Saturday, February 14, 2015

10 Ways The Container Store Can Make Your Life Magical...

It's Friday night and yours truly has spent most of this fabulous Friday the 13th day re-organizing the bedroom with a few new purchases from none other than (*cue dramatic climax scene drum tone*)...  The Container Store. Oh yes, I'm about to go on and on again about the holy retail mecca undeniably considered to be a heaven-on-earth for any fun, creative, and/or Type-A human like myself. And by Type-A I mean that I prefer my multiple Whataburger sweet tea cups and various Apple devices to be within comfortable arm's reach from my bed on an aesthetically pleasing C-Table, AKA the golden ticket of TCS products, and a requirement for any 20-something to sustain life. And, if for some surprising reason you are unaware, I'm now an official employee of The Original Storage and Organization Store®! Therefore, here's the subsequent and official disclaimer stating that A) this post may or may not possess a bias of some sort because duh, and B) by "official" I mean that as of last Wednesday my new badge allowing me to enter roughly two or so doors in our building displays not only my name... but my real-life face! I don't even care that my first professional portrait is basically a "before the makeover" shot because today was 'We Love Our Employees' day store-wide. Everyone was showered with cards and candy and unicorns and rainbows and love. And donuts. Which meant even more love, because, well, donuts. So as a token of my never-ending gratitude (and overly-obnoxious excitement, I know) for TCS I wanted to share the current top 10 or so products that I'm certain have changed my life as an employee, and customer. 

This was one of the first TCS purchases I can remember because I bought it in college with a fancy $50.00 gift card I somehow won from the Hegi Career Department at SMU. One of my biggest fears, aside from running out of Nutella and/or flour tortillas, is drowning to death so it was a no-brainer at the time to buy the lifesaving gem retailing at only $14.99, and that can also be used* to open Sonic mustard packages or squash random unwanted insects. 
(*denotes that a certain skill level is required to perform some Lifehammer functions)

The non-stop craze over these hangers exists for a reason. I love to merchandise them because they're sturdy, hang easily/neatly, don't smell or tangle up into a hot mess like a few other hangers that shall remain unnamed, and they retail reasonably at $8.99 for a sweet family of 10. 

Unless you're North West or have lived in an incubator all of life then you can agree that at some point the footsies have produced whiffs even seasoned nail shop gals wouldn't put up with. I'm the first to admit my feet are super high-maintenance nowadays as I'm on the puppies non-stop at work. We don't sit in chairs, we sell 'em. But I was forced to find a quick solution to my Nike shoe odor on par with nuclear weaponry in terms of lethal capability, because the baby powder and baking soda everyone suggested are, as I discovered, useful for only things like babies and baking. Alas, I finally gave the TCS closet aisle's obviously hidden gem a whirl and boom! Problem solved. And while I do require strict adherence to my post-shift shoe ritual taking all of two seconds, it's for the sake of those souls inhaling within five miles of my dogs as well as the innocent fellow TCS-ers I might be working physically close to the next day, so I'm okay with it. More valuable than my jewelry collection, retailing beautifully at $5.99, and solving bigger problems than Congress, airBOSS, I salute you. 

4.) 40 Blinks Travel Mask
Want to know what it feels like to sleep like an actual Alaskan bear? Buy the 40 Blinks eye mask I deem as the most comfortable in the world and of the highest quality. Disregard it slightly resembling an 11-year-old's training bra. The few zzz's I got in college were because of this travel aisle treasure retailing at $12.99; pocket change considering the financial setback of a year's worth of Nyquil ZZZ, or emotionally-financial setbacks in having no choice but to wake when mother nature wakes at God-awful pre-9AM hours, no? 

5.) Clip-On Personal Alarm
Forensic Files, Law & Order: SVU, Criminal Minds, Gangland, any Lifetime movie with a predator (so all of them), I could go on forever... My fellow avid crime show folks out there will understand when I proclaim that, like my Lifehammer, the Clip-On Alarm isn't a product, it's a necessity for life because you just never know. Mine sits bedside (not sure if this is the most logical spot come to think of it), and is pink. I only know it's pink because that's what the box says. I've never even taken it out for trial tests because you know, the whole crying wolf thing. I don't want to jinx anything. But let's put it this way: the Clip-On Personal Alarm is to those below 60 years of age as Life Alert is to those above 60 years of age, really. Oh, and it retails for only $14.99 = the equivalent of two months worth of Forensic Files binge seshes on the Netflix. 

6.) Drinking Glasses
Just look at how much fun the kid on the box is having. These don't even need a convincing caption. Retailing at $3.99 and on a good day can be found in the front-of-store towers. You're welcome. 

7.) FlipFOLD Jr. 
Again, another "must-have" in my book because who doesn't want a wardrobe of random event tees and old sorority tanks to be worn almost never but that are folded perfectly?! Never mind it takes me a solid minute to fold one (1) shirt, proven mere hours ago; subsequently disproving former notions I'd be whipping out folded shirts on the first day like the YouTube how-to pros portray... Show-offs. Nevertheless, for now my flips may be slow and my folds could be described as unconventional at best but I've never been one to confine to societal norms, so I'm going to stand by the only clothing product to ever test my patience, humble my ego, and that's currently living in TCS laundry with a $21.99 price tag. 

Have a closet with no depth? Do you fear bugs assuming it's OK to take up residence in those flats of yours worn every so often? Or do you simply have a desire to be Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor? At only $17.99 this here closet aisle solution is guaranteed to free up shoe clutter in even the tiniest of closets, and by putting your Craftsman drill skills to the test! Truthfully, I could've actually used the "sharpest tool in the shed" when I built this. Perhaps for the sake of decent aesthetics, I guess, because my little shelf ain't the prettiest. Frankenstein Stacker describes she and her wonky screws sticking out all over way more accurately. However, she's the sturdiest shoe shelving apparatus I've ever had, which says a lot considering everything previously mentioned. Regardless of my beginner infant electric drill skills but considering my complete apathy re: what bargain-priced plywood with one sole purpose looks like, I consider the 2-Shelf Shoe Stacker a good product worth the investment and deserving of a shout-out on here along with my fellow TCS'er, Julie Leopard, for selling me on it in the first place. Thanks, sister. 

Quite frankly, to describe Uncontainable as another fabulous TCS product would provide a disservice to all involved, even my readers in rural France. (I was going for the dramatic effect here, FYI) Considering that it's the one and only product literally handmade by our CEO, and essentially remains as the bible book outlining what each and every employee of The Container Store strives to embody professionally/personally I really should give this gem of gems it's own post. I could ramble for quite a while I think on why it's an uplifting and thought-provoking read many could learn from; especially Millennials; especially the humans who refuse to believe capitalism and morality can be in the same sentence; and especially the 20-something Mallory's out there finally figuring out we all share the same hope that we can navigate (with brave face always on) the seemingly 20th-century global economy with our 21st-century perspectives successfully. And by "successfully" I mean not having a job but rather a fulfilling career made possible by working hard alongside like-minded coworkers, bonded by the cup-half-full universe for saying, "Hey, dollars are just numbers, incapable of changing the world alone, our only option is to operate this business with passion because success to us means changing the world. Putting others first is rewarding. And if everyone lives this mantra both on and off the clock, success is inevitable." ... Now I know the meaning of success differs with everybody. From day one I've seen that the driving force behind The Container Store's success is/was compassion; which coincidentally echoes throughout our company's founding principles. After reading Uncontainable I understand deeper, though, the TCS emphasis of using your intuition for the sake of this thing called the ripple effect (also mentioned in the book, so just go buy it already); while proving to be a very powerful force it can be a good thing, because how else would a few compassionate people with one Dallas location become 5,000+ compassionate people in 60+ stores, and still going strong... (PS- Get it online for $22.40!) 
10.) C-TABLE
Previously mentioned and retailing at only $59.00... this is a game-changer, folks. As opposed to my shoe shelf artwork, this high-functioning piece of furniture takes maybe 5 minutes to assemble and will have your Netflix marathoning snacks waiting bedside in a jiffy! And no outside Craftsmen needed! (It's late, give me and that pun some credit.) Oh, and, my C-Table has proven to be super resilient on a few clumsy occasions and resistant to spills from pretty much any messy food that can be bought in the city of Dallas, so there's that bonus! 

**All images courtesy of