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!
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!
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!
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.
I am fairly certain that the last thing you are thinking about while you’re dreaming of escaping the oppressive city heat this week is keeping your beach bag organized, but here is a tip to prevent you from losing your Chapstick or your favorite necklace at the bottom of your bag this summer.
Since most beach bags are created as one large open tote, use an insert to help you make the most of your favorite bag. Products like Purse To Go, Purse Perfector and Cocoon Innovations’ Grid-It! are perfect solutions to help you keep all your items organized. Each of these products will allow you to give your summer necessities a home within your favorite bag or tote, as well as make everything easily accessible to prevent you from having to dump out the entire bag to find that refreshing pack of gum.
To keep smaller items like coins and jewelry organized, use small change purses or make-up bags to keep like items together and to keep things easily identifiable and accessible. Oh, and don’t forget to pack a small bag for all those beautiful seashells you’ll collect as you stroll along the beach this summer.
Despite having a glorious 90-degree day in March this year, we can now confidently say that the warmer, summer weather will soon be here to stay for the season.
While you begin to slowly transition your wardrobe from winter to summer, give some consideration to properly storing and protecting your winter wears by following the steps below.
Steps to Safely Storing Your Winter Wears
By following these simple steps, your cold-weather comforts will be clean, fresh and ready to go when the winter season hits.
P.S. – Moth Away has quickly become one of my closet staples. This all natural repellent not only protects your clothing, but it keeps it smelling fresh. The peppermint, rosemary, thyme and clove combination smells wonderful and provides a burst of calming scent every time I open my storage containers.
It is the height of the outdoor summer season, and whether you are spending your time at the beach, or in your backyard, chances are that you are outside BBQing and entertaining friends and family. However, just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you should have to resort to the typical white disposable tableware. Let the summer fun follow through to your tablescape with the Waverly Tableware collection by Hefty. These vibrant disposable plates carry the Hefty tradition of being super strong, while donning some of the Waverly prints that have become synonymous with American style.
You can find this fun and colorful collection of tableware at Walmart and your local grocery store.
The countdown is on…. we are less than one week away from the official start of the summer grilling season! If you have been dreaming of joining the summertime cult of men and women who are OCD about BBQ-ing, but you are short on space for a grill, check out Black + Blum’s Hot-Pot BBQ.
The Hot-Pot puts your BBQ and garden in one, helping you not only save space, but also save you from a horrible eyesore in your outdoor living area. Made from stainless steel and a heat insulated ceramic coating, the Hot-Pot allows you to maximize your outdoor square footage by growing your garden on top of your grill. It is the perfect solution for those of us living in areas with limited outdoor space.
While I know that most of us are just starting to pull out our holiday decor to decorate our home and tree(s), I want talk about packing it all away. Yes, that is right. I want you to think about the end of this wonderful holiday season and the dreaded task of de-decorating.
Now, I am not trying to rush to the end of the season due to a lack of love for it; after all, this is one of my favorite times of year. However, I want you to think about the end of the season so you can start prepping for it now in order to save time and make things flow more smoothly in the future.
While you are unpacking your ornaments and holiday decor this year, take note of the condition of your storage containers – What is broken? What needs to be replaced? What needs better moisture protection? What valuables could be better protected? Make a list and start shopping for these items and containers as you are doing your holiday shopping. Since you will already be out shopping or flipping through catalogs, it is the perfect time to gather the new ornament boxes, light boxes, wreath boxes, etc. that you will need to store your items safely at the end of the season. Starting to shop for the items now will save you time and prevent you from making special trips in the future, which will make the de-decorating process much easier and ensure there are no excuses not to have the proper materials to pack away your holiday decor in an organized manner. Plus, if you start gathering the storage items now, it will give you ample time to watch for sales on the items that you need and allow enough time for delivery on the items that you order online or through a catalog.
To help you get started, here are a couple of products that I love for holiday storage. I recommend trying to purchase any storage items in the appropriate holiday colors to make it even easier to quickly identify your holiday items within your storage area.
The Snap N’ Stack Ornament Storage Box helps keep your ornaments safe and easily accessible. The separate snap-on layers allow you to access each layer of ornaments independently so you don’t have to worry about taking all of the ornaments out from one layer before getting to the next (as many other storage containers do). These boxes also serve as great storage solutions for ribbon, bows, gift tags, and other small holiday items.
The Wing-Lid Light Storage Box allows you to not only keep your lights safe from breaking, but it more importantly keeps them tangle free! The container comes with four, plastic Light Cord Wraps that allow you to easily store your lights at the end of the season and quickly pull them out to begin decorating next season. These containers also serve as a great storage solution for holiday garland.
Twice a year, at the beginning and end of daylight savings, I take the time to do those certain household chores that we either don’t think about throughout the year, or we put off doing for various reasons. Today, after you have changed all your clocks and watches, take some time to do these chores to make sure your home is in tip-top shape for the next several months. If you don’t have time today, set a date for the next two weeks to have these items checked off your to-do list.
Photograph by Patrick Seeger/dpa/Corbis