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It may seem counterintuitive to talk about gadgets (stuff) as a means of decluttering (getting rid of stuff). But, when you think about it, technology is all about increasing efficiency and allowing us to do away with what it has made obsolete.
Below is a list of tech gadgets we use in our home that have helped us to reduce clutter and become more efficient.
1. The Instant Pot
We were late adopters of this multifunctional pressure cooker, so forgive me if you're sick of reading of its accolades by now. As a self-proclaimed horrible cook, I was afraid it would end up back in its box, like many kitchen gadgets before it. But, just a week into owning one, I wondered how I ever managed weeknight dinners without it.
Our kitchen hero, the Instant Pot Duo Mini 3 Qt ($79.99), ready for action.
Thanks to a vast offering of simple recipes online, many with under half a dozen steps, my ‘cooking’ has actually improved. (Coming soon: a post on my favorite, quick prep/quick clean up Instant Pot recipes). But, believe-it-or-not, what I love most about the Instant Pot is the effect it’s had on our kitchen’s aesthetic.
Dinner used to give rise to a heap of dirty pots and pans in the sink. Now, thanks to the Instant Pot’s ability to sauté/steam/pressure cook/etc. and with many recipes strategically sequencing these functions, I’m often left with just one pot (the Instant Pot) to clean at the end!
The Instant Pot is also a timesaver. Most recipes end with blithely plunking all of your ingredients into the Pot, locking the lid and letting it do its magic; time I used to waste standing over the stove, stirring (and splattering) is now better spent washing cutting boards and measuring cups involved in meal prep, and even unloading the dishwasher from the previous night. The kitchen is often spotless by the time dinner is ready.
Keeping clean counters and an empty sink have been a lot easier since the Instant Pot came into our lives.
Thanks to it's multi-functionality, the Instant Pot has made many of our pots and pans redundant. This has allowed us to purge all but a few.
All of our pots and pans now fit comfortably into just one drawer. (Coming soon: a post on how we organize our kitchen drawers).
The Instant Pot comes in three sizes (3,6,8 quart). We started with the smallest of the three, which makes just enough food for our family of three, with occasional leftovers. We ended up upgrading to the 6 quart, which makes enough to batch and freeze about 3 meals worth for our family.
The Instant Pot LUX60 6 Quart ($79).
2. Wireless headphones
While it doesn’t seem like wireless headphones deserve a spot in a post about gadgets for decluttering, it’s what they allow you to do with your hands completely free and your head untethered from your phone, that makes the difference. Since I’ve had my Apple AirPods, I'm more efficient at running around the house while listening to music and podcasts without fear of wires getting snagged on something, unceremoniously ripping the buds from my ears mid-song.
Apple AirPods (Apple.com)
Thanks to bluetooth technology, I don’t even need to have the phone on me; I can leave it in the bedroom while I go down to the basement to do a load of laundry. They're even hooked up to Siri, so with a double tap, you can command a phone call, playlist or ask any Siri-related question.
And, when you happen to leave these lying around, it’s no big deal: there’s even something beautiful about their modern design and clean lines.
They almost disappear when left on our coffee table.
They’re so un-cumbersome you often forget you’re wearing them; my husband jokes that I’m like Bionic Woman with these in, randomly blurting out the weather forecast for the day, or a juicy tidbit of celebrity gossip (depending on what I'm tuned into).
I only wish these had been around when I was on mat leave. Coupled with the Netflix app on my phone, my show-binging-while-breastfeeding skills would have been next level.
Not an Apple fan? Or looking for a more economical option:
Anker ZOLO Liberty True Wireless Earphones ($99.99).
3. A Fast Charger for your Phone
For many, phone chargers and charging cords are a permanent fixture on the kitchen counter or jutting out of the wall in the living room. This was us until we switched to fast charging for our smart phones.
Fast Charging requires a power brick that supports the USB-C Power Delivery (Apple.com) and a USB-C to Lightning Cable (Apple.com).
When you can charge your phone from 0 to 50% in 30 minutes (much faster than regular charging), your charger can make just a short guest appearance before promptly being tucked back away.
Also, the more efficiently your phone can be charged, the less likely you are to litter your home with a half a dozen contingency chargers.
Instead of Apple's USB-C power adapter/charger, I opted for the cheaper, but just as effective, Anker version (Amazon.com). You can almost get two Anker adapters for the price of one of Apple's.
My Anker USB-C power adapter/wall charger and USB-C to lightning cable spend most their lives tucked away in my junk drawer (more on junk drawers in a future post).
4. An Appliance Garage
Okay, so this one's more of a way to store gadgets than an actual gadget itself. But, it's a clutter killer, never-the-less.
When renovating our kitchen a couple of years ago, we had electrical sockets built into a cupboard we use as an ‘appliance garage.'
Our toaster and Nespresso machine don't even have to leave the cabinet during use. This has been a major win for keeping the counters clean and clutter free.
Our Nespresso Essenza Mini by De'Longhi (Amazon.com) is one of the most compact Nespresso machines out there. As you can see, it fits easily into the appliance garage.
Other options for cabinet-sized coffee pod machines:
The Keurig K10 Mini Plus Brewing System ($146.74).
The Nespresso Essenza Mini by Breville ($112.46).
5. A Robot Vacuum Cleaner
This one's probably tied with the Instant Pot for the gadget that's had the most impact on our daily lives.
Couple the fact that it can be stored under the couch, fully out of sight, with its ability to be programmed to clean while you’re out and you’ll literally never see it. Who doesn’t like to come home to clean floors?
Our iRobot Roomba headed back under the couch to its home base charging station, out of sight.
If you're looking for a more economical option, Eufy offers a similar, very well-reviewed robovac for less:
Eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 11S Slim ($219).
6. A Label Maker
These are great for labeling everything from spice jars to kid's toy storage bins (click here for a post on using storage bins for kids toys). Labels are like road signs prodding you to return your things to their designated resting places. Having things labelled serves to psychologically reinforce the organization junkie's mantra: 'a place for everything and everything in it's place.'
My weapon of choice is the DYMO Label Manager 160 ($19). It does all the basics at a great price.
Our dry goods drawer: just another casualty of the DYMO Label Manager.
If fancier labels are what you're after, this one may be more your speed:
Brother P Touch PT D210 Label Maker ($19.99).
There you have it, the gadgets that have helped declutter and organize our home. What would you add to the list? Please leave a comment below!
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