Hang It Up!

How do you hang up towels, dish rags or pot holders?  How about photos on the wall?  If you’re like me, it hurts to even think of making holes in that beautiful wood.

Aboard Que Tal, we used a variety of solutions.  Lots of screw-in cup hooks, left by the previous owner — plus a few we added in “hidden” spots.  Industrial strength Velcro for the laptop and things on the nav station, which was very hard to remove (I was afraid it was going to peel the Formica off the wood under it).  For photos, we used tape, which fell off in hot weather, or poster putty which also would slowly soften and release the pictures in hot weather.

Enter Command Strip products.  These weren’t available — or at least I wasn’t aware of them — when we moved aboard Que Tal and I never saw them in Mexico.  But now that I’ve discovered them, I’ve come to the conclusion that they were just made for boats!

Basically, there are four great things about Command Strip products:

  • They leave no mark, hole, residue or anything else when you remove them.
  • Installation is dead simple.
  • They have a lot of holding power compared to many other options.
  • There’s one designed for almost every application you can think of.

And they’re not too expensive, either.  You can buy them at almost any big box store or hardware.

Ideas for using them on the boat, galley and otherwise:

Need a hook for towels, pot holders or a dish rag? Want some pictures on the wall? Here's the perfect answer -- and you can remove them without a trace!

Hooks are perfect for hanging almost everything — towels, hot pads, dish rags, an apron, a bag of clothes pins, keys, grocery bags, shower bag . . . whatever.  And since there’s no damage to beautiful woodwork, you can put them wherever it’s convenient.

Another idea is to turn them horizontally and run a bungee cord between two for a paper towel holder (see more on this idea).

Depending on the size — they go from mini to large — hooks will hold up to about 5 pounds.

Need a hook for towels, pot holders or a dish rag? Want some pictures on the wall? Here's the perfect answer -- and you can remove them without a trace!

Command Picture Strips will handle almost everything else. Believe it or not, some can support as much as 20 pounds!

They are great for pictures, in frames or plastic sleeves (we got some of the clear plastic “picture holders” designed to go on a refrigerator with a magnet and used them on the walls so that the photos would be protected).  You could use them to mount a spice rack in the galley . . . or attach a divider in a locker.

They remind me of very strong Velcro — and they’re great for keeping electronics in place, too.  Laptops, chargers and other things that you want to keep in place (no guarantees in particularly rough seas — all boats differ, so use your own judgment as to what is sufficient).

Need a hook for towels, pot holders or a dish rag? Want some pictures on the wall? Here's the perfect answer -- and you can remove them without a trace!In the cockpit, we used Velcro to keep the autopilot control in one place, and also on our SSB/ham/stereo speakers (they weren’t built in).  It was a real pain to remove the Velcro when it came time . . . these would have held better than the Velcro and been easier to remove — a definite win/win.

One quick note on using the picture strips — the first ones I used, I aligned with the outside edge of a picture frame.  As you can see in the picture, it’s definitely visible from the side.  Now, the nice thing is that I can easily remove the strip and place it further from the edge . . . but think about this as you’re hanging items!

Need a hook for towels, pot holders or a dish rag? Want some pictures on the wall? Here's the perfect answer -- and you can remove them without a trace!As I began researching all the Command Strip varieties, one that really appealed to me for the galley are the spring clip ones.

Put them on the wall to hold lists, recipes, meal plans and more.  They’d also be handy at the nav station or helm for keeping info that you want instantly at hand.  And one would be perfect for a laminated sheet with emergency info and radio frequencies right next to the radio.

There are also cord organizers — great for running wiring anywhere, either through lockers or in an exposed location.

We use lots of all these types on Barefoot Gal!

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  • Sharon Thompson Dunsworth on Facebook
    Posted at 02 December 2012 Reply

    I just discovered these to use for Christmas decorations as I didn’t want anything permanent. I’m glad to hear they come off easily..was going on faith that they would. Thanks for all the great ideas.

  • tami
    Posted at 02 December 2012 Reply

    We use ’em in the cockpit to hang sheets and halyards

  • MaryJo
    Posted at 02 December 2012 Reply

    Do they really hold on wood? I thought it would have to be on plastic or glass. If they’ll hold on wood I can use them to hang Christmas decorations in the saloon. Yay!!!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 02 December 2012 Reply

      MaryJo — I’ve used them on varnished wood — teak, oak and maple that I know of — and they’ve worked perfectly. I’ve also used them on cheap laminates with no problem. Painted wood, walls and bathroom tile have all been fine. I’mgoing to guess that rough wood would NOT work, however.

      • MaryJo Boyle
        Posted at 29 July 2013 Reply

        They really do work on wood. I’ve got them all over the boat now! =0)

  • Donna Tourt Cantwell on Facebook
    Posted at 02 December 2012 Reply

    We use them everywhere!

  • LaMarr Harding
    Posted at 24 January 2013 Reply

    My wife hates them, they pulled the paint off the walls in the rest home and hospital rooms she’s stayed in. I put hot pad holders on the wall next to the stove and they got pulled off. There was a hole in those hooks that I ended up putting a screw in.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 24 January 2013 Reply

      If paint or varnish is not in good condition, yes, they can pull it up . . . but then, even Scotch tape will pull peeling paint off.

  • Sharon Thompson Dunsworth
    Posted at 29 July 2013 Reply

    This is what I am using on our boat. Haven´t found anything yet that it can´t be used for. Going to try using hooks for hanging curtains when I figure out what size I will need. Thanks for sharing.

  • Linda L Finney-Blazsek
    Posted at 29 July 2013 Reply

    We did this in our sailboat, the command strips!

  • David Holbourn
    Posted at 30 July 2013 Reply

    They are excellent , I have put hooks up for oilies and they are great, plus use their version of velcro ( two pads of hooks) to hold displays on the wall.

  • Ted Oliverio
    Posted at 30 July 2013 Reply

    Looks cool, but I don´t get how it´s different in application from velcro. I´m not saying one is better than the other, only that, mechanically, they appear to be “the same product.”

    Use too much velcro: it´s hard to get your laptop off the counter. Same thing if you use too much command strips.

    Use too little command strips: your [whatever] falls out of place during bumpy water or just over time. Same thing if you use too little velcro.

    Am I missing some key point, here?

    (Again, I´m sure command strips are a fine product — I just happen to be familiar with Velcro and how much is enough and how much is too much 🙂 )


    • Connie Downs
      Posted at 09 May 2014 Reply

      The difference is that when you try to take the Velcro strips off later, they tend to destroy the surface. The Command Strips are designed so that when you go to remove them, you don’t just peel off, you s-t-r-e-t-c-h the material and it comes off without damaging the surface. Brilliant!! I did not get the concept originally, and peeled some paint off my classroom wall the first time, thinking, “Wait a minute! This wasn’t supposed to ruin my wall!” Then, I actually read the instructions on the package, and have never gone back.

  • Jim Allen
    Posted at 30 July 2013 Reply

    Been using them for years, both on the boat and at home

  • Darlene Burnett Price
    Posted at 05 June 2014 Reply

    Yep. No way I’d put a hole in the teak!

  • Leslie Womack
    Posted at 04 June 2014 Reply

    Spread the word! The more popular they are, the more available they become! I stock up for the boat whenever I am back in the US.
    My experience with using these in humid conditions has led me to use the “bathroom” version of the strips exclusively on our boat. A couple of art objects crashing to the floor in the night convinced me! These particular Command strips are pale blue with water droplets printed on the pull end.
    Thanks for promoting one of my favorite boat items!

    • Anna Klosterman
      Posted at 12 December 2016 Reply

      So god the bathroom versions hold up to heat and humidity? I have tried these on our boat and the Texas weather didn’t keep them holding

  • Deborah Wozniak Ison
    Posted at 05 June 2014 Reply

    Was just recommending this very product to a boat friend this weekend! They come in a variety of finishes to match your existing hardware.

  • Gloria Rooney
    Posted at 04 June 2014 Reply

    I have never seen the clip ones — these would be great and I will look for them. I use the other products both at our townhome on the water and on the boat (also use velcro too).
    Thanks for the clip idea!

  • David Holbourn
    Posted at 05 June 2014 Reply

    Been using and recommending them for yrs

  • Sue
    Posted at 05 June 2014 Reply

    We too have been using them for years. We use them in the head for shampoo caddies nad for shower curtain hanging. Love them. Never pulled the paint off either…a bonus on a steel boat.

  • Debbie Richey
    Posted at 20 June 2014 Reply

    I love these also. The one thing I have learned is to make sure to clean the area with rubbing alcohol like the directions say. I put up some coat hooks to hang our life jackets from, left out the alcohol step and within a month they had fallen down. I put some cork up on our v-berth walls and used the picture hanging strips to attach it to the fiberglass. Worked wonderfully.

  • Cheri Hanes
    Posted at 22 October 2014 Reply

    How about using that Velcro on cloth items, like wall pockets? Would that work? How could they be attached to fabric?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 22 October 2014 Reply

      You can use the sticky-back Velcro on the side going to the wall, and the sew-on type on the fabric. One side hooks and the other loops.

      • Cheri Hanes
        Posted at 22 October 2014 Reply


  • Debbie ones
    Posted at 05 March 2015 Reply

    I use them everywhere, from pictures to loaded shower bags! The only problem is items swing when underway. I solved this on smaller items by pushing a small ball of Butyl tape under the corners. It is easily removed and everything stays put.

  • Roxana
    Posted at 03 February 2016 Reply

    Be careful on thin veneer. I had some come off when I removed the strip.

    • Mell
      Posted at 11 December 2016 Reply

      I had the problem on a boat we recently bought. Some of command strips were old and the glue part would just broke instead of stretching and coming off. I googled it and they recommended using dental floss or fishing line to cut behind the hook, then rolling off any residual glue. It worked perfectly!

  • Lauralee
    Posted at 28 February 2016 Reply

    Do these work in particularly hot hot hot climates? I really want to use them but fear the heat will melt them loose. We sail in Baja where it tends to get exceptionally warm.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 28 February 2016 Reply

      I know well how hot it gets in Baja — cruised there six years full time (yes, including the summer). Didn’t use these then (weren’t available) but have now in southern FL over the summer. The ones inside were fine — had a couple on windows that dried out and “unstuck.” So it seems to be that temp alone is fine, but right in the window with harsh summer sun (it was holding silver film to the window so lots of extra heat and reflected light) was bad.

  • Cathy Lunn
    Posted at 28 February 2016 Reply

    any idea how to remove them if the stretch thing come off? We bought our boat last year and there are 4 or5 really old ones. i saw them and thought hey i can stretch these and they’ll pull off..not so much!

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 28 February 2016 Reply

      I’ve had that happen and I was able to kind of reach under most of them with a pair of tweezers and grab a tiny bit and pull out. On the others, I had to pull hard and it finally stretched out and I could grab it.

      • barbara
        Posted at 23 June 2016 Reply

        Carolyn you are so determined and resourceful, always honing to make things work better. I loved your details on the fridge thermometer. Even tho I am a landlubber I use many of your hints. You are a doll!

  • Richard Armentrout
    Posted at 11 December 2016 Reply

    With wood screws, what else?

    • The Boat Galley
      Posted at 11 December 2016 Reply

      The Command Strips won’t leave a mark or hole if you switch things around in the future . . .

  • Joshua Hockman
    Posted at 11 December 2016 Reply

    Try 3M command hooks and tapes. They’re rock solid, and leave no marks.

  • Lisa Carol Kelly
    Posted at 12 December 2016 Reply

    I would think that humidity on boat would make 3m commands come unstuck.

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 12 December 2016 Reply

      I’m in the Florida Keys and Bahamas — really humid — and mine haven’t come off as long as I clean the surface well (and make sure it’s dry) before attaching the strip and wait the prescribed length of time before mounting anything on it, and also don’t exceed the recommended weight. The times I’ve had a problem have been due to operator error and once I re-did things correctly, no problems. Admittedly, I haven’t tried to put up anything real heavy.

  • David Lake
    Posted at 12 December 2016 Reply


  • Christine Dumaine Springfield
    Posted at 12 December 2016 Reply

    I am having mixed results with the command strips. The hook on the door to the head is working perfectly. The picture frame with the strips has “walked” it’s way down the wall and now the base of the picture sits on a rail. It hasn’t come unstuck, just got a lot lower.

  • Rox Adams
    Posted at 12 December 2016 Reply

    Can pull off a thin veneer upon removal. Happened to me.

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