Discover more from Your House Machine
The only sort of product I can recommend in good conscience
My advice is almost always to not buy stuff....but I make a few exceptions.
I know my whole M.O. is finding ways out of consumer culture, and I’m always harping on about how you don’t need to buy things to get organized.
But every now and then I find a product that is such a game changer, I can’t help but tell everyone I know to buy it. My contrariness is part of my mystique, you see.
Longtime readers know I’m not one to recommend products very often. But when a single product helps you get rid of several things, I cannot resist. The math is just too appealing to resist.
Here I am today with two of these mythical products.
1. Sock replacements
The first one doesn’t look like much, but bear with me:
This is a sock that stays in your shoe, called Gekks. It has a sticky back and bottom, and you put it in your slip-on shoes, and it stays there. Forever.
I know, seems gross but it somehow isn’t. The moisture-wicking fiber is woven with silver thread, which apparently acts as an antimicrobial. I’m sure Instagram bombarded me with ads for this at some point, and last summer I caved and bought one pair. And I LOVED the ease of grabbing the shoes with these socks already inside. I wore them for a full year, and I tell you there is no smell, no gross crispiness, no nothing.
My family has been operating the past few months without a dryer (long story), so we’ve been hang-drying our clothes in the backyard. And if you’ve ever done this you know socks are a pain in the butt to put on a clothesline.
My solution? Buy 3 more pairs of Gekks to go in all my shoes. And with that, I’ve eliminated socks and the annoyance of hang-drying them. For winter boots, I’m planning to stick with my wool socks, but those are also pretty hardy and naturally antimicrobial so I don’t have to have a zillion pairs of them.
Reasons why I feel good about my Gekks purchase:
Rather than jumping in fully, I purchased just one pair to trial them.
I wore them for a year and noticed how I consistently chose the Gekks shoes over all other shoes because they’re so easy to get on. The non-disgustingness after a full year proved to me the product claims really do hold up.
Only after truly running this product through the wringer did I let myself buy more. I now have Gekks in all 4 pairs of shoes I wear in warmer weather months (running shoes and 3 pairs of slip-ons).
One sign of intentional consumption is that you don't get a dopamine hit. Shopping is so much about immediate gratification, and so if you’re finding yourself giddy with excitement as you click “buy,” that’s a warning sign.
I got no instant gratification from this purchase, which means I did it really thoughtfully. I’m so fun, I know: my measure of success is that you don’t get pleasure.
For more pontifications from the least-fun brain you know, be sure you’ve subscribed!
2. Photo management help
My post about weeding through my 20,000 large iPhoto collection generated lots of great recommendations in the comments (check ‘em out!). Readers recommended two apps were recommended that I’ve been really enjoying:
This app prompts you each day to look at all photos from previous years on this day. It serves them up one at a time, Tinder-style, and you swipe right or left. It’s easy to “undo” if you change your mind and you also can easily share out an old photo from inside the app, since this process always unearths gems. Love!
But my favorite part is the metrics (a deeply Me sentiment, I know) — it keeps track of how many photos you’ve deleted in total and how much space you’ve freed up. Talk about dopamine hit…this is all I need!
You can use the app for free, and it’s great. But after a couple weeks I decided to pay for it because it’s just so wonderful.
This app goes through your entire photo roll and identifies categories you might want to just eliminate right away:
This is a nice way to do a one-time pruning, and then you have a little less to deal with daily with Swipe Wipe. You can pay for a month, do your pruning, and unsubscribe.
I hope you’ll forgive me for pushing products in this post…but I hope you see that these are special, magical things that help us meet our simple living goals. If you have any such unicorn product recommendations, please share in the comments!