Archives for A Year Ago
- Unitasker Wednesday: Coffee unitaskers continue
For this week’s unitasker selection, I wanted to keep with the April theme of coffee-inspired unitaskers. And, when looking for such unitaskers, my kitchen seemed like the perfect spot to find candidates.
- Mail sorting solutions
The first goal is to put a sorting system in place so the mail has a place to go immediately upon entering the house.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Pizza Saver plastic bags
As far as I can tell, this may be the perfect unitasker.
- Simply-designed outboard DAC improves computer audio quality
The NuForce DAC gives you affordable high-end computer audio in a compact and simple package.
- Ask Unclutterer: Preserving cherished sentimental items
How can I possibly display and store such varied sentimental items in a one-bedroom apartment without looking like a junk shop? Help!!
- Chalk it up!
Chalkboards to keep you on track with your goals.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Pour some iced coffee on me
There are special trays to make frozen coffee cubes and special coffeemakers to make only iced coffee. Seriously. These things exist. I’m not making them up. They’re real.
- Using timers to improve productivity
Timers help you to stay focused and complete tasks — specifically the not-so-fun ones and the ones that have to get done — in reasonable amounts of time.
- Keeping book clutter off the bookshelf
When packing up our bookshelves for our move, these are the standards I used for deciding what moved and what didn’t.
- A moment of reflection: Four years and 500,000 words
The Unclutterer community is truly wonderful and supportive, and I love working for you. Thank you so much for a terrific four years, and I’m excited about reaching the five year mark and 2,000 posts by next March!
- Unitasker Wednesday: Light Up Toilet Seat
Toilet darkness is a major concern for most people. Thankfully, the Light Up Toilet Seat is here to help.
- Staying organized during an office move
With an office move, your entire office needs to be put away instantly or you could suffer negative repercussions, like losing productivity, clients, income, or even your job.
- Cleaning your home’s gutters
DIYlife.com’s recent article “Spring Maintenance: Clean Gutters and Downspouts” is a wonderful step-by-step guide on how to get the debris out so that your home is ready for spring rains.
- Organizing the creative mind
While some ideas are killed for good reason, most ideas are abandoned half-baked as a result of obstacles during execution.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Pineapple slicer
Whenever I’m in a kitchen supply store, I always think about fake medieval torture devices and imagine what future generations could make up about the pineapple slicer unitasker.
- The deep drawer problem
The deep drawer is a depository for just about every tool in the kitchen. It contains everything from a whisk to a rolling pin.
- Ask Unclutterer: How long should I keep bills that have been digitally scanned?
I have all my papers (bills, documents etc.) digital, so its no physical clutter. But I’m not sure how long to keep digital files like itemized bills, phone bills, electricity bills etc.?
- Use Twitter to keep track of new streaming movies from Netflix
Minimize your use of DVDs and other physical media by knowing what movies you can stream
- Install a tip out tray in front of your sink
The useless fake drawers that are installed in front of the sink do nothing but take up space.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Coffee Filter Separator Tool
Want to know what is not a problem in search of a solution? Separating paper coffee filters. Want to know why it’s not a problem? Because a reusable coffee filter costs less than $1.50 and you have no need to use paper coffee filters or separate them from each other.
- Easily hang an organized photo gallery with The PerfectPicturewall
We are very happy with the appearance of the finished product from this gallery kit, and the process was unbelievably simple for us to navigate.
- Teaching toddlers about organizing
Young children are eager to be independent, and helping your child learn skills that foster this independence as well as acquire valuable organizing concepts are a great place to start the teaching process.
- forScore app brings sheet music to the iPad
forScore lets you use your own sheet music PDFs on the iPad.
- Christoph Niemann’s My Life With Cables
Artist Christoph Niemann reflected on his relationship with cables and wires on the New York Times blog Abstract City.
- Another option in space-saving ladders
The 5′ Compact Ladder collapses down to roughly the size of a 61″ long 2″ x 4″.
- New storage products for the home
New storage products that help organize items in the home — Rubbermaid Bento Boxes and Store Clever Trays, DrawerDecor custom drawer organizing system, and Pliio for clothes filing.
- Ask Unclutterer: What to do with sentimental t-shirts?
Reader Dawn’s son has numerous team “spirit” shirts — what should she do with the ones she wants to get rid of and the ones she wants to keep?
- Ask Unclutterer: Mental clutter
Reader Stefanie asks for help in dealing with worries about searching for a job and waiting on queries that are cluttering up her mind.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Muffin Magic
Are you tired of making muffins the old fashioned way? Yeah, me too.
- Making a family first aid kit
- New paper sorting and filing products
Introduced at the 24th National Association of Profesional Organizers’ annual conference, are new paper sorting and filing products to help you keep your paper mess under control.
- Review of Your Money: The missing manual
J.D. Roth, who writes the educational and extremely valuable personal finance blog GetRichSlowly.org, just published Your Money: The missing manual with O’Reilly books. The book is filled with charts, graphs, checklists, guides, and explanations that explore the basics and advanced methods of personal finance — all with Roth’s simple ease and charm.
- Unitasker Wednesday: The mushroom brush
Oh, mushroom brush, you have confused me for years. How are you better at cleaning dirt off a mushroom than a simple kitchen sponge?
- Disaster uncluttering
How to prepare for the worst.
- Ask Unclutterer: Magazine clutter
Reader Nia: “I am especially guilty of magazine clutter. Why am I unable to throw away magazines? It’s seriously painful for me to get rid of them. The only plausible explanation I’ve come up with is that the magazine has done such a good job marketing themselves (all of them have, mind you) that it embodies a lifestyle and not just a pack of paper.”
- Unitasker Wednesday: Peel-a-Meal
this week’s doozy of a unitasker. It doesn’t slice, it doesn’t dice, and it most certainly doesn’t julianne. In fact, the reviews for the Peel-a-Meal indicate it doesn’t even de-skin six to eight potatoes very well in 30 minutes. Oh, and it’s supposed to be really loud.
- Unclutterer housekeeping
I am pleased to announce that these layout errors have finally been corrected by my publisher, and a new Kindle version is available for download.
- Kindle software available for Mac users
I know that not everyone is on board with reading electronic books as a way to control over-flowing bookshelves, but if you are, you might be happy to know that Kindle software is now available for Mac.
- How much is enough?
My answer to the question, “How much is enough?” is turning out to be much less than I imagined. My family and I don’t require too many physical objects to be healthy, happy, and comfortable in the modern world.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Cupmen Instant Noodle Figure
The Cupmen Instant Noodle Figure rests on the lip of your steeping noodles and tells you when they’re “done.” In three minutes, the plastic, heat-sensitive Cupmen Figure transforms from a little blue guy into a little white guy. When he’s all white, you know your noodles are ready to eat. Yay, unnecessary plastic doodads!
- Ruthless Simplicity: How to ward off doing more and burning out
My initial inclination to planning for business growth was to do more. Work more hours. Put my kid into more programs. Just cram more into my life for a period of time. You know, weather the beautiful storm. But this time, I stopped myself.
- Book review: One Year to an Organized Work Life
Overall Leeds writes a heck of a book on organizing your life on a one-year plan.
- Managing active files and papers
Even in the digital age, many people can work with active files and papers. Here are some suggestions for dealing with this mass of paperwork.
- Spring is here and cleaning is in the air
Around 1:15 this morning, those of us in the northern hemisphere officially started spring. The local weathermen explained to me as I sipped my coffee that because this is a leap year, spring showed up on the calendar a day early. If spring sprung up on you and took you by surprise, the following 10 tasks are what I consider to be the most valuable spring cleaning activities. These are the Firsts, the things to get to before the other activities.
- Ask Unclutterer: Simple baby-proofing solutions
What is a good computer set-up that can also be locked away to keep little fingers away from the keyboard, mouse, and tower? We’re looking for something relatively inexpensive, but we haven’t found a good solution that would also fit in a living room, since our computer/monitor also functions as our TV/DVD player. Any suggestions?
- Unitasker Wednesday: The baby food organizer
The “space saving design” is a little suspect in that it displays the jars in a vertical fashion rather than simply stacking neatly in your cupboard.
- New baby products from Built NY
Built NY has recently unveiled a couple of useful baby products that will surely be put to use by new parents.
- Ask Unclutterer: Toddler-safe labeling solutions
Reader Cynthia needs a toddler-safe way to label boxes while keeping a nice aesthetic.
- Ask Unclutterer: Putting away laundry
Your advice on doing the laundry is fantastic. I’ve employed several tips with great success. In particular, I’m a fan of clothing items that need little care (e.g. no ironing, dry cleaning, etc.). However, I’m unable to find usable suggestions on HOW TO PUT THE LAUNDRY AWAY.
Quick Note: We are updating the Unclutterer Forum with a new and exciting system. Sorry for the disruption. Wonderful changes are on the way. Stay tuned!
- Project Basement: Day 3
Except for a couple hours this morning pulling out the washer and dryer, sweeping the floor where they had been, and doing a general cleanup in the laundry area of the basement, I’ve been sorting, scanning, and recycling a couple hundred pounds of paperwork. Watch out, basement clutter!
- Ask Unclutterer: Food storage containers
Reader Carla asks for a recommendation on the best type of food storage container that won’t clutter up her mother’s cabinets.
- Using a three-folder system to keep e-mail under control
Checking, reading, processing, replying to, and stressing out about e-mail can all be sources of clutter in our lives. And, according to a recent Fast Company article written by Gina Trapani titled “Work Smart: Conquering Your Email Inbox,” it might be taking up half of our workweek.
- Ask Unclutterer: Laundry tips for apartment dwellers
If you don’t have a washer and dryer in your apartment, how can you make the process suck less?
- Organizing your workspace based on function zones
Whether you’re moving into a new office or simply uncluttering and organizing your current space, one of the easiest ways to get your desk in order is to focus on organizing zones according to purpose. When you deal with the items on your desk based on similar function, you can keep the most important items as the focus of your space and put the least important items out of the way.
- Moving: How to pack your home
Tips and tricks for how to pack your home before a move.
- A lesson on mental clutter from the book Zen Shorts
Frustrations caused by occasional messes are usually not worth carrying around with you and cluttering up your mind, energy, and emotions.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Microwave French Fry Maker
I have never had a french fry made with this contraption, but supposedly it allows you to microwave fries purchased in your grocer’s freezer and turn them into treats that taste like ones from your favorite fast-food joint. But, I’m sincerely doubting this claim seeing as we all know it’s the fat and grease that makes fast food french fries so yummy.
- The second pass
Do you do a second pass on your uncluttering efforts to make sure that you didn’t accidentally leave clutter in your collections? If you haven’t been doing a second pass of the areas of your home and office you’ve uncluttered, I recommend you schedule it on your calendar for a few days or weeks after your first pass in your uncluttering process. My guess is you’ll find one or more items you’re now ready to purge from your bookshelves, or whatever area you’ve recently uncluttered.
- Design Public’s Organization Blog Fest: Bookshelves
The website Design Public is hosting an Organization Blog Fest for a week, and they asked me to be a part of the advice-wielding group for the second year in a row.
- Ask Unclutterer: Auto office
My wife uses her mini van as an office for her process serving business, and a shuttle bus for taking our children to and from various events plus all the household shopping. What suggestions or gadgets have you come across for organizing a vehicle? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Underground time capsule
- Purchasing the right CFL bulbs
Martha Stewart Living had an article in their September 2008 issue that highlighted the differences of all the CFL options.
- Tax time: Three basic steps to get you closer to filing your taxes on time
If you’re good at procrastinating and do it often, putting off doing your 2011 tax returns would be a very simple thing to do. I know it’s even easier to procrastinate doing them when you suspect you owe the government money. There’s no need to let stress about completing your taxes take its toll on you, though. Getting started with just a few easy tasks right now can alleviate some of your anxiety, help you to be better organized, and assist you with meeting the federal and your state’s tax deadlines.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Cauliflower Corer
I didn’t even know Cauliflower Corers were a thing. More importantly, I never would have guessed what it was if it were sitting in front of me. Where I come from, tubes with sharp things on the end of them are used for digging holes for fence posts.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Mascara Protector
The item, the Tweezerman Mascara Protector, is supposed to protect your face from getting mascara on it when you’re applying mascara.
- O Magazine focuses on uncluttering
The March 2010 issue of O: The Oprah Magazine just hit newsstands and it is dedicated to the theme “De-Clutter Your Life!” The uncluttering articles begin on page 142, but most of the content in the rest of the magazine is tangentially related to the topic.
- Unitasker Wednesday: Formula Mixer
Introducing the Formula Mixer.
- Digital books for your mobile device
Over the course of the past few months, more electronic reading options have hit the market and we wanted to bring them to your attention.
- Organizing food storage wraps
If you’re not lucky enough to have a designated drawer for food storage wraps in your kitchen, you probably have to sacrifice space in your pantry or cupboards for these items.
- Putting Unclutter Your Life in One Week to the test
Photographer Tasra Dawson put Unclutter Your Life in One Week through the ringer to see if she could clear the clutter and organize her life in seven days. She documented the process with a video series on her website and I want to share it with you.
- Ask Unclutterer: Credit card clutter
Reader April asks how to control her credit card clutter that is overwhelming her.
- Creating a central binder for your home
A central home binder offers a safe haven for important paper, vital contacts for anyone to access and a receptacle for health information.