Friday, November 1, 2013

Ten Tips to Survive The Container Store

As you might imagine, The Container Store is my happy place. Sometimes when I’m having a rough day, I go there to cheer myself up and relax. 

But sadly most of my clients don’t feel the same way. For them, The Container Store is overwhelming, scary, and the site of much money spent on the wrong things. I can understand their stress.

Today, I’m sharing ten secrets to make shopping at The Container Store a spa-like experience. Okay, that might be stretching it a bit, but read on...

Clearly not an NYC store.

1. Do your research. Before heading to The Container Store, hit their website to get a sense of the products they carry. Their website is user friendly and most of the product reviews are spot on.

2. Make a list. Even if empty containers and handy gadgets scare you, I guarantee you’ll end up walking out with more than you need if you don’t bring a list. Be very specific and only shop for what you need, lest you get sucked down the rabbit hole of fancy gift wrap.

3. Measure before you go. Many a mistake is made when you fail to measure in your home before you go to buy products. Whether you are finding products for a closet or even a single shelf, draw it out on paper with a clear diagram and measurements. You'll be sure to buy the right containers.

4. Make friends. The Container Store employees are the friendliest and most helpful around. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve racked my brain for the perfect bin for a client only to ask an employee and have my problem solved. They know the products and are not shy about recommending the best solutions.

Who knows what's going on here,
but they are having fun, right?

5. Bring a tape measure. While The Container Store product tags generally list a product’s dimensions, I find it much quicker to whip out my small tape measure to double check the size than trying to read the fine print.

6. Understand the store layout. If you’re not hitting The Container Store multiple times a week like I am this can be tough, but trust me it’s worth your time. Before grabbing a cart, take a quick walk around the store. You’ll notice areas are well organized (shocker) by type from kitchen to office to closet. Find the area you need and avoid wandering around like a lost puppy.

Office supply heaven.

7. GoShop is your best friend. GoShop is best used when you are placing a large order. Check in at the kiosk and a smiling employee gives you a handheld device that’s similar to what you would use for an in store wedding registry. You then walk through the store and scan all the items you want. When you are done, you can choose to have the items delivered or you can pick it up on another day. Amazing.

8. Avoid weekends. The stores can generally be a mad house on the weekends, at least in Manhattan. If at all possible, try to arrive on a weekday when the store opens or in the late morning. That’s when you can avoid the rush. Oh, and those weekends when college kids are moving into dorms – avoid at all costs!

9. Watch for sales. The regular sales cycles at The Container Store are downright fantastic. The best by far tend to be the fall and spring sales when the elfa closet systems are discounted 25 percent. It’s worth waiting and watching for that if you are looking to redesign your closet.

Hello, elfa closet.

10. Take a deep breath and enjoy the music. Remember, take a deep breath. You are shopping not heading into a war zone. And I realize not everyone out there loves Taylor Swift, but it’s always on the mix, and that just makes me smile. 

Happy shopping!

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