Products We Need

Bright ideasI love my job. Being a professional organizer means I get to spend a lot of time solving puzzles and coming up with solutions. Every now and I then, I have a spark of inspiration for a new product that I believe might be useful. Some are organizing related, others are just products that would make life easier. This week, I thought I would share a few of my brainstorms. To help you out, I’ve drawn little sketches of each idea.

If you are a manufacturer, perhaps you might like to give these a try. If not, I hope these at least make you smile.

Seana’s Top 10 Products We Need

#1 Apartment Picture Frames

Hanging pictures on the wall is never fun, but when you live in an apartment, where you are not permitted to hammer into the walls, it can be even tougher. Wouldn’t it be great if you could buy frames that had built-in Command™ strips on the back? You could just peel and stick. Dorm room decorating would be a breeze.

Better Picture Frame

 

#2 Label-ready Cords

In our technological era, all of us are managing multiple cords. Who doesn’t have that tangle on the counter or in a drawer? It is easy to lose track of which cord goes with which device. Sure, there are products you can buy to label cords, or you can make simple labels with masking tape, but it seems to me that all cords should come with a small space built-in for labeling. A fine-point Sharpie and the job is done.

Cords with labels

#3 Better Car Console

Who hasn’t lost things in that giant black hole called the car console? If I were designing the console, I would add a few things: a cup holder with buttons to keep the drink hot or cold, a space for a box of tissues, a coin jar and then some general storage with dividers. I would then attach a trash can with a removable/washable insert to the back of the console where it could be reached by all passengers.

A car console with more usable storage

 

#4 Baking Peanut Butter

I love baking with peanut butter, but it is a huge hassle to measure it out of the jar. I’ve always wondered why they don’t sell peanut butter in bricks, as they do with shortening. Wrap up a brick in foil with tablespoon markings so we can grab a knife, cut off what we need and pop it into the bowl. Seems so simple, right?

peanut butter in a brick

 

#5 Resealable Cereal Bags

I find it both cumbersome and ineffective to roll the cereal bags down inside of a box. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a zip-top on the bag? Not only would this be easier to use, but it would probably do a better job keeping the cereal fresh.

Better cereal bag

 

#6 Sock Labels

Perhaps I am the only one, but I find it difficult to sort men’s socks by color. I am always walking up to the window to try and see which ones are blue and which ones are black. Wouldn’t it be nice if the color were just stitched into the toes?

socks with labels

 

#7 Silencer for Leaf Blowers

I love the functionality of leaf blowers, but they sure are loud. At any given moment, it seems like someone is blowing grass or leaves nearby. Seems like it shouldn’t be that difficult to make a little device that snaps onto the leaf blower to make it quieter. If anyone figures this out, I would love an adapter that would work on lawn mowers as well.

snap-on silencer

 

#8 Food Storage Containers with Washable Label Space

Are you starting to see a theme? I sure do love a label. Unfortunately, food storage containers can be difficult to write on. I think they should come with a built-in special “label surface.” This area could be written on with a Sharpie that would last until it was washed with soap or popped into the dishwasher.

Tupperware with labels

 

#9 Adjustable Glass

This one may be a bit more far fetched, but I think it would be a big seller. This is a glass that can be either opaque or transparent. It would be perfect for shower doors, windows in bathrooms and office windows. Tap it once to make it opaque when you need privacy, tap it twice when you want the glass to return to clear. Do you have a place where this would be helpful?

glass that shifts

 

#10 Decomposable Golf Balls

This one is for my husband. If you’ve ever been on a golf course, you know that a lot of balls end up in the water hazards. Seems a bit environmentally unfriendly to me. How about a ball that starts to decompose after being submerged in water for more than 30 days? This way you can golf in the rain, but once the ball is lost, it simply disappears. Extra bonus points for someone who figures out how to fill it with fish food.

Golf balls that decompose

 

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These are my top ten, but the list is always growing. Have you ever had a great idea? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

33 thoughts on “Products We Need”

  1. I’m not sure what I love better…all of your great ideas or wonderful sketches! You have some winners here. I especially love the built-in labeling spot on wires and the peanut butter “butter” bars. I don’t even use peanut butter to cook with, but the idea is terrific! Some of the products I’ve thought of over the years others have thought of too and brought to market like kids’ drawer labels shaped like the clothing that’s inside. Others remain in my “ideas” file. It’s unlikely that I’ll pursue any of them, but you never know. I enjoyed reading about your creative collection.

  2. Omg, yes to all of the above, especially the peanut butter for baking. My kids absolutely love peanut butter, so I bake with it here quite often. But measuring it is seriously such a pain in the butt. So, I would pay big bucks for someone to make it come in a measurable package sort of like margarine or butter does. Great suggestions, Seana 🙂

    1. What is messier than trying to measure out peanut butter into a measuring cup, right? We bake with it a lot and I think of this every time. Just seems like something of a “no-brainer” to me:)

  3. My vote is for peanut butter bricks and a built-in trash can for the car! I’m remembering a post you did a while back about a car organizer insert that you built, no? Might it be time to patent that prototype?!

    1. The peanut butter sticks is a “no-brainer” to me. No new product, simply a better package. Maybe I’ll get lucky and Skippy or Jif will be reading:) There are so many things I think cars should have. A built-in trash can seems obvious, right? I might also suggest a fold-out diaper changing surface and graduated car seats that come with the car and easily snap into place. I could go on and on…

    1. Thanks, Ellen. I imagine you have a list of your own. I actually have more but decided to limit this post to my top ten. Maybe we should hold a “manufacturers brainstorming” session at conference and invite companies to come and listen to us:)

    1. It seems almost shocking that cord manufacturers haven’t done this already. If they would go ahead and label their cord with what product it is intended for, all we would need is a small area for writing our name. Simple!

  4. I love the peanut butter idea! I don’t like working with peanut butter either. It’s so hard to get the oils off my hands, spoons, and measuring cups. You are so clever. It’s wonderful that you wrote these down. Maybe you should patent them. =)

    1. The peanut butter idea is definitely getting a strong, positive response! I think we’ve all been there trying to scoop that sticky stuff into measuring cups… what a hassle! I’d be happy if Jif or Skippy would just take the hint and go with it:)

  5. I got all excited when I read about the Apartment Picture Hangers, till I remembered the title of your blog post! I hope some enterprising person reads your post and develops at least one of these wonderful ideas.

    1. I hope so too, Janet. The apartment frame seems like a nice little joint venture between 3M and a frame manufacturer. I know both of my girls would love this one!

  6. Wow, the peanut butter idea is brilliant. I bet you could market a whole line of your organizational products. I would seriously buy ALL OF THEM. Oh, that car console! Mine is so awful. And the cereal bags when you have little kids…? Ridiculous.

    1. Everybody really seems to love the peanut butter idea – seems so simple, right? Maybe someday I’ll switch up my business model and start making product. You never know!

  7. Love how your problem solving mind works, Seana! 🙂 I’m all in with the label-able cords. Just yesterday I spent several minutes using washi tape to label my phone cord (I’ve had enough of “Oh, I didn’t know that was yours, Mom.” blink, blink big innocent doe eyes).

    1. Funny how Mom’s cord – the only one that is reliably available – seems to be misappropriated, right? I labeled mine for that reason with my P-touch label option, which I love. But it just seems they ought to come with the label space built in!

  8. I LOVE this list! And yes, why does the leaf blower have to be so lout??
    I have one related to peanut butter that I thought of years ago and I think I should take it to Jif or Skippy. They need to make the jar open from both ends so when you get halfway down the jar the handle of the knife and your knuckles don’t get full of peanut butter. You can just flip the jar over and start from the other end. It’s sticky enough that I don’t think you’d have a problem with it falling to the other end! 🙂
    By the way, we are featuring this blog post on our Facebook Live episode tomorrow (Friday the 19th) 🙂

    1. I love the “upside down” peanut butter jar idea. I especially have with the large jars from Costco… peanut butter knuckles! So glad you liked it Leiann, and thanks for the feature on FB Live. I have my NAPO Chapter meeting tomorrow, but if I can’t watch it live, I will definitely follow up afterwards:)

    1. I bet you have some great ideas for making travel easier, Jessica:) My husband travels a lot and was coming up with ideas that would make his life easier. The people “in the trenches” often have the best ideas!

  9. Love this post, Seana! (You knew I would, including the drawings.) I was just having lunch with a colleague and we decided (not really) to invent and market adjustable plastic shims for wobbly restaurant tables. I have never met a waiter in my life who wasn’t aware of the problem, and who had a solution other than providing a stack of napkins for ME to fold and get down on the floor to install. Ugh!

    1. This seems like such a “no brainer,” right? Every table should just come with a couple in a little pocket on the underside of the table. How many times have I been down on my knees with sugar packets trying to get that right?

  10. Love this post and reading everyone’s ideas.

    Here’s one of my ideas.
    You know how painters have waterproof pads of paper that are used in place of a palette? Well, I think cutting boards should be designed like that. Just throw away the top page and move onto a clean surface. It could be compostable too. Cutting boards are icky to clean and awkward to store and take out for use.
    Geralin Thomas recently posted…Organizing Your Client’s Storage Unit? What to Know Before You Go.My Profile

    1. I love this idea, Geralin! That would be especially useful for cutting poultry or fish when getting them truly clean is so hard. Also for cutting things which tend to discolor the board. I’m having a great time seeing all the wonderful ideas out there:)

  11. I love this idea, Geralin! That would be especially useful for cutting poultry or fish when getting them truly clean is so hard. Also for cutting things which tend to discolor the board. I’m having a great time seeing all the wonderful ideas out there:)

  12. I already have deli type containers I bought at my local 99 cents store, that have the black chalk label already on them. I bought them several weeks ago. I think they come 3 to a package. Tight now I have peeled hard boiled eggs in one of them in my fridge, so there is no guessing

  13. I love all of these ideas! The car console, permanent label space on containers-all of them really. The peanut butter one is surely popular.

    Dianne

    1. The peanut butter idea seems to have gotten the most “buzz.” Who knew? Clearly I am not the only one who doesn’t like trying to scoop that sticky substance into (and then out of) a measuring cup. Tastes great, but sure is messy:)

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