Archives for A Year Ago
- 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.
- Productivity tip: Begin with a cleared surface
The first step of mise en place, before you pull out a single ingredient from the cupboard or turn a dial to heat up your stove, is to: Put away everything that you don’t need.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Pizza Scissors/Spatula–Cut n Serve
What I love about this week’s unitasker is that it proudly acknowledges its unitasker-y status. It screams, “I have ONE purpose and I DON’T CARE!”
- 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.
- 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!
- Unclutterer odds and ends
A few administrative announcements from Unclutterer on October 9, 2012.
- Creating uncluttering and organizing routines: A typical Tuesday
A day-in-the-life example of how you can plan your day to stay on top of uncluttering and organizing efforts.
- Ask Unclutterer: How should I store sweaters this winter?
Reader Mary Margaret wants to know the best way she can store her sweaters this winter to keep things organized.
- Ask Unclutterer: Design ideas for odd space above kitchen cabinets
Reader Bonnie wants to know what to do with the foot-and-a-half space that exists above her kitchen cabinets and the ceiling in her home.
- Easily identify metric and SAE tools with red electrical tape
Colored electrical tape is a great way to keep things grouped.
- 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.”
- DIY everyday camera bag
The primary disadvantage of DSLR cameras is the inconvenience of trying to carry them everywhere. In searching for the perfect everyday camera bag, I found that bags for cameras are designed to carry only camera equipment. Some backpacks will fit a laptop and a few personal items, but if you prefer a messenger bag, there really isn
- A lesson on impermanence from a ruined baseball
Dave draws on the inspiring words of Thai meditation master Achaan Chaa to make peace with letting go of a sentimental object.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rethinking the vase for a small space
I recently learned about the store-flat reusable Vazu vases and instantly thought about our apartment and small-space dwelling readers.
- When to ignore organizing advice
Find the right organizing strategy that fits your lifestyle. Included in this article are two ways to make sure that it does.
- Ask Unclutterer: Difficulty parting with sentimental objects
Reader S. is having difficulty parting with sentimental items.
- 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: Piece of Cake Layer Slicing Kit
For all your 10″ and 11″ round layered cake cutting needs … which, I guess, are few.
- How to plan for a spontaneous trip
Spontaneous trips can be fun, exciting, and even a little stressful. Here are five ways to make sure your unplanned trip goes off without a hitch.
- Clutter can kill creativity and innovation
Career expert and author Jonathan Fields shares his insights in a guest post on the connection between order and workplace productivity, creativity, and innovation.
- 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
- Helping children develop organizing, uncluttering, and other important life skills
After reading books like Willpower and Top of the Class, I understand that parents can easily help their children develop the self-control necessary to be organized, uncluttered, and have positive study and life skills.
- Gorgeous gifts without all the clutter
Simply using construction paper and a razor blade, a plain brown package is transformed into a beautiful gift.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Cool Cones
Is eating store-bought ice cream bringing you down? Well, let Cool Cones turn that around!
- Reasons to unclutter
The September 1 issue of Woman’s Day magazine provides 12 “surprising benefits of getting organized.”
- Seven more things you can do right now to reduce paper clutter
Here are six things you can do right now to control paper clutter.
- 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.
- Ask Unclutterer: Clutter is causing marriage woes
Reader Jenny is worried her clutter and lack of house-keeping skills is damaging her marriage.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Even more elaborate butter cutters
I am 100 percent serious when I say that I don’t understand why someone would prefer to use one of these butter cutting devices instead of a knife.
- 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.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Coneivore
Are pine cones some special class of yard debris that require VIP treatment? Are they too good to be touched by a rake?
- Twelve strategies for achieving your goals from the book Willpower
One of the topics covered extensively in Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength is goal setting and achievement. The book’s authors Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney identify 12 proven strategies for successfully reaching your goals.
- 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.
- Need motivation? Send an invitation
One of the most fun ways to motivate yourself to unclutter your home and/or office is to invite someone to visit.
- Organizing (and practical) principles that help keep clutter at bay
Looking for practical ways to keep your space organized? Follow these five organizing principles to conquer clutter.
- Money saving ideas that can create clutter
You can turn your clutter into cash. Check out these six money making ideas and tips to keep clutter from infiltrating your space.
- Combatting backpack clutter
Reader Lisa, a college student, wrote in to Unclutterer asking if we might be able to help her with her backpack woes.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Hot Potato
Now you can buy a music playing, batteries required, painted toy to substitute for nature’s fun: The Hot Potato!
- 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.
- Digital books: Reducing physical clutter and overtaking the market
On September 10, The Economist published the article “Great digital expectations” discussing the consumer shift from print to digital books.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Vacu Vin Egg Pillow
This is a first: Today’s unitasker is so outrageously mind-boggling I don’t even know what it does.
- 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.
- 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: 1 lb Fat Model Replica
I had no idea what 20 lbs of fat looked like — simply looking in the mirror was ineffective — so I jumped online and ordered 20 Fat Replicas, 1 lb each.
- 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.
- Ask Unclutterer: Reducing wallet size
Reader K is looking for ways to reduce the size of his wallet.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Itzbeen
It’s called the Itzbeen because it is a timer that tracks how long “it has been” since you last fed, changed, or put your child down for a nap. You know, in case your screaming live human infant isn’t a clue that you are neglecting him, or if it isn’t extremely obvious that the breathing lump of flesh next to you is your napping child.
- Unclutter Your Life in One Week
- Unitasker Wednesday: Tomato Holder 5140
The Tomato Holder 5140 will make slicing tomatoes more difficult and ruin your knife!
- Ask Unclutterer: Is my desire to recycle an excuse to keep stuff?
Reader Sky wants to know if her desire to recycle everything in its best possible way is actually an excuse for her not to get rid of her clutter.
- Book review: The Art of Non-Conformity
The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want, and Change the World is hitting bookstores today and is a handbook for anyone who wants to break free of an unfulfilled life. As Chris explains, “It’s your own life, so why not set your own rules. You can do good things for yourself while helping other people at the same time.” It helps you plan a course for a remarkable life, get over the fears and obstacles that are currently in your way, and get started living the life you imagine. It is detailed, plausible, and full of concrete examples.
- The link between personal responsibility and an uncluttered life
If you want to make a change, you are the only one who can make that change happen.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Sunpentown SD-1501 Warm-Air Dish Dryer
Cotton, one of the world’s most natural and soft fibers, has passed after a long battle with technology. No longer able to keep up with advancements like the Sunpentown SD-1501 Warm-Air Dish Dryer, cotton went into hiding and refused to be made into dish towels, clothing, and other extremely useful and multitasking items.
- Things you probably have duplicates of that you can donate
Do you have multiples of the same things in your home or office? Unclutter and help others by donating them to charity.
- Advice from Sebastian Junger on achieving a remarkable life
The September issue of Outside magazine has an inspiring interview with author-documentarian-bar-owner Sebastian Junger that speaks directly to an uncluttered pursuit of a remarkable life.
- We’ve got the technology
Having the right tools to do a job can increase productivity and greatly improve your overall experience working on a project.
- Ask Unclutterer: Too much storage space
What should I do with empty kitchen drawers?
- A lesson on impermanence from a ruined baseball