Alternatives to Rubber Bands

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Rubber bands are useful, but there are many alternative options.
Rubber bands are useful, but there are many alternative options. (Image: three rubber bands image by Sean Arenas from Fotolia.com)

If you do not have any rubber bands at home or in the office, holding things like file folders or other small items together can be difficult. Luckily are a variety of office supply alternatives to rubber bands depending on the specific task at hand.

String

If you need to hold a file folder or a parcel together, you could always use some string to get the job done. While not as flexible as rubber bands, you can usually hold larger items together tightly with string than would be possible with a standard rubber band. Parcel string, made from cotton, is a thin, sturdy twine that is both affordable and very functional; it can be used to hold together a stack of papers, posters, envelopes, file folders, boxes and other packages. You can find string in office supply or craft stores, or online.

Staples

Staples are another standard alternative to rubber bands depending on the task you are trying to accomplish. For example, staples are often more effective for holding together stacks of papers than rubber bands are, because they allow for easy access to all the pages without undoing the whole bundle. Heavy-duty staples are also useful in holding boxes and other parcels together. Depending upon the intensity of the tasks at hand in your office or at home, you will need to select an appropriate stapler; these range in size, price and quality, and are usually available for purchase in office supply stores or online. Once you've chosen your stapler, you'll need to purchase corresponding staples that are the correct size and shape to work with your new device. Staples are usually quite affordable, but they are often used up quickly. It is important to keep your home or office stocked with staples, and to refill your stapler as needed.

Paper Clips

If you don't want to puncture the items you are trying to hold together, paper clips are a good option. These come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and colors, and are made from either metal or plastic. Metal paper clips are most common, and are usually very economical as they are reusable. Standard size paper clips (1 3/8 inches) are usually elliptical in shape and are best suited for holding together smaller stacks of papers or envelopes. For larger stacks, you might want to opt for more heavy duty paper clips, which are also available for purchase in office supply stores or online. For specialty projects it is usually more common to see plastic paper clips. These are frequently patterned or colored, so they help for color-coding various documents, or simply make a page or pages stand out from the rest.

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