Pretty Neat Book Review and Giveaway

I love reading books about organization but often end up feeling worse about my organizational skills when I’m done reading them than I did when I started.  Pretty Neat: The Buttoned-Up Way To Get Organized and Let Go Of Perfection by the creators of Buttoned Up is not that kind of book. Within the first 10 pages of Pretty Neat I was given the go ahead to create “good enough” goals. I loved that the authors also shared that I should not apologize to anyone for the shortcuts that I take and the chores that might not get done. This was so freeing. I no longer feel like a failure that every room in my house doesn’t look like it came from the pages of a magazine.

I read this book cover to cover in just a few days and recommend keeping a paper and pen handy for jotting down ideas from the book you’d like to implement and their page numbers in case you’d like to go back and read it over. I liked the real life “tips” from moms on how they keep organized and where they take short cuts. I thought I would share some of my organizing short cuts, too.

*Pictures- I had a box full of professional pictures from Jake and Luke’s first years of life. I had planned on putting them into scrapbooks but as my boys are close to turning two and three I recently realized I just needed to get them organized. I used clear plastic sheets to put the pictures  into a binder by month. Now if I never get around to scrapbooking the pictures at least I have done something with them and they are in some sort of chronological order.

*Papers to be filed- Filing papers is probably one of my least favorite activities. Since most of what I file is “just in case” papers (ie. warranties, bank statements, tax papers)  I stick the papers I know I won’t need in the next month in a big bin and then I spend an afternoon filing papers every 6 months or so. My desk stays clutter free and my time-sensitive papers (which I keep in a basket) don’t get lost amongst the other ones.

*Mail- I wait to check the mail until a time of the day that I know I will have a minute to go through it. I look at everything right then and there and don’t save anything to look at “later” (because, for me, later never comes). Junk and ads go directly into the trash. Bills get removed from their envelopes and put into my household binder with the rest of the bills. Anything that needs attention is written as a “to-do” on my daily list and put into a pocket of my household binder. I don’t leave anything on the counter because I’ve learned it piles up fast!


One reader will receive a copy of the book, Pretty Neat.


(Do any or all of the following)

1) Share an organizing tip in the comments below.

2) Share an area of your life that needs to be organized.

3) Tweet: “Enter to win Pretty Neat (an organizing book) from @aliciamarie112 at”

4) Update your Facebook status to tell your friends about the giveaway (include the url to this post)

5) Subscribe to Making Time For Mommy by email so you don’t miss another awesome giveaway

Giveaway ends on March 21, 2011.

(Disclosure: I received a copy of this book to  review. All opinions are my own.)


  1. When I am going through things, if I haven’t used or worn it in a year, it either gets donated, goes to the garage sale pile or gets thrown away.
    [email protected]

  2. bins bins and more bins is my tip! And stick on labels don’t always work with children and over time they come off, I’ve found white out to be excellent! Easy to write on and change if you need to!

  3. Our laundry….um storage room needs organizing! we moved from a 3 bedroom house to a 2 bedroom apartment and things are sooo unorganized!

  4. I’m subscribed via email

  5. one organizational tip I have is “lists”…this keeps me organized!!


  6. tweeted


  7. email subscriber

  8. My Christmas Closet is in dire need of a re-organization.

  9. mrsshukra says

    I need to organize all the receipts!

  10. I need to organize my kitchen cupboards- they are a mess!

  11. Tweeted about your giveaway.

    Shared on Facebook.

  12. I need to organize my office and all of the paperwork! captainliss40(at)gmail(dot)com

  13. I place my keys in a porcelain tray by the door so I always know where they are!
    Thanks for a chance to win this fabulous giveaway!
    Best wishes,

  14. Isn’t it always paperwork & paper clutter!
    Thanks for a chance to win this fabulous giveaway!
    Best wishes,

  15. Shannon Alexander says

    I need to learn to organize everything!
    shannonsweep at gmail dot com

  16. Clean as you work, especially in the kitchen. While cooking, toss dishes in soapy water, or straight into the dishwasher. It really helps with the after dinner cleanup!
    [email protected]

  17. My front room needs help :( The coffee table seems to be the dumping ground for everything.

  18. tweeted @HomeMaidSimple
    [email protected]

  19. Niecey Docherty says

    An organizing tip : Use baskets on shelves to keep small items in, instead of piling them directly on the shelves.

  20. Niecey Docherty says

    My basement desperately needs organized

  21. Niecey Docherty says
  22. My tip is find cute containers for everything!

  23. My craft room needs to be organized.

  24. I am a subscriber via email

  25. I go through the mail as soon as I get it. The junk gets recycled, the bills placed on my desk for payment, the coupons cut & put in my ‘crappy’ organizer. This works in keeping the paper clutter to a minimum. Thanks for hosting!

  26. My sewing room needs organization. Too much fabric and sewing stuff all over the place, plus photos that I haven’t scrapbooked yet…

  27. I follow your blog via emails too.