Friday, September 12, 2014
Photos of Simple Wood Goods by Steve Paszt, Paszt photography
Vinyl lovers are always looking for good ways to store the LPs, so I’m glad to have a number of new options to share. While none of these are intended for huge collections, they can work for those with more modest needs. (For those with the huge collections, see the related posts listed below.)
First, let's admire these stackable storage cubes from Simple Wood Goods, hand made in Cincinnati, Ohio.
The cubes come in eight colors; custom wood stains are available, too. The acrylic lids can be kept up (for easy access) or down (for less dust, a cleaner look, and easier moving).
Plantabox provides personalized record storage crates, made from sustainable FSC pine. The boxes are available in the pine color, or with one of seven stains. You get them directly from Plantabox, or through Not on the High Street. [via Retro To Go]
TukTuk has leather record boxes, lined with cotton, in two sizes: 7-inch and 12-inch; there are five color options. Each one holds about 60 records. [via Retro To Go]
Storing the Vinyl Record Collection: What to Do with the LPs
Record Album Storage: A Stunning Cabinet and Other Options
Storing the Vinyl Records: Options for LP Collections of All Sizes
For Vinyl Record Fans: 6 More Options for Storing the LPs
For Those Who Love Their Vinyl: LP Record Storage
Thursday, September 4, 2014
You may not be thinking about 2015 calendars yet — but if you love cats and dogs, I’ve got two calendars you may want to look at now. Both raise money for rescue operations, and at least one of the two is available in limited quantities.
The calendar above comes from Castaway Animal Rescue Effort (C.A.R.E.), and I think the photos are stunning. C.A.R.E. is a “nonprofit 501-C (3) no-kill animal shelter and sanctuary that specializes in rescuing sick, injured, and abused animals in the Ozarks.”
The pages have some minimal advertising — one small ad at the bottom of each month — which doesn’t seem too obtrusive to me.
The calendars will be available in the organization’s Missouri adoption centers in the fall and winter, but perhaps (with a proper donation) they could also get mailed out. They're only $10 each. I don’t know the photographer’s name, but I'm asking — and will update this post when I get more information. Update: The photographer is Susan VanDoren, who donated her time to put together the photo shoots and the calendar.
And then there’s the celebrity pet adoption calendar from Anne and Will Wheaton. You get one when you make a donation of $40 or more to support the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA through its fundraising effort, the Wiggle Waggle Walk, held on Sept. 28. The calendars are limited to one per household.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Flour sack dish towel from The Heated
We opt for more instead of better. Better is better than more. — Seth Godin, via Minimal Mac by Patrick Rhone
This post was inspired by my wallet. It’s a basic black bifold wallet, with four slots for credit cards, a coin pouch, and a divided currency well — thus no photo, because there's no way to make it look interesting. But what does make my wallet interesting is that I bought it in 1997, and it’s still in good condition.
Now, I got it in Italy, at a reputable leather goods store. I don’t remember what I paid; it was probably on the expensive side, but not extravagant. And every time I pull out that wallet, I’m reminded of a wonderful trip (hurray for practical souvenirs) and how often it makes sense to buy less, but buy well.
Yes, we’re all working within budget constraints. But sometimes to have good stuff we just need to make purchasing trade-offs. Allen Tucker wrote a wonderful essay entitled Pay Too Much, which Nancy Friedman pointed me to; I recommend you go read the whole thing. It concludes with this:
My favorite pair of jeans gets worn 10 times more often than my other jeans. If I did away with the other jeans, I could afford to buy more of those things I really love. What if all of our stuff was mind blowingly awesome, even if we had way less of it?And I see I’m not the only person writing about the joys of a good wallet. Here’s part of what Randy Murray wrote in his blog post called Just A Bit Of Luxury: Make Life Better Without Drowning In Stuff (found via Patrick Rhone):
I buy the cheapest printer paper, but I carefully select my notebooks and pens. Even when wearing my worn cargo shorts I carry a finely made leather wallet. And I’m replacing the stacks of disposable razors for single, finely made, double edge safety razor. Both the wallet and the razor are of such exceptional quality that they should last for generations (the wallet is guaranteed for 100 years!).
I’ve heard it said that you don’t own things, they own you. Owning fewer, better quality things makes my life easier and more enjoyable.
Friday, August 8, 2014
Way back in 2008, when I wrote about 15 Ways to Store the Shoes, I didn’t make much mention of wall-mounted options. But a number of these have appeared over time; here are some of the more interesting ones.
The rack above comes from Mitz Takahasi of Montreal, who works mostly with recycled wood (and other recycled materials).
I’ve mentioned the shoe racks from J-Me before, but this one designed specially for stilettos is new.
And J-Me also has a new wall-mounted rack for children’s shoes.
This shoe rack is also available in a square version which holds four pairs. It comes from The Metal House, and is also sold by Bouf.
Finally, this rack comes from LoCa, in Denmark; it’s part of the Knax product line. You can find it at the Knax Shop or at Smow — or, in the U.S., at camodernhome.com.
Storing Shoes of All Shapes and Sizes
Tuesday, July 29, 2014
I've written about so many jewelry organizers, but sometimes I still find something new — such as this steel moose necklace hanger from DesignByThem, available in four colors.
Another interesting option for necklaces is this jewelry stand from GioGio Design, made from bamboo.
GioGio Design also makes this two-tiered jewelry stand for earrings.
And finally, let's consider bracelets. The Woodshop's Daughter has one- and two-tier bracelet stands, but will also make custom orders that are larger. You can also get an add-on peg to hold rings.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Many of us find that the easiest way to organize our frequently-used kitchen utensils is in some sort of utensil pot — so let’s give thanks to the artisans who give us so many lovely storage options. And let’s start with vitrifiedstudio, which made this stoneware utensil holder.
Photo used with permission from Back Bay Pottery
This delightful aqua-colored stoneware piece comes from Back Bay Pottery; it’s designed to hold 15 or more utensils.
This utensil jar comes from Tom Butcher Ceramics in Scotland as part of his Loch Long Stoneware range.
Henry Watson’s Potteries has a terra-cotta utensil jar.
Made from wheel-thrown stoneware clay, this utensil holder comes from Willow Tree Pottery.
Too many neutral colors for your taste? Take a look at the utensil holders from Prarie Fire Pottery.
And after all these pottery pieces, let’s end with something different: this utensil holder from Okanagan Stoneworks, which looks especially stunning with the red and white utensils.
Tuesday, July 15, 2014
Image entitled Breath while reading your email!, by Marie-Chantale Turgeon; found on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons
Current status: Using my Inbox as a to-do list. — Greg Lipper
My email inbox is basically a todo list of stuff I don’t want to do. — Tim Van Damme, via a number of other people
Lots of people will say you should never use your inbox as a to-do list, for lots of good reasons.
1. Email subject lines often aren’t a good indicator of what the to-dos are. As Gina Trapani wrote:
For example, you receive an email from a friend and the subject line is “hi.” The two of you go back and forth a dozen times, then decide to make plans for dinner, and suddenly it's up to you to make reservations at Rosarita's House of Tacos on July 14th at 7PM. Stick that into your “TO-DO” folder, and you've got a task that reads: “Re: re: re: re: re: re: hi.” That doesn’t tell you much, does it?2. Emails are not nicely sorted into individual tasks, as Leo Babauta explained:
There might be multiple actions in each email. What if an email contains 10 to-do items? You can’t delete or archive the email when you’ve done one or two of the actions. It’ll remain in your inbox until all 10 are done, as if nothing has been done. Also, you might forget that there are multiple actions in an email and file or delete it when you’ve done one of the actions.3. Not all tasks come to you via email, so you’re likely to wind up with two to-do lists: one in email and one somewhere else. And managing two lists can be problematic.
4. Using one tool for two purposes can make it harder to do either one well. As Jill Duffy wrote:
Trying to tweak your inbox to function like a to-do list results in a very poor to-do list. Guess what? It also creates a very poor inbox, so now you [have] two inefficiencies! If you try to manipulate your inbox to double as your to-do list, it leaves you flipping between operations.5. As Rachel Andrew wrote, emails sitting in your inbox “feel like they are constantly nagging you to act on them, whatever their priority.”
6. And to quote Leo Babauta once more:
An email inbox contains distractions. ... If you’re looking at your to-dos in email, you’re in very big danger of new emails coming in and distracting you. ... I’d prefer a simple to-do list that allows you to shut off email while you’re trying to get important work done.
And while this all makes sense, some people find that using their email as their to-do list works just fine for them.
David Pogue, who was The News York Times’ technology columnist before moving to Yahoo, is one of those. In a column titled “Pogue’s Productivity Secrets Revealed,” he wrote:
I’m not a believer in the “empty your Inbox every day” philosophy; in fact, my Inbox is my To Do list, which works great. When I’ve dealt with something, I delete or file it. When I haven’t, its presence in that list reminds me that it needs doing.As someone wrote in response to a Harvard Business Review article titled “Stop Using Your Inbox as a To-Do List”:
“Stop Using Something Which Works Perfectly Fine For Millions Of People”As with so many organizing issues, it’s often useful to read the advice and understand the recommendations — but then figure out what works for you.
Sunday, July 6, 2014
What comes to mid when you think of labeling? If you hadn’t just looked at the photo above, you’d probably think of text-only labels, perhaps on a file folder or on a storage bin in the garage. But there are all sorts of ways to label things so you can easily find them again — and know where to put them away.
The photo above is from the storage area at Colors of the Coast — Ellen Joseph’s gallery and gift shop in Half Moon Bay. My friend Ellen sells giclee reproductions of her paintings, as well as items such as mugs and mouse pads printed with her various paintings. So she quite reasonably made her labels with images of those paintings, so it’s easy to tell which basket holds which items.
The same idea can be applied to labeling the drawers where children’s clothes go. These labels come from Crafterhours. [via Parenthacks and Cool Mom Picks] You can get a similar product from StikEez.
And while these kitchen cabinet stickers from Hyundae Sheet, currently available from Amazon.com, may not have the exact categories you would choose, I still like the idea.
Why You Really Might Want a Label Maker
Be Your Own Professional Organizer, Part 3: Label
One Person’s Organized Space: CDs and Labels
Wednesday, June 25, 2014
If you choose to use the refrigerator door (or another surface that holds magnets) as the home for certain types of papers, you might choose to get some cool magnets — especially since magnets are one organizing tool that’s relatively inexpensive. The art print magnet above is just one of many available from Mary Ann Farley.
This magnet set from Julia Wine is one of many magnets she has to choose from.
If you don’t want a mini-artwork, how about a magnet shaped like a mini concrete block, from CKIE?
If you’re concerned about whether or not your magnets will be strong enough to hold your papers, take a look at the Strong Like Bull magnets, which started out as a hugely successful Kickstarter. [via Uncrate]
And finally, 3 Fish Studios has some delightful magnets for Californians — or anyone who likes the state.
Sunday, June 15, 2014
Many times people will already have all the containers they need — or at least many of them — if they just do a little repurposing. Here’s one example from a client I worked with recently, who gave me permission to share the photos in this post with you. A pet food bowl with a small crack is now being used to hold some corks. This allowed us to re-use something she really liked, but couldn’t use for its original purpose.
But here’s a case where buying new products made sense, because it allowed us to make use of every bit of space available in a small closet. One shelf serves as a medicine cabinet, and the Zia stacking baskets fit the space perfectly.