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!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day 65: A "Case" Study

I am not a fan of folding sheets... especially the dreaded fitted sheet. Why in the world does that darn thing have to be so difficult to fold!?!? I mean, it comes folded, in a nice, neat package. But that's the FIRST and the LAST time I ever see a fitted sheet look so neat! And, believe me, I have tried just about every fitted-sheet-folding method and tutorial out there. Nothing is fool proof. However, I have learned a few things along the way.... So, feel free to follow along for a few tips... and perhaps a little surprise! (**Neat freak cheat sheet ALERT!**)

1. Put your clean sheets on your bed. (No sense spreading them all over the floor and getting them dirty again, right?!?!)

2. After folding the flat sheet (no tutorial here, folks.... just grab corners, fold, fold, fold, fold.... and you're done!), spread out your fitted sheet and pull the fitted corners tight.

3. Bring the corners together on both ends by folding the sheet in half. Keep those corners tight, and match them up as best as you can!

4. Now, fold the sheet in thirds.

It should look somewhat like this:

5. Fold in half, longways.

6. And fold in thirds again!

7. That's about all for that darn fitted sheet. Oh, but we aren't quite through.... here's a little neat freak cheat sheet tip: Stack your fitted sheet, flat sheet and ONE pillow case in a nice, neat pile.

8. Slip the entire pile into the SECOND pillow case.

9. Fold the pillow case tightly and neatly around the sheet pile.

10. Fold again until you get a VERY neat sheet package!

And... now you're ready to put your clean, folded sheets (hidden snuggly inside your pillow case) on a shelf or in a drawer!

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day 64: A Cleaner Crock Pot

I already love my crock pot. I don't have an unhealthy obsession with it or anything, but I LOVE to use it and try out new -- and easy -- recipes! I mean, what's better for a busy, overworked neat freak than the opportunity to dump a bunch of ingredients into a slow cooker before an overly full day... and come home to a ready-to-eat meal!?!? *sigh....

That being said, I was talking with a friend the other day about crock pot recipes, and she reminded me of a perfectly neat product I have been meaning to try: crock pot liners!

That's right, there are LINERS you can put IN your crock pot so it's easier to clean up when you are done! I used Reynolds slow cooker liners, as pictured here.

And, boy, was it simple! Just place the liner in your crock pot (as directed) before adding ingredients. And after all is said and done (and your delicious meal has been devoured by a grateful family), pull the liner out and toss it away (or, keep everything intact and store it as is in your plastic container of choice!).

I loved not having to scrub and scrape off baked-on food bits! I simply rinsed out and wiped off my crock pot and put it right back into the cabinet! These liners are such a savings of time, energy and sanity! :)

Now, THAT's neat!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day 63: Robots in da' house

We live in a world of advanced technology.

We have robot pool cleaners (hey -- watch out for that tail thingie whipping around!).

We even have robot vacuum cleaners (oops, there goes the dog's meaty treat again) AND floor cleaners (much like the circular vacuum just mentioned, but made for hardwoods and tile).

Of course, we don't have a pool at my house, and with all the stuff all over our floors these days (thanks, mostly, to our 10-month-old son), a robot vacuum or a robot floor cleaner might do a fantastic job... on a 3-foot radius!

What I need is a robot kitchen and bathroom cleaner... and a robot laundry folder... and a robot kids' rooms straightener....

Of course, there is THIS thing:

What is it?

It's ETRI's new ROMI bot, the cleaning robot (made in Korea). It's kind of a cute little guy, and, supposedly, it can clean floors with the best of 'em... all while taking commands via WiFi, recording video with its big camera eyes AND vocalizing via a speech synthesizer. Boop-bop-beep-boop-bop-bop-boop....

According to myth and legend (OK, not really "myth" or "legend," since we're talking about futuristic-type stuff, here!), this little robot basically allows you to sit on the couch all day telling it what to clean. (PLUS, the ROMI could pretty much beat up any average, antiquated, ole' robot vacuum, while hurling insults at it!) Wow. That sounds pretty good to me!

I'm not running out to purchase my own Jetson-esque little robot maid, however. I'm not falling for the hype. Just yet. I might need a little proof. And perhaps some robot insurance! (*SNL joke) I mean... you never know. Robots are taking over the world.

Now, THAT's neat!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day 62: Potholders ...Useful in More than Just the Kitchen

I recently had to go on a little business trip, and as I was packing, I was reminded that one of the last items I usually end up adding to my suitcase -- before smooshing it closed and zipping it up -- is either my hair dryer or my curling iron... or both! Of course, this usually means that those two things were in use immediately before flying out the door to get from point "A" to point "B," so these items are always HOT... which makes it a bit awkward for packing! This typically results in the frantic blowing off and waving around of said electronic heating gadget... or a quick trip to the refrigerator... or, worse yet, the hanging-out-the-window-on-the-way-to-the-airport method so it's cool enough to stuff in your bag at the last minute!

Enter the potholder.

Yes, the potholder... in just about any size, shape or color. (*Neat freak cheat sheet alert!) This handy, heat-handling, anti-hand-burning kitchen tool is quite useful for packing hot items in your suitcase. Like curling irons, flat irons... or a just-used hairdryer!

Simply slip the not-quite-cool-yet electronic gadget into the potholder, and then you can pack it safely and snuggly without worrying that your suitcase might burst into flames at any moment! ;)

Now, THAT's neat!