NEAT Method began after founders Ashley Murphy, Molly Graves, and Marissa Hagmeyer discovered their mutual love for designing clutter-free, organized spaces. The process begins with an in-home consultation to understand and assess each client’s needs. Once they have created an individualized plan, the team organizes and categorizes, which includes measuring the space for efficiency and accuracy. Lastly, they purchase and implement organizational solutions to support the functionality and aesthetic of the system they created. Once the organization begins, clients can expect NEAT to completely transform the space—resulting in a sustainable system that can be easily maintained.
NEAT organizes nearly all areas of the home. From closets to kids’ playrooms to home office spaces—no room is out of the question. They find their clients typically have a hard time staying organized but also don’t want to spend a ton of time cleaning out their closets or getting their pantry in order. Many clients are also often facing life transitions—such as relocating, getting married, having a child, or working from home. No matter the situation, NEAT wants to help create functional spaces for everyone. Midwest Home spoke with Lauren Alsup, owner of NEAT Method Minnesota, to learn a little more about the specific rooms the company can organize.
Although the kitchen and pantry are two separate spaces, they go together. Alsup explains this is because they are so interchangeable. When it comes to approaching the kitchen, NEAT completely focuses on the appliances and the needs of the client’s family. For example, Alsup says when you’re looking at a stove, you want to have all your potholders, pots, pans, stirring utensils, and anything else within arm’s reach of that appliance—this is the same for everything else in the kitchen as well.
The pantry, on the other hand, is more lifestyle-based. If a client has children, it makes sense to place snacks at a lower, more accessible level. Or if a client is looking for the best functionality, NEAT will ask questions based on their daily lifestyle. The products that a client uses every day are in areas of “prime real estate,” which are areas you can easily rather than the top shelf or close to the ground. For instance, if someone makes smoothies on the regular, they would want to have their blender in a handy, accessible spot.
Alsup explains that the first step to getting more organized in the kitchen is to figure out your most problematic area. Look at the space, decide which things you truly need, and remove the things you don’t.
Alsup goes on to say that closets can be more of a mental game for many clients because they don’t even know where to begin—they’re overwhelmed and “they’re just trying to find a pair of pants.” The first step in closet organization is to take everything out, categorize, and figure out what you will truly wear. “You need to be ruthless with your editing, be honest with yourself, and take out anything that you won’t be wearing within the next few months,” Alsup says.
NEAT looks at how closets vary seasonally as well—especially in Minnesota where there are four distinct seasons and clients wear very different clothes, shoes, and accessories in summer and winter, for example. When everything is placed back into the closet, it will be logical for that time of year and the client’s lifestyle.
When it comes to products in closet spaces, NEAT prefers to use soft bins (to prevent snags), good velvet hangers that don’t take up a lot of space or deform clothing, and other helpful tools that make a clean closet practical.
Bathrooms are centered on what a client does every single day. Think about basic things; some people have contacts, and some people have prescription medications. Products are placed logically based on usage, whether that is daily, weekly, or monthly. A typical bathroom has drawers all the way down to the floor, so the top drawer should be used for daily products, and the following bottom drawers are for products used less often.
One tip Alsup shares is that people need to be honest with the products they have before going out and buying more. Many of us have a million samples of perfumes, serums, and oils, but when it comes down to it, Alsup says, “Clients are typically only using 5 to 10 products every day.” Another component of an organized bathroom is being mindful about what we use and separating products instead of squeezing everything into one drawer.
Products for the bathroom should always be wipeable and easy to wash. NEAT loves to use acrylic drawer organizers that come in a variety of shapes and sizes and divisible bins that can then contain a specific category of products.
Everyone knows areas in their home that need a little love—whether it’s the junk drawer in your kitchen comprised of miscellaneous items that you’re scared to empty or the corner of your closet with a pile of clothes you haven’t touched in a year. But the reality is, we’re all human, and even Alsup admits to having a junk drawer in her house. Although many of the tips and tricks Alsup shares seem like common sense, she explains how many people simply struggle to get started—this is where NEAT comes in. Book an in-person or virtual consultation with NEAT today to start your journey.