-- NEAT :: ARRANGED WELL :: UNCLUTTERED --

There’s a Monster Under My Bed?

Two days ago, the East Coast had a rare earthquake scare and that very same night, this midwest girl’s bed shook in San Francisco. You would think that I would immediately know that I was experiencing my first small earthquake but no…. I thought there was someone under my bed! Seriously, I even got up and checked.

As organizers in San Francisco, we are finding that most of the homes that we work in all have a small area designated to earthquake preparedness. And by small, we mean water jugs full of water, dry food, blankets, flashlights, trashcans on wheels, emergency kits, etc., etc. We have quickly learned that one flashlight next to our bed doesn’t count as prepard for an earthquake. It works fine to scare of the monsters though!

Since we like everything to have a designated place and a lot of the items needed in an earthquake are small, we thought we would share some suggestions for ways to store your earthquake essentials.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We suggest putting them in a waterproof backpack so that it can be easily transportable and stored in compact spaces.  Trust me, we tried to find a cute pink one to no avail, so green will have to do!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another option would be a storage cart on wheels if you have more items than the amount that would fill a backpack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or for those of you who are minimalists, we love this retro first aid kit!

For more information on what you should have in your earthquake kit, visit this site

by on August 25th, 2011 | No Comments » Filed under: Storage | Tags: , ,

Top 3 Things Women Hoard: What Every Man Should Know Before Moving In

Ladies, ladies, ladies.  Did you really think we were going to point the finger at the men for being the only ones unorganized??  Think again.  Even our good friend Giuliana Rancic is trying to help women get rid of some things to make their relationships better.  Men, CAREFULLY forward this email to your girl.  Women, if you are ready to accept that you are indeed part of the problem, but you do not know where to start, here are the, “Three C’s” of what women hoard.

#1 Women Hoard Clothes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We know that clothes is the obvious choice here, but lets be serious… nine times out of ten women DO hoard clothes!  Hanging on to clothing that you no longer wear makes it hard to see what you do wear.  Over time your style is naturally going to evolve, so ask yourself, “what is my style?”  Some items in your closet are not going to fit into that category so get them out!  One fantastic idea is to host a clothing swap with your friends.  Break open the bubbly and see if you can find new treasures.  Inevitably there will be many items at the end of the party that are unclaimed and they can be brought to Goodwill.

#2 Women Hoard Cosmetics

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Your purple eye shadow is from 1980 and if it is not….well then get rid of it anyways.  Women tend to purchase makeup and then hang onto it FOREVER.  InStyle did a fabulous article regarding this matter that every woman should read.  Even the NEAT team had to say goodbye to a few things after learning about the expiration dates of different cosmetics (See! We’re not perfect!)  Keep in mind as you look through your old cosmetics, most men prefer women with a fresh, natural face.

#3 Women hoard cards

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women tend to be more sentimental than most men.  We cry during commercials and are easily offended when our significant other does not like something that we own.  With this sentimental feeling comes the endless pile of greeting cards.  Card offenders, you know what we are talking about.  Every holiday season the cards come in and by February, you have them still stacked in a pile, hiding behind something else.  Every birthday you display your cards on a mantle or shelf but then weeks later you quickly put them in a drawer because you do not want to throw them away.  We completely understand the attachment but you must learn how to wrangle your emotional side.  We suggest finding a desk tray  that you love and using that as a “catch all” for your cards.  To add a cute touch, tie the cards up with twine to give it an organized look.  Once the tray is full, take some time to look through the cards and decide which ones you can part with.

Alright ladies and gents, it is time to ORGANIZE.  Acknowledging typical problem areas is a great way to freshen up your space AND avoid an unnecessary argument.  Let us know how you do!

Photo 1 found here  Photo 2 found here Photo 3 found here

by on August 4th, 2011 | 3 Comments » Filed under: Bathroom, Bedroom, Closets, Office | Tags: , , , , , ,

TOP 3 THINGS MEN HOARD: What Every Woman Should Know Before They Move In.

Like it or not, we all have things that we accumulate over time.  Most of the time this happens without us even knowing.  After working with many men, NEAT has put together the top 3 things that men tend to hoard in their homes.  Now, if you are starting to think that we are insinuating that it is all the man’s fault – you are wrong.  We will have a follow up post with the top 3 things woman hoard as well!

Men and women alike, you can thank us now.  Guys, we will help you avoid a fight when your lady friend moves in and ladies…well… you’ve been warned.

Without further adieu, the “Three C’s.”

#1.  Men hoard CORDS (hey, that rhymes).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NEAT has decided that men must have a fear that cords cannot be replaced.  When working with our male clients, we have seen cords from old televisions to first computers and old remote control cars.  NEAT’s rule is: if you haven’t used the cord in the past two years (and that is being nice).  You can likely kiss it goodbye.

#2 Men hoard COSTUMES (and we don’t mean sexy firemen ones)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whether it is a single or married man, NEAT has found that every guy likes to keep costumes “just in case.”  I mean, who doesn’t need a go-to disco outfit right?  Chances are, if you wore the costume last year (and we aren’t judging you… grown men…) you will not want to be the same thing again this year.  Just saying…

#3 Men hoard CRAP MAIL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason, we have found a trend with men and mail.  When the mail comes in, it gets glanced through for important things and then the rest is placed on a desk.  Here is a helpful hint:  When you have grabbed your mail and you are walking into your home, have a recycling bin near by.  Then, train your hand to let go of the items into that bin instead of on your desk.  Trust us, this training process will be much less painful than the argument of your “stuff being everywhere” with your lady!

Photo 1 found here :: Photo 2 found here :: Photo 3 found here

by on July 28th, 2011 | 1 Comment » Filed under: Closets, Office | Tags: , , , , , ,

Modern Kate Middleton: NEAT’s Favorite CLOSETS Fit for a Queen

Remember the times when you would put on dress up clothes, a crown was a must, and prance around the house pretending to be Queen?  Well, even though those time are long gone, let’s be honest… who hasn’t been living vicariously through the Queen-to-be, Kate Middleton?  We’re OBSESSED!

Not only has she been our recent inspiration for fashion, hair, makeup, poise…well, let’s just say everything… we’ve even taken it a step further and found our favorite Kate inspired dream closets.  We LOVE how each one shows the simplicity of living NEAT and we are certain that Kate would agree!

Take a peek and enjoy our fantasy world…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The glass doors allow for easy viewing of all your shoes, from your everyday sandals to glass slippers (wink)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mirror, mirror on the wall!  The use of mirrors gives the illusion of a larger space and lets you make sure you are prim and proper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hooks or valet rods allow you to display your outfits for the many wardrobe changes.

by on July 19th, 2011 | No Comments » Filed under: Bedroom, Closets | Tags: , , , , , ,

Jen Dishes on Getting Over Brad – 3 Steps to Get Over Your Old Things

Recently, Jennifer Aniston talked about how she got over Brad Pitt which left us inspired to give you a few tips on how to get over your own old things.

 

Step 1.  Decide what your sense of style is….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rustic Country?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Modern?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Or maybe even contemporary?

Once you have decided, find everything that does not fit that aesthetic, decide if you must keep it, if not, set it aside for donation; this is the best place to start. Then…

Step 2: Set limitations to the amount of furniture that you have in a room.

For example, if you have 1,000 books it does not mean that you should go out and buy enough shelves to house all of the books.  Instead, find ones that you think will look pleasing in the space and decide which books you must keep.

Here are a few of our favorite bookshelves (in case you were wondering)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amazing Find at Restoration Hardware

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A great standby at Pottery Barn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and for those of us with furniture commitment issues…

 

AND FINALLY

Step 3:  Find a place to donate that inspires you.

Nothing is truly more rewarding than giving to a cause that you are passionate about.  Whether it is donating books to a local school or clothes to a women’s shelter, find something that makes you want to give.  After all, there is no better reason to get rid of things that you do not use when you realize that they are going to someone who will appreciate them beyond comparison.

Room photos from this post were found here.

by on July 13th, 2011 | No Comments » Filed under: Living Room | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Whether You’re Octo-Mom or Uno-Mom, Kids Need Organization!

“Octo-Mom” Nadya Suleman has made headlines for years after giving birth to eight children at one time, but lets face it – raising even one child can be a total handful!  Here are some simple tips to help organize your child and make your life  one million times easier:

Keep a Daily Schedule: When your child knows what to expect from the day, your day will become less of a battle to get things done.

Use the Same Storage Containers and Label them with Predictable Words: NEAT prefers the shoe bins from the container store with Avery labels.  That way, your child can see what is inside and can predict the word on the front.  This makes for easy cleaning and also fosters early literacy skills.

Stick to Your Guns:  If you do not want to spend the rest of your life picking up after your children, then take away things when they are not picked up properly; and for the love of parents and teachers everywhere – do not clean up after them!

 

 

by on July 8th, 2011 | No Comments » Filed under: Children's Room | Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Candy Store, Approved by NEAT

Lately, the NEAT team has been stopping by Miette in Hayes Valley more frequently than usual.  When we asked ourselves what was drawing us in to this adorable candy shop, two answers immediately popped into our heads.  Number one:  We. LOVE. Candy.  Seriously we are not sure if we were a match made in heaven or hell because we can easily influence each other to grab a sweet treat in between jobs and meetings all of the time.  Reason number two: it is so stinking organized!

 

Although we could probably write an entire post on our favorite candies and why, we figured the second reason was a little more appropriate J  If you have not had the chance to walk into Miette, it is the most whimsical candy store you have ever been to.  As soon as you step foot in the place, you are magically ten again begging to try everything.  We are constantly drawn into the shop because of their beautiful displays of candy.  The way that the candy is all arranged in large class jars and color coded is an organizers dream come true!  Miette not only has an amazing presentation but their organization gives the space a sense of cleanliness that is unbeatable.

 

Bottom line, we love you Miette!

 

by on June 27th, 2011 | No Comments » Filed under: NEAT Stores | Tags: , ,

Five Quick Tips to Give your Closet a Fresh Summer Look

With only two short weeks until the official start of summer, it’s time to get a jumpstart on the season by giving your closet a fresh summer look.  Summer is a time where bright colors, fun florals and carefree dresses hold precedent over boots, sweaters and hats.  If your closet looks more like a spring tornado hit, it will be hard to find your favorites and flaunt those great summer trends.  Here are five quick tips to give your closet the visual appeal it deserves and to make your clothes feel new again.

Tip Number One: Purge

 

The best place to start freshening up your closet is to get rid of the things that you no longer wear.  Did you wear it last year?  If the answer is no, it is time to part ways.  Not only do these clothes take up valuable hanger space, but they also distract your eye from picking the clothes that make you feel great.  A tip that NEAT gives all of their clients is to pick a place to donate that inspires you to get rid of all unnecessary items..

Tip Number Two: Store Out of Season Clothes

 

Even the summer months can have some cold weather days but that is not an excuse to wear your favorite wool sweater and corduroy pants.  Storing out of season clothes can accomplish two important things.  First, it can help you to wear only what is appropriate for the season.  Second, when clothes are stored in bins for the season, they tend to feel new again when they are brought back out.  Nothing beats that “new clothes” feeling especially when it is with clothes that you already own.

Tip Number Three: Matching Hangers

 

NEAT insists that every client have matching hangers in their closet.  It is important to make your closet a place that you are proud of and enjoy opening.  The right hangers can have a larger impact than most people think.  We prefer, “Huggable Hangers” because they are thin and their velvety texture keeps clothes hanging.  When all clothes are on matching hangers it begins to give your closet an unbeatable visual appeal.

Tip Number Four:  Color Code Your Clothes

 

Color coding your clothes may seem like an over the top type ‘A’ thing, but it will help you to find your favorite green shirt much faster than before.  NEAT prefers to have whites first, then the good old ROY G BIV and finally grays, browns, and finish with black.  If you are really feeling good about the way your closet looks after your color-coding, take it one step further and organize within the color.  For example, put tanks first, then t-shirts and finish with long sleeves.  NEAT prefers to keep all dresses, suits, and pants separate so that clothes that are typically the same length stay together.

Tip Number Five: Treat Yourself

 

When NEAT organizes a client’s closet, nine times out of ten the client finds something that they either forgot they had or swore they lost.  We hope that by organizing your own closet, you rediscover your favorite top that you haven’t seen in a while.  After some hands-on organizing, the NEAT team LOVES to get a good manicure.  We suggest you put on your favorite outfit from your newly revamped closet and treat yourself too!  Have dinner with friends, go out for a drink, get a manicure, you look good, and you deserve it!

 

For more information on where to find some of NEAT’s favorite organizing solutions, follow the links below.  To learn more about NEAT San Francisco, please visit our website at www.neatsanfrancisco.com

 

Places to Donate

www.goodwill.org

http://www.soles4souls.org/

http://www.use.salvationarmy.org/use/www_use.nsf

 

To Store Your out of Season Clothes

http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10000166&N=&Ntt=container+Store+brand+storage+bins

 

For the Hangers NEAT Loves http://www.containerstore.com/shop?productId=10023850&N=&Ntt=huggable+hangers

If you are a Costco member, they can also be found for a great price in boxes of 50 www.costco.com

 

by on June 13th, 2011 | 1 Comment » Filed under: Bedroom, Closets | Tags: , , ,

A Must Have for Jewelry Lovers

This past weekend, NEAT enjoyed the sites and sounds of the Union Street Fair in San Francisco.  While wondering in and out of stores and tasting the amazing food, we found a little gem that we just HAD to share with you!

While working with clients, NEAT finds that most women have a lot of jewelry but cannot afford the drawer space to store it all.  Many times, jewelry can end up stored in boxes where our clients cannot actually see what they have.  When you cannot see what you have, you end up buying duplicates which is obviously something we all would like to avoid J

A vendor we met had the perfect solution to all of our jewelry woes – The Izzy Jewel Box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These attractive, and functional boxes are priced amazingly well and will keep you organized.  Depending on how much jewelry you have, you can chose from a small, medium or large box.  Since the boxes are completely custom, you can also chose one with more pegs if you have lots of necklaces and bracelets or more earring holders if you prefer your bling to be on your ear (can you tell we are obsessed!?)  Check them out now – they are a NEAT must have!

xx

Molly & Ashley

 

by on June 8th, 2011 | 2 Comments » Filed under: Bedroom | Tags: ,

Make Your Closet Like Your Favorite Luxury Store

Have you ever wondered what sets a store apart that looks like this, compared to….

This??

Besides the absolute obvious, which is that the clothes from Barney’s New York are going to cost you significantly more than Forever 21, as organizers we see this scene completely different.

Lets be honest, Forever 21 is great to find that trendy piece that you have been dying to try, but as total type A’s, we can barely walk in the store without having a nervous breakdown.  That led us to wonder, why does a store like Barney’s always look so much better than a store like Forever 21?  There are probably many valid reasons that could be concluded, but, as organizers we like to think that we have the best answer.

Barney’s has made the choice to set a precedent in their store: sleek, stylish and ORGANIZED.  When you walk into Barney’s, you pick up a shirt that is folded and then do your very best to fold it EXACTLY the way you found it.  This happens without fail whether you are typically an organized person or not.  This is because you do not want to ruin how beautiful the store looks.

But what about Forever 21?  Have you honestly ever seen someone pick something up there and fold it nicely??  No.  You haven’t.  People pick things up, carry it with them, decide they don’t want it, and discard it at the nearest table, rack, or (our worst nightmare) the floor!

As organizers, we see every type of closet there is: walk-ins, reach-ins, shared, etc.  Before we begin, many of our clients have closets that look like….how shall we put this… like Forever 21.  One of the biggest concerns that we hear time and time again is, “So now you are going to make it look nice but let’s be serious, I will never be able to keep it this way.”  Well, here is your answer:

Being organized will turn you from Forever 21 to Barney’s! You will love to shop your own closet so much that when you take something out you will actually want to fold it and put it back where it belongs and not on the floor.  Why?  Because you wouldn’t dare throw a Barney’s garment on the floor would you?? Take a look at your closet right now – are you more Forever 21 or Barney’s?  If you are NEAT you will have a shopable closet that makes you want to stay organized.  If you are more of a Forever 21, save yourself the money of buying new clothes because you can’t find the ones you own and get NEAT J

 

by on May 27th, 2011 | 1 Comment » Filed under: Closets | Tags: , , , ,