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!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Day 124: Overpower the power cords

Country Living magazine posted a super-neat idea for wrangling up all those tangly, high-tech charging cords from cell phones, MP3 players, PDAs, cameras, etc.... while repurposing a low-tech shoe box!  And I just had to share this with all of you!  (And now I am on a hunt for extra-large eyelits... and you will soon see why!)

Just so you know, I am kind of torn when it comes to shoe boxes.  On one hand, they are nice places for shoes to go when they are not on someone's feet, but shoe boxes can take up a lot of room, and, let's face it, how often are the people in your home putting shoes back in their shoe boxes after or between uses!?!?   That's why shoe boxes most often end up in the recycling bin at our house, unless my daughter has some creative craft project in mind or we need to make a diorama! :)

At any rate, we all know how much more "plugged in" we all are nowadays. And if you don't have a handy gadget like this for multiple USB ports and regular plugs, then those cords can easily become a bit of a nightmare!

Where do you plug them in?  How do you store them?  How do you keep them from taking over a kitchen counter, nightstand or desk?  Well, that little, white Belkin hub in the outlet in our kitchen certainly helps with the first question.  But here are steps to create an awesome (and lovely) cord storage/organizer and tackle those other important questions!

STEP 1: Find and empty out a clean, sturdy shoebox. Measure and cut wallpaper, heavy-duty wrapping paper, scrapbook paper or decorative fabric to the dimensions, wrapping the top and bottom pieces separately. Secure the material or paper with spray adhesive. (You can also use Mod Podge or other glues, but spray adhesive is AWESOME for projects like this!)

STEP 2: On one side of the box, measure and mark placements for four, evenly spaced eyelet holes. Make the first hole about 3 inches in from the box's edge. Cut eyelet holes with an X-Acto knife. Repeat on the other side, aligning the holes so the cords can cross through the box.

STEP 3: Purchase an extra-large eyelet kit from a hardware store, and fit the pieces using the manufacturer's directions as a guide.

STEP 4: Plug in your cords, feed the wires through both sets of holes and close the lid; recharge your gadgets.

{{{{SAFETY TIP: Keep electrical devices such as plugs and power strips outside the shoebox, to avoid risk of heating up or fire}}}} 

Now, go to it!  You have the power to overpower the power cords in your household! ;)

Now, THAT's neat!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Day 123: I'm Dreaming of a Custom Closet...

I think that most of us neat freaks (or nor-so-neat freaks) can admit that we secretly (or not-so-secretly) dream of a place for everything... and everything in its place... and even a color-coded label for everything, too!   And one thing that I've always dreamed of is an organized and beautiful bedroom closet.  Ok, actually I've dreamed of all my closet spaces, storage areas and the garage being organized and beautiful.  But until I strike it rich - in the area of money AND time - I guess I can just keep collecting ideas for what my perfect storage spaces would entail!

Of course, I've already got some things working in my favor in my bedroom closet.  As y'all know, I love boxes and baskets for gathering, categorizing, sorting AND decorating items.  These work perfectly - even in the smallest spaces - for managing everything from shoes and socks to scarves and jewelry.  I also store all my clothes items with "like" items.  For instance, t-shirts all go together, followed by sleveless shirts and other dress shirts on one bar.  Below, all my jeans, dress pants and capris hang next to long-sleeve dress shirts and sweaters.  (And, no, I don't color code!)

But even with a plan in place, I do find myself limited by my closet's overall design... or lack thereof!  That's why I drool at photos like THIS, showing a perfectly ordered and lovely space from closet organizers like California Closets!
(Photo courtesy of California Closets.)
Or THIS.... which, of course, might be about the size of my entire bedroom!  Ha-ha!
(Photo courtesy of California Closets.)
But even smaller spaces (like those "reach-in" closets) can be functional and beautiful.  For example, I would absolutely LOVE to have a guest bedroom closet like THIS that was worthy of being displayed - sans doors! Amazing!
(Photo courtesy of California Closets.)
If you want to get started on the closet of your choice and make it the closet of your dreams, incorporate those little organizational pieces, like shoe storage and hanging "shelves," and make your closet make sense for you.  If color coding is your thing, then by all means - arrange by hue!  Just be sure to purge unused or unwanted items along the way (donation boxes are ready and waiting!). OR... you can go for the gusto, and get a custom-designed closet!  Yep.  A professional closet designer from California Closets can help you see your storage nightmares as hidden potential!  Then perhaps YOUR closet photo will be the next to go in my growing file of storage solution designs and ideas!

Now, THAT's neat!

NOTE: This is a sponsored post.  But all thoughts and opinions are the author's!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Day 122: ToweLocs, a Neat Product

I discovered something rather interesting today while looking around Organized A to Z, a fun - and tempting - organizing products website... and now I am considering adding a whole new level of organization to my home.  Ok.... not exactly.  But it is a cool concept.

Just think about how many times you have had to rearrange a towel in the bathroom or the kitchen or how many times you have found said towel on the floor, in a little, crumpled-up, mildew-loving heap?!?  Well... these little gadgets, called ToweLocs, are decorative items that keep your towels in place until you are ready to replace them!  WOW! Love this idea!

To use these clever devices (available in different decor; I'm showing the "tile" since I like it!), just poke the pin side of the ToweLoc through the towel, one layer at a time, and then secure the backing.  Then... arrange your towels... and enjoy them!  Your towels will stay put!

Now, THAT's neat!

NOTE: Here is the website for ToweLocs! Even MORE great designs and ideas there!

UPDATE: And here are MY ToweLocs in use in MY home! :)