ON THE FOURTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
I gotta say when it comes to style and efficiency the folks at Joseph Joseph® have it mastered. The Nest™ 9 Plus mixing bowl to measuring spoon set is perfection on so many levels, it keeps words from coming out of my mouth in complete sentences. The classic and simple design, and its unique ability to skimp on bulk makes this four-in-one kitchen staple perfect for every kind of cook. This clever set saves precious drawer space, which can be primo real estate in a kitchen with limited storage options. The Nest 9 Plus includes 5 measuring cups which snap together into a small unit. They’re designed to fit perfectly in the small mixing bowl, which then sits inside a stainless steel mesh sieve, which THEN all fits neatly into a medium plastic strainer/colander and FINALLY, all collectively rest compactly and perfectly inside one large mixing bowl. This kind of space-saving brilliance is a neat product that truly speaks my language.
ON THE THIRD DAY OF NEATNESS…
Entryway clutter can be a problem for a lot of people. Truth be told, I have to make a daily effort to keep my entire foyer from becoming a catchall. However, there’s one neat product in particular that has caught my eye in the quest to keep things tidy in our entryways. And, as it’s the result of a successful 2013 Kickstarter campaign, it’s an exciting new find for my product arsenal. Made in the good ol’ US of A, Upwell Design has created the Walhub, switchplates that double as a keeper for the entryway clutter culprits like keys, umbrellas, dog leashes, and the perpetual stack of to-be-mailed items. Now the same switchplates that give your light switches a finished look can also keep things off of entryway flat surfaces or nearby tables. Plus, they give a clever, permanent home to smaller items that are easily misplaced. Walhub has multiple designs available in different sizes and organizational options, depending on how much wall space and the type of switch you have. The end result is a clean, stylish solution that can be used in just about any home. I’d pick the Walhub over three French hens any day. The 12 Days of Neatness continues tomorrow with a handy little item for that handy dandy person on your list. Make sure to come back and check it out!
ON THE SECOND DAY OF NEATNESS…
If you’ve spent enough time with me, you know I’m a huge fan of realizing the full potential of any available square footage. It requires the fine art of getting the most utility out of every last square inch of space while keeping it stylishly appealing to the eye. How is that possible you ask? Well, Grasshopper, with inventive solutions and neat products like ShoeStax™, any and all can create order out of a chaotic closet. ShoeStax™ by Boottique is an ingenious solution for shoes (obviously) which effectively doubles the amount of usable shelf storage by having two shoes take the space of only one. Let’s revel in that sentiment for a moment, shall we? Store two shoes for the space of one! ShoeStax™ has a simple metal design that fits neatly inside a variety of women’s shoes, including open-toed and wedge styles, and allows one shoe to rest neatly atop the other. I have happily used this product in several of my clients’ closets and they all continue to be unbelievably pleased with the results. They’re easy to use and they make a fabulously neat gift idea! Check back tomorrow for another neat product on The Third Day of Neatness!
I’m really excited to announce a fun little project I’ve been working on in preparation for the excitement of the holiday season. We’ve all heard of the 12 Days of Christmas (Side note: Anyone who can make it through that song, congratulations. You are a Christmas miracle). However this year, I decided it would be fun to take that concept and make it my own. So, without further ado, I’m thrilled to share my 12 Days of Neatness with you! For the first 12 days of December, I will post a neat product that could make a wonderful gift for the holidays, or something snazzy and useful for you to add to your own wish list. They’re the products that I adore for their creativity, their ease of use and, of course, their stylish neatness. I hope you enjoy! As always, please share your feedback via Twitter, Facebook or Google+, and let me know if you pick any of them up and become a believer yourself! So without further ado…
ON THE FIRST DAY OF NEATNESS…
Let’s face it, whether it’s a sporty backpack, a stylish leather briefcase, a canvas tote, or just good old fashioned family guilt, we’re all carrying some kind of baggage around with us every day. Particularly during the holidays, many of us find ourselves traveling with an arsenal of necessaries wherever we go. For those of us lugging our lives through the subways, airports, train stations and streets, the GRID IT® Accessory Organizer is an incredible creation to help keep your everyday bag clean and clutter-free. It’s totally customizable with several woven, durable elastic straps to keep those sneaky, tricksy little items in place inside whatever carry-all we may be toting. But wait, there’s more! (Now I know why they’re so excited to say that in infomercials.) The flip-side of the organizer has a great little pouch for a tablet or magazine. The entire collection of organizers will ensure that whatever size bag or briefcase you carry your stuff will not only fit, it will actually be find-able. This is an incredible gift for anyone you’ve seen endlessly digging around their bags to find their cell phone, a pack of gum, or that ever elusive pen.
Disposable to-go containers are a must have item during the holidays. Keeping these on hand is a great way to make sure you aren’t stuck with too many leftovers. And, let’s be honest, any organizational item with a festive flare will end up on my good list any holiday season. Pack a small container of yummy goodness for your guests to take with them so they can continue to enjoy your delectable bites upon their return home. Now you won’t have to worry about getting that turkey platter back from Aunt Marge or where you’re going to store an entire green bean casserole. Plus, without a house full of treats to snack on, you won’t have any trouble zipping up any of your favorite holiday duds!
Exciting news! I’ve partnered with Springpad to create a free digital Holiday Party Planner. I’ve included some tips and checklists to get you started, and there’s plenty of room for you to save ideas and create your plan for gifts, gatherings, and whatever else is on your plate this season. It’s easy, intuitive and (dare I say?) fun to use. The best part is, you can conveniently access it from your computer, tablet, or phone. Learn more here and get the notebook here.
Thanksgiving is only nine days away. Let’s just repeat that for effect: Thanksgiving is only nine days away. And if you’re like any other living, breathing, working, person out there, there is still so much to do to make sure you are ready for the big day. Never fear! Breathe, relax, get those shoulders down from your ears, because I’ve outlined 3 simple to-do’s to make sure your kitchen is ready for one incredible feast!
- Plan + Confirm – Take a moment to review your menu (or put it together if you haven’t yet). Make sure you have enough food for the number of guests expected and don’t forget to take into consideration any food allergies your guests may have. Be sure you are working with recipes that allow for some advanced preparation. The last thing you want is to spend the holiday festivities stuck in the kitchen, or stressed out about not having enough time to get everything done. While offering great food is of the utmost importance, you want to be sure that you get to enjoy time with your guests and share in the fun. And, if you don’t know your way around the kitchen very well, keep it simple. It will make the entire process much less stressful, and I promise your guests will be just as delighted with what you serve.
- Take inventory + Stock Up – Once you’ve confirmed your menu and determined all your needed ingredients, take inventory of your pantry to make sure you don’t run out of any staples. Make a trip to the supermarket to stock up on all these non-perishable essentials ahead of time to avoid elbowing your way through the crazy crowds next week.
- Tools – Don’t forget to check your cooking tools and serving essentials – this is an often overlooked area when prepping for the holiday. Do you need a new meat thermometer? Maybe a turkey baster or twine. Does your carving knife need to be sharpened? Take a moment to make sure everything is in working order and that you have everything you need for Turkey Time. The last thing you want is to go cook your Turkey and discover your roasting pan is missing in action.
Taking a little time to plan in advance will help you feel in control of your party, rather than at the mercy of gravy boats and green bean casserole. Above all, remember that the whole purpose of the day is to come together with family and friends to enjoy a beautiful meal. Stress does not get a seat at the table!
Take a peek at my Springpad notebook to see some of my picks for Turkey Day Essentials!
Yes, the holiday season is here, and with this wonderful time of year comes mailboxes filled with junk catalogues and mailers – almost every day until January. At first, it’s kind of thrilling to see your mailbox overflowing with shiny catalogs from every shop you ever ducked into to make an impulse buy. However, that feeling quickly diminishes when your pile of present pushers starts to take over your home. It’s almost impossible to stay on top of all these mailers—even for an organizational fanatic. And even worse, including all the horrible things it means for the environment, it inevitably leads to loads of CLUTTER. Mail is one of the major clutter culprits for many people, and having loads of catalogs and other unwanted junk mail come into your home so relentlessly only creates more anxiety. It becomes another chore to deal with. Here’s how I’ve been able to manage the holiday onslaught from the USPS: CatalogChoice.org. It’s an easy to use website that allows you to unsubscribe yourself from a company’s mailings. They take care of all the dirty work. All you need to do is type in the company name and the information they request. CatalogChoice will take care of the rest and even confirm once the request is complete!
Below you can see the stats of how CatalogChoice has been helping the environment. It even shows what my contribution is – so far I’ve saved 2 trees and 228 pounds of solid waste! As a bonus benefit, I love that my info isn’t floating around on nearly so many pieces of mail, creating an opportunity for identity theft.
Birthdays, Christmas, Hanukkah, Weddings, Housewarmings… no matter what the occasion, when a gift is needed, my mind goes blank. Somewhere in the corner of my mind is the perfect gift, something I had seen months before, something that the harder I try to remember, the more elusive it becomes. To help me break that cycle and beat these black-out moments, I began using a sanity-saving gift app called mGifts – Gift List Manager.
Yes, this app serves the same purpose as a pen and paper, but those little lists go missing so easily, and can never be found when you need them most. This easy-to-use app allows you to make notes instantly as you are out shopping, browsing online, reading a magazine or envying a friend’s new toy. You can file away gift ideas by topic, share them with friends, back them up to a cloud server, sync them across multiple devices, and even password protect your ideas to keep everything hush-hush.
With mGifts you can sort your list by store, by person, by holiday—even by the current status of your gift (e.g. purchased, wrapped, shipped, etc.)! It also allows you to archive your lists so that you can keep track of what you’ve already purchased for friends and family. This app is an easy way to keep your gift list on track no matter where you are, leaving you confident and stress-free so you can focus on some of your other holiday tasks.
mGifts is available for iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch.
Another birthday, another year older and another bad, useless gift
Wishpot – an online service designed to help put an end to unwanted gifts while helping to simplify your life. Wishpot allows you to not only manage all the items you desire, but it also helps save you money, and get the gifts you really want. Watch the video to see how you can easily integrate and use Wishpot with your web browser, and read the list of benefits below to learn how the service can help simplify your life.
- Manage – Add items to your Wishpot from any store on the web to manage gift ideas, as well as organize your own personal shopping
- Share – Easily share the list of gifts you really want with friends, family and your entire social network
- Recommendations – Discover some of the newest and most fun gift ideas on the market with recommendations from Wishpot and by viewing the lists of expert Wishpot-ers
- Save – Receive notifications when the items you want go on sale so you can save money!
- Consolidate – Use Wishpot to consolidate the wish list for your next baby, wedding, bridal or honeymoon registry by selecting the items you want from multiple stores in one location