PDFs and t-shirts: New in the Unclutterer store

After the special bonus to Unclutterer readers ended and we stopped giving away the free copies of the worksheets from Unclutter Your Life in One Week, I started receiving e-mails from people who didn’t participate in the offer asking if they could buy the PDFs. Up until today, we haven’t had any way to sell these materials. We’ve never had Unclutterer products, so we never had an internal Unclutterer store.

I turned to our tech team at Dancing Mammoth and asked if they could setup an online store for us to sell the PDFs. They were up for the task and went to work on the programming. (This was also the point when I asked Simon and Schuster if it was okay to sell them, and they said it was.)

Once the tech team was doing all the heavy lifting, my mind kept returning to a conversation I had last summer with artist Chris Bishop at a party at my friend Kara’s house (Chris did the yellow robot painting in the second picture). Chris and I talked about his insanely popular Barack O’Unicorn t-shirt that he released during the 2008 election. We discussed the body as a canvas and how it constantly transmits messages — I support X candidate, I buy my clothes from X retailer, I listen to X band, I am the type of person who irons my clothes, I have a baby who spits up squash, I don’t follow fashion trends. For good or bad, our clothing says a great deal about us.

With our store on the horizon, I began looking into what it would take to produce Unclutterer t-shirts that convey the positive ideas we promote on the site. If the t-shirt I casually throw on to wear to the neighborhood farmers’ market is going to speak on my behalf, I at least want it to promote something I believe in. Our local silk screen company Reston Shirt came in with a good price for us using quality materials. We ordered the shirts, they produced them, and now we have two t-shirt designs — one with the phrase “Simplicity is revolutionary” and the other “Less is more” — to offer alongside the PDFs in our new store.

I haven’t stopped thinking about items we can offer in the new store. I can see us producing short e-books, calendars, planners, and other useful organizing goods. At this time, however, we’re just offering the PDFs and t-shirts. We’re starting small and seeing how things go.

I want to thank our team at Dancing Mammoth, the fine folks at Reston Shirt, and my friends Kara and David, who were good sports and agreed to be our models (since the t-shirt idea sprung from a conversation at their home, I thought it only appropriate to ask them to join in on the fun). Check out the new internal Unclutterer store and order t-shirts and/or the seven PDF worksheets that accompany Unclutter Your Life in One Week if you need them.

(Note: If you received the PDFs as part of the special bonus, you have the exact product that we’re selling in the store. You don’t need to repurchase the documents. These are available for people who did not participate in the previous offer.)

17 Comments for “PDFs and t-shirts: New in the Unclutterer store”

  1. posted by You Suck at Kijiji on

    I was going to ask who the hot model was, but then I decided to actually read the copy.

    Congrats on the expanded monetization!

    All the best of success for the year ahead.

  2. posted by Jenna on

    Could you list what worksheets are included?


  3. posted by Erin Doland on

    Hey, everyone. Sorry if you experienced a glitch and couldn’t see the t-shirts in the store. Things are fixed now and all is right with the world.

    @Jenna — Fall and Spring cleaning guides, getting out the door, meal planning, processing information, questions for things, and routine schedules.

  4. posted by Jenna on

    Great, thanks!

  5. posted by JM on

    Shocking. Better late than never I guess.

  6. posted by ET on

    Buy a product to announce to everyone that I unclutter? No thanks, only clothes w/o messages here. No brands (95% bulk food, no tv, no radio, no text on clothes), no exceptions.

  7. posted by Erin Doland on

    @ET — Ha! I love the irony of you saying you refuse to announce your preferences in a comment announcing your preferences. Funny.

  8. posted by Jenna on

    @Erin – I ordered the worksheets a few hrs ago. I wasn’t promted to creat an account with Unclutterer when I purchased the worksheets. In the store description it says they will be accessible through my account the the download section, but then my receipt from Google checkout says I’ll get an email. Just curious as to where I should look for them?

  9. posted by Brian Kieffer on


    You should have automatically received an email with a link to the worksheets for you to download. I’ll look into it, and in the meantime, I’ve emailed a copy to your email address.

  10. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Jenna — Almost everyone using gmail notes that they are sent to their spam folders.

  11. posted by cdelphine on

    yay! awesome idea Erin

  12. posted by Just Breathe on

    I can completely understand your desire to make a profit from all the hard work you do on this website.

    I just hope that you continue to provide your loyal blog followers the excellent advice we have come to depend on without charge.

    I have viewed many organizational and decluttering websites, but I have only two bookmarked, and yours is a daily read.


  13. posted by Lisa on

    I question whether the sale of these items, such as t-shirts and other merchandise, suits the mission of this site.

  14. posted by Lisa on

    I’m also noticing lots of comments “mysteriously disappearing” from this post. I’m disappointed that Erin does not value the opinions of her readers, even when they are negative.

  15. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Lisa — To address your second comment first, there are many reasons that we remove comments from the website. These reasons include spam, fake e-mail addresses, distasteful curse words, ad hominem attacks, etc. I have not been patrolling comments today. However, if someone on staff took something down, then it was because it met a qualifying factor. I trust in my staff’s abilities to evaluate a comment, compare it against a list, and make an informed decision. I asked today’s patrolling officer and he said that the comment he removed from this thread had a verified fake e-mail address with it. The e-mail was even quite distasteful. So, down went the comment.

    Now, to address your first comment. The mission of an unclutterer is to “remove the distractions that get in the way of a remarkable life.” Things like PDFs that accompany pages in my book are not a distraction. They are digital files that 1. allow for the reader to not write in the book, and 2. save time by not having to recreate the worksheets. Both are helpful in a pursuit of a remarkable life, at least in my opinion.

    Things like t-shirts are also not a distraction. One must wear clothing to conform to modern social norms. What a person chooses to purchase to wear, however, is completely up to that individual. I believe that my statement in the original article “if you need them” guides potential shoppers in their actions. If someone needs a shirt, then I hope he considers ours. They’re awesome. If someone doesn’t need a shirt, then I hope he doesn’t buy ours as it will just be clutter in his home. And, clutter is a distraction to a remarkable life.

    Now … if we were selling drugs or toxic plastic doo-dads, I could understand your disappointment in our behavior. However, since we are not, I must admit that I am confused by any sort of negative response to our little online store. More than 30 people contacted me asking that we sell them the PDFs. I hardly see how selling PDFs is against the mission of the site, especially since we gave the PDFs away for free just a few weeks ago with no argument from anyone.

  16. posted by Deleted comment guy on

    While “distasteful” is, of course, a matter of taste, I wouldn’t put my earlier (deleted) comment much higher than mildly snarky on the offense-o-meter. And while I do use a fake-sounding email for anything with a chance to land me on a spam list, it’s definitely functional. No one verified anything.

    But that’s beside the point. It’s your site; you of course can run it however you like.

    My general point was that for me, one reader, the marketing-to-content ratio on this site has gotten out of balance. There’s plenty to discuss about brands and monetization and getting paid for your work… But one failing of small-to-medium social media, and this site in particular (again, for me) is the blur and creep between editorial content and advertising. It hurts your percieved credibility and sends readers like me to other venues.

    Maybe I’m some kind of lunatic fringe. Anyway, good luck in the future.

  17. posted by Erin Doland on

    @Deleted comment guy — I don’t know what you used as your e-mail address or if you were even the comment that was purposefully taken down. I also have no idea what you said in your original comment. So, I’ll just assume it was you and proceed from there.

    I agree that many sites do a horrible job of blurring the line between editorial content and advertising. However, I disagree with you that our site is one of those. The title of this post is “PDFs and t-shirts: New in the Unclutterer store.” I cannot imagine a more transparent headline than what we used. We did not mislead or misrepresent in the slightest.

    And, with that, I am closing comments to this thread.

Comments are closed.