It is December first, which means the holiday season is officially here, and that it is the first day of the 12 Days of Neatness, my own little holiday gift guide.
Since beginning the 12 Days of Neatness in 2013, each year I’ve shared 12 of my favorite product finds from throughout the year that I felt made useful, thoughtful and neat gifts. I posted these neat finds here on my blog, as well as on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest (if you haven’t started following me, please do so immediately! What have you been waiting for? 😉 ). This year I decided to take the 12 Days of Neatness to the next level by creating short videos with some helpful holiday tips in addition to those neat gift ideas.
So join me over the next 12 days as I post all of this festive holiday goodness to my Facebook and YouTube channels. Let me know what you think, and feel free to share some of your favorite tips and gift ideas for the holidays, too! I would love to hear from you! Oh, and don’t forget to share all this goodness with everyone you know 😉
Recently, I had the distinct pleasure to co-host a special #SpringCleanse event in the apartment of Lilla P. founder and creative director Pauline Nakios. The lively evening was filled with closet cleansing conversation to welcome in the Spring season. Take a look at some photos from the gorgeous event on Facebook (you may even spy some up close photos of my organizing mastery).
To help our guests kick start the organizing season we put together a gift bag filled with organizational wares. In addition to some gifts from Lilla P., Command (a brand I use in almost every organizing project I do) was kind enough to donate some of my favorite products. Thinking of YOU, I snagged an extra bag to give away to one lucky reader in the Jeffrey Phillip + Lilla P. Command Brand Organizing Products Giveaway!
To enter to win this gift bag full of wonderful goodies, please do the following:
Make sure you are following me on Twitter @jeffreyphillip. (You’ll get lots of #jptips, and I love hearing from you! Plus, I promise never to tweet about ridiculous nonsense like Kim and Kanye’s wedding.)
Then tweet the following message:
Not on Twitter? Don’t fret. Alternately you can enter by posting a photo to Instagram of a space in your home that could use some organizing help. Just be sure to follow and tag me @jeffrey_phillip.
We’ll notify one winner chosen at random Friday, May 16. Good luck and may the most ambitious spring cleaner win!
Last week I was scrolling through my Facebook and I came across the Good Housekeeping article – “6 Places We’re NOT Organizing Anymore.” Naturally, it caught my attention and I, of course, quietly gasped. What areas could they be talking about? I asked myself. I immediately clicked on the article to see what over 1,000 people “liked.”
As I read the article it all made sense and I knew where the author, Lauren Piro, was coming from. The areas she confronted are a constant struggle for many of us so I completely understand sending up the white flag. And, to Lauren’s credit, leaving these areas disorganized is not going to prevent you from reaching your ultimate goals in life. However, as the person who comes in when these areas become overrun with clutter and cause daily frustration, I can attest to the fact that some level of organization is necessary. After all, organization is about making your life easier by living lighter and more efficiently.
All of this got me thinking… maybe we need to address some of these areas in a more simplistic way and just get real about the level of organization needed to make life easier and not add more work to the to-do list.
So, here’s what I have for those who would still like to have a little order to their chaos…
Nail Polish – Sorting through 10 or 15 colors every time you paint your nails can be annoying to say the least. I’ve witnessed many of my friends’ and clients’ chaotic drawers/bins and the process they go through to find the color they want. Keep the colors neat and tidy by taking a Q-tip and dabbing the color on top of the lid. This way you won’t have to pull out every single nail polish to find what you want and you’ll easily be able to keep the colors in order.
Serving & Cooking Utensils – Purging is always helpful, but even after a purge you may still be rifling through things to find what you want. Using drawer dividers, split the drawer into sections to easily organize the items you use on a regular basis (if you have more than one drawer, use one for baking utensils and one for cooking utensils). Then, put the once or twice a year items in a canister that gets stored in the pantry. After all, you don’t want to be without that turkey baster come Thanksgiving.
ON THE TWELFTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
Well, here we are. The 12th Day of Neatness and it’s from one of my most favorite companies around. I’ve been a huge fan of Bluelounge for a long time and am always excited to see what new neat product they’ve put to market. The Sanctuary 4 caught my eye and it easily checks off several boxes on my neat-products-must-have list. Check this puppy out.
The Sanctuary 4 is a home docking station capable of charging several combinations of some of your most used electronic devices all in one go. The dock packs a 4-amp power punch to bring renewed life to 2 iPads, 1 iPad and 2 iPhones or 4 iPhones all at once while simply looking fabulous.
My favorite part: cord clutter is no where to be found! And let me tell you, nothing gets my eyes twitching quite as much as when I see a nest of tangled cords. Whether they’re in your office, your kitchen, your bedroom or your living room – messy cord chaos is usually among the first things I abolish when I start a home organization project. Cord clutter is my archenemy number one and I routinely lean on the folks at Bluelounge for their unbelievably smart, clean and thoughtful approach to eliminating messy cord catastrophes.
The Sanctuary 4 can do just that for your home all with a brilliant, compact and simple docking station that looks as good as it performs. I truly can’t think of a better, more appropriate way to end the 12 Days of Neatness than by encouraging everyone to bid adieu to their own tangled messes and give a quick power punch to those tech devices we love and adore so much.
I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed these 12 Days of Neatness and had as much fun reading them as I have had writing them. I look forward to a bright and exciting 2014 with all new, innovative and, of course, *neat* products and wonderful gift ideas to share with you along the way!
Until then, Happy Holidays and Merry Neatness!
ON THE ELEVENTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
In all the neat gift recommendations over the last couple of weeks, I have yet to bring you something just for the little ones. Well, today is the day! On the eleventh day of neatness, I give you the treat for the most spirited recipients of all. Actually, it’s even a little bit of a two-fer since it’s a gift from LEGO® and a great storage solution from The Container Store.
The famous interlocking LEGO bricks have been around since 1949 and have been entertaining young, creative minds for decades—mine included. The most advanced set we had growing up in the ‘80s was LEGO® Airport, which must be why I feel qualified to scrutinize the layout of JFK terminals…but I digress.
The LEGO Group has consistently pushed the envelope of creativity by developing themed sets throughout the years, even launching several fantasy and sci-fi partnerships with Star Wars™ and the Lord of the Rings™ franchises, among several others. My absolute favorite, however, is the LEGO® Architecture theme they have on the market. They have taken the building and construction of LEGOs to an entirely new level. Now, kids can build everything from their very own Sydney Opera House™ to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater® estate. Kids can even build their very own miniature LEGO New York City, with cityscape themes of the Guggenheim Museum® , the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center® and even the United Nations Headquarters!
And for the extra special creative kid, this summer they released the brand-new, all white LEGO® Architecture Studio that ignites creativity and lets kids decide just what kind of buildings are possible. It’s an incredibly fun, challenging and always classically good time playing with LEGOs.
Now, to keep your living room floor from becoming littered with a thousand pieces of plastic imagination fuel, The Container Store has a fantastic solution ready to go! The fun LEGO® Head and LEGO® Brick storage bins are a great way to keep all those themed sets of LEGO bricks together in one place, plus they look really cool on a toy shelf!
ON THE TENTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
Today’s neat product comes straight at us from the fabulously chic, organizing gurus at PurseN. With an incredibly sensical approach to carrying jewels on the go, PurseN has captured both style and efficiency (my two favorite things, which you may have picked up) with their Tiara line of jewelry cases. This trendy little tote gets all of your various jewelry essentials safely tucked up in one neat little place. Inspired by the Japanese art of Origami, these cases have separate compartments that unfold to ensure that precious metals don’t entangle themselves, scratch or pull on one another as you jaunt along whatever road you may be traveling. The best part is, these compartments are removable. That means you can customize your case to suit your treasure-toting needs. PurseN has a wide array of jewelry cases and travel cases that make organizing your travel essentials easy, stylish and more than a little fun!
ON THE NINTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
So you bought a fancy looking pair of sunglasses. Whether you shelled a pretty penny at a designer store or bargained down to an actual penny at a street fair, you may have ended up with an equally fancy carrying case that’s more bulky than its worth. Nowadays, sunglasses are bigger and more audacious than in decades past, so naturally their cases have been designed to match. I can probably guarantee you that if the sunglasses case is hard covered, it probably takes up more than its fair share of real estate in your bag or briefcase.
Fortunately, I’ve got a fun solution to take back your tote and free up some space while still keeping those gorgeous sun-shielders protected. Meet the Flipcase™, an incredibly simple, smart design from Alison Wong at Integral Design based in San Francisco, California. The Flipcase™ goes from sturdy protective case to flattened space saver in seconds. It slides smoothly back in your bag or even in your back pocket. Manufactured using the same quality materials that protect your tablets and other digital devices, this little space-saver is beyond reliable. Flipcase™ is designed to fit 99% of sunglasses on the market, and the microfiber interior makes sure the lenses stay scratch free. It’s simple, fashionable and brilliant…and the kind of stocking stuffer that will barely take up any space!
ON THE EIGHTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
I love a kitchen crock. I think they’re useful. I think they are a great fix for those most used or too-long-for-the-drawers kitchen utensils. I think they’re also a wonderful solution if drawer space is limited. The challenge has always remained that before you know it, your slotted spoon has a wooden one shoved through it and the whisk is hugging the tongs. Well, CHEFS® Catalog has come to the rescue with their neat product on this year’s list. Finally a bit of organizational genius! Try as I might to create something like this on my own, nothing beats the real deal. The tall, durable quality stoneware Kitchen Tool Crock comes with a built-in, three-way stoneware divider so you can finally put some order back into your kitchen. Whether you separate by utensil type (wooden, silicone, metal) or utensil purpose (spoons, spatulas, miscellaneous), it’s a very neat-making and visually pleasing solution for any kitchen…and those utensils can finally start behaving themselves.
THE SEVENTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
If the man in your life has a habit of emptying his pockets all over your house – THIS is the gift for him. Mark & Graham come to the Neat List with their offering—not just a catchall, but a personalized swanky leather catchall. These laser-engraved, monogrammed home bases come in three different sizes, depending on what will ultimately find a home there. Leather walls on all sides ensure valuables stay protected and in the same spot.
DISCLAIMER: While this useful entryway or bedroom dresser ornament can be a good home for pocket necessities, it does come with two simple rules of play in order to make sure it doesn’t become a clutter magnet itself. Rule #1: If he wouldn’t carry it in his suit or pants pockets, it shouldn’t live in the catchall. Rule #2: If you decide to buy it, make sure you check in on it periodically to remove items that may have found their way there that don’t belong. (See Rule #1)
ON THE SIXTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
Well, we’re already at the halfway mark for the 12 Days of Neatness and I hope that you’re enjoying these incredibly neat products and gift ideas. For today, I couldn’t resist featuring a tool that sits at the very crossroads of neatness and usefulness. I was first introduced to the Hang & Level™ made by Under the Roof Decorating when I received it as a gift one holiday season myself. Since then, this nifty little tool is at my side whenever I need to hang any framed picture of any size. The Hang & Level takes out the frustration out of hanging pictures by assisting you with perfect placement of both the frame and the nail. At the same time, it also helps you achieve perfect alignment vertically and horizontally along your wall or against adjacent pictures. Working with the tool couldn’t be easier. Not only do they have web videos that show you exactly how to use it (you become an expert picture hanger in 2 minutes flat), but they have helpful tips on how to use the Hang & Level for multiple pictures or even creating an impressive photo gallery on your wall.
What’s even better about the Hang & Level is the customer support that Under the Roof Decorating provides for their clientele. They are extremely helpful and ready to assist if you should ever have a question or problem. I’ve used this tool countless times for my clients and several times in my own home. I can’t tell you enough how smart and convenient it is to use – and really how much time you save! They’re sold all over the place – check out their website to find out where you can pick one up this holiday season. They make a fun stocking stuffer and the perfect neat product to have around your home.
ON THE FIFTH DAY OF NEATNESS…
Who needs five gold rings when you can own the multitasking miracle that makes enjoying a nice glass of vino even more enjoyable?! For that special wine connoisseur or sommelier wannabe in your life (even if it’s you), the neat product for today is the incredibly smart, next generation Corkcicle®.ONE. Wine drinkers from Napa to Naples, and even Oprah herself fell in love with the Corkcicle® last year. But these innovative game-changers didn’t rest on their laurels, no sir. They instead came up with the ultimate hat trick! It is my great and intoxicating pleasure to introduce you to this little bit of “three-in-one” heaven. It’s actually a chiller, an aerator, and a pouring spout. Now you’ll have your wine at the optimal temperature, aerating automatically as it pours out of the perfectly clean spout. The Corkcicle.ONE makes wine serving classy, clean, and oh so deliciously easy.
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.