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.
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!
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.
Unitasker Wednesday: MySneezee
When I hear the phrase “sneeze guard,” I think of the glass shield that sits above the food on a buffet line. But I’m wrong, I should be thinking of MySneezee!
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.
Unclutter Your Life in One Week and a special bonus
Unclutter Your Life in One Week would not be possible without you, the Unclutterer.com readers. In fact, you’re the first people thanked in the acknowledgments section of the book. As a sign of my appreciation, I want to offer you all something in return. I wish that I could give you a discount on the book, but the publishers and retailers have a tight lock on that part of the process. So, here is a special bonus that I can give without ruffling any feathers
Unitasker Wednesday: Breakfast Sandwich Maker
This week’s unitasker is one of the more convoluted contraptions we’ve ever featured. In short, this clunky small appliance cooks eggs into a round shape so they fit nicely onto an English muffin … same as a pan.
Unitasker Wednesday: Hot Dog Slice and Serve
I often think this weekly feature could be renamed “Instead of a knife …” Instead of a knife, this thing-a-ma-jigger slices a banana! Instead of a knife, this gadget somehow sections a grapefruit! Instead of a knife, own a thousand unitaskers that you don’t need and that take up a ridiculous amount of space in your kitchen cupboards!
What’s in your wallet?
Do you know what’s in your wallet? Follow these five steps to keep it organized and from bursting at the seams.
Simple strategies for marking items
After Saturday’s simple tape suggestion, PJ and I have been talking about our favorite tricks for marking items. Here are a handful more tips for identifying items in your home and workspace.
Sleek and streamlined diaper bags
Diaper bags — like purses and wallets — can be magnets for clutter. I speak from personal experience when I say that things go into them and rarely, if ever, come out. The smaller the bag, usually the easier it is to keep it clutter free and stuffed only with essentials.
Organize your writing, J.K. Rowling style
The website /Film reported on Friday about author J.K. Rowling’s method for organizing her books. Using pen, notebook paper, and a simple grid, she plotted out the direction of her stories.
Review: Essential Travel Jacket by Scottevest
Ordinarily, garments with an extreme number of pockets tend to make the wearer look like either Walter Sobchak or a pro bass fisherman. This jacket is both fashionably simple and inconspicuous.
Organizing a party pantry
I was recently given a copy of the book Simple Stunning Parties at Home by its author Karen Bussen. In the book, Karen suggests organizing a “party pantry” so that “when it’s time to throw a dinner party or a wine and cheese night on the spur of the moment, I look [to it] for design inspiration, and I pull together all the elements I need.” She lives in a small New York City apartment, so her party pantry isn’t large or cluttered. She recommends a “small closet, a cupboard in the kitchen, or an antique hutch — whatever works for you.”
Can mise en place make your cooking more organized?
I don’t typically measure out all of my ingredients or get them out of the cupboard before starting the cooking process. This step, referred to as mise en place, has always seemed to me to be unnecessary. I also think measuring thins ahead of time dirties a ridiculous number of bowls. Or, rather, I thought it was ridiculous until reading Michael Ruhlman‘s newest cookbook Twenty.
Unitasker Wednesday: Wheelmate Laptop Steering Wheel Desk
I have to confess — this week’s unitasker has more than one purpose. Not only is it great for holding your laptop, book, cell phone, and food as you drive, but it’s also perfect for crushing your ribs and/or impaling you when you get into inevitable accidents!
Creating a mail center in your home
One of the easiest ways to keep paper clutter from overwhelming your space is to set up a mail processing center immediately inside the door by your mailbox.
Exercise and focus
A neuroscientist at the University of Illinois, Arthur Kramer, in “Ageing, Fitness and Neurocognitive Function” in Nature magazine, reports on another way to improve your ability to focus and brain cognition. The answer: Regularly participating in aerobic exercise.
Unitasker Wednesday: Rock, Paper, Scissors Card Game
First, you need hands to be able to deal, hold, and play the cards. Hands that you could simply use to PLAY THE GAME. Second, you — wait, forget a second point. I think the first point about HANDS says it all.
Unitasker Wednesday: Rice Cube
When using really good sushi rice, you don’t have to use a mat or seaweed. All you need are your hands to make the sushi into any shape you desire. If you want your sushi to look like something other than a circle, just mold it. A rabbit! An hourglass! A snake! A cube … which brings us to today’s unitasker, the Rice Cube
Multifunctional children’s furniture
The multifunctional WeeCANDU Chair can be transformed into a playtable/desk, bedside table, easel, step stool, rocking chair, regular chair, and magazine/book rack.
Qualities of a good to-do method
After years of auditioning the most popular to-do management methods (and a few obscure methods, as well), I’ve found that it’s incredibly obvious which methods are likely to be helpful and which ones are duds. For a method to be good at actually getting me to do my work, it has to have the following components.
The Stash for organizing the small stuff
Organizing small things, specifically small things you regularly need at your fingertips, can be frustrating. Most of the pre-made organizing products for small things aren’t very attractive and/or made exclusively for drawers. While searching for a way to organize my son’s bath supplies, I came across an attractive organizing system that is made specifically for small things that sit out on a counter or hang on the wall. The Stash by Boon.
Unitasker Wednesday: Elegant Baby Cup
At $160, this Elegant Baby Cup signals to all the other babies that your baby knows how to live it up and fine dine with the mucky muck. Even though your baby can’t hold up its head or find its mouth with regular consistency, pay no mind.
Book review: Willpower
In the recently published book Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength, authors Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney explore the science behind willpower and self-control. They analyzed findings from hundreds of experiments to see why some people are able to keep their focus and determination after a long day at work and others aren’t.
The dimensions of stuff
In Peter Walsh’s “It’s All Too Much Workbook” he discusses the physical limitations of storage and how to use math to determine how much you can keep and have your home be clutter free.
Unitasker Wednesday: Nail Perfect
This gigantic doodad is to help you avoid painting your finger as part of the fingernail-painting process. But, you still have to clean the machine, it slows down the process, and it DOESN’T WORK ON TOES!
Unitasker Wednesday: Easy 2 Pick Luggage Locator
The flashing, sound notification, and vibrating don’t increase in intensity the closer you get to your bag. You’re simply made aware that somewhere, within 90 feet of you, is what you’re searching for. A wee bit cruel, if you ask me.
Getting your child out the door in the morning, on time
If you have school-age children, you’re well aware that some mornings can be difficult. Even highly organized children have a few mornings each month where there is a melt down and things fall apart. Here are a few tips to help get your children (and you) out the door on time.
DIY project for transient items
Reader Dawn tipped us off to a blog post on the website The Red Chair Blog for how to organize “transient” items. This DIY solution can be made with four sturdy cardboard boxes with lids and a narrow set of storage cubes.