The One with a View

What is the most beautiful view you’ve ever seen?

For Team Kramer – Doug, Cheska, Kendra, Scarlett, and Gavin – one of the most beautiful views can be seen from their new home.

This part of their house allows them to relax with a “grand view” overlooking Metro Manila. The first time I stepped in their new home, I had to stand here for a long while for me to take all the beauty in.

When Kendra and Scarlett were about to start homeschooling two years ago, Cheska and I fixed their home school area that shares the same space as Doug’s office in their previous house.

Initially, Cheska’s plan was to have our organizing session when they move in to their new house; but the kids’ homeschooling made her decide to have the organizing session right away.

This was the initial moving in plan which supposedly will give us a good 3 weeks to finish. But it was moved to last week of June and we were only given 5 days to complete the unboxing and organizing.

Cheska assured me then that Neat Obsessions will be a part of their moving in. What I really love about Doug and Cheska is that they are true to their word. While their new house was still under construction, they share the progress and developments with me. I was part of their moving in timeline.

Finally, when our organizing schedule came, we wasted no time as we had four floors and five days to finish!

Photo from @dougkramer’s Instagram

Team Kramer’s new house is such a sight to behold. Believe me, it’s difficult to be in a position where you are completely in awe of the house and all the beautiful views that come with it, but at the same time you are reminded by the balikbayan boxes in the hallways that you have to move fast to get a lot of job done within a short time frame!

I can already hear you ask me how we were able to do it in five days.

To answer your question, the five-day organizing was a collaborative project. The effort did not only come from me and my team. Team Kramer’s household staff lent their hand, too. Even Cheska and Doug were with us, not just to assist, but to actually pull the things out of the boxes, move the things around, and organize some of their personal things themselves!

For those who are building a new house or moving out in the future, here are three things we learned from the Team Kramer Moving In Project:

Know your things really well. The new house didn’t need so much storage solutions because there were no storage problems to begin with! Doug and Cheska know their things so well that there was a space provision for everything they own.

Team Kramer’s Homeschool Classroom
Cheka’s Bag Collection

Cheska allotted more than enough space for her clothes, accessories, bags, and shoes. Doug had his storage space for his DVDs and collectible figure collection. Even Kendra and Scarlett had so much space for their clothes and bags. Their play area had enough space for the children’s toys.

Sort your things. Prior to moving out of their previous house, Doug and Chesca already sorted the things from their old house in balikbayan boxes, and labelled each box with the rooms (and corresponding floors) in their new house! I could not imagine having to deal with unsorted items and be given only five days to sort and organize everything. Their sorting really helped us be efficient in our work.

Involve your children in the process. Kendra, Scarlett, and Gavin had their special participation in the organizing process. Doug and Cheska made them choose which toys they still play with, and which toys they can already let go so that other kids may enjoy them instead. They asked the kids to identify which toys are always played with, because these are the toys put on places they can easily access.

I really admire how Doug and Cheska lead their kids in understanding how important home and family life is. Like many family journeys, they also transferred to a more spacious house as their family grew. In each house, they made beautiful memories.

This new home is the cherry on top of their bountiful blessings. It’s true that they have a home that offers a really good outdoor space and a view of the city, but the most beautiful view is not just what the eyes see.

Photo from @chekakramer’s IG

For Doug and Cheska, the foundation of their house is built with a view on what really matters:

“What makes a house a home is family.”

For me, no matter the size of your house, having this kind of view will make a world of difference in the way you live your life everyday.

Here’s a throwback video of our organizing journey in Team Kramer’s new house:

Mindful Living for a Modern Living

When we were younger, or during our early years in writing, we were taught to properly space our letters and our words so what we wrote can easily be read.

When we grew older, we learned the value of keeping a good amount of space between us and other people; this is one of the ways to show our respect.

When we started learning how to drive, we were taught to maintain distance between our vehicle and the one directly in front of us to avoid accidents.

In the process of becoming effective homemakers, we should understand how space is such an important element in our homemaking, that a careful study of our space will lead us to move and act more efficiently everyday.  

I receive a lot of inquiries regarding home organization in compact spaces. While it is a challenge to organize a huge space, we homemakers face a different kind of challenge when we only have limited space: how do we fit just about our whole lives in one box?

Living mindfully has been a topic of many books and blogs in the past couple of years. For me, to live mindfully is to be aware of what we have, to be conscious of what enters our homes, and to be responsible in being stewards of whatever we have so we maximize their use and purpose.

If you consider living in a compact space or if you are living in one, here are tips on how to live mindfully in the space you have:

  1. Know who you are.

It’s very important that you have an understanding of yourself, your personality, and your preferences; when you know who you are and what you need, you wouldn’t buy things you can’t afford just to make your place look nice, or things which won’t add value to you. Living in a small space will encourage you to buy appliances which are multifunctional, or those which can be mounted on ceilings or walls so that they will not eat much space.

Condo living taught me and my husband that before we buy things, even if we need them, we should also consider if there’s a space in our home for it; otherwise, it will either end up as an eyesore or as something hidden in the wrong places. When we moved in to a bigger home, we brought this philosophy with us which greatly helped us in both saving money and maintaining an organized home.

  • Assess your relationships with people.

If being economical is your goal and you don’t mind sharing your space with a roommate, then consider having one so you can split your bills and other responsibilities. On the other hand, if you wish to live on your own but you are the type who usually accommodates relatives or friends at home, then consider buying sofa beds or beds with pull outs. Doing so is like hitting two birds in one stone: you maximize your space, and you make your guests feel you thought of them while you were conceptualizing your home.

  • Build a good relationship with your home.

Whether your home is big or small, it’s never your goal to fill up every space there is. When there’s a space left in your home, allow it to be a room for breathing, or a room for more beautiful things to come. Don’t be pressured to buy things just to fill a bare space. Make your home a place for you, and for the people and the things you love – not of those which will just accumulate dust as time passes.

When you put so much thought and care into your home, you will feel how it will love you back – it will give you refuge and comfort at the end of a long and tiring day.

How do we build a good relationship with our compact space? Here are some organizing and cleaning tips:

  • Keep only three sets of linens and towels on rotation. You don’t really need a lot, most especially when you are living alone. It will also teach you to be mindful about attending to your laundry.
  • Avoid buying big, bulky things that you won’t be able to find space for in your home. Always ask, “do I have a space for this?” when purchasing an item.
  • When doing grocery, avoid buying in bulk. Your goal is to consume everything you buy, and not let them sit at the back of your cabinets for months to wait for their expiration dates. Buying what you only need in the next week or two will help you closely monitor your food.
  • Cleaning your space should be part of your daily routine. Go around your space everyday to clean, wipe, and sweep, so dust would not accumulate. When you go through every part of your home everyday for cleaning, it also becomes your time to check whether you already have something for repair or replacement.
  • While cleaning is a daily habit, deep cleaning should be put on schedule too – once every six months. Deep cleaning is shampooing and vacuuming your curtains, sofa, and mattress, so they do not become a breeding ground of bedbugs and dust mites.

As a homemaker who aims to live mindfully, we should have a deep understanding on who we really are and our relationships with people in relation to the space we have. Also, living mindfully is not a one-time big time event. Though it kicks off with a firm decision, just like any other processes, it takes daily commitment to be able to maintain a home reflective of a mindful person.

It is a common misconception that our homes will be more organized if only we had more space, or we had a bigger closet or bookshelf, or we had a bigger home. The space available to us right now is the best space for us to learn how to be organized and how to live mindfully every day.

Have a good rainy day Neatropolis!

Stay Neat Everyone!

Here’s a vlog about how to live mindfully in a compact space. #livebig

Kobe Farinas Nursery

A Neat Project with Karel Marquez

Coming up with a nursery is one if the most exciting parts in an expecting mom’s journey. In this #NeatProject, we helped Mommy Karel by repurposing and putting together their old furniture and existing storage to create a safe and functional space for Kobe that warmly whispers, “Welcome Home.”

Homemaking and Moneygment

It’s almost the end of June, Neatropolis!

Some of us have already welcomed a new school year, while others will have to wait a few more weeks. I’m sure moms are at the peak of their busy days again! Those whose kids are still on vacation until July or August, I’m sure you moms are either busy scheduling their vacation activities or already preparing for their coming school days! There are just no long vacations for us, right?

Hang tight, mommas! Like what I always say, it’s a good day today!

Managing the home and the budget that comes with it can get overwhelming. How can we be a more effective homemaker – one that has many responsibilities yet never forgets to attend to each of them on time and without delay?

Let me introduce you to an app that will help us to be both responsible and effective homemakers: The Moneygment App.

Imagine an app that can do all of these…

“Your finances in an app, your future in a tap”

Many of our errands require us to step out of the house. Moneygment gives us more free time by making it easy for us to pay our government premiums, utility bills, and taxes too, at the convenience of our homes! Imagine not having to drive or commute to different establishments to wait in line for an hour only to hand in your payment for a few minutes!

Aside from the convenience it offers, what I also like about the app is that it becomes a tool for us to be educated about our benefits as Filipinos. When one is employed, it’s easy to get updated with the benefits from the government premiums – SSS, PhilHealth, PAG-IBIG – because an HR or a benefits personnel can easily call a meeting to explain them to everybody. On the other hand, it’s a different case for a stay at home mom or a self-employed individual. Because they may not have a full grasp of the benefits they can get, attending to these government premiums takes the back seat or becomes a burden.

How about a little quiz?

  1. Do you know the benefits you get from your government premiums (SSS, PhilHealth, PAG-IBIG)?
  2. Do you know how to access these benefits should you need them?

Even if information is readily available to us through the internet, still, many of us are not aware of our benefits. Has someone ever told you that you can loan in your government premium? Do you know if your spouse has a loan? Moneygment makes it easier for you to answer these questions.

Sometimes, a wife gets content with the knowledge that she is enlisted as the beneficiary of her husband. Sadly, some people only come to realize the need to know their benefits when they get sick to the point of confinement in a hospital – definitely not the best time to learn about them.

Being a responsible homemaker does not only mean we look after the welfare of our immediate family. It also means that we extend our support to the people who help us on a daily basis, who make sure that we are able to work and provide income for the family – our drivers and kasambahays. While they look after our kids and they make sure our kids eat at the proper time, we must ensure that they get the support they need from us, through paying their government premiums so that they have something else to count on aside from their salary, should the need arise.

Through the Moneygment App, we homemakers can make sure everyone in the household is secured and protected.

with our Ate Robyl who have been with us for 8 amazing years!
I pay her government benefits through the app 🙂

My vision for Neat Obsessions is to spread my advocacy that homemaking is for everyone. My mission is to help others and to learn from them too on how to become an effective homemaker.

With these said, everything I learn everyday is something that I share in my social media accounts and in my blog, with the hopes that moms and their kids, husbands and wives, single parents, young professionals, and basically anyone who is reached by my platforms will realize how much convenience is offered by the world today, just so we can easily manage our homes.

I love how Moneygment is here more so now that aside from looking after my growing kids, I also need to manage a business. With Moneygment, it will be easier for me to attend to things I need to pay, give benefits to my employees, and maximize my time.

Have a a great weekend, Neatropolis!

Stay Neat Everyone!

NeaTip 005: Bed Linens and Towels

The linen closet is another are that is somewhat exciting for me. I mentioned in my previous posts that I really love my sleepwear and most of it is because I love sleeping 🙂 As such, bed linens and towels are another commonly neglected part of the house which I find exciting.

Part 3 of the series on folding. Showing you how I fold bed linens, particularly the challenging fitted sheets, blanket, pillow cases, and towels. Hoping you learn a thing or two from this video. Another good day today Neatropolis! Stay Neat everyone!

Neatip 007: Packing for Winter Part 2

I already showed in the previous vlog (Neatip 006) how I pack those bulky items that I usually bring when traveling to a cold destination. Here’s the full video of how I packed all the items in my luggage. #becomingakonmariconsultant

NeaTip 006: NeaTravel – Packing for a winter trip

Part of the series of #BecomingaKonmariConsultant is a NeaTip video to show you how to pack winter clothes. It’s the end of winter in New York, so it’s not as cold as a few weeks ago, but still packing some heavy and thick clothes, albeit some wardrobe with colors to show some spring vibe.

Thanks to Rain Dagala for helping me pick my attire for the entire trip! Hope you enjoy this episode and I’m so excited to shoot all my video updates for this coming trip and show you my experience in #BecomingaKonmariConsultant Stay Neat Everyone!!!

NeaTip 004: Pants and Undergarments Folding

Creating order in a an area that gets changed multiple times in a day is somewhat exhausting. But making sure we get to find our own system in our closets gives us the power to make this simple activity to change our lives for th better.

Part 2 of the series on clothes folding. In NeaTip 002 we talked about shirt folding. Part of this video are pants, socks and undergarments folding. Hope you learn from this video, Neatropolis!

NeaTip 003: Neat Travel – Packing for a Short Business Trip

Let me share with you something I have been doing for my husband since we started living together. Packing his travel luggage. This time for short trip. I wrote a blog about this before. Check out neatobsessions.com to read how I would always get excited every time any of us travels… mostly because I get challenged with finding out the most efficient and effective way of packing. Hopefully soon, I can do some packing for a family of 5! A break from a view of our living area, and now a part of our bedroom.

Thanks for watching, and I hope you subscribe to my channel. Stay Neat everyone! ps. excuse my tired look – shot this video very late in the evening… 🙂