Back in October, Jim profiled me on Adventures in Organization, and today was his chance to tell me a little bit about himself and the company he works for, Rubbermaid.
Rubbermaid has helpful products for every household and has been very supportive of the organizing industry. I hope our partnership will be a long lasting one. Many thanks to Jim for taking time out of his busy day to be interviewed.
1. How long have you been with Rubbermaid?
Since 2004, so about 5 years. I started with Newell Rubbermaid in the tool division. Newell Rubbermaid is the parent company and owns other brands such as Dymo Label Makers and Sharpie markers. Rubbermaid is a 75 year old brand.
2. What’s keeps you there?
I like it. Rubbermaid has great brands, lots of opportunities, and practical products for my home. There are lots of opportunities to do new things like diving into social media (like Twitter). There are lots of great people to work with here in Charlotte, North Carolina.
3. You’ve documented some of your personal organization projects on Adventures in Organization. Which project was the hardest to complete and why?
The garage was the largest and most time consuming because it took 5 weekends to complete. I took down a few things, installed the FastTrak garage system, and built new shelves.
But, the most difficult to figure out a solution for was my kitchen cabinets. I didn’t think it through at first. I had food storage containers in a really deep cabinet and they were pushed all the way to the back. It was dark and I could never see them. So, I switched them with the pans that were in a shallow cabinet.
And I purged. Both were difficult but for different reasons.
4. Which one was the easiest?
The linen closet was pretty easy. I got rid of sheets I didn’t use anymore. Really, it comes down to understanding the issue and finding good solutions. You have to think about the issue and how to solve it. Also, it doesn’t hurt getting tips from you guys (i.e., professional organizers), like storing all linens (in a set) in a pillow case.
5. You’ve made it a point to follow professional organizers on Twitter. What have you learned from the experience?
We’re Rubbermaid and we make products to help organizers. There’s a connection so I started following a couple of organizers and I learned a lot of things. First, there really is a process and structure to what you guys do. Not just anybody can do this. It’s a process – defining the problem, understanding it, and finding the right solution.
It’s not about buying a lot of products because it has to work for how you live. Also, there’s quite a few organizers who are pretty savvy online. Being on Twitter is pretty progressive and I think organizers may be ahead of the curve. I’m very impressed with that.
7. What else is Rubbermaid doing to partner with NAPO?
We will be at the 2009 NAPO Annual Conference in Orlando. It’s very much a discovery process and we’re continually learning about each other. It seems like a pretty good relationship and a good fit. We will support each other and together we’ll move forward.
8. What are your favorite Rubbermaid products?
Without a doubt my favorite are Produce Savers and that’s because I eat a lot of berries. The Produce Savers are perfect for berries. Actually, the entire line including the Premier and Easy Find Lids have bases that fit and nest together. They really take up such a small amount of space.
9. Does Rubbermaid make green products?
The nature of our products is that they are durable and reusable. Consumers are looking for those options. You can use our containers so you don’t need a bag that you have to throw away. You don’t have to use cardboard boxes over and over.
10. Are there any new products that we should be watching out for?
There are but only in certain markets – not in the large markets yet. Some pretty neat things are coming later on.