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!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 119: Waxing poetic? (Or, how to get wax out of clothes)

Scented candles smell so nice,
but wax on clothes is ick.
To get it out, don't use ice;
a warm iron will do the trick!

So... my antsy, very tired toddler knocked over an entire Scentsy wax burner the other day. I was completely freaked out - FIRST, that he may have burned himself (...which he did not; the wax, thankfully, was not hot enough) and SECOND, that there was a pile of wax and bits ALL over the table, the hardwood floor... and my son's clothes. He looked like a melted candle. Of course, the blue wax was all over a brand new outfit. And, of course, company was coming over in just a few minutes. I was able to scrape the wax off the table and the floor with a little, plastic tool once the wax cooled. Then I cleaned off those surfaces, as usual. But what about those clothes?!?! I'd never had to deal with THAT mess before!

I looked online and found a few interesting solutions to wax removal (Note to self: be sure to clarify CANDLE wax in the search box!) but finally settled on a warm iron and paper bags. I tried to scrape some of the wax off first with a butter knife, but I didn't have too much luck. SO... I used some lunch bags that I tore open, and, believe it or not, after just setting the paper bag pieces directly on top of the wax and gently ironing it (yes - straight onto the bag) with a warm iron, the wax melted onto the paper... and the clothes were, relatively, clean!

You can see all the greasy looking splotches on the paper bags (it took about 4 bags total), but the wax came out, and I just washed his outfit as I normally would! SUPER easy! And I didn't set any paper bags on fire! ;)

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Day 118: Why didn't I think of that?

I'll tell you why I didn't think of that.... I don't like oatmeal.

Yep. It's a pretty well-known fact around my family that I do NOT like oatmeal. At all. Ever. No matter where it comes from or how it's prepared. (But that's another story for another day!) That's why I would have NEVER thought of re-purposing an oatmeal container to store ribbon! AWESOME idea!

Right now, my ribbon is kind of a haphazard mishmash of colorful insanity... tucked away in a pretty Stampin' Up bag on a nice, neat craft self! (Notice, I am not going to show you INSIDE the bag, as it would make most of us neat freaks cringe in horror!)

But a much better, neater and more efficient idea, of course, is to contain that ribbon madness, somehow. And all you need to do is grab an empty oatmeal container (in my case, I may have to just dump out the oatmeal to empty the container... just kidding! I DO use oatmeal to bake cookies!). Cut a fairly large hole in the side (large enough to see your ribbon spools!), and then Mod Podge on some pretty, patterned scrap paper to cover the container.

Then slip your ribbon spools inside so you can easily pull lengths out through the opening! Make as many as you need for optimum storage!

Now, THAT's neat!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Day 117: Shake up some freshness

If you've read this blog, you've probably noticed that I like things to LOOK neat and to SMELL neat! ;) Well... I recently received a free sample of Downy Unstopables, and I knew I HAD to get some for my wash... from now until eternity!

These in-wash scent boosters make everything smell absolutely AMAZING! I keep finding myself stopping to smell my toddlers PJs or breathing in a hand towel before walking out of the bathroom. This stuff really works... and I LOVE it! You just shake these things into the washing machine, and run your cycle as usual! I have been using the "fresh" scent (the blue beads), but there is a "lush" scent (purple) as well! Try them, and let me know what you think... or, uh... smell! :)

Now, THAT's neat!

NOTE: No one from Downy or any other company paid me to say any of the things in this post. These thoughts are all my honest opinions!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Day 116: If the Shoe Fits...

Ah, Real Simple magazine and your clever re-purposing ideas! I have a business trip coming up, and even if it's months away, I just can't stop my brain from listing items I need to bring and basically packing "in my mind." And one of the best and most clever "new uses for old things" is to snag a giveaway shower cap from a hotel. It becomes the perfect little plastic container for shoes when traveling, preventing them from dirtying clothes packed in your suitcase! Superb idea if you don't have a special shoe bag... or if you have some messy footwear! ;)

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 115: Frame me for this!

We have a great local consignment/thrift store called Encore Resales... every time I go in there, I find so many unique items and crafty ideas. But my favorite things to bring home - something that's not too tough on the piggy bank - are these funky, white, distressed frames. I have used a bunch of them for decor, all over the house. But here are a few of my FAVORITE neat ideas for these frames:

1. MESSAGE BOARD: Put burlap, fabric or pretty paper in your frame, and then write on the glass part with a dry-erase marker. Keep up with menus, to-do lists, shopping needs, important phone numbers... whatever you need!

You can also skip the glass and create a magnetic board or a pin board. The white frame works well, either way!

2. KEY HOLDER: As we've discussed before, those pesky keys can run off when you need them the most. Use a plain, empty frame and screw in some cup hooks for an instant - and lovely - key holder.

3. "UGLY HIDER": It's amazing what a simple, white frame can do to hide those perfectly functional (and usually poorly positioned) household items!

Now, THAT's neat!