Thursday, January 22, 2015

Very Cool Surfboard Storage from Australia

surfboard rack for five boards, with swan's head design

I've written about surfboard storage before, but I’ve never seen anything as eye-catching as the surf shelves from Kauai Swan. This one is the Sentinel, which comes in sizes for two, three, four or five boards.

corner storage rack for two surfboards, with a swan design

And this design is called the Cygnet; it was designed specifically for corner space storage.

Both designs are made from “the finest quality Wisa marine grade laminated wood, harvested from environmentally sustainable birch plantations in Finland. Timber struts on the Sentinel models are of Australian hardwood.”

The products are shipped in a flat-pack; they are assembled with just a Phillips screwdriver. You can contact Kauai Swan about delivery outside the Sydney area, including overseas delivery.

horizontal surfboard rack, wood

If you'd prefer to keep the racks stored horizontally, take a look at Byron Bay Board Racks, such as this wedge rack for seven boards. All of these racks are made from “recycled Australian hardwoods, including iron bark, yellow box, Australian cedar and red gum to name just a few.” The wood comes from old houses, barns, decks, fences, etc.

wood surfboard rack for 10 boards

The company also has a vertical rack, available in various sizes. You can get a protective floor mat to go with this rack, made from recycled tires.

The Byron Bay racks are shipped fully assembled. The company does not ship outside of Australia.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

You Have Too Much Stuff

book cover: You Have Too Much Shit - a self-help book by Chris Thomas

If you don’t mind a bit of obscenity, and you want a quick read to inspire your decluttering, this might be the book for you. It only has 16 pages of content, in large type; you can read it in 10 minutes or so. And the ebook version is free!

Chris Thomas, a designer, doesn’t provide any gentle handholding here. Rather, this is more of a manifesto for those who own lots of stuff: identify the useless things and get rid of them. And, most importantly, stop buying the kinds of stuff you wind up tossing.

The book starts with a list of things you probably don’t need, including
  • Free pens, mouse mats and mugs.
  • Your hidden stash of takeaway menus.
  • Unwanted Christmas presents that have hung around too long.
  • Your plethora of novelty electronics.
  • Boxes full of photographs that you, be honest, will never look at again.
  • Rolled up posters hidden from view.
  • Obsolete gizmos you keep lying around in case they’re ever worth something.
  • Chargers and cables for obsolete gizmos you keep lying around in case they’re ever worth something.
  • DIY materials, bought for an unfinished project several years ago.
Chris then goes on to write about the negative effects of keeping all this stuff around and the advantages of getting rid of it. He also writes about the environmental impact of all our purchases:
The amount of stuff we consume as a species is insane. ... The environmental case is worthy of a whole other book, but I’ll put it simply: the earth’s finite resources are, well, finite – and if we continue to consume at our current rate, it won’t be long before they’re gone.
Chris says to spend our money on the stuff that really matters to us:
To find real value in material things, it’s helpful to discover a deep appreciation of the things you use every day.

Everyday things are the things that you use the most, so they’re the things truly worth investing in. Have hard-wearing shoes, comfortable chairs, knives and forks that won’t bend or rust. Have a computer that won’t crash or lose your work. Invest in your hobbies. Whatever it is you spend most of your time doing, have things that assist in making this better, all of the time.
He concludes with a list of the many ways to get rid of things, including selling them or just giving them to people who need them:
People with less than you. Charities who need the money. Schools. Libraries. People who need materials for experiments or making things.
There's nothing new in this book — nothing you can’t read plenty of other places. But sometimes the way a person words a familiar concept makes it resonate in a way it didn’t resonate before.

[via Sam Dunne on Core77]

Monday, January 5, 2015

For the New Year: 2 Thoughts About How to Spend Your Time

Image entitled Time by Sean MacEntree, licensed under Creative Commons

I'm not into resolutions, but I read two things recently about ways to approach time management in the new year that I wanted to share.

From Oliver Burkeman, one of his resolutions worth making (and I recommend reading them all):
Select something to stop doing this year. I don’t mean bad habits, such as injecting heroin or picking your nose; I mean something worthwhile, but that, if you’re honest, you don’t have time for. 
In our hyperbusy era, there’s an infinite number of potential things to do: emails to read, groups to join, ways to become a better person, parent, employee. Yet still we proceed as if “getting everything done” might be feasible. It isn’t; the wiser plan is to get more strategic about what you abandon. (One technique: list your 10 most important roles in life, rank them, then resign from at least the bottom two.)

From Neil Gaiman, as part of his New Year’s wishes and gifts:
Try to make your time matter: minutes and hours and days and weeks can blow away like dead leaves, with nothing to show but time you spent not quite ever doing things, or time you spent waiting to begin.