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Productivity 501

By Mark Shead

Slim Besta Entertainment Unit

Materials: BESTA, INREDA Pull-out frame, INREDA Shelf insert, SNUDDA, Hole borer drill bit Description: Main objective was to minimise space of all my entertainment equipment.

Art of Manliness: Best of 2011

Merry Christmas! Kate and I will be taking the coming week off to spend time with family and reboot before the new year. So we won’t be publishing anything new on the site until January.

iPepiter, laptopless music sheet reader

Materials: Brada laptop stand, camera mount, camera tripod Description: The kids started learning music, so a music stand soon comes in handy. Yet another single-use tool to stroll around our small house, that looks like some of the other single-use tools that already stroll(ed) around.

How to Find Good Stuff at Goodwill (and Other Secondhand Stores)

I’ve mentioned quite often that I tend to shop at Goodwill/consignment shops/secondhand stores for various items. Whenever I mention this, I tend to get a bunch of responses along the lines of this message from Tessa: How do you find anything good at Goodwill? Whenever I go into one, all I find is a lot of junk.

Expedit storage bed

Materials: Expedit shelving unit, Sultan Lade Description: I used 5 Expedit shelves as the base, arranged so that there were no gaps along the 2 exposed sides. I built a bed box for the top by cutting planks into boards 6"x77.75" (2 each) and 6"x40" (2 each). The boards for the bed box were held together with screws through the end and corner braces on the inside.

Give Yourself a Raise in 2012

I really liked this article on Mashable.com’s business page about giving yourself a raise in 2012. With the economy being what it is (and has been), the thought of raising your freelancing rates might make your heart rate increase and sweat collect on your forehead. Before you go ballistic, ask yourself this question: when was the last time you adjusted your rates?

12 Tips For Beating the Social Overeating Habit

Post written by Leo Babauta. While I’ve learned to eat much healthier over the last six or seven years, one of my biggest challenges has been overeating on social occasions. There are holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, but there are many more: my kids’ birthday parties, going out to dinner with my wife Eva, get-togethers with friends, social gatherings of business colleagues, dr

Besta Media Center

Materials: Besta Description: This hack was in response to the undesirable look of the Besta tv cabinets. I built a frame out of 1x4 pine, painted it to match the brown Besta units, then mounted doors as cover panels. Even though my current TV would have fit in the normal Besta cabinet (40" Samsung), I like the look of this a whole lot more.

A Moment of Serendipity

Lately, there have been lots of stories of people blessed with opportunity using that newfound wealth to help others. A Minnesota farmer gave most of his estate to his hometown, totaling about $3 million. A person in Ohio paid off $8,800 in WalMart layway accounts anonymously. Another “Secret Santa” in North Carolina made a similar move, paying off layway accounts there. These types of

How “Anchoring” Sways Your Decisions

This is a post from staff writer April Dykman. My favorite places to shop are sites like 6pm.com and Last Call Neiman Marcus. I like the idea of buying a $400 dress for $80 because I get better quality for a good price.

Ask FreelanceSwitch: The Value of Your Work and Invoicing Software

In this issue of Ask FreelanceSwitch, we look at showing your clients the value of your work and invoice software. Ask FreelanceSwitch is a regular column here that allows us to help beginners get a grip on freelancing.

Benno TV bench add-on

Photo courtesy of IKEA Materials: Benno TV bench, white shelves, dowels, drill Description: I wanted to place my stereo next to the TV but I didn't want it to look messy with all the cables. So i built this add-on for my TV bench. I connected the shelves with some dowels without using screws or angle brackets.

Mega Menorahs using waste bins

Materials: Fniss Description: Massive lawn menorahs constructed from Ikea FNISS. We drilled holes in bottom and stacked on pvc poles that were driven into the ground. We filled with lights and topped with candles and sparkly wrappings. Viola! Festive Hanukkah lawn decor to keep up with the Joneses 7ft Santas and mechanized reindeer. See more of the giant menorah.

How to Have A Difficult Conversation

Just recently, I did what I thought was near impossible. I dropped a bomb on my parents. In their mid-60s, both my parents are in the comfort zone of an alarming (or if it isn’t, it should be) statistic of the population that is overweight, which contributes to their being diabetic (Type 2), have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

Billy to built in (again!)

Materials: Billy bookcases, Billy extension units, molding, paint, vast amounts of construction-grade adhesive and caulk Description: We have a lot of books--over eight full-size Billy bookcases worth.