Wednesday, September 21, 2011

UPGRADE - Better Products Do It Better

Macaroni Kid asked us for some expert commentary for their site and this is what we shared with them. Now we are passing on the information to you! Here it is:

As a Professional Organizer, I am always on the lookout for products that make life easier and more organized. There are products that are sufficient, but I get very excited when I discover products that are even better versions of what we already have. This sort of thing jibes with what I try to do while organizing my clients- take a look at what is there and offer a way to make it a bit better. That is what I love about the following products and services:

SipnGo Bag Bottle- This product is a lightweight, portable water bottle that rolls up and snaps up tight when empty. I have carried Camelbak and SIGG bottles, which were ok, but they were heavy and occasionally leaked and were even a bit heavy in my bag after I drank all the water. This bottle, which comes in fun colors, is pretty lightweight when full and featherlight when empty. It is BPA free, dishwasher safe, and recyclable. The only drawback that I have experienced is that it is easy to lose the cap that snaps over the spout. However, replacements are available on the Sip N’ Go website I find that unusual, in a good way. So many things that we break or lose, we just cannot get a replacement or a spare part for. Try this bottle!

GoPicnic – My usual experience shopping for a picnic goes as follows:
I try to remember all food groups/categories and struggle to choose something from each. Then I buy jars of spreads, entire boxes of cookies and crackers, bread for everyone, packages of lunchmeat, trays of vegetables, bags of fruit, containers of nuts….these items are expensive when added up, heavy and bulky to carry, and often get left uneaten by fellow picnickers but are too sloppy to repack and take home. When I first encountered a GoPicnic packaged meal I was floored! These are picnics in a box! They can also be used on the go- my suggestions are to bring them on an airplane or a road trip. They are nutritious and well balanced- each box contains protein, fiber and fruit, and often a sweet treat! The whole meal has been planned for me (they have good taste too- some really flavorful choices!), is lightweight and compact for carrying, and is shelf-stable. I’d much rather buy a set of these for my picnic pals then keep doing what I described above. BONUS: GoPicnic offers vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, and kosher meals too! How thoughtful to include so many special diets. I love them for that.

Denim Therapy – This service is the gift that keeps on giving. Each time I wear my designer jeans that have been through Therapy, I am continually astounded and pleased with my decision to use this service. Here is how it works: You either mail in or drop off your jeans (in Manhattan, New York). You fill out a form stating what you want done that you send along with the jeans. They email you an estimate for you to peruse and approve. Then they repair your jeans to the point where you can barely pick out where the rip or hole was. This is because they do not patch – they weave in new cotton thread perfectly matched to the type of denim you give them. You probably haven’t thought much about this, but go take a look at your jeans and notice how they are many different colors and some even have white thread mixed in with blue. The jeans I brought in were of the latter kind and they wove both white and the same shade of blue right in there. And this service costs a whopping $7 per inch! I mean, WHAT? I was thinking of replacing my holey jeans (my best pair) but instead of trying to find them again and shelling out well over $100 for them, I paid a mere $7/inch to have the holes in the crotch repaired. Unbelievable! They also offer hemming, hardware replacement, tailoring and other services. Run, don’t walk!

The Spongester – There are other ways to deal with the issue that the Spongester addresses, but none as good as the Spongester handles it. This product is a bi-level stainless steel sponge rack, labeled Good Sponge and Evil Sponge, separating and clearly marking your different sponges. Different in what ways? Dish sponge from scrubber sponge, human sponge from pet sponge, meat sponge from dairy sponge in a kosher household, meat sponge from veg sponge in a multi-diet household….I am sure there are other sponge distinctions that I haven’t thought of yet, and would welcome hearing about them in the comments section!
Before the Spongster, I had repurposed a small Ikea silverware drying rack with two halves for my sponges, but truth be told I could usually not remember which sponge was for what purpose. That has changed with this product, as long as I can recall what the Good one is for and what the Evil one is for. If you can, you will never use the wrong sponge on the wrong place again!

Ok- go forth and try these “build a better mousetrap” takes on products we already have, and see if they don’t improve on your existing experiences! Enjoy doing things a little better!


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