I sometimes get compliments about how modern my household is. It’s still a mess, but I’d like to think that it would be even more of a mess if it wasn’t for modern technology, especially since I’m managing the whole thing on my own. And it’s not just about my smart home, there’s a lot of uncommon “dumb hardware” that is either too recent for widespread use or historically underappreciated for some reason.

TODO From a list of rather raw ideas make something more usable, illustrative and informative


  • Mobility for everything
    • What isn’t mobile, can be made mobile temporarily through the use of a lever and platforms on wheels, these can be found at decent prices
  • Smaller apartments call for smaller solutions
    • My short history with vacuum cleaners:
      • I got one I’ve had good experience with, ended up barely using it, because while it’s good, it’s also pretty high-maintenance because it has a water-based filter which has to be cleaned after every use, and it’s also rather bulky and needs a mains cord to function
      • I got another vacuum cleaner, battery-powered with a cyclone filter which has none of these flaws: it happily endures being left mid-cleanup, is very small and doesn’t have a cord — as a result of all that I tend to use it a lot more often; its own downside is that it’s a lot less powerful for just about anything other than dust and requires more frequenst use
  • Cleaning kit
  • Useful and useless sides of IKEA
    • What’s simple is probably also flexible
    • Furniture in standard sizes can only pack things so tight, tighter spaces are better served by custom-built pieces; however, tighter spaces can be altered slightly to make them adhere to more standard sizes, but a plan for that has to be made before the space has finished walls, floor or ceiling
  • Physical space is a lot more expensive than digital space, so when the extent of the mess is comparable between the two (if it’s difficult to compare, it probably is), it makes more sense to start with physical first
  • Being stateless through attaching simple rules with physical reminders (e. g. stickers)
    • Organizing documents into compartments makes it easier, even starting with a single “Inbox” box/tray, out of which clusters of documents are extracted elsewhere
    • Depending on the model, it may be possible to place a sticker on the top side of the detergent drawer of a washing machine, so that when pulled out a little bit it makes the sticker visible: it can be a label such as “Laundry time!”


  • Pegboard-based coat rack is a very flexible framework for arranging various items needed when going out or arriving home


  • Label printer, one of my best self-organization purchases
  • Cheat sheets (e. g. clothing symbols on the washing machine)
  • NFC stickers
  • Adhesive whiteboard film TODO (I’ve yet to actually apply it)
  • Use a mindset of making it understandable to somebody else; because after long enough you will be somebody else
  • Privacy tools: we routinely deal with a surprising amount of sensitive data on paper
    • Paper shredder may be a useful purchase to prevent information leakage through documents
    • Jet lighter can be used to burn off sensitive parts on bigger items (stickers on packaging)


Because a lot of the time I cook fresh meals for myself, I have quite a bit of hardware to make the boring parts easier.

  • Microwave oven
    • Plastic microwave steamer is surprisingly versatile
  • Mandoline slicer, for veggies — near-perfect size consistency makes for an overall pleasant texture and more consistent cooking
  • Magnets for the fridge can be more than decorations:
    • Attaching paper notes (recipes, cheat sheets, manuals)
    • Whiteboard
  • What’s with the trash bin under the sink being so common, is it actually the most convenient place?
  • Pepper grinders are good for more than just pepper: salt, sugar, coriander, etc.
  • Plenty of food-safe silicone utilities that don’t damage soft surfaces or fold nicely, like funnels, drinking glasses, stainers, spatulas, etc.
    • Not all of them are reliable, some materials degrade severely over time, tearing apart along the folds, but it’s difficult to tell if that’s the case before buying

Hard learned lessons:

  • Dishwasher can double as a drying rack, but doesn’t work very well as storage
  • Cooking fresh meals every single day eventually gets old, but at that point it may be a habit that’s hard to get rid of that’ll wear you down (Mental health)
    • Several solutions:
      • Batch your cooking to yield multiple meals per session, as long as remaining portions can be properly preserved and there are means to heat the food back up (microwave works best most of the time)
      • Use a meal delivery service, if there is one in your area at a reasonable price (they’re often aimed at body builders, so prices can be exorbitant)
      • Find someone to share meals and cooking duties with

Random hints:

  • To prevent a couple eggs from rolling off the kitchen counter, you can place them into the handles of scissors.

Living room

Which also in my case doubles as a bedroom and an office, so advice listed in thsi section may be mixed

  • LCD+solar thermometer
    • Looks cool throughout the day, but useless in the dark
    • Double-sided tape needs replacement every once in a while, mine failed and took the device with it during a window wash
  • Ultrasonic humidifier aka “reusable and customizable scented candle”
    • Can add to festive moods, e. g. on New Year’s Eve I use a combination of tangerine oil with something evergreen 🌲 like pine or juniper
  • More pegboards


  • I don’t buy small bedding sets, because this way I can use the same sets interchangably both for my own bed (for 1 person) and the couch (for 2 people); the same goes for blankets.
    • Not for sheets though, as I use fitted sheets (that enclose the mattress from all sides but the bottom using either elastic band or a drawstring), that are tailored for certain mattress sizes. So I still have to keep two sheets per bedding set. But it’s still a win, since I can use any set on any bed with minimal extra expenses.


  • DIY shower cabin out of more heavy-duty pieces than off-the-shelf cabins are normally comprised of


  • I used to have a couple folding beach chairs. But I’ve never found them to be easy to transport, and as such only used them once or twice. I could pretty much only lug them to a local park on foot, because it’s too big for almost everything else, including most cars, planes, trains and even my bike.
    • I’ve bought a cheap variation of a “Lamzac” or, as it is better known in Russia due to aggressive marketing, “Биван” (Bivan) — a type of an inflatable “couch” that is prepped for duty by flailing it around to fill with non-pressurized air, then closing the bags up and tightening them up until there is enough pressure inside to use the thing. It’s orders of magnitude more pocketable, and therefore usable in a lot more scenarios.

Missing pieces

  • External means of storage (?)
    • I have heard that some cities have warehouses that can store rarely used stuff outside of the apartment, allowing to make better use of apartment space. Apartments in Russia usually include storage spaces in areas that are otherwise useless, but these places are usually very hard to access and offer very limited space.
    • After revising my possessions I’m actually close to concluding that I can free up enough space at my current place to not need this. Still, it’s something that will make a city a lot more comfortable for the general public.

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