Tips

Thursday 07.20.17

The 3 Biggest Organizing Challenges with Kids and How to Solve Them!

As most of you know, this week's Tip Tuesday (on Instagram stories) was about all things kids! Since many of you all asked many of the same questions, we wanted to make sure we thoroughly answered them for you. We thought it would be beneficial to share a little more about the best practices to keep kids organized. 

Up first, the dreaded lego situation. We get it! It's such a love/hate because on one hand you feel it's educational for your kids, but on the other...you freak out every time you step on one that was left on the floor. For starters, we try to encourage you to not buy as many as you do. That really is the #1 contributor to the problem! Hate to say it, but we see it all the time. Too many options for your kids that they play with for one day and then move on to the next. You have every ability to set the stage with stuff like this. Try to get them to rebuild the same set or find a friend to swap with. 

Then, in terms of the actual organizing we just recommend designating a spot in your home to actually keep them (ie. the kids room who has the lego obession). You can then use a shelving area to store the necessary bins. Clear plastic bins can be stacked on top of eachother to utilize the vertical height or you can get a set of drawers to put all of them in. Once the lego set is constructed, make a rule that he or she can only keep so many up in their room. If they run out of space, it's time to break and rebuild or donate to make room for new ones. 

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The second most asked question is how to keep kids clothes properly arranged in a drawer. If you watched our story, we walked you through how easy it is to file the small clothes into a row. You essentially just have to fold them twice and file them all in together. It's an absolute must to use a divider or drawer insert/box in an effort to keep the clothes separted and upright. We do love the idea of the divider that can be moved around a drawer as your kid grows and needs more room for their clothes. 

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And lastly, what to do with all of the art projects that your kids create! I know we all feel bad purging these works of art that are little Picassos have created, but let's face it...there isn't a house big enough to store every single project that they bring home. We have a rule that you are allowed to keep only ONE large storage bin per child, once it gets full, it's time to purge some. If you are one that really cares to cherish everything, we highly recommend using an app to digitally store all of these things. One of our favorites is called Artkive! We love the ability to have different folders for each child and if you want to take it a step further, you could even have a book made after each year to really cherish the memories!

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We hope this has helped even more to find the motivation for getting your kids organized. No more swearing every time you feel like you are walking on a bed of legos!

Shop the post HERE!

xx

the NEAT girls

Wednesday 06.07.17

8 Unique Gifts For Dad!

We talk a lot about the NEAT girls around here, but the truth is we wouldn't be the business women we are without some very special men - our Husband and our Fathers. 

Therefore, as we get organized for Father's Day (Sunday, June 18th - in case you forgot) we have been looking for some extra special gifts. Here are our top unique picks for the Dad's in your life this year ... 

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1. This durable Herschel duffle bag will come in handy for whatever summer adventures he has on his agenda. 

2. What about a water buffalo horn tumbler set for his drink of choice? 

3. You have probably thought of giving a grill tool set before, but one that is shaped like his favorite past time is pretty unique! 

4. The Yeti Sidekick will keep the men in your life organized (win!win!) and also keep their belongings protected from the elements. 

5. Slippers are a staple gift but the Ugg Byron is sure to keep him smiling for weeks. 

6. How cool is this beer chilling coaster set? 

7. For the studious fellow, we think this glasses holder is a pretty great desktop accessory.  

8. Sometimes Dad's forget to replenish their wardrobe every season. What about a new Onia swim trunk to get him into relaxation mode?

If none of these gifts spark your interest, what about just planning a NEAT day with him? Let's be honest that is all they really want! 

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 05.09.17

The Top 3 Things Your Mother Really Wants This Year!

The surest way to your mother’s heart is through home organization—trust us, we’re the experts. Below our NEAT SF girl, Lisa Ruff is giving you a few ideas for quick and easy organizing jobs that will make your mom’s heart swoon. Even if you were consistently voted kid with the messiest room, there’s a project below you can tackle for her Mother’s Day gift. 

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Jewelry or Makeup
 
For a luxurious gift, organize her jewelry or makeup. If she has an overwhelming collection, choose one item that she uses everyday like her bracelets or lipsticks. Or take the leap and organize it all.    
 
Acrylic not only elevates the look of makeup and jewelry, but it also makes it easier to find the right lipstick in a pinch. A big budget splurge is Glamboxes. They make beautiful sets or individual pieces for items like clutches, bracelets and makeup. The Container Store also offers many pieces that can give you the same feel at a lesser price point.    
 
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Lunch Prep Drawer
 
One of the unifying laments of parenthood is the tedium of packing school lunches day after day. Why not make the process less painful for the mom in your life? A few easy steps and you’ve made the daily task almost delightful….well, almost ;) 
 
The first step is to inspect all the containers. Are they in good condition? Do they have matching tops? Once you’ve tossed the tired containers with missing parts, sort them by type. Then purchase and implement drawer dividers like these
 
Drawer dividers are a snap to implement. Just make sure the drawer divider accommodates the width of the drawer.    
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Edit Her Closet & Change Out Her Hangers
 
Clear several hours off both your schedules, bring a bottle of wine (or two) and a few boxes of matching hangers. I’ve done this with my mom and I was surprised how happy it made her. Not only are you helping her out with a space she uses everyday, but also you’re giving her your undivided attention. 
 
Help her edit down items that are sad, out of date or ill fitting. Then make piles for “donate,” “consign” and “trash.”  For any items she decides to keep, change out the hanger. When you leave, make sure you take all the donations and trash with you. Besides seeing your smiling face, that’s the best part of the gift because she won’t have to deal with the donation run. 
 

 

We are in LOVE with these ideas and are sure your Mother will be too! Happy Mom's Day to all you hardworking women out there! And thanks to Lisa for such great tips. 

xx

the NEAT girls

Thursday 05.04.17

We've Got This One in the Bag!!

Even if a girl can't be NEAT inside your home, we think it's critical to at least be NEAT inside your bag! Think about it...it's the one thing that goes with you everywhere. Shopping, to the gym, to pick up the kids, etc. So, how great would it be if you had that one bag that could actually keep you organized?!?

This has actually been a point of contention for us as NEAT girls over the years! We've tried several bags both personally and professionally and it wasn't until we came across this one that we took a moment to notice all of the NEAT qualities it had to offer. 

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Please meet our new companion, the Coyn leather tote bag! We are sure you are wondering what exactly sets this bag apart from others?!? We are here to tell you...there's a lot. Not only is it beautifully made, but it also has the perfect amount of internal sections/compartments. Many bags we've tried often times have too many sections that all look the same. Hence, losing everything inside every section! This is one of the first that actually took into consideration making each section size a little different from the other. And...there aren't too many sections, which helps to know which one to designate for what. 

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So, not only does this bag look great and function perfectly, we are also happy to report that this bag has been put to mulitple uses amongst the NEAT girls! From a regular everyday personal tote, to making the perfectly stylish diaper bag...we are just in love with it! It's even joining us at our client's homes full of all the organizing supplies you could imagine (think; label makers, labels, taper measures and notebooks). 

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So, if any of you are in search of a new bag or if you tend to just hoard them for fun, then this one is a must for your wishlist! Just call us to come help make you as organized as possible to fit it in your space! 

xx

the NEAT girls

Thursday 03.30.17

A Spring Break Guide to Disney World!

Orlando, Florida is one of the top tourism destinations in the United States. With Disney World, Universal Studios, Sea World and many more attractions, it’s no wonder why so many families flock to the City Beautiful for vacation.
 
When you’re visiting the most magical place on earth, it’s important to be organized and prepared so you can fully enjoy your time! Here’s a travel guide organized especially for you from the local NEAT girl Meg Wittman ::
 
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"I highly suggest you do your research ahead of time, book hotel & restaurant reservations early and read plenty of “Disney blogs” to get the inside scoop. As an Orlando resident, here are my quick (sometimes overlooked) tips on how to stay NEAT while traveling to Orlando".

Tip #1: Pack these essential items!
 
- Snacks & Water Bottle – save yourself time and money by bringing in your own fruit, snack bars, and refillable water bottles.
- Rechargeable Battery for Phone – make sure your phone has enough charge to utilize the Disney app for park info, show times and fast passes
- Lightweight Rain Coat – you’ll be prepared if it rains or if you end up on Splash Mountain. Nobody wants to walk around soaking wet all day.
- Comfortable shoes – it goes without saying, but with a lot of walking you need to wear some supportive shoes.
- Sunglasses – you’re in the sunshine state after all, so make sure to pack a lightweight pair of inexpensive sunglasses in case they get misplaced
- Sunscreen – similar to sunglasses, if it’s winter where you live you may be shocked just how sunny it gets in Florida. Be prepared with enough SPF.
- Lightweight bag – a backpack or a large cross body bag works really well to hold all your essentials
 
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Tip #2: Plan out your days!
 
- Prioritize & Plan – there’s so much to see at the parks, make sure to prioritize which parks you want to visit and what you want to see while you’re there. You can even book fast passes ahead of time, so it’s important to know what you and your family really want to do, see and experience while at the parks.
- Use your phone calendar – keep track of all important times while you’re on your trip: restaurant reservations, fast pass times, important show times. If you’re in a group, invite the other members so everyone is on the same page. You can even set reminders to keep you on track.
 
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Tip #3: Go with the flow!
 
Being NEAT isn’t about stress, it’s about being as prepared as possible, so you can relax and enjoy your life. Once you’ve done all the research, planning, packing and scheduling… simply have fun, you’re on vacation after all! If you miss one of your fast pass times, no big deal. If you forget to pack something, there are so many places you can purchase necessary items. If your kids want to spend all of their time at the pool and not even go to the park (believe me, it happens) don’t freak out. Enjoy the amazing sunshine with your friends, family and loved ones!
 
xx
our Orlando NEAT girl, Meg
 
Thursday 01.05.17

Inside the Home of House Beautiful's Editor in Chief

We were recently brought in to help transform a closet for House Beautiful's, Sophie Donnelson. Now, this wasn't just any closet, but one her 4 year old son was to share with his new baby brother. We were excited for the challenge and knew that with enough team effort the space would become as functional and beautiful as possible. Working hand in hand with California Closets on the design and us on the actual organizing, we created one of the cutest, most functional spaces we have ever seen. 

The first thing we did was review the closet design to make sure we understood all of the dimensions and placement. Then we went right to work on coming up with best products to fit that space. It was most important to Sophie for us stick with products that she loved, but still fit all of her needs. That's where our friends at Pottery Barn Kids came in! They had the perfect selection to fit the aesthetic of the room. You will see from the before photo below that the space was not at it's full potential! 

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We then arrived for organizing day to sort, categorize and color code everything and make way for the new closet to be installed. We learned that Sophie's oldest son had a love for toy cars, books and gadgets. Making it extremely important that he was still able to access all of those things even though his brother would be taking over a good portion of the closet. 

The second most important thing was for Sophie to be able to access everything she needed for baby with ease. Picture this...a kid at your feet with toys strewn about, a baby on your hip and trying to access the closest burp cloth or diaper. It was that exact image that we used for inspiration when we put the puzzle back together.

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What a difference, right?? By starting with a professional closet installation, then making sure the space was perfectly planned and laid out, we were able to make this transformation fit all the needs that Sophie requested. 

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Editor in Chief, Sophie Donnelson, House Beautiful, Nursery Organization, closet design, california closets, small spaces, closet organization, closet inspiration

This was definitely a fun one and we couldn't have done it without the help of California Closets, Pottery Barn Kids and our amazing New York NEAT girls.

Ps. Rumor has it, Sophie and her family have been able to maintain this perfectly NEAT closet. 

xx

the NEAT girls

photo cred :: Cory Dawson Photography (minus photo one from our iPad)

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Thursday 12.08.16

The Cutest Gift Ideas for Kids Brought To You by the NEAT girls!

Although sharing what we want for X-mas brings us much JOY...sharing what we want to get the kids in our life brings us even more! Mostly for the smiles that presents bring to their little faces. Check out our NEAT kid gift guide. Could these be any cuter?!?!

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1. Molly has this on her list for her little bakers. Might as well start them young!

2. Lauren in Detroit is excited to get her kids this interactive book and plush friend to go with it! 

3. Alex in St. Louis recommends some great storage bins to hold all of the toys they are about to get!

4. Lisa in San Francisco has this adorable sweater on her list for her girls. 

5. And...Laura in Naperville found the perfect play kitchen for her daughter. 

Ok, that's a wrap! Let us know if you want more ideas. We have plenty! Happy Shopping everyone!

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 12.06.16

5 Gifts That Will Make Him Really Happy this Year!

Wouldn't you all agree that if your man is happy then you are, too! The way we see it is, if you buy him an extra special gift this holiday season then he will have no reason to not do the same in return, right?!?! Here are our top 5 gifts that are sure to make him want to buy you somehting equally as great! 

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1. Ashley H. in DC recommends these wireless speakers from Mr. Porter. 

2. Brooke in Chicago is looking to get her man a custom shirt from Knot Standard

3. Joyce in Naples thinks it's only fitting to up her husband's cooler game for their beach excursions. 

4. Allo in Denver wants to keep it simple with this amazing Shinola watch

5. Katie in San Diego is kind of loving this bag from Douglas Rose for all of her husband's travels. 

Happy Shopping NEAT Friends!

xx

the NEAT girls

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