Friday Featured Giveaway: “Pretty Neat” Review and Giveaway

Following this review of Pretty Neat there will be an opportunity to win more than $250 in cash and prizes.  Be sure to read to the bottom!

This is my dining room.  I have a gorgeous chandelier, beautiful window treatment, and tasteful wedding china – and the motherlode of clutter piled high on my dining room table. Clutter has always been my nemesis, and since moving to our otherwise perfectly lovely home five months ago, I’ve gotten it under control for the most part.  However, there are still a few things that I do not have a home for in our new house, including the daily influx of kid crafts that come home in tote bags and backpacks.  While I slowly buy the pieces of furniture that are right for our home, careful not to rush into purchases for the sake of getting it done, I’ve decided to use my dining room table as the holding area.

My dining room table is the biggest problem area in my home.

Pretty Neat Review and Giveaway

Two months ago I introduced Resourceful Mommy readers to Sarah Welch and Alicia Rockmore of Buttoned Up organizational products with the Get Buttoned Up Twitter Party.  Now I have had the opportunity to review their book, Pretty Neat: the buttoned-up way to get organized & let go of perfection. Rather than a handbook, I would call this work a hand hold.  There are certainly many easily consumable tips throughout the book from the occasional “Pretty Neat Tip” to the “Pretty Neat Wisdom” blocks to the “Pretty Neat Interviews.”  There are also “Pretty Neat Exercises” that ask you to take a critical look at your own organizational and time management pitfalls.

While all of these features of Pretty Neat are something I love – resourceful – what I have found of most value in reading this book is the hand-holding aspect I mentioned.  Whether you stay at home, work full time, or somewhere in between, all of us feel the pressures of managing our lives, our kids lives, and our homes. My husband is a fabulous partner in running our home, and he absolutely helps with many tasks from laundry to dishes and more.  But the fact remains that I feel as though I am the bottom line, and I often feel that I am not keeping up to the standards I hold for my family.

My laundry is clean, but not in the drawers.

My kids are enrolled in activities, but are they enough?

My living room is beautiful…but still has no furniture.

We’ve begun to eat more vegetables, but are not striving for five.

These voices can begin to wear us down over time, but Pretty Neat adds another more positive voice to the mix. From specific tips to how to say no to the simply giving us permission to say no more often, this book had me saying, “YES!” and “THANK YOU!” out loud while I was reading.  I found myself dog-earing the parts that I want to return to when I’m feeling down, with the entire section on Cluttertosis completely highlighted.  This is a book that I would recommend to anyone who is not necessarily looking for a step by step guide to get her life under control, but looking for a motivational kick-start to relax and become Pretty Neat.

Share your story and win!

One Resourceful Mommy reader will win their own copy of Pretty Neat by Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch and then automatically be entered to win an additional prize of a $200 same as cash gift card and Buttoned Up products (ARV $50) to jump start their own organizational journey! (chances of winning the secondary prize are 1 in 150 for the winner of the Resourceful Mommy giveaway).

To Enter to Win

In a comment below, please share the one area of your home that is the biggest organizational challenge to you.  That’s it!

This giveaway is open to residents of the U.S. and Canada age 18 years or older and ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, March 18th.

Giveaway Link-Up

Are you currently hosting a giveaway on your blog?  Please add the giveaway URL below to share that giveaway with Resourceful Mommy readers.  Be sure to check back often as the giveaways continue to roll in.

Product was provided for review and giveaway.  All opinions are my own.

Written by: Amy

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104 Comments

  • My childrens rooms, esp. my sons is my biggest organizational challenge. On top of what to do with all of their things, the challenge of them keeping it straight is a never ending battle.

  • Sadie

    My craft room/Laundry room is the place where all papers from school end up. Piles upon piles of them.

  • Melissa N

    Our dining room is our catch all place too! , Mail, coats, toys that need to be put in the attic… everything.

  • I would have to say my office or lack thereof.

  • Christina Z

    My biggest organizational challenge is my bedroom where my computer and bookcase are its a disaster area. I have kids school papers mine pens paper crayons just my room is catch all yikes.

  • addrienne mertens

    does the whole house count? plus garage? im staying with my parents and my father has pack ratted the whole house and garage. i wanna start with the kitchen..now we just had a roof leak yesterday with all the rain..over my bed no less! so thats first..oh my. i need a miracle or maybe a large dumpster? thanx!

  • Cheryl

    My kitchen is my disaster area. We enter the house through our garage and the first room is the kitchen. Thus, we put everything that needs to come into the house onto the counters. Clutter!! I hate moving everything to cook–meaning I hate moving everything down the counter farther to clear some space around the stove.

  • julie

    I have a huge problem with organizing and keeping it organized. I think the biggest problem in my house is our playroom. With a 2yr old and an 8yr old we have a huge gap in age and toys for all ages are everywhere! They don’t stay organized! Not only that, but the toys make their way into EVERY other room in the house and seem to stay there. I’m not good at organizing, my car is even a mess! My dining room table looks a lot like that pic most of the time! WIth mail, schoolwork, and magazines coming in every day, I need to stay on top of it. I sometimes have a hard time throwing things away I guess!

  • Our dining room table is the worst. We haven’t eaten a meal on it in months and months. I don’t have a desk space, so i use the dining room table and it is covered in boxes, mail, papers, my computer, books, etc. I hate it! I need a space all of my own!!

  • susanlanai

    Our biggest challenge area is the pantry. However to be honest, I’d say our whole house is a challenge and if we could do-over we would just magically have everything in its place!

  • Nancy

    My desk and coupons could use some organizational help!

  • afineday

    Living Room is the catch all…

  • Cindy

    My living room where I try to organize when watching tv.

  • Holly H.

    My storage area in my laundry room needs to be better organized–lots of miscellaneous stuff.

  • Naomi

    I would also say my kitchen table and my kitchen counters, it seems like they’re always a mess

  • Kate

    My living room table! It has my sewing machine, crafting supplies, magazines, books, mail, single baby socks … the list goes on! If it doesn’t have a place, it goes on the table! & with a baby girl occupying all of my time, I rarely have the chance to make a dent in the pile.

  • My biggest challenge is my kid’s room. So many toys and they’re everywhere! Sometimes I wish I could just get rid of everything and start all over again.

  • Judy

    My biggest org challenge is the hall coat closet.

  • Barbara

    I live in a condo with very little storage, and because of that, I don’t only have one area. In every room, I have a clutter spot for that room. When I buy furniture that has storage for that room, it gets put away. I have lived here for almost 10 years…still working on getting it organized!

  • The hardest area for me to keep organized is where do I put all the paper my kids come home from school with?

  • Becky Decker

    The kitchen desk needs help – all school notes, papers, crafts get piled on it. Then add bills, newspapers, etc. We often miss activities because the note was somewhere in that pile. The hours spent by all of us digging for that certain paper.

  • Marlo

    The organizational black hole is my spare room. It has shelves, and closet space, and a big ol’ pile of stuff on a table at the centre of it all.

  • Tiffany

    My kitchen is an organizational challenge.

  • laurie

    Living Room, things just seem to collect there!

  • Carol

    My biggest organizational challenge is my laundry and craft rooms.

  • nan

    for me it’s my basement
    nannypanpan at sbcglobal.net

  • erin

    The craft room/office is the biggest organizational challange. There is just too much stuff and not enough room for it all. And, of course, I cant bear to part with any of it! (who knows when I might make something out of this or that?!)

  • Kimberly B.

    The biggest area that is a challenge for me is the hall closet. Everything falls out when you open the door.

  • Cindy @bobisyellow

    my desk area is very messy, is in a common area and would like it to look better

  • Loretta Minogue

    My bedroom is in desperate need of organization.
    It has become a storage area for excerise equipment, old toys, and furniture that doesn’t have a place anywhere else in the house.

  • My kids bedroom! We go through once every season and get rid of (actually I store them for a couple of months in case the kids really miss something). Organizing is very difficult with children who love all their treasures (from rocks, shells, and anything else they feel is useful to them – just about everything!)

  • Kam A

    The crawlspace area!

  • jessica marinaccio

    My bedroom is the hardest area. It seems like a catchall for everything that doesnt have a place to go. Kids clothing , my clothing and my husbands – kids toys etc – everything makes its way to our bedroom

  • The biggest organizational challenge for me is my THREE CHILDREN!! They never/rarely put anything back where it belongs. LOL

    I guess my hall/art/school closet needs the most ‘help’ with organization at this time.

  • Jennifer Jones

    My hardest places to keep organized are my children’s rooms. I have three sons and I am constantly nagging them to pick something up in their room. About the time I get everything organized, they have a birthday or Christmas and everything gets a mess again. I can’t even seem to keep their closets organized. By the time I have one boy’s closet done, the next hits a growing spurt and I have to start all over. They definitely keep me going, but I love them more than anything!

  • Shirley Smith

    Wow, It is our dining room also. I think I have a hard time with this room most of all. I think it’s because we only use it when all the family is in one place at a time and on the holidays. Other wise we eat at the kitchen table.

  • Mitch

    I have a pile of my blog stuff next to this computer desk.
    I just throw the papers there till the pile grows, I will get to it soon, I am sure!
    Thanks,
    @gaynycdad

  • Charline

    one area of my home that is the biggest organizational challenge to me is my bedroom.
    @purplelaptop3

  • Elizabeth

    I would have to say that my laundry room needs some help. I would like to have space to have everything I really need in there.

  • julie Sharwtz

    The biggest organization challenge for me is the kitchen its much needed my family would be so pleased Tweeting @waterbluffy

  • Our biggest issue area is our living room. Thanks to no coat closet, the winters get very cluttered with coats, boots, and other items all over the small couch.

  • Jill H

    My spare room that we call the “computer room” because that’s where all the “extra” things that we have get “stored” let’s call it. Yeah, that sounds like a good word. LOL

  • My bedroom is, by far, the most cluttered room in the house. It gets attention only after every other room in the house. If I could get it organized, it would probably stay that way!

  • sindy

    The laundry room. not enough space! @urmariposa

  • Carole

    Nobody plays pool anymore in my house…and they couldn’t if they wanted to, because the whole top is covered in piles of papers.

  • Toys are my greatest organizational challenge.

  • my family room is my biggest organization problem!
    thanks
    bleatham*at*gmail.com
    @sleatham1

  • Carla

    The biggest challenge is my office area. It collects paper and junk! Thanks!

  • Ellen B

    The kitchen – all of it! We rent and the place is a mess. Some of the cabinets are unusable so i have to stack a lot in one place. My pots and pans are piled on top of one another. The pantry cabinet is just overflowing and food is piled on top of one another. I don’t even know what is in there unless I start taking things out. I have corningware and things like that that I can’t even take out of their boxes to use. They are piled in the corner.

  • Kelly D

    Organizing and finding places for my children’s toys and clothing is my biggest challenge

  • Kelly Ann T.

    My basement because we store so many of my husbands work items there, along with holiday decorations and recreational items.

  • Lizz

    My kitchen table is the same way! Full of papers and items I don’t want the 2yo to get into. The table is high enough out of her reach. So it’s perfect…and cluttered!!

  • Rebecca J

    My bedroom is a complete disaster area! If I have no where else to put something I throw it in the room, I have boxes of junk that “I’m gonna go through” and never do, clothes all over in baskets because I don’t have enough space to put everything away, yet I always wear the same things over and over again and you can’t even see the top of my dresser I have so much stuff piled on it. Every day I say I’m gonna start cleaning it up, but then I look around and get overwhelmed and shut the door!

  • Wendy

    My kitchen table is rarely clutter free, it’s the catch all. Also, bedroom closets are a mess, but when the doors are closed you don’t see it! My basement also needs help, it’s a finished basement but I treat it more like a storage unit.

  • Jen B

    I would have to say our kitchen, it’s the busiest place in the house and for some reason everything ends up in there, even the dog’s bed (which grosses me out). Currently the table is covered in the remnants of a cupcake decorating day and the contents of my 16 y/o’s purse. It seems like I can never keep the table or kitchen counters cleaned off

  • I need to get my basement in order.

  • I really don’t struggle with organization at all. Everything has it’s place and my children always obediently put there things where they are supposed to go!
    IN MY DREAMS!!! I find that I get one area the way that I want it to be and then something happens and the house returns to the chaos. Currently the kitchen is my place of struggle- it is where my daughter does her homework, because surprisingly enough, I have to make dinner while she is working, so my counters get overrun by kids STUFF.
    Ah, but you got me started! 🙂

  • My son’s room! I thought I’d planned it out just fine (with a little shelf thingy of organizing bins, 2 toy chests & a closet full of bins), but for some reason, everything still spills all over the floor. Maybe it’s more of a behavioral issue? Who knows, but it’s driving me nuts.

  • Denise

    My home office is the worst. Seems to be where everything ends up!

  • I could really use organization for my room. I have things everywhere, especially books!

  • Claudia M @cdmtx65

    My biggest organizational challenge is my laundry room — what a mess 🙁

  • We have a double living room and use the back portion as a well, hold all. It has a desk and bookcases, a hutch, etc. But it is a serious paper and coupon dumping ground!

  • Diane

    My biggest challenge is my bedroom. I have no closets and too many clothes. My room is pretty much the catch all room– from clothes to shoes to papers to my kids things. I should just make it in to a closet itself…it’s that bad.

    Thanx for this opportunity.

  • Amber D.

    My problem area is our bedroom. I have no problem filling up buckets from the rest of the house clutter and dumping them into my room!

  • Eileen

    My kitchen, especially the counter space is a nightmare. After having 6 kids, we have had a non stop incoming of mail, papers from school, medical reports (not in the greatest shape here), and husband’s work and farm financial reports. When we have company at all, we box all the papers up and it goes into the basement or worse yet, our bedroom. Sometime it takes months til we get back to them.
    Couple this with not nearly enough cupboard room and no pantry in our house.Uggh! I wake up every day grumpy because THIS is what I get to see when I hit the kitchen. I’d love to build a mail center in one area, only about 6 inches deep with mail pockets, key area, organize papers, have stamps and mailers at hand and a better calendar. As of now, we still dont have our typical fridge calendar for 2011…and we are nearing 3 mos. in. This is by far the most unorganized year of our lives and think job worries tend to stress and clutter the brain and spills over to your lives. At least for us…

  • Erica Best

    My problem area is my bedroom i just do not know what to keep and not to keep it so hard .

  • Diana

    My biggest organizational challenge is that we have too much stuff and not enough storage space! It’s a never ending battle! Ack!

  • Giant Sis

    My bedroom closet is the biggest challenge. I know the dust bunnies must be gathering their own things and dragging them in there – how else could I explain how it gets so cluttered so quickly?

  • I have SUCH problems keeping my kitchen organized. It’s always a mess.

  • To pick my biggest organizational challenge is a challenge on its’ own! Between my tween-aged daughter’s room, and my office, I really don’t know which is worse. There just seems to be a never ending influx of paper! Do you really need to keep it all!? Everything is important to my daughter and so OF COURSE we can’t dispose of it (much to my chagrin); in my office, much of the same scenario plays out. I’m running out of space & I’m running out of sanity!

  • My bed room since we have no real closet space!

  • One of the many areas of organizational challenge in my home is my bedroom. It’s so tiny and we have so much stuff packed into it. We need to find a way to live with fewer things and clothes.

  • milo johnston

    Organizing the closets is the worst! I find myself throwing things in the closets when I’m cleaning!

  • Melissa

    My biggest challenge right now is a combo – the guest room/office and the kitchen. We lost a room when we made a nursery for baby #2 and combined the guest room and office, but I don’t have a desk yet so it’s not really an office yet. In the meantime, all the computer, papers, etc are in the kitchen on a counter space not used for food prep and because it’s more handy to have it downstairs than upstairs.

  • I always have a tangled mess of cords from my TV to my computer to my surround sound; not to mention my overwhelming collection of Blu-ray movies. Help! 🙂

  • Donna B.

    Mine is the kitchen – I have too much stuff and limited cabinet space. Between the gadgets (like the rotisserie and the chocolate fountain) and all the pantry items, I can’t get it organized!

  • Jessika

    The area in my house that needs organization is my living room. The room serves multiple functions as a toy room, living room, and office. It has been taken over by all my kids toys and baby equipment. It is a challenge to relax on the sofa when you are sitting beside dollies and trucks or stepping on a walker or bouncer. When going to use to the computer you have to search for the printer under a stack of toys. I need organization help!!

  • My dinning room is the same way. I hate it because it was given to me after my mom passed away. It was hers..along with her beautiful rose pattern china. This area seems to be the catch-all room for things I want to put in a eventual garage sale or store up in the attic. Bad thing is I never get to moving anything out and it’s the first room visitors see. Between 2 jobs and five kids, keeping up with everyday tasks is challenging enough. Anyone have a magic wand I can borrow?..LOL

  • The room that is the biggest challenge for me is the kitchen. Our kitchen is the center of our house, so it is always bustling with activity. Because of that, it is also a major place where stuff lands in the chaos of life.

  • Ivan H.

    Biggest challenge is organizing our closets and storage space.

  • katklaw777

    My garage…the car hasn’t been in there for 2 years!!!

  • It is my kitchen, I work full time and then have a very large family, I feed every child or adult that comes to my house. I am the neighborhood mom. I will never send a child home hungry. Al the kids love to come to my home, they feel loved. They get to eat with a real family. Families do not eat at thedinner table any more. My home is the closest thing to true family that these kids get. My children were always told to protect the special kids, which they readily do, and of course they bring them home as well. Everyone is loved at my home. So my kitchen is always a major challenge. Thanks and have a great day.

  • Our living room always looks like a Lego tornado hit, our desk has a ton of paper clutter that either hasn’t been put away or been dealt with. And most of all, my craft room is a mess because I don’t have adequate storage for my fabrics and other materials – I’m constantly rearranging stuff in there trying to get it right and it’s never quite there. I think I ‘organize’ more than I actually enjoy making stuff.

  • We moved into this house last May and the closet had NOTHING in it to help organize it. We’ve been delaying tricking it out because of other projects, but really… it is a disaster. I’m not motivated to keep it organized because there is none!

  • BethRD

    The kitchen island and the breakfast nook area area the catchall site and i try and try to deal with the stuff that ends up there.. but i am to blame for most of it! This would be awesome to get it in control!

  • Lynn (lynnsc08)

    The biggest organizational challenge at our house is a small built in desk area in our kitchen. It’s the “catch all” for the whole house. It feels like I’m always trying to clean the desk off but also constantly catch myself sticking stuff there to “deal with it later”. Lack of shelving in closets is another huge setback in our current house.

  • Jo Ann Simko

    Every room in my house, it has gotten out of hand, and I have gotten so that there is no organization anywhere in the house!

  • Kristi S

    My kitchen is the hardest for me to keep organized. Just when I get a cupboard under control someone helps me by putting everything else away. Someday I’ll have everything organized ;).

    eksummit (at) hotmail.com

  • the Office area – barely room to sit down to balance the checkbook today 🙁

    I used to be an absolute perfectionist when it came to organizing – 18 years later – not so much….

  • My hot spot? My own home office! Whenever the house needs a “straightening” guess whose room receives the bulk of the “junk?” Mom’s Office. I have a small spot on my desk to work on my computer and pay bills. I aspire to purge the junk and get down to the business!

  • katklaw777

    My garage is the hardest place for me to keep organized…everything seems to end up there in an unmarked box. The car hasn’t been parked in there for over a year!

  • Susan E.

    My biggest organizational challenge is definitely my office. It tends to be the catch-all room for everything else!

    rogsdock[at]gmail[dot]com

  • nicole copeland

    My kitchen cabinets

    nicole22654 at yahoo.com

  • Cindy C @cin_20

    My Kitchen, I feel like everything is in the wrong place to be organized!

  • Diana Bradford Hatch

    My kitchen is the biggest challenge! Not enough cupboard space for everything I want to keep and store in there!

  • Kristen

    My kitchen desk.

  • Cheryl

    I follow you via RSS.
    My dining room is where everything gets dropped off. Its the I will deal with it later place.
    lighthouse136@gmail.com

  • Christina Anne D.

    my biggest problematic area is the kitchen…it’s the catchall for everything…especially paper piles, junk mail, and dirty dishes:) annejk112233(at)yahoo(dot)com

  • Mari

    Our home office poses the biggest challenge. My dh and I have different organizational styles, and limited space for our files.

  • Margaret F

    Like so many people, the desk in my kitchen has a bit of everything on it. We always start there if we’re looking for something.

  • Little Miss Sunshine

    My biggest problem area is the couch next to our front door.. it always has mail, newspapers, and all sorts of things lying around.

  • JoeyfromSC

    My biggest problem is saving too many papers and mail lol-So I’d say the area would be the kitchen area where everything tends to land on the counter in a huge pile lol

    Thank you for the chance to win!!

    ajoebloe(at)gmail(dot)com

  • JoeyfromSC

    OOPS I see it already ended lol

    sorry!

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