Archives for A Year Ago
- Unitasker Wednesday: Disturbing decorations and artificial tree spinners
In this week before Christmas, I wanted to do a Christams-theme unitasker. It turned out to be a little more difficult than I thought because, although there are a lot of single-use objects that are related to the holiday, almost all of them are decorations. After finding some creepy decorations, I finally stumbled upon the artificial tree spinner … which might not be a unitasker after all!
- Unclutter stress from your holiday season
To help keep your stress at bay this time of year, I strongly recommend employing the following three strategies.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Electronic bubble wrap
Popping bubble wrap no longer needs to involve bubble wrap, thanks to the Mugen Pop Pop Endless Bubble Popping Keychain.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Fingertip oven mitts
That’s right, fingertip-only oven mitts do not look safe in the least. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that they look unsafe. And, all you can do is grab a plate with them. You certainly couldn’t use them while grilling, reaching into boiling water, or removing a pan from the oven.
- Gadgets of the decade that helped unclutter our lives
For all the unitaskers and useless doo dads the past decade gave us, at least there were a few gadgets that helped to get clutter out of our lives.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Cheese Curler
I think the lessons this so-called “Cheese Curler” can teach us are that cheese is good, curly hair is good, but a cheese curler is a genuine unitasker.
- Capture ideas quickly with index cards
How to use an inbox and blank index cards to capture ideas, review them, and make sure the action on the cards is completed.
- 2011 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Ultimate generosity
Instead of tangible gifts, which have been the focus of our Guide in 2011, we are recommending a service as the ultimate gift of generosity. We suggest getting your favorite unclutterer a few hours of consultation, uncluttering, and organizing with a professional organizer.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The Elf on the Shelf
I’m someone who prefers her holidays to be simple and free of rats that tattle on you to Santa Claus, like The Elf on the Shelf.
- Getting organized for the new year
At the start of every year, I get a new notebook and copy all of my lists from the old notebook into the new. The lists help keep me organized, but the process is a terrific way to prepare for the next year.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Inflatable meal
In this holiday season, we wanted to invite all of you to join us for a (virtual) meal. Come on in, grab a seat, sit down, and let’s enjoy a meal together.
- Uncluttering isn’t for everyone
As much as your uncluttering strategies and techniques have made a positive change in your life, don’t think about your way of living as being better than how other people choose to live their lives. Think of an uncluttered life as being easier for you.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Wannabe waffle makers
Since the release of the George Foreman Grill in 1994, small appliance manufacturers have been trying to get in on the profitable waffle-iron-as-stove-or-oven market. Thankfully, they are all quite entertaining.
- How to plan for a stress-free return from your vacation
Five steps to plan for a stress-free return from your vacation.
- Ways to put lonely socks to good (uncluttered) use
Did the dryer eat your sock again? Here are six uncluttered ways to make use of lonely socks.
- 2011 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide: High-utility gifts for stockings
Trinkets and baubles that end up cluttering up your home (and eventually your trash can) are common items placed in holiday stockings. This doesn’t have to be the case, though, as there are numerous small, high-utility items that make great presents for stockings.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The brie baker
What makes this week’s unitasker so bizarre is that it is 7″ in diameter, but the standard wheel of French brie is between 9″ and 15″ in diameter.
- 2011 Unclutterer Holiday Gift Giving Guide: Organizing products
Giving organizing products as gifts can be tricky. If not done in a polite manner, you can end up hurting someone’s feelings. However, if a person on your list has expressed interest in receiving a gift with an organizing theme, it can be a welcomed present.
- Pack rats in fiction: Through the Looking Glass
In chapter eight of the tale “It’s My Own Invention,” Alice encounters the White Knight, a man with a nasty manifestation of Just-in Case syndrome.
- iPhone alarm clocks
My husband and I need a new alarm clock and, after many deliberations, we have decided to go with a unit that works in conjunction with our iPhones. Since the units are all multi-functional (they’re all chargers, and all but the first include speakers), I thought I would share with you our finalists.
- 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.