Tuesday 10.21.14

Tip Tuesday :: 4 Ways to Prep for Visitors

We couldn't be more excited for this week! Why? You ask. Well, we just so happen to be having our Annual NEAT Summit Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday! Yep, you heard us right! ALL the NEAT girls will be together, taking Chicago by storm in just a couple short days!

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In honor of our soon-to-be NEAT guests, it seems only fitting that we share some of our favorite tips & tricks to help you prep next time you have house guests! 

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Apartment Therapy has a clever idea of creating a Houseguest Welcome/Survival Kit! This sincere little package includes anything from neighborhood maps, public transportation tickets, a list of hot spots for food & shopping, and a set of house keys. How thoughtful would you seem if you had this for your guests??

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Now what all needs to be in the guest corridors?? We've narrowed it down to a few of our go-to NEAT things to help you prep your houseguests for a stressfree stay! 

:: extra black slimline hangers for your guests to hang their clothes :: a Rosanna Bowl for guests to toss their small belongings (ie jewelry) :: a box of tissues :: an extra blanket incase they get chilly :: a set of fresh clean towels :: 

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And as for toiletries, we recommend a guest basket under the bathroom sink (if space will allow). We fill ours with: a blow dryer, extra hair products, toothbrushes, toothpaste, advil, and hairspray! 

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Our friends over at Style Me Pretty have the genius idea of also prepping a cocktail station for your guests arrival. "After planes, trains, and automobiles your guests are likely to be a bit exhausted from the travel so greet them with a 'house' cocktail and a proper toast to kick off what will hopefully be a relaxing and enjoyable stay!"

We couldn't agree more! Cheers to ALL the NEAT girls arriving!

xx

the NEAT girls

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Friday 10.17.14

NEAT + West Elm

When one of Chicago's highrise luxury apartments, Eugenie Terrace, reached out to NEAT about hosting an event for their tenants - we couldn't have been more flattered...and more excited! Eugenie Terrace (located in Lincoln Park) has 45 floors, stunning views of Lake Michigan and Downtown Chicago, a rooftop pool, gym, and 24 hour doorman...it's basically like living in a hotel! But as any highrise apartment rental goes, space can be a challenging and requires more creativity, in regards to organizing, then you'd ever imagine.

Lucky for Eugenie residents, we were ready to accept the challenge! Joining forcing with one of our FAVORITE home decor stores, West Elm...Design Night was launched!

With about 50 people in attendance (AMAZING!), our NEAT Chicago brunette duo - Brooke & Heather - had the privilege of explaining and teaching a few NEAT tips & tricks to ultimately help residents live The NEAT Life! 

Streaming photos of actual Eugenie spaces organized by NEAT with some of our favorite products, tenants were able to visualize just exactly what Brooke & Heather were talking about.

With a dozen NEAT tips & tricks, a handful of products to showcase, and NEAT cups to pass out...it's pretty much safe to say the night was a total SUCCESS! Hez & B killed it!!

 

    

     

     

     

      

    

Many many thank yous to the Management at Eugenie Terrace for hosting, West Elm for being our partners in crime, and to all the residents that were nice enough to spend their Wednesday evening with all of us!! 

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 10.14.14

Easy Ways to Decorate for Fall without Needing Lots of" Stuff"

Everyone loves to get in the holiday spirit...but one thing everyone doesn't always love, is the large amount of decor you have to store in-between each holiday. To have the best decorated home each holiday, you'd basically need an extra garage just to store the goods!

Lucky for you, we've scoured the web to find some pretty great fall decor that doesn't require significant storage when the season is over...mainly because these items are low in price (giving you big bang for your buck) and also because you won't need to store much for next year! As any organized person would agree, why keep more "stuff" in the house than necessary!

First up, everyone's favorite - candy corn! This fall candy can be put in various locations throughout your home and instantly add a festive touch! Use those empty vases and or candle votives you have lying around to display the candies! Added bonus to decorating with candy corn - just toss the candy at the end of the season!

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Same goes with corn kernels! Who says you can't do the same with these! Our co-founder Molly loves using these around her home! When the season is over, she just tosses them out to the birds! How clever, and sweet, of her!

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Or wrap tiny corn on the cobs around a candle, using burlap string. So cute!

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And how about purchasing a pumpkin and using it as an ice bucket for your next party? When the party is over - toss the pumpkin...or make pumpkin soup! ;)

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See decorating for the fall holiday does not require massive (or expensive) decorations to add a festive touch! However, anything that helps you get in the holiday spirit is just fine by us! Well, errrr...unless you have an extra garage just for holiday decorations ;)

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 10.14.14

Tip Tuesday :: The Halloween Scaries

When people think about October, Halloween, and all things scary...typically what comes to mind is: spooky ghosts haunting your home (Paranormal Activity), Mike Myers stalking you in the dark, or Chucky coming into your bedroom while you sleep.

Bet you are wondering where we are going with this one?? WELL let us tell you, there are definitely some things that our clients tend to find "scary" to organize. In honor of the spooky holiday season, we've decided to share with you what those top three spaces are, and how to organize them yourselves!

 

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1. The DrEADed Undies :: Figuring out how to organize your underwear can be tough! As easy as it is to wad them into balls and throw them in your dresser drawer, not only does it look messy...you can never find the ones you are looking for. We recommend implementing linen drawer inserts to keep like items together and NEAT.

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2. The DIRTy bathroom drawers :: Boy can bathroom drawers get dirrrrrty. From makeup spills to toothpaste overflow, bathroom drawers typically need a cleaning from time to time. Once you've taken the time to empty your drawers and wipe them down, we suggest you implement clear, plastic drawer inserts to keep your bathroom products organized. Double bonus - when the inserts get dirty from every day life (which is bound to happen), you can easily just pop them in the dishwasher for a quick clean! Amazing!

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3. The black hole, otherwise known as Under The Bed :: Yes, under the bed can become a dark and scary place. It tends to be filled with forgotten items, loads of dust bunnies, and secrets... making it essentially a garbage can! In an effort to keep the space functional - we suggest implementing under the bed, labeled, bins (preferably on wheels)! This way you can utilize the middle section under the bed for an easier way to find what is you are looking for under there!

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See, now organizing isn't so scary after all!

xx

the NEAT girls

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Thursday 10.09.14

A Visit With the NEAT girls!

Thank GOODNESS it's Friday! Boy are we ready for the weekend....and lucky for those of you that happen to have a three-day weekend! ;)

So what exactly have all the NEAT ladies been up to this week? It's time to pay each city a visit!

First up - our Chicago dolls (Ash, Brooke, & Hez)! They were busy project managing a move this week for a client... who just so happens to have this STUNNING view of the city!

NEAT Scottsdale's Mika transformed this pantry into a magazine worthy space! How great do all those labeled baskets and jars look? 

NEAT Dallas' Katie O attended an SMU Networking Breakfast with Kevin Lavelle, founder of Mizzen + Main. What a cutie!!

 

NEAT Twin Cities' Lo worked on making a little girl's closet NEAT & organized. Adorable pink hangers will help make "keeping organized and clean" fun for her!

NEAT Michigan's LC was at a big job this week! Her favorite transformation was the built in wardrobe area - which was underutilized and had become a "dumping ground" or catch-all. LC transformed her jewelry by creating a beautiful display for her to easily shop her baubles!

NEAT San Diego's Katie B was busy celebrating her sister's Wedding Day! What a beautiful bride...and bridesmaid ;)

NEAT Miami was reunited this week with one of their favorite furry friends! Too cute!

We hope you all had a great week, just as much as we did! Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

xx

the NEAT girls

Thursday 10.09.14

A New Series :: What Our Clients Really Think?

Many of you (who aren't already our clients) like to ask what our typical clients are like. We usually answer with, "no client is ever the same- they really ALL vary greatly from each other, which is why we take so much pride in getting to know each and every one of them in an effort to really understand their organizing needs". We are pretty mum about who we work with, well besides the time you all thought we worked with Brad and Angelina, but it's come to our attention that many of our clients are more than happy to share their experience with us!

With this being said, we bring you our brand new series titled, "What our clients really think"! Ummmm this could get interesting! Please join us, and some of our amazing clients, as we take you into the world of what it actually means to live the NEAT life. 

First up is one of NEAT DC's favorite clients ::

A working Mom of two - who just so happens to own an adorable company, Lillybee University. When she's not busy working from home and tending to her adorable children, she's busy traveling for work. Recently she was in the midst of a remodel, when she discovered that she could really use some help when it came to getting settled the right way into her newly renovated space! Enter, NEAT Method! 

We decided to ask our DC client a few questions to understand our client's perspective of using NEAT!

NM :: Did you have any hesitatinos about hiring a Professional Organizer? If yes, what were they?

Client :: Yes, and no! I was moving back upstairs from living in the basement during a MAJOR renovation, and I knew I wanted to do better than just finding a place for all the stuff we had shamefully amassed. There was some major cleansing/purging to do, and this was my golden opportunity - purge now or forever embrace the clutter. So I knew I needed an organizer, but once you start to look for them you realize there are a lot of options. I didn't know who nor which type I needed (they all seem to have a specialty) BUT just before I became paralyzed by too much information, I saw an article on NEAT DC & Catherine in DC Modern Luxury and made the leap soon after!

 

NM :: After working with NEAT, what is your impression now?

Client :: I'm hooked! I couldn't tell you how many times Catherine has been over, but let me just say that I was so inspired by the work she did in the closet, that I got addicted and we took on every room in the house. We even challenged ourselves to the basement where we had been living for a year, and where it looked like people left in an emergency evacuation. Thankfully, we didn't find any bodies, but I did recover a few items I forgot I even owned!

NM :: How do you feel after a NEAT job is completed?

Client :: Clean. Organized. Creative. Everything has it's place. It's so much faster when I go to find things! And what's better...since everything is labeled I can now tell other people where to find things. My husband and kids now have no excuse for saying "I can't find it." It's so empowering! This may be better than the renovation itself!

NM :: What has been your favorite thing about working with NEAT Method?

Client :: Catherine! She's so... fun to work with, good at making me toss things that I never needed and now can't even recall what I tossed because I never needed it, willing to get dirty, understanding, great at making organization work (and not just putting things away), and just GOOD AT THIS!

 

Our DC Client sure knows how to make a NEAT girl blush! She couldn't have said nicer words!

It's clients like these that definitely make us more than LOVE what we do!

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 10.07.14

Tip Tuesday :: 5 Must Have Items for Halloween

With Halloween just a few short weeks away, it's time to pull out good old black and orange decor! And just incase you don't have everything you could possibly need to celebrate the spooky holiday - we've got you covered with some fun ideas...which just so happen to have a hint of organization to them! Think bowls, baskets, and our oh-so-favorite chalkboard labels!

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:: Crate & Barrel Chalkboard Cheese Board :: Crate & Barrel Bat Bowls :: Williams-Sonoma Skull Punch Bowl :: Sur La Table Chalkboard Pumpkins :: Cost Plus World Market Black and Orange Baskets :: 

How great are these Halloween finds?? They're not only festive, but also well organized!?

We hope you are enjoying the tricks & treats as much as we are this October!

xx

the NEAT girls

 

Tuesday 09.30.14

Tip Tuesday :: It's All in the Writing

It's not secret that we absolutely LOVE a good label! When it comes to organization and all things NEAT, having a well written label is such a nice finishing touch that will most likely help keep you organized. Because after all, you are going to be less likely to put things away in wrong bins, baskets, and jars if the each have an appropriate label!

BUT what if you are not blessed with beautiful handwriting?? While some of the NEAT girls are better handwriters than others, all you need is a little practice and you will be well on your way to having beautifully written labels all around your home!

Julie Blanner of Coordinately Yours (a lifestyle blog filled with DIY inspo for entertaining, home design, and gift giving) teaches you how to learn calligraphy all in 5 days tops! How amazing is that? Learn to write beautifully here!

If you prefer to learn via hardcopy, we suggest Creative Lettering: Techniques and Tips from Top Artists!

May Designs sells super cute calligraphy notebooks, that you can customize with your own cover design and front graphic! We absolutely adore everything they make -- and these calligraphy notebooks are the cutest ones we've ever seen!

As our teachers once told us growing up "practice makes perfect" -- so get to practicing your handwriting skills and you will most surely have beautiful labels!

xx

the NEAT girls

Friday 09.26.14

Ashley's Kitchen- After

We are thrilled to finally share the amazing transformation of Ashley's kitchen! In an effort to save you from the edge of your seat, we are going to jump right in with all the details of this NEAT Project!

Wow! It really turned out super great Ash! Please share all the FUN behind the magic...

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AM :: So, as I mentioned last week, what initially started as "let's just change a few things" quickly developed into a complete gut rehab of our entire kitchen. I owe many thanks to a couple of my best friends for all of their creative ideas, expertise and knowledge. One of those friends just so happens to be one of our very own... Thank you Lauren Combs! I really couldn't have done it without you! I learned through this process that it defintiely takes a village, so much research, and patience to not only achieve your desired look, but to also attempt to do so without breaking the bank.

We made it a goal to have everything ready to go pre-construction (ie. cabinets ordered, counters picked out, applicances, tile, sink, faucet, etc.). After much back and fourth with a couple of the big decisions? Like...do we go with marble or not? Do we make a bar area or a desk area? What type of hardware (which honestly held me up the longest)? We finally got the ball rolling with all of the decisions. Here's a look at the before and afters of a very fun first attempt at rehabbing a kitchen. 

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As an organizer, it was so rewarding to come up with the exact layout, spacing, and placement of all of the drawers and cabinets. I wanted to create something that was not only functional for my family, but also appealing to anyone that would come in as a potential buyer down the road.

I quickly realized how simple I like to keep things! Hence the ALL white kitchen. And yes, I know...choosing Carrara was really bold, but since it isn't our forever home I wanted to see if I could maintain it and if so, would be thrilled to beat the odds. Let's just say, in a few short months, we've managed to develop a few less than desired stains and scratches. Which definitely doesn't go over well with a perfectionist!

It doesn't stop me from loving the final look though! To be honest, I actually think it turned out better than what I expected. Again, I didn't love being without a functioning kitchen for 7 weeks, but it was all well worth it in the end.

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:: source list ::

cabinets :: Birch Marsh cabinets in Alpine- here

counters :: Honed Carrara Marble

tile :: Ann Sacks- Matte White mix of Beveled and Flat Subway with a Herringbone inlay 

hardware :: Top Knobs- all chrome

walls :: Benjamin Moore- Nimbus

floors :: white oak- Minwax stain- color Ebony

island :: Crate & Barrel- here

lighting :: Restoration Hardware- here

sink & faucet :: Kohler and Delta- here & here (possibly my favorite purchases)

bar stools :: Cost Plus World Market- here

rugs :: Cost Plus World Market- here

 

Please feel free to contact Ashley with any further questions about her process, and the do's and dont's from an organizing standpoint. 

xx

the NEAT girls

 

 

Monday 09.22.14

Tip Tuesday :: Back to School

School is officially in full swing and whether it's grade school or business school, days are filled with books after books! In honor of the never ending reading material, we've decided to share with you a NEAT tip on how to properly organize all your books. Regardless of whether they are school books or cookbooks, once you've organized your books, your guests will be loving the vibe next time they are over!

One of the main reasons we love to color-code books when we organize, is the prepping process! It gives you the chance to finally take a look at those piles of books and make sure you actually do want to keep them all.

Books are one of those things that can easily pile up over time and they tend to take up way more space than necessary. It's always good to comb through them now and again, and donate to those less fortunate!

Now, once you've narrowed down your books to only "keeps" - separate into different piles based on the color of the bindings.

The order will go: white // pink // red // orange // yellow // green // blue // purple // gold // brown // silver // gray // black

And let's be honest...once you're done, it looks stunning! Color-coding your books has such a visual impact, creating art out of everyday items.

How much better do these bookshelve look? 

Now get to organizing your book collection, and don't forget to donate those unwanted books to your local school or charity! 

xx

the NEAT girls

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