Ask Unclutterer: Reader mail round-up

Today we’re going to break with tradition a bit and respond to a number of questions all in one post. These questions are great, but didn’t necessarily need an entire post of their own to answer. Please jump in the comments and add your additional suggestions.

Please share any ideas you have for storing bracelets? I have many large bangles that are costume jewelry. I currently have them in shoeboxes under my bed. It is not working! — Andrea

Have you seen the hanging jewelry organizer? Each bracelet gets a pocket and the organizer hangs in your closet. I think it’s a great solution for jewelry that has a fixed form.

I’m currently using 37signal’s Highrise to track conversations (phone and email) with clients, and manage projects (cases). I’m not thrilled with some of the email integration, so I’m looking elsewhere. Any suggestions? Using a Mac. And I’m interested in web-based and non web-based options. — Avrum

Professional organizer Scott Roewer recommends Daylite and I am a fan of Bento. Check the comments where I hope more of our readers will give you additional ideas. These are the only tracking products I have experience using that aren’t massive ERPs.

I’d love to hear any feedback you have about “paper idea clutter.” I have a lot of papers around that have great ideas for projects I’d like to do (I’m a community-minded entrepreneur – I started one nonprofit and am involved in many others). Every time I start to go through paper, I find another great idea from a conference I attended or a clipped magazine article I “just can’t get rid of.” I have a similar computer file problem! Any ideas that might fit in a post would certainly be appreciated. — Lisa

One word: Evernote. I would kiss this program if it had lips.

I have an old bag from MacWorld 2004. It’s a red conference bag for holding papers and handouts with a big CDW logo on it. It’s in perfect condition, but I never use it. What can I do with it? — Nic

I recommend filling it with clothes that you no longer wear (that are still in good condition) and donating it and the clothes to your favorite charity. You could also give the bag to a neighborhood after-school program for the volunteers to use to store and/or carry supplies. Since you don’t need the bag, give it to someone who does.

Do you have a question relating to organizing, cleaning, home and office projects, productivity, or any problems you think the Unclutterer team could help you solve? To submit your questions to Ask Unclutterer, go to our contact page and type your question in the content field. Please list the subject of your e-mail as “Ask Unclutterer.” If you feel comfortable sharing images of the spaces that trouble you, let us know about them. The more information we have about your specific issue, the better.

18 Comments for “Ask Unclutterer: Reader mail round-up”

  1. posted by Lori Paximadis on

    How did I not know about Evernote before??? Thanks for the tip. I’ve downloaded it and will give it a try.

  2. posted by Anne on

    I use old conference bags as grocery bags.

  3. posted by Loren on

    For the Andrea and her jewelry storage, they posted this
    On Apartment Therapy the other day and I thought it looked pretty cool and I love the way her big chunky bracelets look on it.

    Since this is the Unclutterer website I’ll also suggest that you cull the heard and see if there are any that you can give away or sell.

  4. posted by Amanda on

    for storing bracelets, check my post from a couple of years ago at it was a show-and-tell of a jewelry storage solution i worked up.

  5. posted by Elaine on

    If Amanda is talking about a ton of bangles, I would suggest one of the Indian bangle display stands like this:

  6. posted by Alexandra on

    Bracelet storage: A few years ago, for a friend’s birthday, I bought a picture frame, took out the glass and the backing. Next, I stapled a piece of fabric (sage green linen) and some fine metal wire mesh behind it and gave her a place to store her dangly earrings in a place where she could enjoy them on a daily basis.

    Applying this idea to heavy bracelets simply requires using chicken wire with slightly larger holes and using S hooks, as bracelets don’t have anything to snag on the wire. (Ikea “S” hooks: Hang the “S” hooks on the finished frame, place the bracelets on the hooks on the visible side and figure out where you want to hang or lean your practical piece of art.

  7. posted by Louise on

    For tons of neat ideas on storing bracelets and other jewelry, my go-to blog is Jeri’s:

    Type “bracelet” or “jewelry” into the search box and you’ll get lots of articles with photos. Use it to find the perfect item or just get ideas for things you might make yourself.

  8. posted by RZ on

    If the MacWorld bag would easily hold books, consider donating it to a public library. They don’t want to send those poor books out in the rain!

  9. posted by Another Deb on

    I keep a few cloth bags in the car with different “kits” in them. One holds a spare set of clothing in case of a wardrobe malfunction at work. One holds a towel and flip flops. Another has supplies for car care. All are contained on a larger tote to keep them from scattering around the trunk.

  10. posted by Luxcat on

    Bags never go wasted! I have quite a few of these from being in the sales business, where it seems you cannot attend a convention or sales meeting without being handed one of these stuffed with paper.

    I keep 4-5 in each of our cars for groceries.

    I keep one strong one with a zipper folded flat in the bottom of my suitcase on every trip to handle laundry in the short-term and possible overflow for the trip back. (If the zipper tends to slip open just saftey pin it to the bag before entrusting it to the abuse of the airlines.)

    And yes, the lesser ones (that look like they might not stand up to heavy groceries or travel use) get filled with goodwill items, or stuffed with the tupperware that I have to return to my mother in law, or whatever purpose you would use a paper shopping bag for…

  11. posted by Leslie on

    I ditto the Indian bangle holder suggestion–but if you don’t have quite enough for the really big holder, you can also hang them on a mug tree.

  12. posted by Celeste on

    ITA with Elaine; they even have a box for travel so they won’t get damaged.

  13. posted by April on

    Re: Evernote, is there anyone who has found this useful who doesn’t have a PDA or Web-enabled cell phone? It looks interesting, but I guess I’m having trouble picturing how I would use it. Maybe I’m not tech-savvy enough to get much out of it. 🙂

  14. posted by Pat on

    Evernote! Looks awesome! Thanks for posting that! Looking around youtube, I also saw a series “how I use Evernote” with some great ideas. Like “where did I park my car?” Also one suggesting to use it with Skitch, a simple graphic program, to write on your clipped notes. I don’t use either of these yet but I am downloading right now. Just got an iphone!

  15. posted by Sara on

    I am a bangle fanatic! When my collection spun out of control I began using toilet paper stands to store them. Since the bangles are so decorative, they look beautiful on display.

  16. posted by Sara on

    Here is a cute toilet paper stand to check out:

  17. posted by Scott Roewer on

    Hello –
    Erin’s right. I do recommend Daylite – but specifically to business owners. I’m all for Bento by Filemaker and their new Bento iPhone application for the individual who wants to rock a database at home. It’s simple and easy to use. The drag and drop style is very familiar to Mac users. Check it out.

    If you’re a business owner, I’d suggest Daylite by Marketcircle. I’ve been using it for 3 years and have been very happy. A small learning curve is involved, but the great tech forums and their Daylite partners are available for hire.

    Good luck,
    Scott Roewer
    Solutions by Scott or

  18. posted by OogieM on

    I store misc notes in Yojimbo, I am not a fan of cloud computing alternatives so prefer to keep everything totally under my control. I’m synching yojimbo with my Palm Treo so I have portable access to my notes.

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