Thursday 03.23.17

{Spring}-spiration for Every Room of Your House

Spring brings on the desire to feel refreshed and ready for warmer weather. Not only is it time for spring cleaning to take place, but it's also the perfect time to get yourself reorganized. As some of us await that crisp Sping air...we figured we'd share a little inspiration to get you dreaming of open windows and walks outside again. 

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Ashley Hatcher- Washington D.C.

We hope our pics inspired you as much as creating them inspired us! Just think by the time you get your home organized, Spring will be here! Don't forget, you can always call on a NEAT girl to come and complete the job for you! 

xx

the NEAT girls

Thursday 03.16.17

All that Glitters is Gold!!

Back by popular demand, we are rounding up this year's GOLD essentials in honor of the leprechaun finding his pot o' gold again! As we're sure you all may now, gold is still the hot new color for home trends! Not only does every client's home we step foot in have splashes of gold accents somewhere, but we also can't help to notice that a ton of our favorite organizing essentials are keeping up with the trends as well. 

1. One of rules when organizing, is that everything must have a home. Often times when things are left just sitting on a shelf or counter they seem lost. We think it helps a ton to give everything a place and one of our favorite products to use as a place holder is a tray. How cute and playful is this one with the gold stars? Perfect for a kid's room, an office or even the counter of your bathroom or kitchen. 

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2. As you know, no closet is complete without matching hangers. These are right in line with the gold trend and might be our new found obsession! Even if your closet rods are a chrome or brushed metal look, it would still be super cool to mix the metals with these gold accents to make your closet even more inspiring to shop. 

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3. These baskets are so amazing that I'm not sure we need to say much! Such a fun twist on this trend and they are inexpensive! Double win. 

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4. And...to finish off our gold obsessions this St. Patrick's Day, we figured it was only fitting to make sure we included a notebook/planner. This one from Sugar Paper is up there for top favs for sure! They make all sorts of fun staying organized essentials! 

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Hope you all find your Pot of GOLD as well! Happy SPD!

xx

the NEAT girls

Thursday 03.09.17

No More Stepping on Legos

In San Francisco, we’ve been knee deep in Legos since the holidays. Seems it’s the one plastic toy beloved by every parent…until you step on one, barefoot, at 2AM. Never fear though, NEAT is here!  Keep reading for organizing tips that should cover every Lego enthusiast in your home...
 
The first step to organizing Legos is to decide how to categorize the pieces. By color? By set? All together? This all depends on your child’s age and how they play with the Legos. Older kids will appreciate having them organized by color because they’re likely to do more free-building. Kids just starting out might feel more comfortable with Legos kept in their sets. As for the littles, it will probably be a free-for-all. 
 
Pro tip: Even if Pinterest pictures of Legos color-sorted sets your heart aflutter, it’s not always worth the work. Sorting by color is a serious time investment. And if the sorting inhibits your child’s play or they won’t keep it up, it’s not worth doing it in the first place.
 
After deciding how to organize the Legos, the next step is choosing an organizational solution. What you purchase will depend on how you decided to organize. 
 
Below are some containers recently used, and approved, by the NEAT San Francisco team. 
 
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By Color - For Small Collections
 
The Container Store’s Akro-Mills drawer cabinet is a nice option for smaller collections.
 
If you are more style driven, Bisley’s multi-drawer cabinets (below) are perfect. They have a fresh, modern feel and come in many colors. Plus they can easily be repurposed for art or office supplies once your kids grow out of the lego phase. 
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By Color- For Large Collections
 
With regards to Ikea, clients either fall into the “pro” or “groan” category when I mention their products. We happen to think Ikea is a great resource for kid organizational products. They’re inexpensive and can easily be repurposed or donated when no longer needed. 
 
For large Lego collections, we love Ikea’s Alex line. The 9-drawer can be used if you only have vertical space. Or the 6-drawer on casters is great. You could easily add Linus organizers in the drawers to further organize the collection. 
 
The other great part of the 6-drawer is that you can place a project tray on top. Any masterpiece currently being built can be carried to a playtable, worked on, then put back on the tray and stored until next time. Or you could attach Lego baseplates to the top of the unit and turn the top into a building area.
 
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By Set
 
We recently organized a client’s son’s Legos by set and used Ikea’s Trofast line. We individually bagged the sets in Ziplocs with the manual and placed them in the drawers by type. We only used deep drawer bins.  (If sorting by color, we suggest the shallow drawers.) 
 
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All Together
 
Two great options for Lego beginners or for Duplo enthusiasts are Swoop Bags and Lego Storage Bricks.  They’re cute and can be easily repurposed for other toys.
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Labeling
 
The gold star for Lego labeling goes to i heart organizing. She easily dealt with the conundrum of labeling for pre-readers by using the color to write out the label. (Sidenote: She also used Ikea’s Trofast.)  It’s nice looking and functional. Definitely NEAT approved!
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Happy sorting!! 

xx

the Neat (SF) girls

Thursday 03.02.17

4 Secrets to Improving Your Handwriting

They say that penmanship is a thing of the past, but we, over here at Neat Method, are doing our best to make sure that it never goes out of style! As perfectionist, we tend to get a little frustrated when our handwriting isn’t up to par with our organizing skills. 

As you know, we recently held our annual Neat Summit in Austin and had the honor of working with handwriting expert, Jesilyn Kay. Not only was she a delight to work with, but she also taught us several tricks of the trade for best labeling all of the bins and baskets of our client’s homes. Now, you of course won’t get the full affect as one of her classes, but we thought we’d share our Top 4 Highlights with all of you in hopes of keeping pen(wo)man ship alive. 

1. Spacing is Everything. We most definitely live by this motto when organizing any space of a home, so we were pleased to hear that we should approach labeling the same way. Before you go to write something, make sure you know how you want to space out the word on the section you are writing. Is there equal distance from left to write? Don’t be afraid to use a ruler to help you mark where you want your letters to be spaced from top to bottom. 

2. Center the word. This might have been our favorite trick! Now, it’s not the easiest to do, so don’t be embarrassed if you have to write the word on a separate piece of paper. Basically, once you’ve figured out your spacing, find your center point. Now, place the middle letter or two letters right smack in the middle of the space/label. From there, start completing the word from left to right one letter at a time. Once again, this isn’t easy to do when it comes to spelling the word out, so get that extra piece of paper handy. 

3. Aren’t confident?? Write in pencil. Who knew that it didn’t have to be perfect the first time?!? We quickly realized that the ability to practice the lettering and spacing in pencil made it super easy to go over in the pen or marker color of our choice. Then, if need be, just erase the pencil lines that were created. 

4. Proper pens. This really might be the answer to it all! For years we’ve worked hard at knowing the proper pens and markers to use on each surface. It really does take a skill to find the ones that won’t rub off, that will allow for even lettering and create the effect we are looking for. Jesilyn shared a little secret with us with these and these pens. She said the finer the point the better and to then just take your time to fill in the lines in order to create the thickness we are going for. 

We hope that you find these tips helpful, but if you want to go the extra mile…we recommend picking up this book from our friend. 

xx

the NEAT girls

Wednesday 02.22.17

9 Products to Transform ANY Junk Drawer

This week, we are sharing with you a fun video of the NEAT girls organizing a junk drawer to perfection - do you love it!?

Now we want to tell you a bit more about the products we used and other organizers that we love to complete this type of space. 

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There are so many choices when it comes to a junk drawer. We have come to realize that sometimes, the junk doesn't even have a drawer! If that is the case, here are THREE options to store your "junk" that doesn't involve putting in the drawer. If you are a minimalist and just need a place to put some pens and a small amount of paper, this option from Russell + Hazel is for you! Let's take a minute and talk about this awesome, more masculine find at...... POTTERY BARN TEEN!! This is such a grown up look that we think can be used for.... well... grown ups! Finally, if you have a kids space that tends to accumulate junk, we love this playful, color coded caddy from Land of Nod. 

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If you have a more traditional drawer, we have three options that are sure to suit you. The first is what we used in the video - the linus organizers from The Container Store. They are super clean and leave a junk drawer looking PRETTY (yes, you read that right!) Looking for an affordable and simple solution? It comes as no surprise that Ikea has you covered. Looking for something a bit more glamorous? We stumbled upon these at West Elm and love their look!

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The final three are a bit outside of the box. If you have a cabinet that you keep your junk drawer items in, this lazy susan version from The Container Store is awesome! Looking for something aesthetically pleasing because it needs to be left out? Consider splurging on this beautiful holder from Pottery Barn. Finally, if you just need more of a "pop" of color (sorry we are always sharing neutrals!) then check out Poppin's website for some awesome options.

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Remember, all it takes to live the NEAT life is to start with one drawer. We can't wait to hear about your space!

xx

the NEAT girls

Wednesday 02.15.17

Inside Scoop on our 2017 NEAT Summit

As you probably saw on or social media channels, we spent last week as a team living it up in Austin, Texas at our Annual NEAT Summit. Many of you asked, "What do you all do at the Summit?" We wanted to share (and relive!) our week with you today!

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First, the AMAZING company, 1-800-GOT-JUNK came and hosted an amazing kick off/happy hour for us. We learned more about their services and how they help people get NEAT. Thank you so much to Danielle and Holt for helping start the week off right! If you haven't used them before, we think the best part is how the junk haulers are seriously ALWAYS the NICEST people (we think it's their Canadian roots). For sure check them out!

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Can we tell you how much we loved Austin?? Between the live music, excellent barbeque, and adorable accomodations with Wallerspace we might make Austin our permanent Summit location!

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We enlisted the help of two phenomenal local photographers to help us step up our photography game and had such a blast! If you ever need someone in Austin, for sure reach out to Ashleigh and Katie!

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We are sure you saw our lettering competion (cashews for the win!) but it wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for Jesilyn. She taught us the in's and out's of the perfect lettering for every situation. We are now obsessed with "faking" calligraphy! 

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Most importantly, we got to spend time as a team, get to know each other better, support each other, and share ideas of how to grow our businesses in 2017.  

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Cheers to the NEAT life!

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 02.07.17

The NEATest Bathroom Reno You MUST SEE

Happy Tuesday! We are starting a new blog takeover series that starts today! The NEAT girls in each city are going to share some of their personal secrets to living the NEAT life. Today, Lisa from San Francisco is sharing the behind the scenes of not one, but TWO bathroom renovations that were just completed in her home. If you are thinking about starting a bathroom renovation, Lisa has compiled a list of everything you should think of as you begin the process. Without further adieu... take it away, Lisa!

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hi there!  Not only do I run the SF market for NEAT, but I also just survived back-to-back bathroom renovations with two small children, one frantic search for a toilet and lots of wine.
 
After living in our apartment for four years, my husband and I knew it was time to start the dreaded “R” word—renovation.  Our goal was to create beautiful bathrooms that maximize every spare inch.  I think we succeeded (if I do say so myself) so I wanted to share a few of my favorite organizational tips from the renovation. 
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Readers – hear me now. The edge of the tub is NOT a proper storage solution.  #Truth.  How do you avoid this?  Shower niches! 
 
People (ie, my husband) thought I was being ridiculous when I insisted on two in each shower, but I knew it would be the right choice.  I choose the simplest configuration, placed horizontally and there’s zero regret.  
 
Pro tip: Once you decide on a niche, check to make sure your tallest bottle (probably shampoo) will fit.  Once the niche is tiled in, you’re out of luck and back to edge of the tub organizing. 
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The one organizing tip that might seem odd, but has been a game changer for our nighttime routine is moving my girls’ pajamas to the bathroom.  Rather than bathe them in the bathroom, then move the entire circus to their bedroom, it all happens in one place.  This simple change made our nights calmer and quicker.

Besides wanting beautiful, functional bathrooms, I knew we needed to maximize storage because we don’t have a proper linen closet (City living. Am I right?).  Here are two additional ways we accomplished this:

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We floated our vanities and placed baskets underneath for quick access to toilet paper and Kleenex.  Bonus: guests no longer rummage through our bathroom cabinets to find extra toilet paper because it’s in easy-to-reach, labeled bins.  Visually our bathrooms also seem a bit bigger and airier because of the open space. 

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For our master bath, we switched to Turkish towels.  Not only are they beautiful, but you can also fit three Turkish towels in the space you could fit one traditional towel.  This saved a lot of space. 

What organizational solutions have you “pinned” for your dream bathroom renovation?  Share below.  We would love to hear about them! 

xx

Lisa 

Thursday 01.26.17

10 Ways to Spice Things Up in Your Kitchen

What do you think? Are you ready to spice things up a bit in your kitchen?

As you know, we love sharing our favorite tips and tricks with you, but have found that everyone's style of living NEAT is slightly different. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of our OTHER favorite things we have found to make your spice area the best yet! First, you must choose your spice jar. Obviously, we love to use these from the Container store, but if you are looking for something less conventional, here are a few of our other favorites...

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The stainless option is great for a more modern home. Keep in mind that this is only good if you are going to be looking at the spices "head on" since they will all look the same from the top. 

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This picture alone made us want these hexagon glass jars. If you love something that is streamlined but a little different, this could definitely be your look!

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Finally, if you like a more "found objects" look in your home, these jars with the cork top are perfect for you!

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Not ready to commit to refilling spice jars everytime you run out? We get it! There are very pretty spice jar options that you can just buy and use prefilled instead. We believe it is best to stick with one brand when purchasing spices. It creates the same, beautiful, uniform, look as purchasing jars. For example, if you are a big cook, you might love these from Dean & Deluca. 

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You can also find these from Spice Island at many grocery stores or online. 

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Finally, this happens to be a personal NEAT favorite when it comes to spices!

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If you have decided to take your spices to the next level, that means you are going to need to label them! We have found THE BEST labels to purchase, download and DIY! We have to start with our major etsy crush, IttyBittyPaperCo. We cannot begin to describe how much we love these. If you follow us on instagram, you may already know! 

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If you are looking for a simpler look, we found this site that helps you make a beautiful label like these shown above!

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Are you looking for something that has a rectangle shape? We get it - sometimes the circle isn't for every kitchen. Here you go!

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FINALLY.... are you wanting to write your labels on your own?? Finding the perfect pen is seriously 99.9% of the battle. UNTIL you find an epic site that shares what every pen looks like, what it writes on, and where to buy it. We are not even kidding, THANK YOU Elaine from JetPens Blog.

Ready to tackle your spices? When you are finished, tag us! We can't wait to see!

xx

the NEAT girls

Wednesday 01.25.17

Are You A NEAT Girl?

Do you have an OCD-like affinity for organization? Does your jaw drop when we post a newly NEAT space on Instagram? Have you always wanted to run your own business? 

If you answered yes to these questions then we are here to tell you that you might just be a NEAT girl - or at the very least...an ideal candidate to learn more about our Independent Organizing Professional program! 

This video tells you exactly why the IOP program was created and why NEAT continues to add cities across America.

Having NEAT girls in 22 cities is something we never could have imagined six years ago. We used to wake up everyday with a sole purpose to make our client's homes as NEAT as possible, but now we wake up hoping to teach others everything they would need to know to launch, build and run their own organizing business!

We are ready to hit the ground running in 2017 and see our city count grow even more, but first we need to know, are you a NEAT girl? If so, we would LOVE to hear from you. All you have to do to start is to write joinNEAT@neatmethod.com and tell us where you live and what makes you so NEAT! Can't wait to hear from you. 

xx
the NEAT girls

Tuesday 01.17.17

Our Top 5 Pantry Products for Every Home!

While we can humbly brag that we think our pantries are pretty great;), we can't do so without recognizing the things that actually make them really shine - the products! We're sure you've heard us say it before, but truly utilizing quality products is the only way to create a sustainable solution.

So let's take a closer look at our recent pantry reveal and what products we have to thank for this beautiful photo!

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First and foremost, it should be noted that all of the products you see can be found at The Container Store!

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In the image below you will see 3 of our all time favorite pantry products. 

First up is the Hyacynith basket which appears in nearly all of our pantries!  However, no basket is complete without a cute hang tag to remind you and everyone else in your home, where everything is supposed to live. 

Also noteworthy are the small glass spice jars which can also be used for sprinkles! How fun is that?

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Now lets talk about OXO canisters. You might be wondering why these are necessary, but really the reasons are endless.... they keep your dried foods fresh, are stackable allowing you to maximize space, and ensure that you can see everything you have. On the left of the image below you will find our favorite candy jars, which are also great for snacks or anything else you want to be able to quickly grab as you go. 
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For more of our favorite pantry organizing products be sure to check out our shop page, but not before you watch this quick 5 step video on how to organize pantry snacks!!

Now that you know which products to use to make your pantry picture perfect, its time to get started! Happy organizing!

xx
the NEAT girls

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