Chasing the fashion dragon


I read this very interesting article on Fashionista this week about how the “It” or “must have” trends come and go so quickly they can become “ho hum” before you can take them out of the bag. When everybody has “it,” “it is no longer as desirable. We all want to stand out but we also want to fit in but you can’t do both (thank you Seth Godin).  Nobody wants to feel like they’re a victim, in particular a victim of fierce marketing strategies of the fashion industry. So how do you find that balance between looking like you are of this era and what does that have to do with organization? Continue reading


The Wrong Clothes Taking Over Your Closet

DSC_0021Anyone who has met me and lots of you who haven’t know the phrase ‘you wear 20% of your clothing 80% of the time’ and most people upon hearing /reading that start nodding their heads in agreement. We all know that we have too full closets but what’s in them and how do you decide what to toss? Here is the short answer:

*Toss anything that doesn’t flatter you, suit you, make you happy, or have a purpose.

*And just so we’re clear, when I say “toss” I mean donate, give to someone else, sell, or otherwise just remove from your own closet. It does not necessarily mean throw away. Just because you are finished with something doesn’t mean someone else can’t use it.  Continue reading

Shout it from the rooftops: elfa Sale!

25% off elfa systems & installation at The Container Store in June!

25% off elfa systems & installation at The Container Store in June!

It’s always fun to share good news and today is no exception. I received a note from one of my favorite stores, The Container Store, letting me know that elfa(r)  is going to be on sale during the month of June! This includes the products AND installation. 25% off. Whoa.

Anyone who is considering a closet makeover, update, overhaul, or new closet construction should consider this seriously. I love elfa because it is completely customizable, highly functional, looks pretty,  and is of excellent quality. You can use it in your closet, kitchen, office, playroom, basement, and really just about any room in your house.

Last but not least, I have a coupon that allows you to go ahead and get the 25% off today! Neatsmart can certainly help you get your home, office, closet, and life organized and using elfa gives you a great foundation to maintain your customized organization system. If you have any questions about how we can help you with your organization goals, contact today.

p.s. I was NOT compensated by The Container Store for this post. I just believe in their products.

Happy organizing!


Summer To Do List

Can you believe summer is officially here as of Friday and that half of the year is over? Me neither. So how is your New Year’s resolution to “get organized” panning out? Do you feel like you’ll never get there? Do you start an organization project just to abandon it after a few frustrating hours or minutes? Even if ‘getting organized’ was not on your resolution list, I would be willing to bet that you’d like parts of your home or office to have fewer stacks and piles, to be more clean and ordered so that you’re not wasting time looking for things and wasting money buying what you already have. Fear not, it is never too late to get started. Here is a list of suggestions for quick, mini- organization tasks you can do right now to get closer to your goals of calm, reduced stress, and more time to do the things that you want to do:

Keeping a refrigerator in order means you don't waste energy poking around looking for food.

Keeping a refrigerator in order means you don’t waste energy poking around looking for food.

When was the last time you cleaned out your refrigerator? Can you identify what’s really in that old takeout container? Take less than an hour and toss out the bad stuff, clean out the shelves and drawers, and put the good stuff back where it belongs. Here is a link for detailed instructions on how to store food in the smartest spots.

One example of a kitchen-based command center.

One example of a kitchen-based command center.

What is the state of your command center? Do you know what a command center is? Learn more about why it’s essential to your sanity to have this part of your home in order.

Get some type of box for storing tax documents

Do you have a place for gathering tax documents for 2013? Designate a folder or box now for storing receipts, car tag statements, donation receipts, medical statements or whatever it is that you’ll need to locate next year to file your 2013 taxes. Also, don’t completely file away 2012. You’ll need to refer back to it if you do your own taxes or your accountant may need to review it as well. (no IRS jokes, please 🙂 )

Don’t store clothes without cleaning them first.

Did you put away your winter sweaters without getting them cleaned or washing them? Food and sweat is what attracts moths and other bugs so make sure they are clean and not stored in plastic. Wool and cashmere need to breathe. On that note, take your winter coat(s) to get cleaned. Don’t forget scarves, hats, and gloves if they are not leather. Just take them out of the plastic bags when you get them home.

Get your OWN filing system.

Get your OWN filing system.

How is your personal filing system? Do you know where your mortgage statements, bank statements, EOBs, and appliance warranties are? Set up a personal business filing system in a desk drawer or file box with labeled hanging files and folders. If you have kids, how are you storing their school papers? Put together a file box for saving report cards, certificates, school pictures, programs, etc. Or ask Neatsmart about creating a “Box of a Lifetime.”

Another example of a car filing system

Have you ever cleaned out your glove box in your car? Are you the kind of person that just shoves your insurance card in there with your repair receipts and takeout napkins? In less than 30 minutes, you can separate and file your car’s paperwork into a document wallet so you can find all the necessary documents when necessary. Hopefully you don’t have to show that proof of insurance frequently.


All of these tasks are a good jump start to propel you towards more order less clutter. When you’re ready to go all the way in getting your life organized or you want to continue with the momentum you’ve started with this list, give Neatsmart a call. We’ll be there to take your home to the next level of organization so you can live more efficiently, have less stress, and more time to spend doing what matters most to you.

Happy organizing!

Sunk Costs are Cluttering You & Your Home

So I was listening to Dave Ramsey on the radio a while ago and he was talking about a sunk cost* of an asset and or something that was perceived to be an asset in a caller’s home. This piqued my interest because I’m always fascinated by makeover stories whether it is someone getting their image overhauled or getting out of debt. He asked the caller if the asset in question here, a motorcycle,  was worth x amount today would he spend that money right now to buy it again. It was irrelevant what the motorcycle cost back when it was purchased, only what it was worth today. The caller said “no” so Dave told  him to sell it and  move on. I was impressed with his candor and his justification for making that suggestion quickly. How many times have I heard the following excuses (reasons) for holding on to something:

“……but I paid so much for it.”

“…..but I might get into that size again.”

“…..but I might take up archery/ ice climbing/ slalom skiing/ spelunking, etc again. I used to do it all the time 20 years ago.”

Whatever you spent on that equipment or outfit is a sunk cost and is not going to be retrieved. If you are going to seriously commit to the activities necessary to get into that size or hobby again, then by all means keep that equipment. It really is part of your life and you should keep it but you should also be using it and not leaving it in a cramped closet or garage. If it is just a hope, then let someone else enjoy and use those items. Keeping something that you hope to be able to use is wasteful and it is taking up precious space in your home and your ego. Either commit to using it or move on. It’s ok that you’re not going to be a superstar athlete or cheerleader anymore. That was great at the time but don’t spend precious time and energy hoping you’ll be that person again. There are many resources for donating or selling sporting equipment and clothes. You’ll feel better knowing that someone is able to benefit from it and you’ll love the extra space in your home.

Happy organizing!

* definition of a “sunk cost” is the following:

“In economics and in business decision-making, sunk costs are costs that have already been incurred and which cannot be recovered to any significant degree.”