Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Apartment Must-Have: 3M Command Velcro Hanging Strips

It might be hard for you to get excited about little strips of Velcro, and maybe I've been unemployed long enough that my excitement is easily roused, but these things have changed my life. Or at least my apartment's life. I would suggest these for those of whom:
  • Live in temporary rental units
  • Live in dorms
  • Want to hang on impenetrable walls
  • Swap out artwork frequently
  • Just don't want holes in the wall
  • Don't own a hammer and nails
Now, putting a nail into the wall is far cheaper than buying several sets of strips, yes, so if it's a budget you have in mind and you don't fall into any of the above categories, then go hammer-crazy. However, for the rest of us...

These strips vary from other Velcro products by having two pieces of plastic hooks that lock into each other - there isn't one side for hooks and one side for the loops (yes, I just Wikipedia'd Velcro for that little explanation). Two pieces are involved in each set - one sticks to the wall, and the other sticks to whatever you're hanging, with the hooks facing inward. I love this system because not only can they be straightened out AFTER hanging, but if you have to take something down temporarily (moving, repainting, etc.), half of the strip stays on the photo so you don't have to re-buy as many next time. They're non-sticky as well, so they only stick to themselves (unlike regular Velcro, which will latch onto anything - probably your favourite knit sweater from New York that can't be fixed easily).
This may not seem like something that innovative, but being able to take down and put back up posters that would have otherwise been mutilated by thumbtacks and sticky tack is something that matters to me. I've been able to utilize entire walls that would have otherwise been useless due to the cement. While the strips claim to be "damage-free", anyone who's ever used one of these can tell you, that's a pile of crap. When you take off the frame from the wall, yes, no damage will occur, no matter how many times you do it. However if you take the Velcro strip off the wall, paint IS coming with it. Keep this in mind if you tend to vary the hanging patterns a lot or are moving out. When I hung a picture about a foot off-centre and had to re-position, a chunk of wall came out (not really, there's just so many layers of paint here that I think it's decreased my square footage - more on that later). This was a good thing because it reminded me to not throw out my paint, so, don't throw out your paint. As a tiny apartment frequenter, I know I always did.

Like other 3M strips, they can also be cut. In the case of this frame, the flat area of which I could mount was too small to use a full strip, so I improvised:
I did that to a few frames and a couple weeks later, no one's complaining.
They come in small, medium, and large. Larger is harder to find. There are also packs with multiple sizes, like these on Amazon, or they can be found at Wal-Mart, Target, any major hardware store, etc.

This sounds like a sponsored review but I assure you no one knows my blog exists enough to sponsor me. I just reeeeaaaally love this product and feel the need to share something so handy to me. That said, hey 3M - wanna toss me some free strips to make this all official? :)

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