Welcome to www.OnlineOrganizing.com -- A World Of Organizing Solutions Your Order Your Shopping Cart About Us Contact Us Site Map
Do You Need Help Getting Organized?Shop For Organizing And Business Development ProductsProfessional Organizing ServicesFind A Seminar, Workshop, Or Keynote SpeakerRead Our Two Free Monthly NewslettersFree Organizing Tips And AdviceResources For Professional OrganizersLearn How To Become A Professional OrganizerUseful Organizing Website LinksUseful Organizing Website Links

Search for:


You Are Here: Home - Blogs

NEW! - Keywords For This Page:   Paper - Office Supplies

Blog: Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles
I'm With the Band: Cool Organizing With Rubber Bands


Ever since the invention of the rubber band in 1845, we've been able to bind papers, folders, supplies and books with stretchy goodness. Unfortunately, rubber bands eventually dried and cracked and snapped. Sometimes, as they lost their elasticity, they discolored and damaged the papers and other items they were meant to secure. Then an inventive American rubber band company, Alliance, came along. It was founded in 1917 by William Spencer -- the guy who came up with banding newspapers to keep them from blowing across lawns.

Over the years, Alliance has been at the forefront of creating over 2000 innovative rubber bands, including oversized bands for folders and papers (as well as keeping garbage bags from falling into cans), X-Treme file bands for securing large piles of archival paperwork, and (believe it or not) aromatherapy rubber bands.

Got latex allergies? Fear germs? Alliance is also a great source for bright orange latex-free and cyan blue anti-microbial rubber bands for schools, offices and other workplaces.

Bands for office organizing have never been known for their cool factor, and awareness of traditional file-oriented rubber bands has always trended towards drab office-supply basics. There have been a few exceptions:

The Container Store has its line of File Bands. Seven inches long when flat, they're made of UV- and ozone-resistant, latex-free Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM). Say that three times quickly and you'll feel like someone snapped some rubber bands at your lips! They only come in green, and run $3.49 for a package of ten.

A little more upscale, the Museum of Useful Things has its own 7" latex-free, extra-durable File Bands, also made of EPDM rubber, in black or neon green. ($5.50 for a box of 25.)

Today, we'll be looking at a plethora of colorful, durable, shape-shifting, rubbery organizing options.


4-way rubber bands are also called H bands because of their appearance when not stretched.
4-way bands can be found at a wide variety of office supply, library supply and specialty stores. They come in multiple colors, including blue, red, yellow, green and brown, and are most often found in 8", 9" and 10" dimensions.

Particularly nice are the 4-way rubber bands from the Museum of Useful Things shop. They come only in red, packaged in generic-chic take-out lunch bag packages of ten, for $6.

Although primarily a utilitarian tool, 4-way bands hit the big time after a 2004 Humble Masterpieces exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Since then, the brightly-colored Rubber X-Bands (in two sizes, 3" x 1/2", 5 3/4"x 1/2") have been bestsellers at the MoMA Store ($5) and are popular on Amazon ($6 for a box of 16).


In addition to banding together files and paperwork, H bands are popular for securing game and puzzle boxes to prevent ancient cardboard containers from springing leaks.

Bundlebands go the traditional rubber band one better. The company explains that when regular rubber bands are cut from the ends of rubber tubing, the natural grain of the rubber runs across the band's width. Because of this, when you stretch the band, you open the grain. As rubber dries and oxidizes, the lifespan of the band is shortened. Hence those startling SNAPs, causing your bundles to shift and your office-mate or cat to get thwacked.

Conversely, Bundlebands are cut with the grain running with, rather than against, the length of the band, so when you stretch it, the grain closes, forestalling drying and oxidation, and increasing the life of the band.

Bundlebands also have a small metal clamps to maintained equalized tension and prevent your bundles of files or packages from shifting.

Bundlebands come in four color-coordinated sizes: 8" red, 9" brown, 10" blue and 11" green. You can purchase bags of 10, 25, 50, or 100, directly from the company, or via selected specialty dealers, like FilingSupplies.com and Kleer-Fax.

If you're curious to see how they work, Bundlebands will send you a sample.


Remember our friends at Alliance? They developed the nifty Corner-to-Corner™ bands. Each is made from from one continuous piece of rubber, with no clips or hooks, and is stretchable from 8 1/2" to 24". The band can fasten over all four corners of whatever papers or items you're securing. Packages of three bands run about $2-$5 at online office supply stores.

Meanwhile, the Museum of Useful Things carries Diamond Corner Bands

($6 for a box of ten) to put a slightly different twist on corralling all your papers or files without squishing them.


The Martha Stewart Home Office™ With Avery™ line has developed two types of bands. The first, the X-Band, in red, measures 3 1/2" x 8 1/2" and comes six to a package for about $4. It's designed to gather stacks of papers or files for safekeeping, just like the other criss-cross bands, above.

But Martha and Avery step it up with their Fabric Elastic Bands. These wide fabric bands stretch to secure binders, scrapbooks, and albums, as well as papers and files, and keep items from springing free of their enclosures. They run about $4 for a pack of two, and come in grey and a turquoise-blue.

Check out the little video to see these products in action.

While Martha's understated bands will do the job, the award for snazziest bands surely goes to russell + hazel for their extraordinarily pretty varieties of super-strong, heavy-duty, 10 1/2" x 9/16" russell+hazel Rubber Band sets. Secure binders or stacks of papers, tether notebooks to homework assignments, or create your own "gift garnish" with these designer bands.


The patterns come in Pop Art, Black and White, Sugar, Sugar, Dots + Abstract, Aviation Nation, Bonnie + Clyde, and Geo + Bloom, left to right, below:

Originally $8 for a set of two, Paper Doll found that all sets are currently on sale for $4.


Innovative Czech stationer Papelote has designed spiral notebooks with built-in elastic bands. These 8 1/4" x 11 3/4" notebooks (available with blank, narrow-ruled, graph or dotted paper) are banded with looped elastics to keep notebook covers closed and hold pens, pencils, pen-style flashlights and other similar tubular tools.

Papelote also sells notebook covers and other accessories with these nifty bands.

Papelot banded spiral notebooks can be purchased from specialty stores, including Hand-Eye Supply, for $23.


The freestanding Snap-It-Up Organizer from the Metropolitan Museum of Art has six thick, colorful bands with which you can hold and organize messages, pens, appointment cards, and other desk doohickeys.

Although it's no longer available from the MoMA, you can buy it for about $13 from Amazon, or make your own with a clear cookbook holder or plastic picture frame and a set of russell + hazel or Martha Stewart bands.

Speaking of Martha, you and your kids (or your inner child), might like to take a stab at this DIY Rubber Band Message Board from Martha Stewart Crafts.

And finally, to make sure you have some ideas on where to keep your rubber bands aside from giant balls or the boxes in which they came, check out organizing maven Jeri Dansky's How To Hold Rubber Bands.

posted on: 7/31/2012 10:30:00 AM by Julie Bestry
category: Paper

Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles: < Previous Post - Next Post >
Blog Central: < Previous Post - Next Post >

Discuss This Post

by Pauline Wiles on 7/31/2012 4:00:55 PM:

Up to now I've been a bigger fan of binder clips than bands, but I love the options you found. The Russell & Hazel sets are gorgeous and the Papelote notebooks very clever.

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 7/31/2012 7:43:33 PM:

Thanks for commenting, Pauline. I, too, have mostly used binder clips because I'd only had first-hand experience with traditional rubber bands. These, however, definitely appeal, and the russell+hazel bands are just so lovely! I just wish it were easier to find stores that carried the Papelote products!

by _emily_rose on 8/1/2012 9:15:43 AM:

Who knew! :) Very cool.

by Janet Barclay | Organized Assistant on 8/12/2012 2:47:19 PM:

Wow, I have never heard of ANY of these products before! However, I do have in my desk drawer a package of Goody Ouchless elastics which I assume were designed for hair, but I'm wondering if they might have an organizing purpose as well, since I think they were in my goodie (not Goody) bag from a POC Conference. Any thoughts?

by Julie Bestry (Paper Doll) on 8/12/2012 3:14:28 PM:

Well, Janet, they'd be fine for corralling small items together, like pens or flash drives. The problem is that Goody Ouchless elastics are smooth, so they won't pull on the hair, which means they'll be more slippery and less "grabby" on any smooth-surfaced small things you'd be banding together. Perhaps we need to crowd-source this idea? Tweet people to this post, then ask what they'd do with Ouchless bands? ;-)

by Janet Barclay | Organized Assistant on 8/13/2012 7:00:48 AM:

Good idea - I'll do that!

Add a comment about this post:
(Note: To reduce blogspam, HTML tags are not permitted in blog comments and will be removed)
Please Enter The Following Code:
In order to cut down on SPAM, we ask that you enter the code exactly as shown in image below. If you can't read the code, simply select "Load New Code" and a different graphic will appear. Cookies must be enabled on your web browser.
Code Image - Please contact webmaster if you have problems seeing this image code Load New Code
Powered by Web Wiz CAPTCHA version 2.01
Copyright ©2005-2006 Web Wiz


Paper Doll, Tackling The Stacks And Piles

by Julie Bestry

View This Blog

   Subscribe To This Blog

About Julie:

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.

For information on how Julie can turn your chaos into serenity and learn how you can Tickle Yourself Organized visit Best Results Organizing.

Sign up for Julie's newsletter, Best Results For Busy People: Organizing Your Modern World -- and get a BONUS GIFT, Organize Your Way With A Pretend Career Day!

Follow Me on Pinterest



Julie's Website:


Web Wonderland

  • MetaFilter
  • Einstein's Theory of Relativity (Using Tiny Words)
  • Net Manners
  • Amazon
  • Pearls Before Swine
    Is it wrong to root for the zebras?
  • Snopes
  • Out of the Box
    Commentary on the post-digital device market by famed writer and Mac expert Ross Scott Rubin

Doing Well By Doing Good

  • Curing Malnutrition--Plumpy'Nut
  • Heifer International
  • Challah For Hunger
  • Kiva
  • Feeding America
  • The Pencil Project
  • Free Rice
  • Camel Book Drive
  • Habitat For Humanity

Organizing Blogs

  • Your life. Organized.
  • Organizing LA Blog
  • Unclutterer
  • Jeri's Organizing & Decluttering News
  • Neat & Simple Living
  • 43 Folders
  • The Clutter Diet Blog
  • The Home Office Organizer

Running An Organized, Profitable Business

  • Internet Marketing For Solopreneurs
    Everything I learned about marketing online, I learned from Biana Babinksy at Avocado Consulting at her amazing MarketingSalad.com
  • Website Survival Guide
    My pal Krista Garren helps you discover how to create and organize a profit-generating website without the hassles of doing it all yourself. As Krista says, just "plug in and profit!"
  • Tickle Yourself Organized

Affiliate Disclosure Policy

  • Links to books
    ...and other products mentioned in this blog may be affiliate links, for which I will get a small remuneration if you choose to purchase them. If you would prefer that I do not receive an affiliate payment, I encourage you to Google the title of the book or name of the product.


  • Professional Organizers Blog Carnival Star Blogger
    Star Blogger Status

Add this page to your Bookmarks!

E-mail this page to a friend!

www.OnlineOrganizing.com is a service mark of Bradford, LLC.
Content on this site is © Bradford, LLC, All rights reserved.

If you notice any problems with this site, please contact our webmaster.
And if you don't see what you need you are welcome to "ask the organizer" any question!

To see what people are saying about www.OnlineOrganizing.com, check out our visitor comments.

Click here to view our privacy policy.

Calendar Of Organizing Holidays And Events Blog Central Sign Up For Our Free Online Newsletters Join The Conversation At Our Organizing Discussion Board Advertise Your Company On Our Website Be An Affiliate Of www.OnlineOrganizing.com
Check Us Out On FaceBook