28 May 2009

Bloggers with more money than sense

The Unclutterer blog often suffers from the same problem that the Real Simple magazine does: promoting expensive solutions to problems that are actually really easy and potentially cheap to solve. Real Simple tends to simply direct readers to The Container Store (whereas thrift stores, yard sales, downsizing, and no-cost home-hack solutions are always cheaper). Unclutterer's authors tend to relate their own individual stories of how certain products have revolutionized their lives. These posts can be fun to read, but sometimes one of the authors will come up with a real doozy.

Case in point: the $350 cat litter box.
We know the idea of a litter box costing over $300 might seem outrageous to some, but [REDACTED FOR RIDICULOUSNESS. There is no non-laughable way to qualify the outrageousness of paying $350 for a cat litter box].
The Litter Robot "simplifies" your life by using electricity to terrify your cat into using the bathroom sink insteadsift the cat litter and deposit clumped and solid waste into a receptacle, which you empty every few days and clean out and sanitize every so often.

Unclutterer has posted about it just recently because now it's new! And Improved! You see, now you can get a skylight accessory for it.

Most of the time I really like the Unclutterer blog. They post inspiring photos of clean, streamlined workspaces; confessional stories, especially by former messy person Erin Doland, the woman who started the blog; organizational tips and solutions; and links to interesting websites and resources, like professional organizer certificate programs. But like Real Simple, which also tends to offer "advice" like spending thousands of dollars on custom-designed closet systems, sometimes Unclutterer loses sight of an important principle. When you seek to simplify your life, you also have to seek to simplify your economic situation. But it is not "simplifying" and "uncluttering" to work for $350 and then spend that money on an automatic cat litter machine.

Unclutterer, for its part, has reiterated that it never intended to be a blog about frugal living. Its stated purpose is to be a blog "about getting and staying organized." I think, though, that it's hard to get your budget organized if you think that $350 is a justifiable expense for dealing with cat litter.

Off the top of my head I can think of 2 ways to deal with the problem of stinky cat litter. You can get rid of the cat, for one. For another, you can man up and change the cat litter more often, you pansy. Like doing the dishes or weeding the garden, the more often you deal with the cat litter, the less of a chore it is. Added bonus: your home looks and smells as though a grown-up lives in it, not some yuppie asshole who has more money than sense and has $350 just lying around to spend on pet accessories.

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