New additions to the Unclutterer family: Introducing Dave Caolo

As I mentioned Tuesday, we have delightedly added two new voices to the Unclutterer content team. Today, I want to introduce you to Dave Caolo, who will be sharing his phenomenal insights on the site twice a month.

You may have seen Dave’s writing at The Unofficial Apple Weblog, where he serves as news editor, or on his personal site 52 Tiger. He’s also published several books, including Using iMovie ’11 and Taking Your OS X Lion to the Max (and he has a new one coming out this fall). When Dave isn’t writing, he can be found spending time with his wife, kids, and Boston Terrier, Batgirl, in Massachusetts.

The amazing Dave Caolo

I was raised in a small, shoebox-shaped house in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Inside was faded linoleum, a 24″ television and my typical American family: middle class, happy enough, and terribly disorganized.
Consider the kitchen. The cabinet above the pink laminate countertop contained my mother’s recipes. Unlike most mom’s collection, Carol’s never saw the inside of a cookbook. Instead, it hung from the back of the door with yellowing strips of tape.

A potato salad recipe dangled next to my grandmother’s hand-written instructions for stuffed squid. There were pages ripped from magazines, supermarket handouts, 3×5 index cards … anything flat enough to write on and light enough to stick to a pine cupboard door was called into service.

Most bore stains acquired in the line of duty. “David, hand me that sheet of paper,” my mother would say. Another Christmas, another batch of lemon squares and another crop of buttery smears. By the time I was in high school, the recipe was nearly illegible.

While the fly-strip method of recipe storage keeps everything accessible, it’s a poor filing system. Linguine with anchovy paste rubbed up against blueberry cheesecake, which is something that should never happen, not even in print.

Like most messes, my mother’s organizational habits migrated through the house. Likewise, my dad’s garage looked like a yard sale, and the basement was a jumble.

What all this means is that I’ve got chaos in my blood. Daily, I must make a concerted effort to keep things in check. It’s a struggle that I’ll share with you on Unclutterer. I look forward to sharing my organizational success and missteps with you. Here’s hoping we both learn something.

13 Comments for “New additions to the Unclutterer family: Introducing Dave Caolo”

  1. posted by Sylvia on

    Welcome Dave. I look forward to learning from you.

  2. posted by Egirl on

    Excellent intro, Dave!

  3. posted by Dave on

    Sylvia and Egirl, thanks! I’m looking forward to publishing some more.

  4. posted by Secret Squirrel on

    Hi Dave, look forward to reading more! My parents were equally chaotic…

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    posted by Sky on

    Looking forward to your posts!

  6. posted by JC on

    Alas, I did not inherit the organization gene from my mother. It has been over 20 years since I lived in her home, yet I can tell you exactly where to find paper clips, sewing thread, a spare toothbrush, small hand tools, bandaids, and even which side of the freezer holds the frozen peas. I look forward to your posts.

  7. posted by momofthree on

    raised in a small house, the oldest of three girls…..raising my family in a house of similar size….lots of love no matter where I lived.

    looking forward to your insights!!

  8. posted by VeritySa on

    I’m looking forward to your posts.

    Though my mom was organized (as is my twin sister), I’m not a natural either. Learning to implement that daily (sometimes minutely it seems) reminder to stay organized is the biggest challenge to organization I think!

    Excited to hear what you have to say!

  9. posted by Dave on

    Thanks again, everyone. I appreciate the warm welcome.

  10. posted by MixinItaly on

    Welcome Dave! I am from right down the road from you, Allentown, PA, but have lived abroad almost 20 years. I remember messy stacks and messy drawers while growing up. I remember my mom always hunting for stuff! It’s important to recognize that that way doesn’t work for you and do what you can to be uncluttered and organized, hence spending your free time doing what you love instead of being continually submerged under stuff. This website has improved my focus and quality of life in so many ways.

  11. posted by DivaJean on

    Welcome Dave! I am from Berwick Pa- home of the Dawgs!- migrated to Syracuse NY as a child.

    My family “inherited” bugaboo is hanging on to things for too long. The family home in Berwick had been in our family for over 100 years- and we had generations of clutter to prove it. It took 6 months to clear out when I was in my 20’s (my mom spent weeks there at a time).

  12. posted by Andy on

    So weird to read – I live in Bloomsburg, PA (well, Orangeville, really)! Hello to all the PA folks, and welcome Dave. Looking forward to reading the new perspectives!

  13. posted by Jennifer on

    Funny, we had a male bassett, Batman. His “legal” name was Count Dracula of (street name). I’m looking forward to reading your posts.

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