There always comes a time when Kelly and I are helping people go through their stuff that we come upon a strange shirt that makes no sense in the context of a whole wardrobe, a tell-tale pointy hat that’s out of place, or a bag full of curly wigs and sunglasses and then we know — we’ve got some spooky business going on.

Cooking on an iPad

When I thought about “Cooking on an iPad,” I swear I saw the image to my left flash in front of my eyes. And then I went online to just, y’know SEE if I could find an image of it, and yeah there’s an app that will make it LOOK like you’re cooking, but yes, it’s just a joke — so far. In the meantime, you can use your iPad, computer, or smart phone to view recipes online and get rid of all those cookbooks you wish you would use but actually don’t.

TiVo Killed the VHS Star

When we first started our home organization business, I can’t tell you how exhausting it was to come upon someone’s television (usually a big boxy unit taking up a third of the living room) surrounded by an unmanageable amount of DVDs and, yeah, old VHS tapes. These days by the time we arrive, people have cleared them out themselves, OR, they know it’s time for them to go before we even open our mouths to make the suggestion. What and who is responsible for this miracle? While we have given Netflix some of the credit for clearing out the DVD collections, it’s really the co-founders of TiVo, Mike Ramsay and Jim Barton, who truly got rid of the worst of the living room media baggage.

The Netflix Home Organization Revolution

Do you remember late fees? It does seem like a distant memory, but it used to be the bane of my existence. So much so that I pretty much didn’t go to Blockbuster at all because, well, because I knew I’d never return the movies on time and would always be battling that late fees. It’s kind of the downfall of many an Organic Freedom — and often Smart Freedoms and Funs — and it’s is also the reason that I eschew the public library as well. But thankfully another visionary came along and changed all that, well, at least where movies are concerned.

A Wall Full of Books in Your Pocketbook

When we were little and were going on vacation, my dad used to pack a huge box full of books. We’re talking the size of your biggest overhead carry-on luggage! I’d like to say that the Kindle revolution has stopped this need of his to buy physical books, but it has at least slowed down the paperbacks and halved that box of books to a bag that could actually fit below an airline seat.

A Wall Full of Music in Your Pocket

I used to have two huge cratefulls of record albums that I dutifully moved from small Brooklyn apartment to small Brooklyn apartment in my twenties and frankly, I rarely listened to them. Usually I just listened to the radio and the smart programming executives who knew I just wanted to listen to the hits, no matter what era they were from. And then, to me, the most glorious invention of the genius that is Steve Jobs invented that little contraption known as the iPod. What does the i even stand for? Individual? Personally I think it stands for independence from my stuff!

Look Ma, No Handlebars!

We’re finishing off the week with another Martha reuse it project. But, unlike some of Martha’s other ideas, this one is actually an easy transformation. Martha’s title was “Look, no handlebars!” and I think we can all agree that my editorial tweak wins the prize, n’est-ce pas? And since this is my third reuse-it idea from Martha this week, now you know that I read Living pretty religiously. It’s definitely a magazine created by someone who we think is a Smart, designed for Classics like me to enjoy. (Smarts tend to appreciate Classic’s drive for order and structure, which is why they do best in life when they hire them as secretaries!)

Picture Rails = Shoe Rack

This is another re-purposing idea from THE Martha. As I wrote this tip, I realized that she labeled this idea amongst others: Decorating Easy Transformations. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that unless you are a general contractor or a weekend DIY enthusiast, installing a bunch of picture rails isn’t something you’d call easy — doable perhaps, but not easy! I guess it’s all relative or in SAT parlance, “True or False: Easy is to hard as installing a plethora of parallel picture railings is to installing a toilet.”

Storage That Stacks Up

I was going to recreate a jazzy title but I thought This Old House magazine did such a good job, why recreate the wheel? Some people have a thing for baskets. I have a thing for wooden fruit crates. But, I don’t allow myself to keep them anymore because I know what happens — they sit around and I think, “Oh I’ll use them one day” but then I never come up with an idea and eventually get rid of them.


Today’s tip is courtesy of Martha, THE Martha. The idea is essentially as pictured — reuse a door and small bookshelves to make a desk with storage so you have more desktop space. It’s a neat idea but there’s one small problem that many people might have with this idea.