I am a self-diagnosed neat freak. I love to clean and I love to organize. (If I could have a container, holder and/or label for EVERYTHING, my life would be complete!) And this is my brand new blog for everything NEAT!
I have a toddler in perpetual motion, a packrat daughter, a dog and a disorganized husband... and I hope to share the challenges, trials, errors, rewards and insights of being a bit "too clean obsessive" in a family that's not so in love with neatness. And I am making a promise to clean, rearrange, organize and simplify my life... and help you along the way! SO stay tuned for my journey toward everything orderly and efficient!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 129: Jewelry Jumble... no more!

You may remember a while back when I posted about a truly unusual - and VERY neat - little black dress.... a little black dress that's actually an organizer for jewelry! Well... I couldn't resist this adorable doo-dad.  I put it on my "wish list," and my wonderful hubby bought it for my birthday!

Following is the saga of getting all my jewelry - and the jumbled, annoying heap of boxes and bags it had become - into tip-top shape and ready for my new, little black dress!

First and foremost, here is the jewelry holder I was using.  I was on the right track, with a convenient, hanging organizer on the back of my closet door... BUT this two-sided, pocket-loaded item did not have specific places for bracelets or necklaces.  So, most of those bulkier items stayed in their boxes... and ended up in my sweater organizer!

I don't have a jewelry box, so the sweater organizer was the next best place.  Everything was together... but everything was a mess.  Any time I got any new jewelry, I just piled it on top of the other stuff!  So, it looked like THIS!. :(
The next step was to take everything out of the sweater organizer and spread it out on the bed.  Here is the mass of boxes and bags.  Goodness!  What a disaster!  (And quite an embarrassment for a neat freak!) There was stuff in there that I hadn't seen in years... it was just too buried underneath all the other jewelry boxes!

I sorted through everything and tried to put items in places where they would be convenient and neat and where they would make sense to me... with "popular" earrings and necklaces near the top and less-often-used or larger items near the bottom. 

I worked this method the same way on the flip side of the dress for all my necklaces and bracelets, and I tried to keep sets close together, as well!  Everything looks super cute and super organized now!  I just need to put it in my closet.  (BTW: I did keep the other organizer with some other jewelry items in it; I just placed the organizer behind my clothes instead of on the door!)

I only had a few boxes and random items left over from the massive clean-up, and those went back into the sweater organizer.  And one important item I kept here, mostly for convenience, is my watch.  You can see it there on the bottom left.  I wear it every day, and it was just easier to have it here!  I can slip it on while I gaze at my lovely, little black dress of bobbles and bangles! ;)

Now, THAT's neat!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 128: Beautiful, neat fridge

Ok... so I have talked about cleaning BEHIND and UNDER the refrigerator before, but beyond throwing away anything green or growing, I have not addressed cleaning INSIDE it.  Of course, as a neat freak, I am always cleaning up crumbs and spills with cleaning wipes.  But, this time around, I decided to remove EVERYTHING... and get this darn ice box in order!

You can see in this photo that the spills and stains weren't terrible... but they were still there!  Gross!  And these goops and blobs, of course, can cause your fridge to smell a little funky.  (I'm just glad I decided to do this before grocery shopping!  The fridge was already a bit packed, and there was food spread out all over my kitchen counters!)  Once all the food items were out, I removed all the trays and drawers, washed them and wiped them down with cleaning wipes.  Ah, fresh, lemony clean!

OK.... I'll admit it.  I sort of had ulterior motives with this whole fridge clean-out thing! About a month ago, I spotted yet another neat product that I knew I had to try: Fridge Coasters.   What the heck is a fridge coaster, you may ask?  Well, simply put, it's a decorative, absorbent cardboard-thick liner that goes in your refrigerator!  There are super-cute patterns and colors (gray, blue, pink and yellow) and different sizes for different needs, but I knew I wanted gray and a mix of patterns.  (Hey all these patterns are so IN right now!) I was extremely fortunate to receive a "fridge pack" from Fridge Coasters.... BUT, my hubby knew I had been talking about these handy things, and he gave me a "fridge pack" as a birthday present!  YAY!  TWO whole fridge packs were just enough for me to cover every space!  All I did was line up the coaster with my shelves and drawers and figure out how to size them.  I removed some perforated pieces, and I cut down some others.  It's super easy.  No real thinking involved! :)

These photos show how incredibly cute -and neat - my super-clean refrigerator door turned out, with my gray fridge coasters dressing up a once all-white, dull bunch of bins, and how dapper and tidy the drawers and shelves look!  I love it... almost enough to NOT return the food....  Hmmmmmm.

Since a refrigerator with no food makes no sense, I went ahead and reloaded my food items (sans a few expired or unneeded things), and now we can enjoy a clean, organized fridge that stores food... in style!

Now, THAT's neat!

NOTE: Fridge Coasters supplied me with one pack of "fridge coasters," but they did not pay me to say any of the above.  Those are all my thoughts!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 127: Clever Travel Tool

Photo from breaboutique
Photo from hannahsbowtique

SO.... I spotted this clever, little washcloth/towel wrap on Etsy the other day, and I wished I had seen it just a little bit sooner, so I could have used this ingenious little tool on a recent trip!

These tidy, terry travel pouches are just SO darn neat! I usually just store hair products, tooth brushes and other like items in a 1-gallon ziplock bag; but they almost ALWAYS end up soggy, sticky and gross.  Well, this soft pocket-thing is perfect for packing all those "messies, leakies and drippies" for any occasion away from home.  Best of all: after using this wrap, just toss it in the wash when you return home, and it will clean up nicely and be fresh and ready for your next trip.

If you're handy with a sewing machine, just get a large washcloth or a hand towel, fold one edge up a bit, and sew in some different sized pockets.  If you're not into sewing, don't have a sewing machine or just don't have the time or energy to figure it out, then look up "travel towels" on Etsy (or click the photos, above, for these fun styles)!

Now, THAT's neat!