21 Uses for 3M Command Hooks

If you’ve been to my apartment, you may have noticed: I fucking love 3M Command products (those hooks & hangers with adhesive strips that are easy to remove without damaging the wall). They’re perfect for the renter who wants to personalize their home, particularly if you’re like me and redecorate constantly. I use them for all kinds of stuff, including a few pretty creative uses, so I’m gonna document them all here before I move out of this apartment later this month.

(no, I am not getting compensated for this post – but if 3M wants to pay me in product, I will 100% accept)

 

Kitchen

 

1. Under-Cabinet Lighting

A temporary solution for illuminating your kitchen workspaces when you don’t own your place but like it to be lux anyways. :)

The medium cord clips are the perfect size to hold standard rope lights in place:

I coiled the lights around under the cabinets and spliced a lamp switch in to the power cord so I wasn’t constantly plugging/unplugging things close to the sink.

 

2. Scrubbing Brushes

An aesthetically pleasing way to keep your scrubbing options close at hand (they also air-dry cleanly when you’re done with them!)

 

3. Tablet Holder

Keep your online recipes close at hand but don’t lose any counter space or risk getting splatters on your precious electronics.

No matter what size of device you want to use, it only takes 4 small wire hooks to attach it to a cupboard door.

Easily insert the tablet by sliding it up into the top hooks first then resting it down into the bottom ones. It stays stable even when you quickly open and close the cupboard.

 

4. Coupons

Continue to make use of that cupboard-front real estate by hanging coupons where you won’t forget them when you go to the store.

Or hang whatever else you want! I don’t judge.

The straight-vertical hook of the ‘mini hooks’ make them really stable for holding things that are slidey and you don’t want to fall off when the mounting surface moves. Throw on a binder clip and you’ve got a ready-made, easy-to-remove hanger for whatever. (I’ve also used this combo for hanging calendars that don’t have holes punched in them)

 

5. Measuring Spoons

I bake a lot and find it very convenient to keep all my measuring spoons close at hand.

The wire hooks on these are hinged, which is nice in many contexts but is super annoying when you’re constantly pulling small light objects on and off them, so I used a few dabs of super glue to permanently hold them down to the base.

I suppose I could have used hooks that aren’t hinged, but I like the clear+metal aesthetic, plus there aren’t that many options with hooks small enough to fit through the spoon holes.

 

6. Pizza Peel Rack

Pizza peels can warp if left to dry horizontally, plus they’re quite fancy looking, so why not hang them vertically on your wall?

All it takes is two standard-size hooks. I used the ‘designer’ ones because I thought the curves looked nice with the shape of my peel, but anything this size would probably be fine.

 

7. Apron Hook

It’s a hook to hang your apron.

What? These can’t all be super clever.

 

8. Oven Mitt Hook

Just as simple but way more useful, keep your oven mitts out in the open and within easy grabbing distance of your oven.

 

Living Room

 

9. String Lights

…otherwise known as ‘christmas lights’ but I like to use them all the damn time.

My place doesn’t have overhead lighting in the living room but it does have one of those outlets tied to the primary switch, so I lined the entirety of 3 walls with white string lights and use them as a very diffuse main overhead.

There are lots of different hooks that would work for this, but I prefer the outdoor light clips that are specifically designed for string lights. They’re sturdy, easy to fit multiple wires into, take up minimal space, and best of all come in a whopping 32-clip value pack.

 

UPDATE: 8/20/18

Uh. Maybe don’t take my advice on this one, actually. The hooks came away clean, but the lights (which had been up in my apartment for ~3 years with daily use) left this behind:

 

10. Art

No I don’t have art made with 3M hooks (yet…) but I do like their picture hanging strips.

They’re essentially pieces of homogenous velcro – no hooks vs loops, all the same thing, but stick two of ’em together and you’ve got a pretty good hold. Great for mounting small or light pieces.

 

11. Keys

It’s a key hanger. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

 

12. Bread Reminder

That little purple bag hanging above my keys is an omamori I use as a bread reminder. When there’s something bread-related I need to do in the morning before I leave for work (feed my starter, move something to a proofing container, etc) I hang it on the door on a mini hook so I see it before I leave and remember to do the bread thing.

I suppose I could have also used a 3M hook to hang it in it’s non-reminder place, but… I didn’t.

 

13. Coats, Bags, & Umbrellas

The most classic use of hooks possible. 3 high designer hooks for bags and coats, one low one with an open wire hook to fit a thick umbrella handle.

 

14. Cat Toy Holder

  • 1 mini hook
  • 1 small binder clip
  • 1 cardboard tube or long thin box

A slight twist on the ‘mini hook and binder clip’ trick – attach a cardboard mailing tube to the clip and you’ve got a holder for those long thin cat toys. If I leave mine lying around in places the cats can get to they get bored with it, so this keeps them accessible for me and rare/interesting to them.

 

15. Phone Charging Rack

Charge your phone but keep it easy to see and access any messages or music controls.

The actual phone mount is a very specific iRing hook, but I use an outdoor light clip to catch the charging cable when it’s not plugged in. The bread twistie tie adds some bulk to the charger so it doesn’t slip through.

The black triangle there is just a pad of cardboard wrapped in electrical tape which keeps the phone resting at a stable vertical angle – otherwise the bottom gets pushed back against the wall when you tap it.

Honestly I’m not thrilled with this solution. I love having my phone turn into a wall-mounted music control panel when I’m home, but getting it plugged in and hanging is kind of a fiddly process, and the twistie tie tends to get mangled and loose. (plus I just ugpraded to an iPhone X and the iRing doesn’t adhere well to the backing material) I’ll be figuring something else out at my next place.

 

16. TV Input Cable

For those times when all of your wireless computer->TV devices are failing you, I like to have a good ol’ VGA cable ready as backup. What I don’t like is to have unused cables lying around messily, so I loop it up and hang it hidden behind the TV itself.

 

17. Temperature/Humidity Monitor

My thermostat is somewhat unsophisticated, but I can’t actually replace it because of that whole “can’t afford to actually buy my own place” issue, so I supplement buy attaching a better temperature and humidity monitor on top.

Just one set of picture hanging strips is enough to hold it in place while still letting me take it down and use it in other rooms on occasion.

 

18. Overhead Wiring

I mentioned I’m not a fan of messy unused cables lying around – well I’m even less a fan of cables running across the floor, even if they’re taped down.

These are the ethernet cables for my media systems, held up by more of the outdoor light clips. (remember that value pack?)

 

Bathroom

I barely have any in the bathroom actually. It’s not for any functional reason, like humidity being a problem for the strips or whatever, I just… don’t have many ideas for using them here.

 

19. Towel

It’s a hanger for your towel. Way more convenient than the awkwardly placed rod hanger that came with the bathroom.

 

Bedroom

 

20. Rope Lighting

Same story as the undercabinet lighting in the kitchen, but now running underneath my ‘cat stairs’ and framing the window. Provides a nice softer eye-friendly alternative to the glaring overhead lighting that came with the place.

I always start running rope lighting from where I want the end to be. It’s usually way better to fall short on the plug-in end than the decorative end.

This runs up each cat stair then down and around the big window, ending with a switch right next to the head of the bed for easy night-time access. Each stair has at least two clips to fully secure the lights from drooping and cat pawing.

 

21. Robe Hanger

It’s a hanger for my robe and occasional other items. Particularly nice for 3M strips because I have it on my closet door (which is hollow) so I wouldn’t be able to screw hooks in anyway.

 

That’s all, folks! It’s all starting to come down now as I prepare to move to DC. I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to get crafty in a new apartment, I must say. If you have any other nifty ideas for ways to use these temporary hangers, let me know!

UPDATE: 8/20/18

Here’s every single one of the above pieces, after taking them (cleanly!) off the walls of my old apartment:

So much possibility in such a small pile of plastic.

This wonderful cat needs a home!

EDIT 4/21/13: A home has been found! She is no longer available for adoption. :)

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A couple weeks ago I found an injured stray cat in my neighborhood. I took her in and got her well, and now she needs a new loving home!

Deets:

  • Female
  • Tabby
  • Approx. Middle-Aged
  • Spayed
  • FeLV/FIV Negative
  • Litterbox trained
  • Not microchipped
  • Recently de-flea’d and de-worm’d
  • Extremely friendly with people
  • Not so friendly with other cats

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This cat is really really wonderful and if I didn’t already have two of my own I’d keep her. She’s extremely affectionate and cuddly, loves curling up on laps to sleep, and has never once clawed me (the same can not be said of my cats…).

She’s really kind of a Cat: Classic Edition. She does the head-rubby thing and the dough-kneading thing and likes to sit in boxes.

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She likes to sleep on my bed and sit at the window and watch outside and gnaw at catnip mice when they’re around.

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She does NOT get along so very well with other cats… All interactions between her and my cats are closely supervised and rather tense.

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So if you live around SF, are looking for a first cat, and want an easy-going loveable non-clawing fuzzy kitty, send me an email at cl@rebayley.com and come meet her! I think she’d be particularly good for households with children or several roommates. Like I said, very good with people.

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Also the dark pattern around her mouth makes it look like she’s just eaten a grape popsicle. Pretty much the cutest thing ever.

The full (rather long) story:

March 19th was one of those dreary nights particular to San Francisco where the air was just cold enough to make you shiver, the rain just heavy enough to dampen your clothes, and the wind just strong enough to get under your coat, but none of it really bad enough to keep you indoors. I was coming home late from an engagement in the city, treading my normal route back from BART which happens to take me by a local park.

I’ve seen stray cats in this park before but they all hissed and ran off before I got within 15 feet of them. This particular park isn’t exactly what one would call ‘safe,’ so I wasn’t willing to chase them. This time though, the cat saw me first.

I heard a plaintive ‘meow’ and turned to see a bedraggled looking tabby cat walking towards me. I stopped and watched as it approached, friendly as you please, and started rubbing its head on my legs.

It was dirty but not overly so, and seemed thin but not necessarily underfed. I thought at first it must surely be an outdoor cat that got locked out in the rain, because no stray I’ve ever encountered acts this friendly towards humans. I crouched and petted it for a few moments debating what to do – I could take it home and get it warm and dry then try to find its owner, or I could trust it would find its own way back and leave it in the park.

Then my hand slipped around to scratch under her belly and I felt something wet – not the wet of ‘caught in the rain fur,’ but the wet of ‘oozing open wound.’

I picked up her front legs and saw on her stomach a patch about 4 inches in diameter of hairless skin with several gaping holes exposing the underlying muscle & fat. That made my decision for me, and I quickly picked her up and brought her back to my house where I shut her in my bathroom with a great deal of food and water.

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Despite having two cats of my own I had no idea what to do with an injured stray so I contacted the woman who runs the sanctuary I’d gotten my own dear Molly from. She recommended a clinic out in Walnut Creek that does special deals for rescue cats, and also came over to see if she could do anything for the injury. Unfortunately neither of us had any clue what could have caused such an odd looking wound, although the sanctuary woman said she thought it might be mammary cancer. (yes, that’s kitty breast cancer) Cancer bad enough to cause this wound would be pretty much a death sentence for a stray cat, but I was hoping it might just be a nasty bite or something.

I rented a Zipcar and took her in the next morning to the Civic Feline Clinic in Walnut Creek, a wonderful cat-only vet that has a special drop-off program with greatly discounted rates for rescue kitties. Basically instead of having an appointment, you drop the cat off in the morning and pick it up at the end of day and the vet takes a look at it whenever they have free time. The downside was that I had to register the cat under a rescue program, which meant the call with results would go to the woman who headed the sanctuary, not me. I came back and picked her up after work, but the receptionist only knew that they’d given her antibiotics, not whether the doctor thought it was cancer or not. I called the sanctuary woman as well, but she said she hadn’t heard anything from them yet either.

I didn’t hear anything about the diagnosis until the next morning. I got a voicemail while I was on BART, and listened to it during my walk to work. It was the woman from the sanctuary, and it was not good news.

The mysterious wound was a ruptured abscess, and the vet did think it was probably from mammary cancer. It was badly infected so it was impossible to tell definitively, and she wanted me to bring the cat back in a week to see how much it had healed.

No one was optimistic, and it seemed very likely that we’d have to put the cat down.

Needless to say this was rather upsetting for me – I heard this news as I got to work and so I did a bit of crying at my desk – always humiliating, but luckily no one but a good friend saw me. (ah, the perks of coming in early)

I had a week to come to terms with the fact that I might have to kill this cat I had ‘saved’ from the street. It made me feel incredibly powerless, something I already wrestle with in other areas of my life. I decided I would give her the best treatment I could in what might be her last week alive, giving her as much food as she would eat and sitting and cuddling with her multiple times a day. I felt awfully guilty because I had her confined in a small windowless bathroom, but no way in hell was I releasing an infected, un-tested cat into my apartment with my own two kitties. Priorities.

The one happy point was that the antibiotics did seem to be helping – her skin was no longer inflamed and hanging away from her body quite so much, plus she continued to be extremely friendly and positive (if a cat can be such a thing).

Eventually the day came, and I once again got a Zipcar and dropped her off at the clinic. When I came back that afternoon they had me wait so the vet could talk to me personally.

I did so with butterflies in my throat.

Eventually I followed the doctor back to her office and perched awkwardly on an extra rolly chair. The doctor had one of those faces that I seem to see a lot in medical offices, a face that has been so exhausted by dealing with terrible situations that I could get no emotional read on whether the results I was about to hear were good or bad.

“Well,” she started, “this cat has healed amazingly well in the past week and I no longer think she has cancer.”

!!!

We talked a bit further about her condition and she asked me to bring her back in another week to confirm the healing was continuing, but mostly what I remember from those few minutes was how my cheeks started to hurt because I couldn’t stop smiling.

I did bring her back a week later, and she was pronounced as having complete good health. In fact, at the end of our conversation another vet came up with a question about another patient of theirs who was in bad shape and the doctor said to me, “take your healthy cat and go home!”

By this point all the holes had closed, only the largest leaving a scabbed area, and the fur had started to regrow. I was actually worried when I first saw that because all of a sudden these weird dark patches were appearing on her skin – then I realized she’s a tabby, and that was her hair pattern coming back in.

Now after all that, I want to find someone who can give her a real, full and loving home! If you’re interested in living with this purring, loving lap-warmer, email me at cl@rebayley.com.

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