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, July 13, 2013

Day 141: Instant Bib Holder

Oh, kids... and their neat freak moms. ;)  I would have LOVED to have thought of this little "neat freak cheat sheet" tip a few years ago!  Instead of running to the laundry room for a bib (or for ANOTHER bib or 3 for those spaghetti nights), a stick-on hook on the back of the highchair does the trick perfectly.  Anyone else having one of those why-didn't-I-think-of-that moments?  Well, it's a-ok.  Just stick and hang away, and make meal time a little less chaotic!

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, July 1, 2013

DAY 140: Share YOUR Neat Ideas!

Have a neat product?  Stumble upon a really neat idea?  Try something neat for yourself?  Well, let us know!  
This is a blog all about neat things, and I know I'm not the only one out there who loves the tips, techniques, resources and ideas.  Send me an email (bethiswriting at yahoo dot com) with your photos or thoughts, and we'll get your neat thoughts out here for the world to see!

Now, THAT's neat!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

DAY 139: His & Hers

I honestly don't think that anyone in his or her right mind would ever confuse my husband's closet with mine... or vice versa, but that doesn't take away from the fact that it's fun to have an Uppercase Living vinyl "label" on each door.  It adds an element of whimsy to your door decor.  And it's just one of those neat, little things that I like!  You can do the same kind of thing with vanities/mirrors in your bathroom or over the towel racks, to show whose towel is whose!  There are lots of fun ways to separate the genders in your household!

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, June 17, 2013

DAY 138: Neat Plate

When I was a child, I did NOT like my food to touch.  For instance, I would have a plate for chicken, a bowl for green beans and a separate bowl for rice... and I'd have a fork or a spoon for each food item!  I have always had a "selective palate," so to speak, and one thing that bothered me (and still does) was food running together.  I like plain, simple (bland?) food, and I don't like many sauces or cheeses, so it was always tough for me to enjoy a happy meal (ha-ha), especially when I went to other people's homes for dinner.  "Oh, you're a picky eater," they would say.  "What in the world will we feed you?"  And then they'd set down a plate full of runny meat juices and oozing cheese.  EEK!  Honestly, I don't think I'm that picky at all.  (And I don't use separate vessels or utensils for each food item anymore!)  I just like simple, delicious food!  And I don't want all those simple, delicious foods to blend into one another.  I want to enjoy each one separately.

That's why THIS plate is a pretty ingenious (and neat) invention.  Of course, it's perfect for portion control (anyone dieting!?!), but it's also a clever tool for those of us who like to keep our foods separate.  You can use the old "cafeteria-style" plate or tray, but this is just another fun option for meal measuring and divided dinners!  AND, once you are finished with the plating of your food, you can remove this shield-type device, leaving behind a perfectly proportioned (and separated) meal!

Now, THAT's neat!

Friday, June 14, 2013

Day 137: MORE vinyl in the kitchen!

I can't sing the praises of vinyl lettering enough for fun, decor AND organization!  I LOVE it! For a neat person who would have a special container and a label for EVERYTHING, you just can't beat this! :)  I had to show this lovely photo of a woman after my own heart, who is getting her pantry super neat.  And YOU can do it, too!  Find some containers of your choosing - whether you go to the Container Store or buy Tupperware or you head to the nearest Dollar Tree and get everything for a buck, it's up to you, your style and your needs.  Go with glass, or select plastic... pick one color, or color coordinate!  THEN, get rid of those annoying cardboard boxes and put common, useful things like sugar, brown sugar, powdered sugar, rice, pasta, cake flour, all-purpose flour and whatever else you'd like (think cookies and crackers, too) into your containers.... and LABEL THEM!  I prefer to use Uppercase Living chalk labels (or dry erase labels).  You can even purchase a whole chalk (or dry erase) panel and cut them down to size!  OR, chose a font and color and custom your own lettering for each container. Just be sure to measure twice; order once! :) 

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Day 136: Mail Bucket

I don't know about y'all, but the mail in my house has a tendency to spread out... and to migrate... and to take over many "usable" spots and work spaces in my kitchen.  Of course, I have a little system for wrangling bills... I open them immediately and then "file" them in a little holder on the counter... so I don't forget to pay them.  (Out of sight, out of mind... so they day!)  But what about all the OTHER stuff - you know, those letters, fliers, coupons, catalogs and other random odds and ends for my family?

Well, I finally got tired of this "OTHER stuff" being all over my kitchen counter, so I decided to reuse a little item I've had for a while now...  in a closet!  I just took this tin bucket and repurposed it.  Instead of adding flowers and nailing it up on a wall or hanging it outside, I put in a little burlap (which didn't make it to the photo - sorry, afterthought!) and then applied a meaningful, Uppercase Living expression, to give the old bucket some new life and interest!

Now, this fun little holder hangs from a burlap ribbon on the door to our garage, which is in our kitchen, near the counter where the mail used to collect.  I simply stuff the items inside, and we remove, use or toss those items as we get to them.  It's a really pretty - and organized - alternative to those random paper stacks!

Now, THAT's neat!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Day 135: Over or Under?

This particular household debate has been going on since... uh... the dawn of toilet paper!  And "The Neat Get Neater" would like to know: do you replace the roll so the paper goes OVER... or UNDER!?!?

I'll have to admit it; I'm an over-kind of girl.  I don't want to have to reach for... look for... or fish for the toilet paper.  Ever.  And that's what often happens when the toilet paper roll is loaded UNDER.  I, personally, like when my TP is conveniently located on top of the roll, and that's what happens when you load the paper OVER.

As far as looks... does anyone really look at the toilet paper roll?  And does one re-loading method ] look better than the other?  I seriously contemplated this and nearly decided that it does look a little better when it's loaded UNDER the roll... EEK!  But then I realized that even the fanciest resorts load the toilet paper OVER, and then they fold the ends to a neat, little point.  Now, you won't find my guest bath loaded with pointy TP.  But, hopefully, guests will only notice that the toilet paper is there.  That it's soft.  And that it works.  Enough said...

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 134: Hedgehogs in the Dryer?

My husband knows me too well....  I am quite a sucker for cute gadgets and cute animals.  So, when I spotted dryer balls that looked like little, white hedgehogs, I was hooked.  I pointed them out to my husband, who kind of shrugged it off.  SO, I was completely surprised - and delighted - when I received said hedgehogs as a Valentine's Day gift!  (Aren't they CUTE?!?!)

I have been using dryer balls for about 3 years now, and I really can tell a difference.  Our clothes dry much faster with dryer balls tumbling around, separating the damp items with their little "fingers."  They seem to reduce static and soften the fabrics, as well.  (I have gone through two sets of dryer balls.  The little nubs wear down after a while, so be sure to replace them to get the full effect!)
I've been quite happy with cutting down on drying time (and expense to run the dryer!)... and NOW, I am even happier when I get our clean, dry clothes, and little hedgehogs come tumbling out or little hedgehog eyes are peeping out at me through the clothing.
OK, you can say, "simple minds, simple pleasures," if you'd like.  I won't take offense.  I think my new hedgehog dryer balls are very useful... and so darn cute!

Now, THAT's neat!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Day 133: Clever containers for the pantry

Like many households, we have lots of little, random things floating around in our pantry.  Actually, they don't float at all, but they do fall down between the wire shelves, get stuck behind (or under) other stored food items or get completely lost and forgotten somewhere in the spaces we can never see - or reach.  For those pesky little things, little things like seasoning mixes, soup packets, drink mixes and other pouches, snacks or small bags of things, I have found that Clever Container's containers are quite a clever solution!

I recently purchased 2 of these little cabinet organizers and put them to immediate use.  Now my pesky pouches and packets are well behaved... and easy to find.  AND... since they are all rounded up and in clear view, it makes it easier for me to see what I have... and what quick meal or snack I can whip up for kids or company!
Now, THAT's neat!

Friday, January 4, 2013

Day 132: The Dreaded Kitchen Drop-Off

You know that little space in your kitchen... the one that gets trashed by everything as soon as anyone comes home?!?!  Yes, THAT one.  No matter what you do to keep it clean, neat and orderly, somehow, candy wrappers, school papers, junk mail, bills, magazines, socks, jackets, toys and other odds and ends end up here.  Well... one solution is to just trash everything!  And believe me, I have been tempted to do this, MANY times! :)

The other option is to create a little "command center."  If you have time (and energy... and gumption), you can purchase a nice, organizational wall hanger or box... hey, even a file holder works to sort through papers, and they have some decorative ones or fun ones to fit your decor!

Another simple, quick method to get those papers to cooperate is to get some clothespins, write some helpful labels on them, and just pinch all that stuff together until you have a moment to look through and sort everything!

AND... of course, y'all know I love baskets and bins.  But a few, and throw things in there so they are out of site but still easily accessible!

Finally, purchase some fun, useful dry erase or chalk panels so you can keep track of menus, phone numbers, to-do lists, appointments and events and still have room to write down a motivational quote or an "I love you because..."  Uppercase Living offers so many wonderful options.  Click HERE to see them, and order anytime, online!

Now, THAT's neat!