Pros: Assorted colors, expandable bottom, secure front tie, color-coding friendly.
Cons: Tie can be a pain when using often, surface marring.
Investing in plastic envelopes can help preserve items; they are reusable and come in a variety of colors and sizes. This is the 'check size' envelope but its larger than most standard checks so you can use it for other items. These are nicer than the snap-front envelopes because you don't have to worry about the snap leaving an impression on the contents but they are not as nice as the slide-top envelopes. Those are the perfect pick for storing scrapbooking pieces in because there is nothing to press against whatever you are keeping in them. There's an expansion flap at the bottom so you can store a lot inside the envelope but when this isn't opened up you can end up with some of the contents getting folded if you aren't careful when you are inserting them into it. It measures 10 1/4 inches long and 5 1/8 inches high; a little too large for standard index cards but for larger ones it's a nice way to keep them clean and dirt free.
As mentioned these are nicer than the snap-front envelopes but not as easy to work with as the zipper topped ones. I've never seen the zipper styled ones at OfficeMax with their in-house brand. One of the biggest problems with using the string catch is that if you are opening and closing it often it gets to be a pain to keep winding it around the spools. I have a couple of these for coupons and cut a thick piece of clear plastic about an inch smaller to put inside it as a divider for the coupons I clipped and the ones that I am using that day. There are accordion styled coupon keepers that allow you to organize them according to type of coupon but when I am hitting Wal-Mart or Target its usually to get specific things that are on sale or items that I know are rock bottom at those two stores.
These are thick plastic so they are a lot more durable than paper or manila; they are see through so you can tell what is in them but you can use a sticker on the back or write on it with a permanent marker. There is flex to them and they are almost impossible to rip but that doesn't mean that they are indestructible. The flap part can develop small tears over time; you can solve that with some packing tape if you aren't concerned with how they look. These are great for kids who carry small things to school each day; index cards, stickers, thin mini calculators etc. Most items will stay inside the envelope but things like paper clips will slide right out. That is where the zipper styled envelopes have the advantage. I've only seen these sold in the multi pack that contains five assorted color envelopes. The colors aren't bad and range from clear to purple. I wish that they sold an only-plain-clear pack so that I could code them easier. I don't mind the colors but having the clear ones would let me use a ton of them for organizing photos and those long holiday photo cards that everyone loves to send out.
Since these are flexible you might need to cut some plastic or cardboard to reinforce it if you are using it for things that you don't want bent or warped. Usually these do a great job of protecting what's inside them but thinner things like decals might need a little help in staying straight. You can get the five pack for about five dollars; that breaks down to about a dollar each. When I got the Staples version with the slide top they were a little more per envelope than these and while they can be used for more things if you are looking for general use keepers then these are a solid pick. They are an in-store house brand product so they are a little cheaper than the name brand versions and work just as well. If you are looking for a way to get a little more organized or want something colorful to keep checks in, check these out the next time you swing by an OfficeMax or order them online at their website.
^V^ ©Freak369 - 2012 ^V^
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