A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2010

  • Excerpt: Six tips for organizing your time spent on the telephone
    Since most of us spend time at work dealing with facts and data, the phone should be taking a backseat to other forms of communication. That being said, it’s impossible to avoid the phone in the workplace. And there are times when picking up the phone is the best way to handle a situation. The following are suggestions for how to use the phone in an organized way during those times when you need to rely on it.
  • Ask Unclutterer: Best methods for recycling?
    I recycle almost everything. In passing magazines along to a charity, is it much more likely they will end up in a landfill?

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2012

2011

2010

  • Repercussions of uncluttering and organizing
    We often talk about the benefits of uncluttering and organizing, but we rarely even hint of their being downsides. Today, I thought we’d break that trend and discuss all the work that — at least in the short term — uncluttering and organizing create.
  • Stumped!
    Over the years of writing about organizing and working with clients, I continue to be baffled by how to neatly organize a small number of items. Whenever I see these items or hear about them, I cringe. Organizing them successfully is a complete mystery to me. Maybe you have a few, too, in your home or office — a specific item that always seems to be out of place, cumbersome, or impossible to store well?

2009

  • Ask Unclutterer: Is something put away if it’s in cardboard?
    In your situation, one of you believes that the cardboard box is in its place against the wall and that the stuff inside of the box is in its place, too. The other of you believes that the cardboard box and the stuff inside of it are all out of place and they need new places to live.
  • Book review: The Itty Bitty Kitchen Handbook
    Published in 2006, this gem is essential reading for anyone who finds themselves in a cluttered kitchen of any size.
  • Three laws of basement storage
    If you use your basement for storing things other than root vegetables, let me introduce you to my Three Laws of Basement Storage.
  • Off-beat solutions for organizing your mail
    If you don’t immediately process your mail when you come home each evening, then I strongly recommend having a set place to store your mail until you do have time to process it.

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2011

  • The Simple Meal
    Over the years, my husband and I have come to rely on The Simple Meal when we’re stressed and don’t want to make a production out of dinner. This meal consists of a protein, a vegetable, and a drink.
  • Ask Unclutterer: Preparing for a major life change
    Reader Sarah wants to know how much preparation she needs to put into setting up a nursery for a future child.

2009

  • Organized tool kits
    Kits are great to assemble or purchase because all of the tools you need for a project are in one location and usually everything has a fixed home within the kit.
  • Unitasker Wednesday: Bread slicer and crumb catcher
    I’m of the opinion that if someone knows how to bake homemade bread that they’re suave enough to be able to cut it up without any assistance.
  • Corralling lids
    The August 2009 issue of Real Simple magazine (pg. 36) has a great tip for maintaining order in the kitchen.

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2012

  • Unitasker Wednesday: FreshTECH Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker
    When a new product doesn’t improve convenience or functionality, why abandon the older, traditional product? Avoid the Automatic Jam and Jelly Maker and simply use your microwave or stovetop or oven or slow cooker or even your bread maker (if you have such a thing).

2011

2010

  • Making Mondays — and your week — more productive
    Mondays are opportunities to start new habits and the day to begin a productive path for the week. While others grumble about Mondays, I try to think of them like the first day of school or the first day of a new job. The possibilities for success, fulfillment, creativity, and all the reasons you do what you do are open for you to experience.
  • Blog to watch: UN v2.0
    Alec Farmer, a graduate student in Glasgow, Scotland, is spending a year living in a micro-structure and is blogging about his experience on the new UN v2.0 site. The UN in the blog title is an abbreviation for urban nomad, and it aptly describes Farmer’s interesting project in small-space living.

2009

  • Ask Unclutterer: Having it all
    Reader April asks: How do you have time for all of this – running a blog, writing a book, all of these musical activities & all the other stuff you seem to do?

A year ago on Unclutterer

2011

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2009

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

  • Unitasker Wednesday: Tug of War Rope
    This week’s unitasker is not just a 30-foot piece of abaca rope for $60. No, this is 30′ of rope for $60 with a knot in the middle of it, which is totally different.

2012

  • Unitasker Wednesday, er, Tuesday: Toastie Knife
    This week’s selection comes to us from across the pond and could easily have been one of the reasons our fore fathers seceded from British rule. (I jest.) It’s the perfect tool for those of you with consistently torn toast from spreading too cold butter. HOW TRAGIC! Introducing, the Toastie Knife.

2011

2009

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2010

  • Unitasker Wednesday: Pet Highchair
    Someone at Pet Gear had to have asked, “Are we sure we want to do this?” What would you have said when a co-worker threw out the bone-headed idea for The Pet Gear Clip-On Pet High Chair.
  • Finish it! Erin’s third set of 2010 resolutions
    How are you doing with your 2010 resolutions? Even if you don’t keep resolutions, could you spend the next three months finishing all of the unfinished projects in your life? If so, join me on my adventure. My goal is to head into the fourth quarter of 2010 with more energy and less stress.
  • If it’s not important to you, don’t consume it
    When I read the book Voluntary Simplicity seven or eight years ago, I interpreted the focus of the book to be about reducing one’s impact on the environment. However, Trent Hamm of TheSimpleDollar.com points out in his review of the book that there is a larger theme beyond responsible environmental behavior that speaks to the heart of simple, uncluttered living.
  • Ask Unclutterer: What to do with diplomas
    Reader Kathy asks: “What do people do with their diplomas? I have my high school, undergraduate, and graduate diplomas. They’re sitting in my closet because I don’t know what to do with them.”

2009

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

  • Unitasker Wednesday: Potato Grilling Rack
    It’s summer! (Well, at least it is for those of us in the northern hemisphere.) It’s grilling season! It is also apparently time to buy stuff to use on your grill that you don’t need!

2012

2011

  • Love your laundry room
    A clean, uncluttered, organized laundry room is welcoming and makes doing laundry much more enjoyable. Additionally, an organized room speeds up the process so you spend less time doing what you may not enjoy.If your laundry space could use some attention, try these 10 steps to get it in order.
  • Unitasker Wednesday: Taco Proper
    Tipping tacos are a tragedy. A contemptible calamity. An ignominious injustice. A monstrous misfortune.

2010

  • Organizing to foster creativity
    Creative personalities have the stereotype of being messy, disorganized people. When, in reality, the incredibly successful creative people of the world are often profoundly organized — they have to be to manage their work and schedules, so they can be ready when inspiration strikes.

2009

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2010

  • Unitasker Wednesday: The can grip
    Some weeks, I need to write a great amount of exposition about our featured unitasker because some folks might not be aware of how a product lacks utility. This is not one of those weeks.
  • Office upgrade: An extraordinary project for Wired magazine
    I was standing in author Steven Levy’s office holding a trash bag and asking him if I could throw away a crumpled business card I’d found at the back of his closet. Turned out, the card belonged to a current executive at a major tech firm, but was from a time when the guy was a nobody at another company. I told myself that if Levy decided to trash the card, I’d slip it into my pocket instead.

2009

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2012

  • Unitasker Wednesday: The Grillion
    My friend uses an onion on the end of a barbecue fork to clean the grate of his barbecue grill. I use a metal grill brush. Neither of us turn to the Grillion to melt plastic onto our grills while we clean.

2011

2010

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

2012

  • Getting a handle on your craft supplies
    Guest post author and professional organizer Janine Adams gives seasoned, practical advice for keeping your craft and/or hobby supplies from taking over your home.

2011

  • Searching for inspiration for a multipurpose guest room
    I’m looking for ways to make our guest room into a fabulous guest room and a practical hobby room in one. The solution will have to include storage for the hobby supplies that can be completely closed up when guests are present and using it for their retreat. And, I want it to be extremely practical as a hobby room when guests aren’t visiting.

2010

A year ago on Unclutterer

2013

  • Unitasker Wednesday: Unplastic Tray
    The Unplastic Tray, especially for people who want to look like they’re serving store-bought cookies in a plastic tray but who are really duping their guests by serving store-bought cookies in a glass tray.

2012

  • Six simple ways to gain more time in your day
    Six simple steps you can do every day to save a little time in your schedule.
  • Unitasker Wednesday: Corn Desilker
    In all of my years of shucking, cooking, and eating a ridiculous amount of corn, I have never once thought I needed a device to remove the silk from an ear. However, someone out there apparently thinks I am wrong and believes a special tool is necessary for doing a very simple task that your hands can do. Exhibit A: The Corn Desilker.
  • Breaking projects down into simple, achievable steps
    When you break projects down into simple, achievable steps, you set yourself up for success. You are more likely to complete a project when the steps to “done” are clear.

2011

  • Organizing advice from classical Greeks
    More than 2,000 years ago, famous Greek philosopher Socrates and a man named Isomachus were having a discussion about how Isomachus wished his wife would run their home (the conversation is recorded by Xenophon in chapter eight of his writing Oeconomicus). Isomachus told Socrates he had asked his wife to keep house by finding a place for everything and having everything in its place.
  • Unitasker Wednesday: Coffee Grinder Brush
    Sadly, this specialized brush can’t do the job of getting particulates out of your grinder any better than a pastry brush (which you probably already own if you’re grinding your own coffee and spices).

2010

  • You are not your stuff
    I was recently captivated by the article “The mess he made: A life-long slob decides it’s time to get organized” by Michael Rosenwald in the June 7 issue of The Washington Post. As the title of the article references, the piece is a first-person narrative of a diagnosed hoarder who went to see Randy Frost for help to change his ways. During Rosenwald’s visits with Frost, he came to the following inspiring conclusion:
  • Organizing your home and family with notebooks
    Notebooks are great because they keep all of your important papers in one place and they are easily portable. In our home, we have a recipe notebook, appliance notebook (instruction manuals, purchase receipts, maintenance and repair receipts, and warranty information), and important information notebooks for all four of us (our cat even has one).

2009

  • The Uniform Project
    We’ve recently stumbled upon The Uniform Project and are amazed at the variety Sheena Matheiken is getting from a single dress and a lot of accessories.