Excuse us, 90 degree weather, as our attention has moved onto cozy knit sweaters. Summer, we love you, but fall dressing steals our hearts. To get ready for the new season—and as part of Racked Chicago's official Organize Your Life Day—we chatted with Ashley Murphy and Molly Graves, the founders of NEAT Method, a service that'll organize everything from your closet to your kitchen pantry. They're based in Chicago and San Francisco, respectively. With the beginning of fall just around the corner, heed their tips to get your closet on track.—Moira Lawler
Chicago is lucky enough to be one of the cities that NEAT serves. What ties the company to Chicago?
Since our launch in 2011 in San Francisco, I [Ashley] have moved back to Chicago, and Molly is still out West. We like to think that both San Francisco and Chicago are our hub cities. Chicago will even be the host of our first NEAT conference in November. We try to not play favorites when it comes to cities, but can you tell we are Chicago girls at heart?
Absolutely. Are there any closet challenges specific to Chicago women?
Chicago women have a true appreciation for style but have to battle two very diverse wardrobes due to Chicago's polarizing climates. City living typically goes hand in hand with a lack of storage space. We help solve that problem by finding solutions that are easy to maintain and aesthetically pleasing at the same time.
Speaking of aesthetically pleasing, we've struggled with how to find an organized way to display shoes. Do you have any favorite methods?
Shoes can always be tricky. It's important to first make sure that every pair of shoes you own, you actually wear. We recommend individual plastic shoe bins for dressy shoes. They are easy to stack, either on a shelf in your closet or along the floor. For everyday shoes like flip flops and sneakers, we like lining them up (toes pointed in) in open canvas bins or beautiful baskets.
Images courtesy NEAT Method
What about bags?
Sometimes we have to get creative! Smaller clutches can be organized in letter sorters, while bigger bags can be displayed along a shelf, or on hooks along your closet wall.
How should we store our warm-weather items?
We prefer to keep in season items front and center of a closet! As fabulous as your summer frocks are, they will do no good during the cold, Chicago winter months. Move those items to the back of the closet or put those items in storage bins to bring back out next summer.
As you know, sweaters are key for surviving the cold weather here. What's your preferred way to display them?
Sweaters can be tough because they come in all shapes and sizes. The hardest part is no matter how pretty you stack them on a shelf, they still look messy. Hanging them on even the best hangers is asking for shoulder marks. We think that sweaters and drawers should be best friends. If they are "filed" instead of folded, you can maximize space and keep them behind closed doors. Oh...and you can easily see all of them so you aren't a repeat offender all winter long.
· Eight Stores That Will Help You Organize Your Life [Racked Chicago]
· Neato Speedo! Pro Organizers for Rent Land in Chitown [Racked Chicago]
· NEAT Method [Official Site]