No Ordinary Dormitory

I always thought living in a dorm must be a really cool experience. Never mind that I saved a bundle by living at home while going to school, got to tap my parents for feedback on my work at a moment’s notice, and didn’t have to put up with noisy and / or smelly roommates – there is still something kind of appealing to my brainwashed-by-American-TV mind about getting thrown into the mix with a bunch of strangers that will hopefully quickly evolve into friends. And if you’re currently sitting in a dorm room or boarding house room reading this, let me tell you that one surefire way to buddy up really quickly is to have a must-visit room. Luckily for you, the folks at Quirky have made that goal oh-so-achievable with their affordable and clever products. Parents take note – these are great to gift the kids with when they come home at Thanksgiving or Christmas as well!

Cargo – $11.99
Much has been made of the whole communal bathrooms aspect of sharing a space – particularly in dorm land. If you want to keep your goods organized and ready to go, consider snapping up Cargo, a flexible basket that can hold oodles of stuff – including your razor, hair products, and shaving cream – so you can wash out last night’s party grease in a rush before hitting up class. It also comes with five flex-use bungee cords, allowing you to tack on extra items like a pair of must-have shower shoes, hair elastics, or a brush. The hole-y design is genius for quickly draining water and keeping your goods from getting grimy. Finally, it also works well if you’re currently splitting an apartment with a pal and don’t want to clutter up the bathroom. Be the better roommate!

Pen Zen – $19.99
Forget dorms – this funky gadget organizer would look sleek on just about anyone’s desk. The flexible teeth-style holder bars no writing utensil regardless of height or width (you can flip the thing vertically if your favourite brush or pen looks like it’ll topple over), while the magnetic sides make it easy to keep track of paper and binder clips. Extra kudos goes to Quirky for producing this product in eco-friendly and ultra-trendy bamboo – you can feel green when gifting this to your favourite student, creative type, or desk jockey.

Props – $5.99
Consider this a strong contender to hand out to your dormmates come that holiday Secret Santa gift exchange. Inspired by ‘croakies’, an American-based term for sunglasses chains, this thin strand wraps around the back of your neck for you to slide your favourite ear bud cords through. Next time you’re interrupted while studying with your favourite tunes going full blast, don’t risk fumbling around and dropping your headphones – simply pop them out of your ears and let Props hold ’em for you until your conversation is done. Super affordable, simple purpose, multiple uses – from the bus to the gym to your bed.

Unhampered – $29.99
It’s the strangest things we often overlook when planning our packing list for moving out or back to school. Case in point? I rushed out and bought a laundry basket the day I realized I needed one, and not a moment sooner. Don’t get caught in a similarly sticky situation – Unhampered is a genius solution that takes up next to no space (less than 2 inches) when folded up, making it perfect for tight living situations. Of course, it’s not enough to simply be an unfolding bin. This lightweight bin also has multiple compartments so you can easily sort your whites, colours, and delicates before hitting the laundry room. Works really well for anyone with a communal washing area – from apartment dwellers to dorm room co-eds.

PowerCurl – $12.99
Now this one is a gift idea after my own heart, as I type this post on a MacBook. For any Apple fanatics out there, this simple device lets you wrap that pesky, ultra-long white power cord so it doesn’t get tangled up or run over by your desk chair (guilty as charged). What’s extra neat is the dual cord compartments that allow you to keep the laptop end and the wall outlet end separate – so you can unwind either side as needed as you pop from workplace to workplace. Works great for freelancers or those known to take their laptops on the go, or even just students who are always looking for a new place to inspire their brains.

Can I just point out quickly how cool Quirky is again? If you weren’t around the last time I wrote about ’em, then you probably don’t know that they are the world’s premiere social product development site, where you can weigh in on dozens of cool inventions on everything from their price and colour to whether or not they actually get made into products. And if you’ve got a brilliant idea of your own – submit it! The guy who invented the PowerCurl above has been paid out over $87,000 for his successful invention, all for submitting a cool idea to a great site. You can order Quirky products online and get them shipped to Canada, but I’ve also seen them pop up at places like Bed, Bath & Beyond (note: pricing is probably a little different when you buy from retailers directly).

If you’re feeling like you could use a little reorganization in your home – dorm-sized or not – you’re in luck. Three readers are in the running to either win Cargo, Pen Zen, or Unhampered. All you gotta to do enter is:

1) Leave a comment by September 29th telling me which of these five fab inventions you’d most like to see in your home & why.Β 

2) Entries are limited to one per person / per email address / per household (or more if you score bonus entries). A random draw will be conducted on or around September 30th to select the winner, who will have 48 hours to respond before another winner is chosen in their place.

3) Entries are limited to Canadians that have reached the age of majority in their province. Quebec is not eligible to participate in this promotion.

4) Bonus Entry: Pin (via Pinterest) any or all of these five finds to earn up to 5 Bonus Entries! Leave a link to the Pins or the Pinboard they’re on to earn your bonus points.

92 Responses to “No Ordinary Dormitory”
  1. leah leitch says:

    Very interesting, neat that they accept ideas. The props would be well used by the teens in our house. Thanks

  2. OPR says:

    I could think of a hundred uses for the unhampered. Its so neat how they fold up & are so portable.

  3. I love unhampered and cargo – I can easily see both in use around here! And that pencil/pen thing is way too cool! Thanks for finding some cool items, as usual!

  4. Wanda Washington says:

    I use a macbook pro for work so that cable wrap would be super helpful.

  5. Linda says:

    I love the Pen Zen…..with four children at the dining room table doing homework …. there seems like nothing better than this!

  6. Louise says:

    funky gadget organizer is so cool I love the pen zen!

  7. Debbie Petch says:

    I really like the Unhampered. I live in an apartment building with laundry facilities in the basement.
    This would be most helpful!

  8. Patricia says:

    Definitely the unhampered for me and neat to know it can fold up those few times there are no dirty clothes

  9. Susan says:

    I think I’d use the Zen Pen the most at my desk at work! #CGG
    Thanks for another great giveaway!

  10. Julie says:

    The cargo, props and pen zen are my favourite. All are very practical.

  11. the props for sure! I hate loosing my headphones out of my ears! thanks for the chance!

  12. LS W says:

    the Pen Xen would be perfect for here. I do art for a living and am always hunting down pencils, markers, etc. This “might” make me keep them organized. πŸ™‚

  13. Toby says:

    The Zen Pen got my attention! πŸ™‚

  14. Leigh says:

    Unhampered without a doubt! Making laundry a little bit easier…

  15. Kelly P says:

    Love the PenZen!

  16. Beth Gal says:

    Unhampered would be great! Laundry baskets take up too much room, which is a problem in my small space.

  17. julie bolduc says:

    Pen zen very good idea would be used everyday!!

  18. Trinity says:

    Unhampered or Pen Zen are my best!

  19. Bonnie says:

    Tough choice but I think Unhampered would work really well in my tiny space.

  20. Jennifer L. says:

    I like the unhampered. I love that I can use it for laundry and then tuck it away.

  21. Miranda says:

    pen zen! we really need to clean up the home office

  22. Vesper says:

    I like the cargo – fits well with my small bathroom

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  23. Vesper says:

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  24. Vesper says:

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  25. Vesper says:

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  26. Vesper says:

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  27. Vesper says:

    meikleblog at gmail dot com

  28. Penelope Rambharose says:

    PenZen or cord winder and box to store them in would be good !!!

  29. lacey says:

    props are aweeeesommmme

  30. Wendy Dickinson says:

    With 2 mac books used by my husband for work the PowerCurl would be a wonderful idea.

  31. Alina R. says:

    I like the PowerCurl because I absolutely hate cords!!!

  32. intensev5 says:

    I really like the Unhampered product – – my house needs some organization products

  33. Holly Sproule says:

    I want the Unhampered thing! I dont actually have one!

  34. Megan W. says:


  35. andrea says:

    unhampered for me!!

  36. Jennifer R says:

    The Pen Zen would be great for my desk at school!

  37. Ali says:

    Unhampered would save me so much space! (I own most of the others except PowerCurl actually, because Quirky is AWESOME!)

  38. Cheryl Grandy says:

    The Unhampered hamper would be really useful in my home. I always have things to sort or move from one place to another – having a container with multiple sections to sort things would be very helpful. And I might even use it to sort laundry!

  39. Lisa Morrison says:

    I would like to clean up the cords with the Powercurl.

  40. lauren says:

    I love the headphone gadget, i would love that, i always have to buy new headphones , cause the wires in mine always break and i spend ALOT on earphones, that gadget looks AWESOME!

  41. kathleen says:

    I like the Cargo flexible basket.

  42. JENNIFER HART says:


  43. Lillian McCrimmon says:

    Love the Pen Zen. Do a lot of genealogy research so this would be just what I need, everything close at hand.My little grandaughter would like Props what a great idea.

  44. Carrie Lai says:

    My desk area needs something like the Pen Zen – love the design! It will keep myself from losing the paper clips and each pen and pencil will finally have a home.
    Pinterest tag of the Pen Zen!!! –>

  45. Carrie Lai says:

    I love the design of the Pen Zen! It would help me from losing paper clips (make it visible) and each pen and pencil will finally have a home. πŸ™‚
    Pinned it!

  46. Stacie says:

    Love the powercurl. Cords are such a mess in this house! One thing I never seem to be able to control!

  47. Nicholas R-B says:

    That powercurl thing is incredible… My cables knots would be a thing of the past

  48. Stacy says:

    then pen zen would be a wonderful way to organize my boyfriends pen collection…they are everywhere!

  49. amira says:

    i would like anyone can me winer πŸ™‚ thank you

  50. claudia says:

    The power curl definitely!

  51. Georgette Elliott says:

    The Pen Zen for me….I love it!!

  52. joss iles says:

    I love the idea of the unhamper! Awesome how it folds up and can be outta the way!

  53. The Pen Zen would be a great gift for my house because pens are usually all over the place. If I had one of these, I could keep them all in the one place. Love it!

  54. Lori Brown says:

    I think the unhamper is awesome. I could use it to organize completed course papers from class and keep easy access to them for future reference under my desk.

  55. Tina says:

    I like the unhampered (great for when I need to do laundry), cargo (will fit in my small bathroom) and props (great to have when I run into someone or when I stop in to buy a drink without having to fumble around and getting the cords tangled)

  56. alison k says:

    I like the Pen Zen. It would be a great addition to my work desk. So practical & beautiful to look at. Better than what I currently have – a business card box.

  57. margaux says:


  58. darlene boyle says:

    Unhampered like the folding aspect

  59. Rosie says:

    These are really cool but my favorite is Pen Zen it helps to keep desks organized!!!

  60. stacey h says:

    i would love the ‘power curl’ i have a bunny who chews cords and this will keep them organized

  61. I see the PowerCurl being used in our home because we have this horrible mess of cords hidden behind the TV stand, that my husbands trying to keep together with twist ties.. It would help us keep all those cords organized, we always have a hard time untangling them just to plug things in!

  62. CLC says:

    I love the props and the pen zen.

  63. Love the Pen Zen, but the Power Curl would definitely be used to the extreme!!

  64. Nichole Drew says:


  65. Angela Cullen says:

    I am a make up artist and the PEN ZEN would be great for me! It would hold my brushes in place. Plus it would be a great conversation piece!! Please consider me for this πŸ™‚ Thank you! Ang

  66. Randy says:

    Unhampered would be something my wife would like, but I like the cord wrapper.

  67. Christopher says:

    Those earbud holders are dope.

  68. aly3360 says:

    I’d love to have unhampered in my home. I don’t live in a dorm…but in a teeny tiny apartment which is just as bad! Saving space is a huge priority for us and unhampered would be an ideal addition to our home πŸ™‚

    ayoung3360 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  69. aly3360 says:

    Pin #1

    ayoung3360 (at) hotmail (dot) com

  70. tash says:

    The pen zen would definitely de-clutter my tiny desk!

  71. The power curl would be great for our house! Wires everywhere!!

  72. MarionG says:

    The pen zen is an awesome item. I would love to have this to organize my desk as I always have trouble finding a pen. Cheers.

  73. I would love the pen zen! It would work perfectly for all my pens, paint brushes and more that I use!

  74. Heather Holmberg says:

    I LOVE the pen zen. As a future Accountant, I am constantly using pencis, erasers, red pens for my classes. Always losing them too ! I love the sleek look and the bonus of a magnetic side, paper clips are always needed too !

  75. Heather Holmberg says:

    BONUS ENTRY x5 – here is my pinterest board

  76. Erica says:

    I love them all! Going to pin as well. I love the PowerCurl the best though I love my macbook so much!

  77. MA says:

    I can think of a hundred uses for those Props.

  78. Kathy Pomeroy says:

    I could use the PenZen at the office

  79. Naima says:

    I just started seeing Quirky popping up around here, cool now that I know what they are. I like the idea of Cargo for the gym.

  80. Maria O. says:

    Unhampered is my favourite. I could find a lot of uses for this item.

  81. Kate Henderson says:

    Definitely want the Pen Zen… desk is currently a cluttered mess of pens!

  82. Billie says:


  83. aimee says:

    pen zen looks neat and all the prizes are ones that are useful

  84. Karen says:

    the unhampered would be great

  85. lisa bolduc says:

    Pen Zen would be nice in my office

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