Kitchen

How to Conquer Your Messy Room Fast but Not Furious

Do you find yourself surrounded by piles of papers, unread magazines, and books you are holding on to in case you may want to read them in the future? Is your closet bursting with clothes, half of which haven’t seen the light of day in years? Do you feel like you are drowning under an uncontrollable mess? Take charge and declutter your life right now.

Living under piles and tiptoeing down that small path through personal possessions just to reach your bed is not only unhealthy for your body, with dust mites, possible mold and more, but also detrimental to your mind. Clearing your physical space will also free the clutter from your mind.

Decluttering will not only make you healthier, but all of the clean, open spaces will also make you happier.

The hardest part of decluttering your life can be letting go. You have to decide what to throw out and what to keep. Some stuff is cut and dry. Old and broken? Chuck. No longer used? Recycle or give away.

What about the blurred lines? You may place personal value on items, like that misshapen clay horse your 36 year old son presented to you in kindergarten. At 36, chances are he may not even remember it. Does it make you happy? Keep it. But if you find yourself under a mountain of these meaningful mementos, it may be a sign to let go.

Tackle Your Clutter in 15 Minute Intervals

If you are facing a daunting mess of ginormous proportions, you may feel like giving up before you even start. Don’t! Tackle your clutter in smaller chunks of time.1 Set a timer for 15 minutes and work on clearing a room. When the alarm goes off, walk away and do something else. You can choose to return later for another 15 minute stint, or just do 15 minutes a day. You will be surprised at how much you can accomplish in those 15 minutes.

It’s so easy to find that marble rabbit statue your Aunt Elsie gave to you and suddenly wonder how she is and end up in a two hour phone conversation catching up. Stop yourself from going down that rabbit hole. Focus on clearing your clutter during your allotted time. You can call Aunt Elsie later.

Declutter Your House Room By Room

Go through each room in your house methodically, one at a time.2 Clear the items that you no longer need or use from drawers, closets and under beds. Make a stack of things you use and things you can recycle or give away. When you are done, box up the recyclables and stash in your car to drop off at the local thrift store. Then put back all the things you are keeping.

Go through each room from one end to the other

Clear a work space for yourself and declutter your chosen room starting from one end of the room, making your way to the other. Don’t jump around. It will only add mess upon mess and have you throwing up your hands in defeat.

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Clearing out your wardrobe

Keep two big trash bags or boxes on hand when you go through the items in your wardrobe. In one throw all those clothes that are soiled, damaged or too worn out. You will be throwing these away. In the second box place all those clothes that you haven’t worn in more than six months, except for season items like jackets and scarves/swimsuits and sarongs that you will be wearing for that time of year. Donate the second box to a charity shop or thrift store. You you are going through your kids clothes, pass them on to a family with kids younger than yours.

Keeping a seasonal wardrobe

Still facing too many clothes? Consider having a seasonal wardrobe to free up space in that closet and in those drawers. When you are facing warm weather, pack up the winter coats, scarves and long sleeve shirts. When…

Tiny Cooking, it’s an Actual Thing!

When I first saw one of these Tiny Kitchen videos on Instagram, I thought it must be a one-off, a cute gag. I laughed at the silliness of the whole business, marveled at the ingenuity of the tea candle stove, the teeny cookware, and the patience to use it all. And I was delighted to see that you really could make respectable-looking tiny iced donuts with sprinkles in a doll house kitchen.

Then it hit me. Wait a minute. I know the Internet. I know of the countless micro-culture tribes it fosters and serves and the lengths to which people will go in creating novelty niches to hang out in with others…

How to Make the Most Out of These 6 Kitchen Gadgets

If you’re running a more minimalist kitchen — or even if you aren’t — you may be wondering which small appliances are worth keeping around. Or maybe you’re planning your wedding registry and want to know what should you include on your list. You’ve seen everything from bread makers to ice cream machines to margarita blenders on the shelves at your local shop. Single-task appliances may not seem like a smart buy, but you need to consider that not all all of them perform only one task.

Here’s the lowdown on kitchen appliances that every kitchen should include, and how to make the most of each one.

1. Blender

We took the plunge last fall and bought a NutriBullet blender. I sincerely believe that a blender is an appliance no kitchen should be without. Beyond smoothies, you can blend together soups, sauces, condiments, and even baby food. And you can also make milkshakes, banana ice cream, and even peanut butter.

Yes! You can make peanut butter in a blender. It’s best if you use a heavy duty blender that can grind up the peanuts. Simply pour in your desired amount of dry-roasted peanuts, salt, and sugar. Then blend on the highest setting until smooth. (See also: 15 Creative, Delicious Things You Can Make in a Blender)

2. Waffle maker

We use our waffle maker almost every single day. First, we like waffles. I even make my own mix so we can easily whisk it with water and get it cooking in just a few minutes flat. We also use our waffle maker as a panini press to make delicious sandwiches. I mean, this little appliance cost us just $17.00 and we use it often enough to keep it out on the counter.

What else can you make with a waffle maker? Pizza, cake, brownies, quesadillas, and the list goes on. (See also: 15 Delicious Foods to…

Don’t Miss Out on Monday’s Best Amazon Deals

As a recurring feature, our team combs the Web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, April 24.

Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

GADGETS, TOYS, AND MEDIA

Rowkin Bit Stereo Bluetooth Headphones, True Wireless Earbuds w/ Mic. Smallest Cordless Hands-Free In-Ear Earphones Headsets with Portable Charger & Noise Reduction for Running & iPhone (Space Gray) for $109.99 (list price $239.99)

Travelambo RFID Front Pocket Wallet Minimalist Wallet Slim Wallet Genuine Leather for $10.15 (list price $11.99)

Anker PowerCore 10400 Portable Charger with PowerIQ for iPhone, iPad, Samsung Galaxy and More (Black) for $26.99 (list price $49.99)

SoundPEATS Wireless Earbuds, True Wireless Stereo Bluetooth 4.2 Headphones Cordless Earphones Sweatproof In-Ear Headset with Mic, Secure Fit for Sports(Upgraded Version) for $39.99 (list price $69.99)

SENSO Bluetooth Headphones, Best Wireless Sports Earphones w/ Mic IPX7 Waterproof HD Stereo Sweatproof Earbuds for Gym Running Workout 8 Hour Battery Noise Cancelling Headsets for $36.97 (list price $169.99)

UNITEK Portable USB 3.0 4-Port High Speed Hub with BC 1.2 Charging with 5V 1.2A and Built-in USB 3.0 Cable LED for iMac, MacBook, MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, Chrombook, Surface Pro for $6.99 (list price $12.99)

Spigen Neo Hybrid Galaxy S8 Plus Case Herringbone with Flexible Inner Protection and Reinforced Hard Bumper Frame for Galaxy S8 Plus (2017) – Gunmetal for $14.99 (list price $34.99)

VicTsing Shower Speaker, Wireless Waterproof Speaker with 5W Drive, Suction Cup, Buit-in Mic, Hands-Free Speakerphone – Army Green for $18.99 (list price $24.99)

Casio SL-300VC Standard Function Calculator, Pink for $6.99 (list price $9.39)

Mpow Swift Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless Stereo Sweatproof Jogger, Running, Sport Headphones Earbuds Earphone with AptX,Mic Hands-free Calling-Pink for $21.69 (list price $33.99)

SanDisk Cruzer Fit 8GB USB 2.0 Low-Profile Flash Drive- SDCZ33-008G-B35 for $6.93 (list price $10.50)

WizGear Universal Air Vent Magnetic Car Mount Holder with Fast Swift-Snap Technology for Smartphones and Mini Tablets, Black for $7.99 (list price $19.99)

Bluetooth Speakers, Aptoyu 10W Outdoor Dual-Driver Portable Wireless Speaker with Built-in Microphone Support for $24.99 (list price $29.99)

Apple Watch Band, 42mm iWatch Band Strap Premium Vintage Genuine Leather Replacement Watchband with Secure Metal Clasp Buckle for Apple Watch Sport Edition (Dark Brown) for $20.99 (list price $29.99)

Inlaid Walnut-Style Magnetized Wood Chess Set with Staunton Wood Chessmen for $25.99 (list price $34.95)

Panasonic Eneloop Rechargeable Batteries 8 AA, 4 AAA, & Quick LED Charger Kit for $32.61 (list price $48.99)

Polaroid 2×3 inch Premium ZINK Photo Paper QUINTUPLE PACK (50 Sheets) – Compatible With Polaroid Snap, Snap Touch, Z2300, SocialMatic Instant Cameras & Zip Instant Printer for $24.88 (list price $33.76)

ARCHEER Audio Splitter Cable 3.5mm Male to 2 Female Jack Headphone Splitter Adapter 4-Pole Aux Cable with Two Separate Headphone plugs, Compatible with iPhone, Samsung, Tablets, MP3 players – 0.5M for $8.25 (list price $12.99)

UGREEN Phone Stand Multi-Angle Cell Phone Stand Holder For iPhone 7,7plus,6 6 Plus Samsung Galaxy S7/ S6/ S6 Edge Google Nexus, Lumia, Tablet iPad, White for $6.99 (list price $12.99)

CVLIFE XML T6 LED Flashlight Adjustable Torch Light with Rechargeable Battery and 2 Chargers for $14.40 (list price $43.89)

Ravensburger Labyrinth for $14.03 (list price $31.99)

LEGO Super Heroes Guardians of The Galaxy The Milano vs. The Abilisk 76081 Building Kit (460 Pieces) for $39.99 (list price $49.99)

KITCHEN

KitchenAid KSM150PSER Artisan Tilt-Head Stand Mixer with Pouring Shield, 5-Quart, Empire Red for $279.00 (list price $299.99)

ThermoPro TP50 Hygrometer Thermometer Indoor Humidity Monitor with Temperature Gauge Humidity Meter for $7.96 (list price $19.99)

ZYLISS Utility Paring Kitchen Knife with Sheath Cover, 5.5-Inch Stainless Steel Blade, Purple for $8.90 (list price $11.99)

Mr. Coffee Flintshire Stainless Steel Whistling Tea Kettle, 1.75-Quart, Silver for $13.74 (list price $19.99)

All-Clad 41126 Stainless Steel Tri-Ply Bonded Dishwasher Safe Fry Pan with Lid / Cookware, 12-Inch, Silver for $119.95 (list price $199.99)

LINKYO French Coffee Press – Stainless Steel Coffee Maker 34oz, 1L for $21.79 (list price $59.99)

Best Ice Cube Trays – 2 Large Silicone Pack – 16 Giant 2 Inch Ice Cubes Molds for $12.99 (list price $29.99)

GM Kitchen Premium Stainless Steel Salt & Pepper Grinder with Adjustable Coarseness, Set of 2 for $12.95 (list price $19.95)

The Original GORILLA GRIP Set of 3 Non-Slip Reversible Cutting Boards, BPA Free, FDA Approved Materials (Set of 3 Boards: Black) for $18.99 (list price $39.99)

MAIRICO Ultra Sharp Premium Heavy Duty Kitchen Shears and Multi Purpose Scissors for $12.95 (list price $35.99)

Yummy Sam Lid and Spoon Rest, Utensils Lid Holder Spoon Holder Lid Rest Lid Shelf Kitchen Utensils Holders Stainless Steel in Silver for $8.99 (list price $10.19)

[20 Pack] 3 Compartment Meal Prep Containers BPA Free Portion Control Bento Boxes (39 Oz.) for $17.75 (list price $39.99)

Oster TSSTTRJBG1 Jelly Bean 2-Slice Toaster, Grey for $21.99 (list price $34.99)

Hamilton Beach Easy Reach Toaster Oven, Metallic (31334) for $31.04 (list price $72.79)

VonShef 7- Egg Electric Cooker Stainless Steel with Poacher & Steamer Attachment for $19.94 (list price $34.99)

BambooWorx Bamboo Cooking Utensils Set- 6 Pieces + Holder, Wooden Spoons & Spatulas, Kitchen Utensils, All Natural Bamboo. for $12.48 (list price $18.45)

DRAGONN Zester Grater Sharp Stainless Steel Blade with Black Handle, Safety Cover and Rubber Footings for $9.95 (list price $19.95)

Orblue Pastry Cutter Stainless Steel – Professional Baking Dough Blender with Blades for $9.87 (list price $18.77)

Popsicle Molds Set – BPA Free – 6 Ice Pop Makers + Silicone Funnel + Cleaning Brush + Ice Cream Recipes E-book – by Lebice for $7.99 (list price $11.95)

Contigo Jackson Reusable Water Bottle, 24oz, Grayed Jade for $5.99 (list price $7.99)

7 Inch Stainless Steel Chopper-Cleaver-Butcher Knife – Multipurpose Use by Utopia Kitchen for $15.99 (list price $29.99)

Calphalon Contemporary Hard-Anodized Aluminum Nonstick Cookware, Square Griddle Pan, 11-inch, Black for $29.99 (list price $33.99)

Lodge LGPR3 Cast Iron Round Grill Press, Pre-Seasoned, 7.5-inch for $23.13 (list price $29.99)

HOME

AmazonBasics Wood Suit Hangers – 30 Pack, Natural for $20.82 (list price $23.99)

InsideSmarts Delicates Laundry Wash Bags, Set of 4 (2 Medium & 2 Large) for $11.49 (list price $21.99)

Holmes HAP600-U HEPA-Type Egg Air Purifier, Permanent Filter for $47.99 (list price $79.99)

Honeywell HRF-AP1 Filter A Universal Carbon Pre-filter, Pack of 1 for $7.99 (list price $8.09)

Imprint CumulusPRO Professional Standing Desk Anti-Fatigue Mat 20 in. x 30 in. x 3/4 in. Brown for $33.18 (list price $39.99)

MILLIARD 2″ Gel Infused Memory Foam Mattress Topper + Ultra Soft Removable Bamboo Cover with Non-Slip Bottom Queen 78″x58″x2″ for $99.99 (list price $119.99)

Rowenta DW5080 Focus 1700-Watt Micro Steam Iron Stainless Steel Soleplate with Auto-Off, 400-Hole, Brown for $60.62 (list price $100.00)

Turkish Luxury Hotel & Spa 16″x30″ Hand Towel Set of 6 Turkish Cotton – Organic Eco-Friendly (Hand Towels, Ivory) for $25.50 (list price $37.99)
Sterilite ClearView 3 Storage Drawer Organizer for $19.39 (list price $24.99)

Gain Flings Moonlight Breeze Laundry Detergent Packs, 81 Count for $16.97 after on-screen coupon (list price $20.97)

Funny Door Mats Welcome Doormat Our House Cassette for $8.40 (list price $19.99)

LINENSPA Zippered Encasement Waterproof, Dust Mite Proof, Bed Bug Proof Breathable Mattress Protector – Queen Size for $24.99 (list price $104.99)

Tenswall Portable Garment Steamer, Handheld Fabric Steamer…

Michelin-Starred Chef to Bring His Soup Kitchen Concept to the U.S.

image credit: Massimo Bottura at the 2012 Olympics. Image credit: Dino Panato/Getty

Massimo Bottura is one of the more respected chefs in the culinary community: His restaurant, Osteria Francescana, has earned three Michelin stars and the coveted number one spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. When he isn’t feeding affluent gastro-tourists at his Modena, Italy restaurant, Bottura is finding ways to use leftovers to feed the hungry.

One of those ways is through Refettorio Gastromtiva. The idea behind the Refettorios is simple: Chefs use surplus products from supermarkets and catering companies that would otherwise go to waste in order to create healthy and delicious meals for the community. After finding success in Italy, the initiative came to…