Sunday, April 29, 2007

Doing What I Should Be Doing

But innovation comes . . . from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much.
-- Steve Jobs, quoted in Business Week

It seems lots of folks lately are talking about the need to do less, and to focus on what really matters. This isn't a new concept, but they do have some new slants on the subject. Maybe one of these will resonate with you.

Leo at zen habits writes about the need to edit your life.

Scott H. Young writes about empty calories: "Empty calories aren’t just in our food, they are in our lives. Empty calories are all those tasks that make you feel productive even though you aren’t contributing any value."

And Brian Oberkitch at Like It Matters writes about trimming the attention sails, saying "You are what you pay attention to."

All of which reminds me of my favorite quote from Richard Stine, "It is simple. We are where we should be, doing what we should be doing. Otherwise we would be somewhere else, doing something else."

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Not My Mother's Canisters

3 glass canisters, different sizes, pastel colors

Even those of us who no longer have canisters with flour and sugar on our kitchen counter tops might find attractive canisters useful for other purposes.

The Iittala and Meantime canisters from Tivoli Home appear to be simple and lovely; the ones shown above are Iittala. Update on Oct. 14, 2012: Tivoli Home seems to have disappeared, but Scandinavian Grace also sells the Iittala jars.

Simple Pyrex canisters are another interesting option. Update on May 13, 2010: The site that was selling these no longer has them.

And while I'm writing about canisters, I thought I'd also mention the cat treat canisters I just discovered. (Personally, I store my cat treats in a used cardboard raisin box.)

Friday, April 27, 2007

Bit Literacy

book cover, Bit Literacy

I mentioned Mark Hurst's Bit Literacy back a few weeks ago; now that I've finished the book, I'd like to comment a bit more.

Bit Literacy provides advice for those overwhelmed by the digital data in their lives: e-mail messages, web sites, Word files, PowerPoint files, digital photos, etc. The title makes the book seem oriented to a technical audience, but I think Mark was actually writing for the non-technical computer user who is willing to become a bit more technical in order to also become more productive.

This was a mixed bag of a book. Sometimes I found myself totally agreeing with Mark's comments; other times I didn't agree at all. (One example: Mark's idea of the requirements for a to-do list seemed quite rigid, and don't mesh with what I personally need in my own to-do list.)

But there was lots of stuff I appreciated in this book; I'll mention just a few. I've already written about Mark's concept of a media diet.

Another favorite is his description of the to-do list of choice for many people: Paper. Usually many pieces of paper. Often painfully many. Small, fluorescent squares crowding the sides of computer monitors, cluttering whole workspaces; scribbled receipts and cocktail napkins, stuffed into pockets, posted on refrigerator doors, thrown into piles.

And another quote that got me grinning: There's no better way to guarantee that you'll need a revision than to name something "final". Inevitably, the following versions become "final report revised.doc" and "final report revised USE THIS VERSION.doc".

And I was thrilled to learn about the tools that he calls "bit levers." These tools let you define shortcuts for anything you type - in any program - on a repetitive basis. I have a number of things like this, including:

- My standard posting to craigslist

- The html code for anchor text

- A group of e-mail messages used in my role as a Freecycle community moderator

- The phrase "National Association of Professional Organizers - San Francisco Bay Area Chapter"

Now I won't have to retype the text (or pull up a template file and then cut & paste); once I've installed the right tool, I'll be able to type a simple abbreviation that I define, and the abbreviation with be replaced with the appropriate text. I'm planning to install a "bit lever" program - one of the two Mark recommends - on my Mac this weekend.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Store the Shoes in the Stairs

drawers built into stairs

Now isn't this a great storage idea! Apparently these stairs were made by Unicraft Joinery, Hamilton, Victoria, Australia - which doesn't have a web site.

Of course, you could store many other things besides shoes - but this is especially nice as shoe storage for those of us who take our shoes off in the house.

[via Apartment Therapy: San Francisco, Apartment Therapy: Los Angeles, Desire to Inspire - and Vogue Living Australia]

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Healing ADD

book cover, Healing ADD

I just finished reading Healing ADD, by Daniel G. Amen, M.D. - and it's a book I expect to be referring to often, and recommending to others. It's full of fascinating and useful information, and it's also easy to read.

As Dr. Amen says, this book should hopefully "put to rest the debate over whether or not ADD is real by showing the areas of dysfunction in the brain." And we are given tons of information about the 6 types of ADD that Dr. Amen has identified, and how they show up in brain scans.

While Dr. Amen is known for his innovative use of brain SPECT (single photon emission computed tomography) imaging, he also spends considerable time on various forms of treatment: medication, diet, exercise, herbs/supplements, biofeedback, ADD coaching, etc.

Dr. Amen encourages those who have (or suspect they have) ADD to work with the best professionals to get appropriate diagnosis and treatment, saying "treatment does not make ADD sufferers different people: It removes the barriers hindering them from being the people they already are."

Monday, April 23, 2007

Cleaning Out the Clothes Closet

red high-heeled shoe

The San Francisco Chronicle ran a story on March 28 entitled The great spring-cleaning of a clothes closet, by Karen Leland - and it's a fun read.

Here's an excerpt:

I use spring-cleaning as an excuse to examine every article of clothing I own -- from sweatpants to cocktail party dresses -- and decide if they still have what it takes to retain membership in my clothes closet.

. . .

I hold up a pair of 3-inch red patent leather pumps. Sexy? Sure, but try walking in them. One city block feels like a trek over the Siberian wasteland. This item was purchased on a shopping trip to Nordstrom when I was in a bad mood and hoped that a new pair of shoes in a spunky color would perk me up.

[photo from]

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Taking Out the Trash in Winchester, Massachusetts

My final post in honor of Earth Day: Dilip d'Souza wrote this past February about going to the town dump (otherwise known as the transfer station) in Winchester, Massachusetts, which has no home pickup of garbage.

A short excerpt to tease you into reading the whole thing:

Plastic things here in this large container that is busy compressing them as we toss them in, but plastic bags in this other bin. Paper here, but if you have books take them across the street to that small room, where you can leave them for others to pick up if they want. Don’t leave textbooks, those go over at that other place.

Glass in this large container. Organic waste a little further into the facility, on this conveyor belt that drops it into enormous containers that are periodically trucked away; but take yard waste — leaves and branches and a vast pile of snowed under Christmas trees fronted by a helpful sign that says “Christmas Trees” — across the road. Metal objects in this enclosure. Computer monitors and TV sets in that one. Still usable things you no longer need but somebody else might — strollers, desks, bikes — behind that low fence, where several such are coated with snow.

There are even large containers to take things you want to give to charity — like old clothes to the Salvation Army — with a note explaining how you can claim tax deductions.

[I read a slightly different version of this article in the April 2007 edition of India Currents.]

Stilettos Stored on Staircases?

pair of stiletto heel shoes

Love Your Home, by Tamsin Blanchard, was published for the 40th anniversary of British interior design magnate Terence Conran's Habitat retail chain.

Unfortunately, the typeface makes the book very hard to read. And in skimming through it, I found one of the worst suggestions I've ever read. "Why not display your favourite shoes on your staircase? High heels lead seductively upstairs."

Why not? Because one of these days someone is going to trip over those shoes and go tumbling down that staircase, not seductively at all.

If you want to do something unusual with the stilettos, OrganizingLA shows you what one person did with 250+ pairs. (It helps to have a big house.)

[picture from Shoefest]

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Earth Day Special: 8 Resources for CFL Recycling

compact fluorescent lightbulb
If you're going to use CFLs - compact fluorescent light bulbs (also called lamps) - to save energy, please be sure to dispose of them properly; they contain mercury, and therefore require special handling.

Resources in the USA

1. The San Francisco Chronicle ran an article today that included information about disposing of CFLs in the Bay Area.

2. A great resources for those living anywhere in the USA is Earth 911.

3. As Environmental Defense suggests, you can call 1-800-CLEAN-UP or "contact your local government agency in charge of household hazard waste (start with your sanitation department) to see if recycling is an option in your area."

4. As Lighter Footstep points out in How to Live with CFLs, you can recycle them by mail - but it's not cheap.

5. Sylvania also sells packages to mail back bulbs for recycling.

6. You can bring them back to IKEA for recycling - and give IKEA credit for being a leader in this area.

Resources in Countries Other Than the USA

7. The New Zealand Ministry for the Environment has information on safe disposal of CFLs.

8. BC Hydro lists CFL recycling locations in British Columbia, Canada.

If you know of other resources, please share the information by leaving a comment.

How Do I Store the Strainer? Flat!

collapsible strainer

Back in January I wrote about collapsible kitchen products - useful for those with limited kitchen storage space.

Well, add one more to the list - this strainer made from silicone (with a stainless steel handle), designed by designtrip and manufactured by SiliconeZone.

And Crate&Barrel also has a collapsible silicone strainer - without the jazzy colors, though. Update on May 26, 2010: Crate & Barrel no longer has a collapsible strainer - but it does have a collapsible funnel.

[designtrip strainer via Designspotter]

How to NOT Lose Your Eyeglasses

eyeglasses trays in three colors

I never really thought much about the misplaced-eyeglasses problem until Silvia from Brazil sent me an e-mail newsletter from The Spacialist raving about the eyeglass trays made by Decorative Things.

illuminated eyeglass holder

And then The Green Head told me about the Nite Site illuminated eyeglass holder - and while the site Green Head links to doesn't seem to carry this product any more, other sites do.

Update, October 30, 2007: I can no longer find any site carrying this product.

bald eagle eyeglass holder

And The Green Head also pointed me to the Peepers wooden animal eyeglass holders. See a huge range of Peeper Keepers at the Tapir Preservation Fund's web site.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Use the Containers You Already Have

Sandra Boynton mug filled with pens

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, I'd like to point you to the Real Simple article on using stuff you already own (shoe boxes, mugs, etc.) as the containers you need.

Some examples from around my own home:

- Many of us have more mugs than we'll ever use. I use a favorite one as my pen cup in my office. (See above - photo taken in garden; office was too dark)

cookie tin from France
- A cookie tin from France stores postcards in my stationary drawer.

gift bags, one with fleur de lys
- Pretty gift bags store my spare sponges and dust cloths in my laundry area.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Magnetic Spice Racks, Part 2

Spicelab magnetic spice rack

I wrote about the Zero Gravity Magnetic Spice Rack last month; today I found the Spicelab magnetic spice rack (small and large versions, in a variety of finishes) over on Etsy. [via The Kitchn] Update on July 2, 2013: Purpose Design, which made the Spicelab, no longer makes this product. However, it does have other spice racks.

Amber at My Aim is True created her own magnetic spice rack on the back of her stove - but as others have pointed out, keeping spices that close to a heat source isn't a great idea. So she created a second version on the wall, which looks lovely.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Why You Really Might Want a Label Maker

Borther P-touch label maker
I'm with Gina at Lifehacker - when I first read David Allen's Getting Things Done, I was sure I didn't need a label maker. And like Gina, I changed my mind. I now have one client (who loves her new labels) who has taken to calling me Our Lady of the Label Maker.

Here are Gina's before and after pictures, which show why she's a convert. Look how much easier it is to read the file label when it's not hand-written. Many of us with older eyes will especially appreciate the difference. And it's much nicer aesthetically, if that matters to you.

files with hand-written labels

files with labels from label maker

My labeler of choice is the Brother PT-1950 (shown above) - but any good labeler will do.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Time for TV?

TV covered with TV cozy

Next week (April 23-29) is TV Turn Off Week.

To help avoid temptation, maybe you'd like a TV cozy - also a nice idea for those multi-purpose rooms where you have a TV but might not want the electronics look all the time. [photo from]

Additional worthwhile reading for anyone who wants to reconsider his/her TV viewing habits:

Jerry Mander's Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television was written in 1978 but is still good stuff.

Mark Hurst's Bit Literacy is brand new, and I've just begun to read it. But there's a nice chapter entitled The Media Diet, which talks about choosing among the millions of media choices we have nowadays.

Or consider this thought from 43 Folders: "Nobody ever lay on their deathbed thinking "gee, I wish I had spent more time watching TV."

Sunday, April 15, 2007

BookMooch - Give Books Away. Get Books You Want.

illustration from BookMooch web site

I've written about all sorts of swapping options before, including some for books, but BookMooch is a service I just learned about today. That seems a bit odd, since it's based in Berkeley, California - not that far from me. The interview with founder John Buckman is especially interesting, and explains why you might want to use BookMooch rather than selling books at a used bookstore or donating them to libraries.

And while BookMooch has its home base in California, it is specifically designed to support an international community of readers - not surprising, given the founder's background. You can search by country and/or language, the point system compensates you for the extra effort of sending a book outside of your country, etc. Over 100 countries are currently represented - some with many more books than others.

[Illustration credit Andrice Arp, courtesy of - and isn't it a wonderful illustration?]

[via Ask MetaFilter]

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Etsy: 6 Attractive Alternatives for Storage

round red box with bunny pictures

Inspired by Apartment Therapy's Etsy Scavenger postings, I thought I'd showcase some of the lovely container-type products you can find over there. Etsy is a place to buy handmade items from a huge collection of folks; I've been very satisfied with the couple things I've bought there, and I love the idea of supporting individuals doing good work. Why not have at least some of your containers also be works of art?

1. Country Bunny Box (shown above); $20

basket with legs, filled with yarn
2. Spinner-Knitters Table Basket, $26 (larger floor version for $45)

white pail with pictures of fairies
3. Fairy Princess Pail, $10.99

round basket in blue and cream colors
4. Blueberry Yogurt Cream Basket Bowl, $35

silk beg with picture of elf boy, green lizard, tropical vegetation

5. Wild Elf Boy Silk Bag, $19.90, from a seller in Prague

wall mounted wine rack with six bottles

6. FLOAT wall stand for wine, $150. Update on Aug. 12, 2012: I can no longer find this product.

Do you know of other wonderful storage options on Etsy? Share them in the comments section - I'd love to see them!

Friday, April 13, 2007

Questions to Help Eliminate Clutter

question marks

Asking the right questions can help us make better decisions about what to buy and what to save. Here are some questions to consider.

Unclutterer has a nice list of questions for evaluating new purchases and for deciding what to do about items you already have.

In the book Buried In Treasures, the authors include some sample questions the someone with a hoarding problem might ask to help control out-of-control purchasing, but they might help others, too. Some of the questions are:
- Do I already own something similar?
- Am I buying this because I feel bad (angry, depressed, etc.) right now?
- Will I regret getting this in a week?
- Do I have enough time to fix/use this, or do I have more important priorities?

Peter Walsh, in his book It's All Too Much, says the most important question is, "Does this item enhance and advance the vision I have for the life I want or does it impede that vision?"

Some questions I'll ask, specifically about text books, reference books, newspaper clippings and such are:
- Is that information up-to-date?
- Could you find equally good (or better) information on line, if you ever needed it?

Karen Kingston, in Clear Your Clutter with Feng Shui, brings us back to the basics. She writes:
1. Does it lift my energy when I think about it or look at it?
2. Do I absolutely love it?
3. Is it genuinely useful?

If the answer is not a resounding yes to question 1, and an equally resounding yes to either question 2 or 3, then what is it doing in your life?

[image from Napier University Student Support]

Thursday, April 12, 2007

IKEA Idea: Personalize Your Storage

Billy bookcases - glass doors lined with fabric

I'm no fan of IKEA - the store layout drives me crazy. But the stores certainly do have their place. And I must admit I like this idea about customizing their popular BILLY bookcases by adding glass doors and then lining them with fabric.

Organization is More than Storage

closet company ad saying Organize Your Home

Professional organizers tend to get a bit testy about ads and articles that equate storage with organization. As Don Aslett says in Clutter's Last Stand, "Have you ever noticed that most of the books and articles on how to more efficiently organize a house really show how to hang up, hide, file, tolerate, and make decorative use of junk?"

A couple examples that have bugged me lately:
- "If clutter is tidied away, then a room will feel bigger." - LivingEtc Magazine
- The ClosetWorld ad shown above, implying that all you need to get organized is a new closet system!

Related Posts:
- Self Storage: A Growing Business
- My March 2007 Organizing Newsletter Tip of the Month: Four Steps to Eliminating Clutter (with a mild rant about an IKEA ad)
- Is Storage the Same as Organization? U-Haul Thinks So. (from fellow organizer Monica Ricci)

Cliphanger - keep your iPod or cell phone close at hand


Stick the Cliphanger to your cell phone or iPod, and then clip the hanger to a belt loop, a purse strap, a backpack, etc.

If there's nothing to clip onto, there's a plastic hook (to the right of each Cliphanger in the picture above) that you can attach to any flat surface, and then slip the Cliphanger into that hook. (For example, you might put a hook on your car's dashboard.)

[via Popgadget]

Oddest Shredder Ever

hamster-powered shredder

I've written about some unusual shredders before (as well as more serious ones), but this hamster-powered one is in a class of its own. Not available in stores.

If you want help selecting a more conventional shredder, BusinessWeek and Fellowes provide some guidance.

[hamster shredder via Consumerist]

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Media Consoles from Soorikian Furniture

media console

Soorikian Furniture has some attractive media consoles, including the one shown above. (One drawer unit can hold 216 CDs or 72 DVDs or 52 VCRs.) The company focuses on "space conscious pieces" - good for all of us living in smaller spaces.

wall panel system

The wall panel system looks pretty spectacular, too.

[via apartment therapy: home tech]

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Now It's 18 Ways to Swap Your Stuff

TitleTrader logo

It seems I keep reading about more swapping options.

Prior posts:
- 11 Ways to Swap Your Stuff (plus two more suggested by readers)
- Swap Those Clothes You Never Wear (two options)

So that's fifteen - and now I've got three more, courtesy of Martha Stewart's March/April 2007 magazine:

-Peerflix: trade DVDs sell or trade CDs, DVDs, and games
-TitleTrader: swap books (paperback and hardcover), music (CDs), and movies (DVDs and VHS)

And as lagniappe - instead of trading your gift cards you might want to sell them at Gift Card Buy Back.

Monday, April 9, 2007

Happiness and Clutter-Free Environments

Gretchen at The Happiness Project had this to say today: "For me, external order is a key element to internal peace -- I've found that I'm far more serene when I'm in an environment that's not cluttered or crowded, and clearing out the junk gives me a big boost of happiness."

She's not alone; I feel the same way, and my clients tell me they feel that way, too.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Clothing: Too Dirty to Donate?

recycling logo

As we sort through our clothes and find ones we no longer need to keep, we may find some that are unfit for donating for thrift shop resale or charity reuse; they are torn, stained, etc. Many organizations make it clear that they only want "gently worn" items.

But there are some good options for disposing of these clothes; most do not need to go to landfill.

1. Animal shelters might be able to use these items as bedding; check with your local shelter.

2. Do you know someone who's a quilter? He or she may want the unsoiled portions of your garments.

3. If you are in the UK, textile recycling seems to be well-established, and there are many on-line resources to help you, including:
- Recycle Now: textiles
- Textile recycling information sheet
- Salvation Army: find a clothing bank

4. In the USA, the Salvation Army is also quite involved with textile recycling. Please do not give them wet or excessively stained clothing; if the clothing they sell for recycling is not of good quality, the price they get for it goes down. One location said it's helpful when the bag of clothing is labeled FOR BALING.

Want to read more? See the information provided by:
- Benny Points
- The California Integrated Waste Management Board
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

[image: logo of the Council for Textile Recycling]

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Scandinavian Design Discoveries

kitchen scale and clock combination

My latest issue of Bon Appetit came today, and it had me scurrying to my computer to read more about the Bengt Ek scale/clock - a scale on one side, a clock on the other.

notice board shaped like an elk

And while I was on the Scandinavian Design web site, I poked around and found the elk notice board. It's hard to tell the scale from the picture; it's 290mm, or about 11.4 inches tall. Check out the web site for more photos to get a better idea of how this product could be used. Update on Jan. 28, 2021: The Scandinavian Design Center is now called Nordic Nest, and sadly this product is no longer available.

wall mounted magazine holder

And finally, I found the Ro magazine holder. Update on Jan. 28, 2021: I'm no longer finding this product, either.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Eye-Catching Shelving Units

honeycomb shaped shelves

Unto This Last is a furniture workshop in London selling directly to the public - and they make these honeycomb shelves that certainly caught my attention. But while the illustration shows some books in them, they wouldn't be practical for those with significant book collections.

[via silk felt soy]

CAVE shelving unit with seating space built into the middle

Lots of people have been blogging about the CAVE, and I'll join them. It's made in Italy, and for now is only available within Europe. At 8,000 euros for the adult size, it's not something many of us would run out and buy, anyway.

[via Apartment Therapy: the nursery and Pink Mohair]

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Another Timer Has Caught My Eye

cube timer

I wrote about timers just over a week ago - but now I've found another one that's too good not to share: the cube timer.

To quote the product blurb: "It's preset for 5, 15, 30, and 60 minutes. To activate, simply turn the cube so the time you want is facing up. Alarm beeps when the time is up. No buttons to press, no dials to set!"

[via The Red Ferret Journal]

Update on Dec. 19, 2011: I'm no longer finding this timer. But I've found two others with a similar design.

Organizing the Bills

stack of bills

In response to a reader request, here are some approaches for organizing the bills - and related products that aren't too expensive.

1. You can organize all your action items - the to-dos (Pay Bills, Enter Data Into Computer, Write, Call, etc.) into file folders that sit close at hand in a step file (also called an incline file) or a desktop file. Then you just need a routine for actually paying the bills - daily, weekly, twice a month, or whatever works for you.

2. You can use a tickler system - where there are folders or pockets for each day of the month, and (usually) each month beyond the current one. As bills come in, they go into the folder/pocket for the day you want to pay them. But you MUST remember to look at the tickler file every day, or you'll miss some bills! Products include the accordion tickler file and the EZPocket. Or you can just set up your own, with 43 folders and something to hold them.

3. You can have a separate place where you put all the bills as soon as they come into the house or office. This could be a wall pocket - or almost any kind of container, maybe something you already have. (Real Simple suggests a napkin holder.) Maybe that's all you need, beyond whatever you're already doing.

4. You can arrange to have your bills paid automatically from your bank account.

[Picture from People's Bank]

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Simply Successful Secrets

Aaron Potts is encouraging all bloggers to write about "the top 5 to 10 things that you do almost every day that help you to be successful. They can be anything at all, but they have to be things that you do at least 4 or 5 times every week."

That seemed like a good challenge, so here's my list.

1. Take care of myself physically - eat well, exercise, get enough sleep. This is all pretty new to me - I used to eat horribly and exercise was a foreign word. But I resolved to shed 50 pounds this year, and I'm working with a wonderful personal trainer - and I'm getting there, slowly but surely. And it feels great!

2. Read. This includes reading in my field (there's always so much to learn), reading the news, and reading for pure pleasure. I read my local newspaper, a number of blogs and Yahoo! groups, and I've always got a book or two I'm in the middle of. Fortunately, I can do a quick scan of much of this to see what's really worth a closer look.

3. Write. I'm dedicated to updating this blog (almost) daily - there will always be a time or two when that doesn't happen, but it's rare, unless I'm on vacation.

4. Find a way to help someone else. This might sound corny, but I'm a member of BNI, and I fully subscribe to the philosophy of Givers Gain.

5. Appreciate what I have. I live in a beautiful place; I have wonderful friends, family, and colleagues; I could go on and on. I try to make sure I look up once in a while and notice all of that: the way the sun looks coming in the window and illuminating my office, the sound of the foghorn in the distance, the giggle from a friend as we talk on the phone, etc.

6. Straighten up. Well, I'm an organizer - what did you expect? My house is not immaculate by any means, but a certain amount of daily attention sure helps - washing the dishes, doing the laundry as needed, putting things back where they belong. I simply can't work efficiently if things get into disarray.

All of this means making time management choices. For example, because I'm now choosing to exercise, I have less time for some other things. But I try to make sure my daily habits are aligned with my life goals - and I had a life goal related to health that I had ignored for way too long.

[Via Andy Wibbels]

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Professional Organizers Show Their Desks

Jeri Dansky's home office with iMac, artwork, and cat

Blogger and Professional Organizer Ariane Benefit at Neat Living has challenged other professional organizers to post pictures of their own desks.

So here's mine - taken this afternoon, when the light wasn't at its best, but you can still get the general idea. (If I can get a better picture tomorrow morning, I'll replace the one that's here.) To the right of my desk I have places where the cats can curl up; you can see my 20+ pound Moonshadow over there. There are also kitty beds under the desk.

The sculpture of the boar is by Wataru Sugiyama of Ashland, Oregon. The black and white photo is by Chris Honeysett. The poster behind my desk came from Singapore, many years ago.

Monday, April 2, 2007

4 Ways to Hang the Baseball Caps

baseball caps hanging on a wall

I've had the question come up twice in the last week: What do I do with all the baseball caps?

1. You could just put a bunch of basic hooks on the wall, and hang the caps from them, as displayed above. (Photo from Flickr, by Spiff Carner)

2. If you want to use a standard baseball cap rack, the options include the PerfectCurve CapRack System (for 24 caps) and a few other over-the-door racks.

3. For something a bit more stylish, there's a wooden cap rack that holds 30 of them.

4. You could also use one of the racks used by stores for displaying baseball caps. See the options available from Palay Display Industries, Inc and Nu-Era.

Sunday, April 1, 2007

April 2007 Organizing Tips and More

recycling bags - plastic, paper, glass

My April Newsletter is now available. The theme is Spring Cleaning.

Tip of the Month: Decluttering the Owner's Manuals

Product of the Month: Recycling Bags from Heal's in the UK (see above), with other options in the UK and USA

Organizing Event of the Month: National Library Week, a great time to donate books to your local Friends of the Library

Top Ten List of the Month: Top 10 Items We Hate to Throw Away

Donation/Recycling Idea of the Month: Wedding gowns can be donated on Brides Against Breast Cancer or sold on Indiebride.