Life with a NEAT Wife (A Man's Perspective)
Hello NEAT-o's! This week we have something very special for you! One NEAT girl's husband is sharing his perspective on living the NEAT life and we are sure you are going to ENJOY every bit of these (comical) tips! Before we get started, we thought we would share a bit about our guest blogger. Russ Perry is married to Mika (our NEAT Scottsdale girl) and happens to be an entrepreneur himself. Check out his perspective on living the NEAT life!
Hi, my name is Russ Perry, and I have a NEAT wife.
Before I met Mika, my life was, well, not neat. I am one of those “creative” types and never in a million years would I have thought to put dishes away in the same cabinet – EVERY TIME – or to actually label bins with what’s inside (amazing trick by the way). The truth is – now that I’ve made the transition, the NEAT life is pretty awesome. I still remember the first day my closet was organized and my wardrobe increased by 50%. Turns out when you store shirts on the floor, you tend to forget about them.
But let’s rewind a little bit. For a large majority of men, a NEAT life is not something that appears out of nowhere. Unless you are born with the NEAT gene, there are only two ways it happens:
You actually hire NEAT Method
You meet that special NEAT-er someone.
I happen to be in the second camp, and years before Mika was an official NEAT girl, the transformation began. If you’ve experienced this transition you know exactly what I mean. Your favorite college t-shirt goes missing. Your shower has 10 new products perfectly aligned. The junk drawer becomes the small-items-well-organized drawer.
If this has yet to happen, I am here to help, and if you follow my guide below, you’ll be lightyears ahead of most men faced with the same journey.
How To Survive A NEAT life transition
1. Be Aware – The first step is to make sure you know when a NEAT transition is happening. This allows you to proceed with the rest of the steps. I’ve included a few signs above, but here are several more indicators: 1 - Frequent trips to the Container Store. 2 – An influx of chalk labels. 3 – A lot of quinoa in acrylic containers
2. Acceptance – When you have found your soulmate – and that soulmate possesses a NEAT aesthetic far more advanced than your own – the transition is inevitable. Like the T-1000, she will be relentless. Persistent. Never stopping. You can resist, you can complain, but until she’s changed the course of your organizational future, she will never rest until her mission is complete.
3. Document – You know what’s happening. You’ve accepted what’s happening. Now it is time to do what you can to preserve memories of your past non-NEAT life. To ease the separation pain from your amazing pewter belt buckle collection, all those hilarious t-shirts made during your screenprinting phase, and an awesome soccer scarf from Croatia, take photos of them as soon as possible. I prefer to keep the photos in an Evernote notebook called “Awesome Things I Used To Own And Now Are Missing”. Trust me this notebook will get very full.
4. Learn the systems – One part of being NEAT is a rhyme and reason for all your important spaces throughout the home. Learning where things go, how they are stored, and the system of categorization as soon as possible will put you in an organizational flow state.
5. Own your own NEAT – The final step is to eventually foster a little NEAT inside yourself. Taking 5-10 minutes a day to mirror your counterpart’s organizational obsession will pay out 100x in the long run. I will never be able to color coordinate a closet, but I can keep my ties neatly rolled in small cubbies. The more you think about being NEAT, surprisingly, the easier it becomes.
Everyone’s NEAT life transition will be different – and if that partner has yet to come into your life, perhaps proactive NEATness will do the trick. Either way – I really do love my newer, NEAT-er life and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
Best of luck – oh, one more thing – I seem to be missing my vintage Star Trek windbreaker signed by Warren G. If you happen to find it, please do let me know…
About our Author - Russ Perry is an Arizona native and has spent the last 10 years working with brands such as Apple, LG, Morgan Stanley and the Harlem Globetrotters. In 2014, he founded Design Pickle, a startup that provides unlimited graphic design help for only $195 per month. Russ believes there is a better way to get your day-to-day graphic design done and it doesn’t have to cost you a small fortune or even worse – take up all your time. Learn more about Russ and his startup at DesignPickle.com/neat