Thirty-One Organizing Utility Tote Review

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Have you heard of Thirty-One Gifts? For a while it seemed like I heard of them everywhere I turned. All I really knew was that they had great organizing products with neat patterns. I’m a sucker for an organizing product, so I was excited to find something fun to try when I was invited to a Thirty-One party recently. I ended up choosing their Organizing Utility Tote.

I chose this one because I wanted a way to organize odds and ends I sometimes carry in the car, but quickly realized that it would be even more useful with the odds and ends I carry around the house.

This tote folds up pretty flat, which made me happy in case I ever need to put it in a suit case.
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It comes in some unique patterns (my favorite is Organic Poppy), but I decided to get something simple so that “geek mama” could be easily read. I also thought a neutral color would help it “go” with any outfit I wear, even though I’m not planning to take it out and about a whole lot.

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You can choose from a variety of colors for the embroidery, but I chose this red color to match my blog colors. You can see that the embroidery is good quality, and I like the way the handle straps frame it.

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Speaking of handle straps – did you notice that they are attached all the way down the bag? That’s a good sign! I’ve had the handles break on a couple of totes/purses (not Thirty-One products), so that’s something I look for now. There are also some grommets, but I’m not sure what I would use those for yet.

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It’s a sturdy bag that can stand up on its own. I don’t know what it’s made of – maybe some sort of canvas? – but even the pockets keep their shape on their own. By the way, there are two pockets in the front and three along their back.

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I love the big pockets. That’s one of the reasons I chose this bag. They’re tall enough that I can barely see a pen in them. I’ve noticed online that some people use these bags as diaper bags because the pockets can hold toys and sippy cups and all sorts of baby gear.

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But I needed it to organize my mess of stuff that I carry around the house. There’s my planner, journal, books, notebook, coupons, bills, invitations to RSVP to, coupons to cut out…I move this pile of stuff around from counter to table to bedroom to another counter, and sometimes it gets split up into multiple piles. I hate how messy it makes my house look. That’s what all the toys are for.

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The organizing tote holds all of my mess and more. So now I can move my tote from counter to table to bedroom to another counter, and it all looks neat. And it’s easier to move.

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The tote fits my iPad easily, too. I’ve even put my MacBook Pro in here, just to see if it fits.

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It does tend to tip to the side with something heavy like an iPad in it, but a bottle of water helped stabilize the whole thing.

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I’ve decided to take this tote with me to the .MOM conference in a few weeks. I wanted an easy way to carry my iPad, and I was going to buy a very expensive crossbody bag for that purpose, but thought this would work out even better since it has more room. The price is right, too, at $30. (Embroidery was extra.) So my husband is happy about that. The two front pockets are perfect for easy access to business cards. I ordered some blog cards, and may also hand out some of these.

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Have I mentioned that I have an app available for sale in the Apple App Store?

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One concern I had about using this tote as a purse replacement for the conference was keeping my wallet safe. I’ve been using this Coach wristlet I bought a couple of years ago and thought that I would be able to fit the strap through the grommet, but the clasp was too big. So I put the strap around the handle, instead.

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I like this bag a lot so far. I do wish that there were an insert or something to keep the sides stiff. I’ve seen some pictures online with some sort of file organizer in the bag that may serve that purpose. I’ll have to look into that. But other than that, I’m really happy with my purchase!

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Have you purchased any Thirty-One products?