Michigan-based home organizing company the NEAT Method offers a simple solution to clear your clutter.
By Mary Meldrum
The NEAT Method is a national home organization company gaining popularity. Consultants help people organize closets, basements and offices, and will even help you organize a move to a new home.
The NEAT Method was founded in California in 2009 by Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves. The franchise launched in Michigan in June 2014 by owner Lauren Combs. A lifestyle service focused on customized living, NEAT Method brings a keen eye for detail and a refined style. The company recognizes that life gets busy and organizing your home can become overwhelming. So, consultants design a stress-free solution that is efficient and sustainable.
“Most of our clientele is in Oakland County, but we have traveled outside of that area to Petoskey, Walloon, Harbor Springs and Traverse City,” Combs says. “It is predominantly the business in Oakland County that keeps our team of five people very busy, so that is what we focus on.”
The NEAT Method has partnered with California Closets, designers, real estate brokers and builders, so clients can take their first steps into a tidy, systematized new space.
Ron St. Amant, sales manager at Changing Places Moving in Waterford Township, has worked with Combs for a dozen moves.
“She comes in and helps them organize what’s going, what’s not going, helps with decisions on what the movers should do and helps them get their new home set up,” he says. “She makes my job easier.”
The NEAT Method doesn’t post pricing information — all work is customized and by the hour — but says a majority of clients are people moving into new homes.
“Moving is very stressful and to remove some of that stress for the client is very impactful,” Combs says. “We can help unpack and make the home functional and organized.”
Carrie Way of Orchard Lake needed help cleaning her family room that became cluttered with stuff from her kids.
“The NEAT Method not only gave me the nudge I needed to purge unnecessary stuff that was lying around, but the final results looked really cool and have made it so easy to keep the room neat,” Way says. “It was absolutely worth it to bring in a consultant that did all the leg work and got the job done in one full day.”
While Combs says every client and situation is unique, she offers a few tips for people who want to get organized.
Tips for Organizing
For any space in your home that needs to be organized — playroom, office, closets — Combs suggests first taking everything out and exposing the space. Then lay everything out and categorize each item that goes in the space. Categories can be storage space for holiday decor, cleaning products or office supplies. Also make a category for items that will leave the home. These may include broken parts, orphaned pieces of technology or never used and redundant items. Create a throw-away pile and a donation pile.
Donating to the right cause will make purging that much easier, and you will feel better knowing it will get used by someone who needs it.
Everything you keep can then be subcategorized and placed in its permanent home, whether it is a drawer, hanger, closet or shelf, Combs says. Once you can see the size of every subcategory, you can plan which products you need to organize, such as bins, hangers, shelves and baskets.
Purchasing labels, drawers and shelves is one of the last steps. You are creating a permanent home for essential items, so labeling is a good final step to keep things organized.
Tips for Closets
One strategy that NEAT Method consultants apply to closets is using matching hangers.
“We like velvet ones with the bar across the bottom. They come in many colors. We like black for adults. Whether you prefer wood or velvet, use the same kind to create a uniform look and help your eye to see the clothes in an organized way,” Combs says. “When you put slim hangers in, you will likely create more space for your clothes.” NEAT then categorizes and color codes the closet. Separate all tops, pants and dresses, and then color code each category.
“We use ROYGBV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, violet) as color coding. Some people go light to dark, which works well. This is a simple way to always know where each item of clothing is located and save time,” Combs says. “Everyone is tight on time, and this is an easy way to save minutes every day when you are getting dressed.”
Those minutes add up over years. Putting your clothes away and staying inside the organizational boundaries will maximize your time savings.