Good advice on how to combat clutter.

How To Raise A Pick-up Artist

Here is a surprisingly simple way to ensure the messy pilers in your house get (and keep) their clothes off the floor.


THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Do you live with a daughter who changes her outfit multiple times before bouncing out the door in the morning leaving a mile-high mound of clothes behind on her bedroom floor? Are you providing shelter for a son (or maybe bunking with a partner) who, instead of emptying his pockets and hanging up his pants, drops his drawers by the side of the bed before tucking in for the night?

After confiding my annoyance at the ongoing piles threatening to devour the bedrooms of my young, my tidy friend Tara suggested I use an inexpensive tool that had worked miracles at her house. Read more

CLUB cabin-low

CLUG: An Easy, Elegant Way To Store Bikes

Designed in Vancouver, the CLUG is an easy and elegant way to store bikes.

CLUB cabin-low INEXPENSIVE & AWESOME | If this isn’t a fabulous idea, I don’t know what is: a practically invisible clip that you can attach to almost any surface to store your bike in a space-saving position. Use the stylish CLUG—it’s a blend of the words clip and hug—“to keep your place tidy and display your ride without damaging it or your walls,” say the trio of industrial designers (with a Fuseproject connection) at Vancouver-based Hurdler Studios. They are currently crowd-funding on Kickstarter in an effort to speed their clever product to market.   Read more

Emergency Preparedness - Cub Scouts

The Easiest Way To Pull Together An Emergency Survival Kit

If you have yet to cobble together an emergency survival kit, this well-priced ones from Costco will make the task an {almost} no brainer.

Emergency Preparedness - Cub Scouts


MONEY WELL SPENT | I can’t believe how many people I know who still have not put together a basic emergency preparedness kit. But hey, even with straight- forward easy-to-follow directions on this very website (CLICK HERE for our story on how to put together a survival kit from scratch), up until recently I was among the great unprepared. I wish I could say it was Frugalbits that prompted me to get my kit together, but it wasn’t; it was my dear friend and neighbour who showed me hers, a store-bought version from Costco. Read more

Baggu Bags

The Awesome Baggu

Why I’m replacing my cache of nonwoven polypropylene shopping bags with ripstop models from Baggu.
  Baggu Bags


BUY RIGHT | It was cleanup month around here so I tackled the buildup of shopping bags that had threatened to devour my closet. I don’t know how it happened, but over the past two years I’d managed to accumulate around 50 reusable polyester and nonwoven polypropylene “billboard shoppers” (so called because they often display a company logo) in every size imaginable. These shoppers are awkward and bulky even when folded and gang-bagged, and they easily turn into an unwieldy space-stealing mess when stashed in the back of a car or cupboard.

To add insult to injury, nonwoven polypropylene bags are no better for the environment than those disposable plastic bags they’ve come to replace. Read more

Vertical Spine Bookcase - via The Design Files

4 Fab Bookcases That Take Up Little Room

Short on floor space? Here are four fabulous bookcases that take up very little room.

Vertical Spine Bookcase - via The Design Files


DESIGN WISE | Those of us living in condos and townhomes are forever on the lookout for ways to save on space. One way to do this where books are concerned is to store them horizontally in a vertical bookcase that climbs up the wall rather than in one with a more conventional shape that gobbles up a larger floor area.

Vertical spine book towers can hold lots of books in a vertical stack. Here are four of our favourite models. Read more

Bluelounge CableBox mini

Untangle Cords And Cables With Bluelounge

If you have a tangle of power bars and cords threatening to overtake your work area, Bluelounge could solve your problem.

Bluelounge CableBox mini


PROBLEM SOLVED | I don’t make New Year’s resolutions unless they’re the Babylonian variety (CLICK HERE  for our story on this). That said, this year on J 01 I did make a plan to put an end to the chaos of cords, surge-protected power bars and mutant dust bunnies that reigns under my desk. I wanted this task completed by J 31, and I’m happy to report I’ve put the issue to bed and it’s only mid-January. Read more

Cracked pots for Craigslist.

How To Get Rid Of Old Stuff Quick—For Free

Here’s how to give away unwanted things at lightening speed to save the planet and avoid a dumping fee.


Stuff You Can Find For Free On Craigslist


OUT WITH THE OLD | As a murder mystery aficionado, I generally identify with the forces of law and order. Lately, however, I’ve felt a certain sympathy for murderers with awkward corpses to dispose of.

In the bad old days, getting rid of unwanted items was so much easier, cheaper and less guilt-ridden. Recently I found myself with a number of awkward corpses of my own to dispose of: dead trees I had felled before the winter winds did the job less carefully. Read more

My Spice Files - C. Rule

How To Make An Easy Herb & Spice File

How to devise a storage system for herbs and spices and forever do away with novelty spice racks and their special containers—or purchasing extra spice packets you don’t really need.

My Spice Files - C. Rule


PROBLEM SOLVED | Has this ever happened to you? You’re ready to whip up a dish from scratch when you realize your recipe calls for a dried herb that, after rummaging among your cache of spice bottles and bags, you appear to be out of.  So you rush out and pick some up only to discover later that you already had a bottle on hand—three, actually, stashed away in the dark recesses of the various places you store this stuff. Read more

Notebooks- iStock

The Write Stuff: Notebooks From Daiso

If it’s a proper notebook you need, there is no better—or less expensive—place to buy one than at Daiso, our favourite $2 store.


CHEAP & PERFECT | Say what you will about the note-taking capabilities of a laptop, smartphone or tablet, sometimes it’s more satisfying—and quicker—to write stuff on actual paper. For me, jotting works best on notebooks that are both attractive and quirky, and the best selection of these kinds of notebooks I know of is at Daiso, my favourite dollar-style store. Read more

Pile Of Receipts -iStock

Tame Your Paper Tiger With Neat Receipts

If piles of cash receipts make you feel trapped like a circus cat come tax time, this scanning device could bring relief.

Pile Of Receipts -iStock


SAVE  TIME | Everyone has their own idea of Hell On Earth, but sorting a year’s worth of scrunched up cash receipts spilling out of plastic bags and bureau drawers is a one-way trip to bookkeeping-Hades for pretty much anyone.

I’ve tried various organizing and recording methods, but my favourite is NeatReceipts, a mini “scanalizer” that reads, records and analyzes data from both sales receipts and business cards. It also allows you to print out copies with multiple receipts on a page. Read more