Archives for A Year Ago
- What to do with old toys
How to bust toy clutter before the winter holidays.
- Holiday season perfect time to sell or donate items
Gift giving items are in high demand on Craigslist and eBary right now if you’re looking to get rid of lightly used items not being used in your home.
- 2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Ultimate generosity
This year’s ultimate generosity uncluttered gift are the Intellishred crosscut paper shredders from Fellowes.
- 2009 Gift Giving Guide: Gifts for kids
In our seventh installment of Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide we’re discussing gifts for children.
- An author’s minimalist home of the future
In 1952, Popular Mechanics magazine ran an article about science fiction author
Robert Heinlein‘s then-new 1,150-square-foot minimalist home. Titled “A House To Make Life Easy,” the article written by Thomas E. Stimson, Jr., explores the “house that’s called extreme today but may become conventional before the 20th century has run its course.”
- Unitasker Wednesday: Automatic Wine Opener and Foil Cutter
The Automatic Wine Opener and Foil Cutter should appear in the dictionary next to the word OVERKILL.
- 2011 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: The kitchen
Knives and other resources in the kitchen can greatly improve safety and reduce stress in the daily life of people on your holiday gift giving list.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Puzzle Sorters Puzzling Made EZ
The Puzzle Sorters Puzzling Made EZ trays allow you to do the exact same thing the table beneath the trays does.
- 2011 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Light and power
Extremely practical gifts like LED light bulbs, motion sensor switches, very slowly depleting rechargeable batteries, and a deplete, refresh, charge and test battery charger make it into this year’s uncluttered gift giving suggestions.
- 2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Organized gifts for kids
A list of practical gifts for kids that they can unwrap, which help to keep their lives more organized.
- 2009 Gift Giving Guide: The Six O’Clock Scramble
If you or anyone you know struggles to figure out what is for dinner, a Scramble subscription might be a welcome gift this holiday season.
- Five ways to stop food waste
Keep your food waste to a minimum by using these five tips.
- 2009 Gift Giving Guide: The gift of education
In our third installment of Unclutterer’s 2009 Holiday Gift Giving Guide we’re discussing gifts of knowledge.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Plastic wishbones
To get us all into the Thanksgiving holiday spirit (and those of you outside the U.S., feel welcome to laugh along), I present to you synthetic Lucky Break Wishbones in packs of 4, 5, 8, or 10 wishbones!
- Unitasker Wednesday: Masterbuilt Butterball Professional Indoor Turkey Fryer
This is truly one of the worst ideas for a product we’ve ever seen.
- How to preserve photographs worth keeping in three simple steps
Directions from professional archivist Sally Jacobs on how to preserve heirloom-quality photographs.
- Being organized before a doctor’s visit
Doctors can be intimidating, even those with amazing bedside manners. It can be easy to be anxious and/or timid around them — especially when they’re wearing those impersonal white lab coats. A little organizing can help reduce these anxieties.
- Review: Five Books
What are the five books you should read to learn as much as possible about a specific subject? Five Books has the answer.
- 2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Pampered grooming gifts for him
There aren’t many gifts more practical than grooming items. All of these items are utilitarian and functional, but are luxurious enough that they’re likely not something a man in your life will routinely buy for himself. You can pamper him, and know the gift won’t clutter up his space.
- 2010 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Kits
A kit can be an extremely practical gift, one that could make a real difference in an emergency situation.
- As seen on Lifehacker
This past week, I encountered two fantastic articles on Lifehacker I wanted to share with you.
- Is ‘user-friendly’ and ‘intuitive’ software really simpler?
Should software developers expect more from end-users?
- 2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Helpful (and fun) products
Trying to figure out what presents to buy this holiday season? Use our 2012 Gift Giving Guide to find helpful and fun products your friends and family are bound to use and enjoy.
- 2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Software
Dave has created a list of his favorite organizing and productivity software to help you or a loved one manage time well in the new year.
- Unitasker Wednesday: USB-Powered Hamster Wheel
The list of unitaskers available for your computer’s USB ports just got a little bit longer thanks to the extremely necessary USB-powered Hamster Wheel.
- A simple Thanksgiving solution
Until yesterday, I had no idea that chalk wrote easily on matte-finish oilcloth. The concept is so basic, yet its implications have my head spinning. I’m no longer trying to think of ways to decorate my Thanksgiving table, entertain the kids during mealtime, or am worried about a centerpiece — I have my solution.
- 2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Services for the home
Not sure what to get your loved ones for the holidays? Our 2012 Gift Giving Guide shares several services for the home for you to consider giving.
- 2012 Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Experiences
One of the most obvious and uncluttered gifts you can give is an experience gift. Unlike a tangible gift that takes up space and might go unused, an experience gift won’t clutter up someone’s home or office. Best of all, experiences usually make the gift recipient happier than a tangible gift and their satisfaction of the gift may even improve over time (see “Stuff won’t make you happy, experiences will“).
- Unitasker Wednesday: Teatool Teabag Squeezer
The Teatool Teabag Squeezer appears to be more tool of pain than a beverage assistant.
- Ask Unclutterer: What to do with a wedding dress?
Reader Allie wants to know if her wedding dress should be stored in a box or a bag to best preserve it.
- Save disk space by using bestcompress to select the best compression program
A clever shell script can help you ensure that you’re always using a compression program that’s appropriate for your input file.
- The Dymaxion Chronofile and our ever-expanding personal digital archives
Is an ever-expanding personal digital archive a problem if we have appropriate tools to organize and manage it?
- Workspace of the Week: Standing desk conversion
Why buy a ridiculously overpriced standing desk when you can repurpose a desk you already own?
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Ham Dogger
Yippee! The election is over and your candidate won/lost. That must feel great/awful. Now is the time to celebrate/mourn with a hamburger in the shape of a hot dog from the Ham Dogger.
- Effective inbox management
Dave provides advice on how to manage numerous inboxes — the tools you use to capture all your stuff that needs to be processed.
- A single sweater, 12 ways
Donna Karen New York produces a sweater for women that is an unclutterer’s ideal multipurpose garment.
- Unitasker Wednesday: YOU write the commentary
For a chance to win a signed copy of my book, enter your commentary for this week’s unitasker.
- Three accessories to help keep your Mac mini out of sight
There are a number of ready-made brackets available that will let you easily mount a mini either under a desk or directly behind an LCD display.
- What to do with clothes you’ve worn once but want to wear again?
What to do to avoid using a “floordrobe” to hold your not-yet-ready-to-be-washed items.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Electric Gravy Boat Warming Plate
With Thanksgiving quickly approaching in the U.S., I thought a gravy-themed unitasker was an obvious choice for our feature. Introducing the Electric Gravy Boat Warming Plate.
- The fictional extreme-minimalist future
I’m interested in knowing if you wish the extreme-minimalist future in films like 2001: A Space Odyssey and THX 1138 would have become a reality, or if you think these depictions went too far.
- Soda bottle outdoor bird feeder converter kit
Being able to reuse things that would otherwise be trash is obviously good for the environment and keeps clutter out of your home, but it can also lead to some inspired, uncluttered design. Recently, I spotted the Soda Bottle Bird Feeder Converter and was impressed by its simplicity.
- Stay productive during the winter months
Though it may be challenging to stay productive during the winter months, consider these strategies to help you keep your energy high and get things done.
- Never lose your lens cap again
It might seem obvious, but it often makes sense for loss-prone items to be physically secured so they won’t end up missing when needed.
- Review: Real Simple’s 869 New Uses for Old Things
The editors at Real Simple magazine have put together a hardcover collection of multi-tasking equipment and suggestions to honor their 10th anniversary. The book, Real Simple: 869 New Uses for Old Things, is an alphabetical listing of unexpected uses for wine corks, olive oil, old jump ropes, Q-tips, salt, soap and hundreds of other common household items.
- Unitasker Wednesday: TwitterPeek
This item was sent to us by many Unclutterer readers, and I specifically liked the humor expressed by those who sent it to us over Twitter. Today’s unitasker is the TwitterPeek.
- Video tour of Jay Shafer’s 96-square-foot house
Take a video tour of a house smaller than some people’s closets.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Chop Stir
My son declared Taco Tuesday a failure because the ground beef wasn’t chopped into small enough pieces (okay, so he didn’t really say that) and that he would have continued eating his meal had I used the Chop Stir to break up the ground beef better (he didn’t say that either).
- Unitasker Wednesday: Magical Ostrich Pillow
Most weeks, I feel inspired by the unitasker to write something funny about it. This week, words escape me.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Pumpkin Gutter
This bad boy will gut the innards out of your pumpkin faster than you can say, “Why do I need this when I can use an ice cream scoop?”
- Casa Kids: Space-saving children’s furniture for small-space living
The November 2012 issue of Dwell magazine introduced me to Casa Kids, a Brooklyn-based children’s bedroom furniture company led by designer Roberto Gil.
- Ask Unclutterer: Storing large brim hats
Reader Joanna wants help storing cowboy hats and sun hats in an organized manner.
- Unclutter your wallet by keeping a second wallet in your glove box
To avoid the symptom’s of “Costanza wallet,” keep a second wallet for loyalty cards in the glove box of your car.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Chef’n Garlic Zoom
Most multi-tasking or high-utility kitchen products have simple names that begin with lowercase letters: skillet, oven, knife, plate. A good sign that something might be a unitasker is when its name is cutesy and trademarked: JerkyXpress, Plater Grater, Nostalgia Cotton Candy Maker. By all accounts, the Chef’n Garlic Zoom is destined for unitasker greatness based on the fact that it includes a random apostrophe and the word zoom.
- Space-saving cheese grater
The Joseph Joseph brand cheese grater folds flat for storage and up for use. It’s sturdy and comes in a handful of colors. It’s great for small-space living.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Pepper Prepper
Although this week’s unitasker selection is called a Pepper Prepper — which conjures up images of a sweet pepper with a sweater tied around its shoulders heading off to Phillips Academy — I’m renaming it the Pepper Screw. It’s like a corkscrew, but it’s just for removing the tops and bellies of sweet peppers.
- Clean your barbecue grill? Might want to wait until spring
If you’re someone who puts your grill away for the six cold months, consider the idea of not giving your grill a hardcore cleaning before putting it into storage.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Retro POP Handset
My friend’s son recently asked her what games she liked to play on her phone when she was a kid. Had my friend owned this unitasker, her son would have known how dumb our phones used to be!
- Unitasker Wednesday: Asparagus Peeler
The Orka Asparagus Peeler is for all those times you peel your asparagus, which, at least for me, is never.
- Unclutter Your Life in One Week: Your questions answered
Answers to your most pressing questions.
- O’Reilly wants to help with your computer book clutter
A new promotion from O’Reilly lets you upgrade books you already own to electronic versions for only $4.99.
- Make up your mind! How to make the process of decision making easier
Making important decisions can be stressful, but being organized with your approach can make the decision-making process easier.
- Be productive no matter where you are
You can be productive no matter where you are. Follow these tips to find where your productivity flourishes.
- Ask Unclutterer: Hesitant to get rid of old computers because may need files off old machines
Reader K is reluctant to get rid of her old computers because she’s afraid there is data on them she may one day need.
- Simple, utilitarian, uncluttered cooking ideas
Unless you’re a professional chef or have super powers, your cooking routines are likely similar to mine; you’re interested in finding meals you can make when you’re wearing your proverbial Cook’s hair net instead of your Chef’s hat. Here are more than 100 ideas to get you cooking, uncluttered style.
- Workspace of the Week: No-mayhem mudroom
It’s not really a workspace, but it’s still an inspiring space — a narrow hallway that was transformed into a highly functional mudroom.
- Ask Unclutterer: Overwhelmed with clutter
My daughter’s birthday is in two days and I’ll have grandparents in my house doing that heavy sigh “at least they seem happy” thing … I guess I am looking for a band aid before the transfusion that is your book.