Expert Advice: Couples Home Organization

   Getting married is the merging of two lives—and everything in them, including furniture, clothes and cupboards full of kitchen gadgets. How do you organize and combine your belongings—and decide whose plates you’ll be eating off of and whose spatula is getting tossed

Enter the NEAT Method. Founded by two very organized (and, they admit, slightly OCD-like) friends in San Francisco, the company develops personalized home-organization solutions, teaches clients how to live clutter free and even offers moving and relocation assistance (aka: They’ll help unpack all those boxes.). A great service for couples moving in together, the NEAT Method has expanded to nine cities nationwide and also offers gift certificates for services—meaning you just might want this on your registry.

The luxury residential organizer in the company’s Miami office, Marissa Hagmeyer (above right) explain the principles behind the NEAT Method and offers tips for newlyweds to ensure their belongings will live as harmoniously as the owners.


Why should newlyweds invest in something like NEAT Method
Moving in together and combining items can be overwhelming. Sorting between dozens of boxes and memories is oftentimes easier said than done.

It’s true that typically two is better than one, but that’s not always the case when it comes to your belongings. It is especially important to take inventory when merging lives and eliminating multiples of things, like can openers, measuring cups and toasters. This is just one easy way to relieve clutter instantly. But of course, deciding what to keep, what to toss and whose [items to keep and toss] can be a difficult and stressful process. NEAT Method can help make those decisions for you, thus making the moving-in-together process that much easier.
Getting started on the right foot brings a positive sense of “new beginnings” to any relationship. And investing in NEAT Method is just one simple way to ensure your marriage starts off in the right direction. NEAT focuses on creating spaces for the both of you, to ensure all your belongings can cohabitate together and in perfect harmony.

Can clutter really affect a marriage
Clutter can bring stress and anxiety into the home, which we all can agree is not necessarily good for a marriage. Now, we by no means hold a masters degree in psychology, but we do like to think that we help save marriages (actually, we have been told so, but those stories are for another day). When you live in a clutter-free space, you tend to be less stressed.

What would you say is the main area newlyweds should focus on organizing
Any space that is shared. But since that might seem a little overwhelming, it is probably best to start with the bedroom. There is nothing less romantic than a cluttered bedroom!


What are a few unique organization ideas most people don’t think of

When moving into a new place, most people’s immediate reaction is take your clothes right out of the box and put them away. However, the NEAT girls recommend you do all the organizing outside of the closet/drawers so that you don’t end up choosing a home for, let’s say, your workout clothes and then realize they won’t all actually fit in the drawer you selected. Trust us—it will save you time in the long run!
Most people don’t think to label their baskets, bins and containers. However, it is especially important when you begin cohabitating. Just because you know exactly what is in the basket on the top shelf in your closet doesn’t mean that your significant other will—unless you label it. You will save yourself a lot of answering the question, “Where is the _____”


NEAT Method not only organizes, but it teaches clients to stay organized. Can you share a few of those tips
Implement a filing system from the start. Paper piles fast and can oftentimes be the cause of many arguments: “You were supposed to pay the bill.” “No, you were supposed to pay the bill—you get the idea. Designate an “inbox” for the both of you to review time-sensitive paperwork together. Make it a small inbox so that you are forced to go through it on a more regular basis. We would also recommend that one of you take on the task as the “bill payer and filer.”

The company is expanding at a rapid pace. Why do you think NEAT Method has really caught on
It’s a fact—Americans are working more than ever, leading to oftentimes a dwindling homelife. Convenience and efficiency is the name of the game. NEAT brings order to homes in a fraction of the time clients would spend tackling such a project on their own. And that service … clients consider priceless.


Does home organization change according to life’s milestones, or would you say methods are sustainable over time For example, is organization in a newlywed home different from a newborn home
We embrace our clients’ needs and believe that all life changes call for a new look at the way things are organized in the home. While not all of life milestones mean a total overhaul, they do require tweaking. New baby on the way Suddenly, the wine glass collection takes a backseat to bottles.

What is an organizer’s secret weapon
You aren’t an organizer without a label maker. After all, an organized space is only truly great if you know what’s inside the bins and baskets.

What is the one area of the home people usually neglect to organize
The garage is a very high-traffic area for most homeowners. Over time, it slowly turns into a catch-all and/or storage unit. From office files to sports equipment to cleaning supplies, sometimes we find just about everything in there, but the car itself!

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