Jared Rabin has proven once again that necessity is the mother of invention.
After wanting to go to bed instead of taking time to measure and hang things on the wall, he invented the Hang-O-Matic, a gizmo that simplifies the hanging process.
The Hang-O-Matic is just one item that makes it easier to hang things. Here are several products for different needs:
The Hang-O-Matic: Rabin’s invention is simplicity itself. Use the Hang-O-Matic to measure the distance between the two hanging points on the back of an item (a picture, flat-screen TV, shelves or other wall decor). Then place Rabin’s device on the wall and level it with the built-in level. Press firmly on both ends, and you will have marked two perfect spots for your nails/picture hooks. Other attributes: It’s about 6 inches long, made to fit in a drawer or toolbox; it can measure up to 6 feet wide; it eliminates misaligned holes that only have to be spackled and painted; and it’s just $19.99 through hangomatic.com.
The CenterFinder: From Under the Roof Decorating comes the CenterFinder, a tape measure that helps you find the center point on an item you wish to hang. Just measure the back of the item, then take the measurement and find its corresponding point on a second line of numbers on the tape. If a photo measures 173/8 inches across, find 173/8 on the bottom line of numbers on the CenterFinder and make a pencil mark there. That’s the center point. You never have to do math again — at least when measuring a picture. The CenterFinder can also be used to find the center point of any piece of furniture that you need centered in a spot in a room. Available at utrdecorating.com and priced at $14.99 for a 16-foot version or $19.99 for the 25-footer.
GeckoTech hooks: These reusable hooks are made of synthetic rubber. To the touch, they don’t seem sticky enough to adhere to a wall. But they do, on painted surfaces, tile, laminate, glass and stainless steel. They’re not recommended for wallpaper, flat, matte or textured painted surfaces. We stuck one on an office wall and hung up a shopping bag of CDs; it’s still there a month later. The hooks come in several strengths, from a half-pound up to 5 pounds. Keys, pet leashes and backpacks are just three items the hooks can support. Lightweight pictures too. Ideal for people with fussy landlords, because there’s no need to put holes in walls. Suggested retail price is $5-$7, depending on size or quantity. The hooks are available at OfficeMax or amazon.com.
This story originally appeared on ChicagoTribune.com on June 12, 2014.