by Katy on April 4, 2011 · 17 comments

Multitasking gets a bad rap. Sure, texting while driving is a sure road to splatters-ville, but listening to audiobooks while folding laundry earns a big thumbs up at my house. I am far from a zen master who wishes to be aware and in the moment at all times. In fact, my goal is to get through dull tasks of dishes, laundry and walking errands without even a blip of awareness as to what my body is doing. Some might compare it to an out of body experience.

Like a coma, but better.

But even better than the act of multi-tasking are household items that multitask. The perfect kitchen knife that slices and dices; clothespins that hang laundry, keep chip bags closed and even attach drying ziploc bags to the kitchen cupboards.

My favorite multitaskers are my Working Glass drinking glasses. Not only are they infinitely replaceable from thrift stores, but they have a classic aesthetic that compliments my Fiestaware dishes. (Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m insane.) But the best multitasking goodness of my drinking glasses is that you can buy snap-on lids which magically transform them into perfect little leftovers containers. Sure, you’re not going to fit the leftover turkey carcass into one, but that leftover gravy sure will! And since the glasses are see through, I get an all important visual reminder to eat my leftovers before they qualify for lab experimentation.

I am lucky to have a pretty big kitchen , but that doesn’t mean that I wish to clutter it up with unitasking statuary. With the exception of a covered dish shaped like a potato, (it gets used once a year on Thanksgiving) I pretty much use all of my kitchen paraphernalia on a regular basis.

Because if a kitchen item can’t show me me its worth, it’s likely to receive the ol’ heave-ho.

Multi-taskers, gotta love them! What are your favorite multitaskers? Please share your ideas in the comments section below.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”


{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

Mary Kate April 4, 2011 at 4:29 am

We have those glasses in two sizes and love them. The 500 ml glasses did not come with lides but the 375 ml glasses did. I bought one set at a yard sale many years ago and the other at a store many, many years ago. The other thing that I love is the Ball jars that marinara sauce came in. I use them to store many different things – lentils, barley, bran, etc. and I also love them for beverages. They have a lid, are safe in the microwave and I don’t worry about plastics or steel bottle linings.


Katy April 4, 2011 at 5:41 am

Mary Kate,

You can buy the lids separately for the 500ml glasses from Amazon. They’re $3.75 for six.

Because of course, my thrift store glasses came lid-less. 😉



Heather April 4, 2011 at 6:25 am

My brother and I talk about unitaskers all the time. He refuses to have any. I use canning jars for our glasses. They double as storage containers as well. I also love audio books. I am a huge fan of multitasking while doing the mundane.


michelle April 4, 2011 at 8:46 am

I also have fiesta ware and have stacked different sized plates to make a tiered cupcake stand (clear glasses in between).
I also use my clothes pins to hold open the pages of cook books, fasten magnets to the back and use it on a metal surface, and even will clip them on my shirt to remember things later (like tying a string on your finger but easier). I’m a HUGE fan of household multiple-tasking.


Audrey April 4, 2011 at 9:12 am

I love recycled Frappuccino bottles (I bought them once because they looked like old creamer bottles) and mason jars. I use them as vases mostly but also as glasses, particularly for parties and entertaining. Add a little colorful napkin or straw and they’re so festive. I’ve also used the mason jars for storage. On occasion, I’ll also use the Frap bottles for party decorations (ex: filled with sand and a pinwheel stuck in the top). There seems to be no shortage of uses for both. GREAT multitaskers!


Anita April 4, 2011 at 9:14 am

I just recently started considering going paperless in the kitchen(papertowels). I am using old wash clothes for wiping counters using cleaners(yes I know) and it’s working well in the bath too, and I just wash them. This is for papertowels and those handy wipes that are so expensive.
I love listening to audio books while doing dull housework!!


Erin April 4, 2011 at 11:55 am

My university text books have always worked great as door stops 🙂

I am looking around my house and can’t pinpoint any multitasker’s out of the ordinary. We use old rags for cleaning, wash out ziploc bags for the little organizing needs, etc. I admit to have a few too many unitaskers in the kitchen. I stocked shelves in the housewear’s department of a major department store and may have bought a couple too many gimmicks at that time..oops


Katie April 4, 2011 at 6:13 pm

Oh Katy, those are gorgeous. I love their squat profile! How tight do the lids fit? Are they like carry-soup-in-a-backpack lids, or keep-soup-in-upright-position-only lids?


Katy April 4, 2011 at 6:18 pm

Soup-in-upright-position. And I have to ask, why do you carry soup in your backpack?



Katie April 4, 2011 at 6:51 pm

Haha, just a born risk-taker, I guess! : ) Plus I tend to forget my lunch if it’s not actually in my bag. Mason jar in a plastic bag is the only thing I trust for soup so far. Backpack soup container is my holy grail! But maybe it turns out that the holy grail is really a mason jar in a plastic bag. Whoa. Belief system realignment.

Backpack soup test aside, I’m down to two drinking glasses due to breakage, and I could definitely, definitely use some small leftover storage. I will have to watch for these to turn up in my neighborhood!


Katie June 5, 2011 at 1:14 pm

Update: scored two at the Goodwill today! Yesssss…


Katie April 4, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Non-kitchen multitasker: bandanas! They can hold back your hair, wipe your glasses, serve as lunch bag plus napkin, or, drenched in water, keep you cool on hot nights. Also nice over the eyes on planes and trains for peaceful snoozing.

Gotta get an old one, though. The new ones are so stiff and awful!


clickclackgorilla April 6, 2011 at 2:54 am

Nice glasses. My favorite multi-tasker is my metal mug. Good for hot liquids, cold liquids, and I can set it on the woodstove to turn the latter into the former without damaging it. Yohoo!


Erin April 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm

I forgot… My daughters crib turns into a toddler bed. Right now I am using the crib rails to hand dry laundry from in between two stools:)


Robinson April 12, 2011 at 6:20 pm

We also use canning jars for glassware. We used to have a set of glasses but they all broke (not all at once) and the canning jars were good stand ins for “until I could afford a new set.” Never got around to spending money on a new set of glasses and now I think the jars are charming with my fiestaware. I also use the jars for canning, freezing, storing homemade spice mixtures, coin jars, “to-go” soup, vases… I’m sure there are more. They are infinitely handy.


Mary May 2, 2011 at 3:15 am

I use my clothes drying rack for drying clothes (of course), dry noodles, drying flowers and herbs. And I have even been known to hang a cat toy off the bottom when the kitten needs a major distraction. When my kids were littler a sheet over the top made good forts and quiet reading spots.


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