Donate Your Old Stuff Before It Becomes A Giant Pile Of Junk

When we rounded up our staff's Weekly Upgrades last Saturday, our editors were deep cleaning our apartments, switching to standing desks, and re-tooling our writing routines.

This week, we're embracing classic cookbooks, backing up our data, and clearing out clutter more efficiently.

What upgrades did you make this week? Let us know in the comments.

Go analogue for your recipes

Get a cookbook! I am constantly bookmarking recipes from the internet, but for Christmas, my brother and sister-in-law got me a real life cookbook (it's The New Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison) and it's been an unexpected game changer. The limited number of recipes (limited relative to the internet, anyway) has been weirdly calming, the food has been delicious, and I'm surprised how much I enjoyed leafing through a physical object. Books, man. Wow.

Caitlin Schneider, Social Editor

Get your backup ready for a rainy day

I helped my wife switch her remote backup from Crashplan, which recently ended its individual plans, to Carbonite, which is a reasonable $US60 ($77)/year for unlimited backup from one computer. Signup was easy. Now she'll be OK when her laptop eventually dies.

Nick Douglas, Staff Writer

Expand your repertoire with the right tools

My favourite way to relax lately is to sit on the couch with my ukulele and a beer, and look up the chords to my favourite songs and play them badly. (My husband is tone deaf and my kids don't care, so it's a judgement free zone.) A lot of the arrangements I've found only match the original song if you have a capo, which is a little clamp that changes the key you're playing in. So I got myself a capo, and now I can practise along with recordings.

Beth Skwarecki, Staff Writer

Give smaller but more frequent donations

There's a donation centre next to my daughter's singing class, so I've been bringing one small bag of stuff there every week - old toys, clothes and kitchen items. It's more manageable than waiting for things to pile up over months and years (which has been my usual method). And it's become part of the routine so I don't forget to do it.

Michelle Woo, Parenting Editor


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