Simple Human – Tools for Efficient Living

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Last month I was invited to go to simplehuman headquarters to learn more about their company, and their products.  With January knocking on the door right now, you definitely want to learn more about what I found out about a company that is producing products for your home with technology to make your life more efficient!

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Simplehuman owner and CEO, Frank Yang, demonstrates the step can.

Some companies are all about style, some are all about function, what I found to be great about simplehuman products is that they take the name of the company to heart and create functional products first.  Form always follows function for them, and the simpler the better.  So how did a company that started out making high end TRASH CANS become so popular?  It’s really all about Frank, the owner of simplehuman, and the awesome team he’s put together.  When Frank was in school, he really liked industrial design.  So when he graduated he thought of things he could redesign.  He was looking at the offerings of trash cans and thought to himself… these are horrible!  Why do we purchase horrible quality products for something that we use probably more than anything else in the house (of course aside from my computer, which definitely gets used much more).  Frank knew that he could make something better, and that’s exactly what he set out to do.

What I loved about the company and the products they make is that they look at every single little part to make sure it’s the one that will help them accomplish their goals.  Even down to which screw to use to put different parts together.  They look at everything from ketchup bottles to toothpaste tubes to find how they want to cut off the flow of soap from the soap dispenser.  The warehouse had all sorts of different products that the engineers will take apart to see exactly how they want simplehuman products to work.

So, in a company that creates and produces trash cans… how are you supposed to know which trash cans in the office are actually for trash?  You gotta put a note on it…

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I literally laughed about this note on the trash can for a good 10 minutes.

Anyway, on to my new favorite toy…

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This is simplehuman’s Steel Bar Step Can.  Yes, it’s expensive, yes it’s totally worth it.  Let me run down the reasons why…

1. Quality – The first thing you will notice is the quality of this trash can.  These have been tested to withstand 150,000 steps — that’s more than 20 steps a day for 20 years.  The machine that they were using to test the step, they felt, wasn’t simulating true steps.  They wanted to make sure the cans would withstand people STOMPING on that step.  The machine wasn’t good enough, so they built their own machine that would match true steps, not just light taps.  In addition to the step being able to withstand a whole lot of hard stomps (especially from my kids), the other materials in the trash can make it extremely durable as well.  If you consider the cost of replacing your 30/40 dollar trash can every couple years because it has broken, and compare that to how much you will spend on this trash can that will actually last for 20 years, the cost is a no brainer right there.

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2. Odor Prevention – There is a natural charcoal filter that is integrated into the lid.  For my husband, this was a fantastic addition.  He has got the super sniffer, and can smell something in the trash from about a mile away.  Plus he has somewhat of a weak stomach, so if the trash is smelly, it’s not going to go over well in our house.

3.  Silent – The “damper” on the lid is something I’ve never seen done so well before.  You can open the lid super fast by stepping on the pedal, so you can get your item in the trash as fast as possible, but then like magic the lid starts closing every so slowly and silently.  It’s like a whisper!

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4. No Fingerprints! – The stainless steel they use for their cans is actually manufactured by them!  Again, the kind of material they wanted to use for the trash cans didn’t exist, so they decided to produce it themselves.  The result is a beautiful looking can.  It also comes with a little cloth you can use when things spill on it, because while it can prevent fingerprints from showing up, the juice that my son spills all over it isn’t going to wipe itself off… I know… they are slacking in this department!

There are so many other little things that most people wouldn’t even think of, like the way the inner can comes up and stays up while you replace the bag liner inside.  Or the fact that you can flip a switch so the lid stays open while you do a big clean up job.  With January coming, and you start thinking about getting organized, there are products you use every day that have some great technology inside that can make your life more efficient.



Disclaimer:  I am a simplehuman ambassador and was invited to their headquarters in LA to check out the company and learn more about their products, I was given simplehuman products to facilitate my reviews and ambassadorship, I am being compensated as part of my participation in this program.  I was not told what to post or how to describe the company and it’s products.  All trash can worship is my own.

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the links.



About the author

Sarah Werle Kimmel

Sarah Werle Kimmel is a digital parenting coach and family tech expert. She has spent the last 20 years of her career working as a Microsoft Certified IT Manager supporting over 100 small businesses. During that time she started Family Tech LLC to help families understand and manage the technology in their home. She has regularly appeared as a family tech expert on local NBC, CBS, ABC and FOX news affiliates, BYUtv and Studio 5, and has been invited all over the world from tech companies like Lenovo, Verizon, Microsoft, Dell, and Samsung. Find out more on her website

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