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As hipstomp often reminds us, there is never a simple or universal solution fpr all your storage needs. The International Home and Housewares Show is a testament to this problem with their annual showcase of hundreds of product hopefuls each year. Below are two of our favorite new products for home storage and organization. Although they address wildly different storage needs (and were on opposite sides of the actual show floor), both products represent a continuation of the nesting/stacking trends we've tracked over the past year.
Lasko Products recently introduced their Power Toolbox—a combination toolbox, step stool and power cord reel. For those who have actually used their toolbox for a step-up, it might come as a relief that the form of Lasko's Power Toolbox was designed for that expressed purpose supporting up to 300 pounds. The cover features a non-skid surface that flips open to reveal snap-in storage for drillbits and marking tools on the underside and three stacking and removable caddies of different depths nested in the body of the toolbox. A side caddy holds a small assortment of screwdrivers for easy access to those frequently used tools.
Although the combo toolbox and step stool isn't a new idea, the detachable power cord reel is a nice innovation in this category. The reel houses a "20 foot three wire 16 gauge 3 wire extension cord and four 120 volt grounded outlets with re-settable circuit breaker for plugging in power tools or other electrical items." My only feedback is that for a product called a Power Toolbox, it doesnt really seem large enough to hold many power tools. That being said, it is a nice, compact solution for toting, storing and accessing tools.
Rubbermaid's Bento Collection is a flexible storage system of nesting organizers that can be coordinated and stacked inside a storage box according to your needs. The nesting "Bento Boxes" come in 4 sizes ranging from Small to X-Large and can be bought as a set with the storage box or purchased individually to suit your needs. Each bento box uses an internal system of "flex dividers" that can fold open to subdivide the contents of the box. When not in use, the dividers close flush to the walls of the box. The "Bento Toppers" act as internal trays that can be stacked inside the storage box or as a cover for the box when flipped upside down.
I like that each of the components of the larger system can be used separately or together. It's a great example of how larger corporations continue to embrace more open design solutions allowing consumers to dictate how and in what context to use their products. Check out the snappy marketing video from Rubbermaid below.