga, TN, is a Certified Professional Organizer®, speaker and author. Julie helps overwhelmed individuals and businesses save time and money, reduce stress and increase productivity through new organizational skills and systems.

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