ABS-CBN Lifestyle

Cheat Sheet: Neat Obsessions’ Issa Reyes Organizing Tips That’ll Help ‘Spark Joy’

by Camille Santiago

Wouldn’t it be nice to never have to look at a messy worktable, a pile of clothes, or stacks of paper ever again? Think it’s way paradisiacal? It can definitely happen—it’s just a matter of where and how to begin, says professional organizer Issa Reyes aka the woman behind the blog Neat Obsesions.

In case you haven’t heard about Neat Obsessions from celebrity “clients” like Chesca Kramer, Rica Peralejo, Mikaela Lagdameo, and Neri Miranda, to name a few, it’s Issa’s passion project since March 2018. “I really just wanted to share my passion for organizing and making things around me orderly and beautiful through a blog and an Instagram account,” Issa tells ABS-CBN Lifestyle. It was when people started to ask her if she was offering organizing services that she thought this could blossom into a business.

But like any businesses, it wasn’t an easy process putting up Neat Obsessions. “I had to assess and reassess myself if I am really eligible to pursue this as a business, especially because the profession is only known in the US and Canada. I needed to ask several people, do a lot of research, and ask myself again and again if this is something I can really do,” she says.

Eventually, everything fell into place—with her husband’s encouragement, she got her IAPO (International Certifications for Professional Organizer) certificate from New Jersey. She then worked on being a certified KonMari Consultant in Training, now working on her NAPO (National Association of Productivity and Organizing Professionals) certifications. “I always believe that when you are willing to go the extra mile to learn more, that’s when you can say that you are passionate about what you are doing,” she declares.

With the recent Marie Kondo hype, people have been inspired to “KonMari” their spaces, too—decluttering here, piling boxes there, folding clothes here, stacking items there. Some think it’s a daunting task to stay neat, but as Issa reiterates below, anyone can start anytime and anywhere!

Link to Full Article

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.”

Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio’s Home Classroom and Library

A Neat Project with Rica Peralejo Bonifacio

Helped out a super momma during her nesting period. What a fun #neatproject it was. Really happy that we were part of this special time in Rica’s life as she prepares her home for both for Philip and Manu. Special thanks to Landers Superstore for all the organizing materials that we used in this project and to Ninjamadeph for helping us clean the area.

This is one of my favorite Neat Projects knowing that we get to improve Rica’s space and utilize the previous storage to something more useful for her children. The reaction of Rica says it all. Hope you like this one as much as I do.

Here’s Rica’s video of our awesome Neat Project together. Thanks for watching Neatropolis!

Closet Clean Up! | Paano Ba ‘To with Konmari Specialists

by Bianca Gonzalez Intal

Watch Issa Reyes as she guests in Bianca’s show Paano Ba ‘To featuring other Konmari Specialists

#NeatRecommends : The Dyson V11 Absolute

I am a fan of Dyson for years already. Since getting hold of one dyson v8 vacuum cleaner to this day of my super exciting grand unboxing of v11. I can never get enough of using this baby. I partnered with Dyson to bring this exciting new model to you and hopefully I get to share some good thoughts if this suits your needs.

Here’s my review of the new Dyson V11 Absolute. I was never a believer of dry vacuum until I saw what this machine can do and how it can actually help us in our daily routine at home. Definitely #neatapproved

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!

Rica Peralejo Bonifacio’s Closet Makeover

A Neat Project with Rica Peralejo

It’s always a great feeling helping out a nesting momma. I can totally relate on having mixed emotions. Grateful also the for the trust the Rica gave me and my team to help her prepare become a mommy of two. Watch our quick #neatproject session in her walk in closet. Biggest congratulations again to the Bonifacio family as they welcome Manu in their lives…

The heartfelt and inspiring video of Rica gave me a lot of moral boost. This gives meaning to what I do. Whoever the mom is, I always find joy in helping out moms who have different struggles in motherhood. But I know for a fact that even without me, every mother pulls through and makes a way for their children. Nevertheless, every little help that a mom gets is a blessing that every mom appreciates. A mom for moms…

Mind the Gap

Have you ever felt you are not good enough, or you fall short on what you expect yourself to be?

There are days when we feel like we’ve accomplished a day’s worth of tasks in an hour, then there are days when our “to do” list seems to drag longer as the day passes. On those days we feel like we’d rather hide in the comfort of our bedrooms rather than face the tasks outside our doors, it’s easy to feel trapped and imprisoned by fears:

Fear of not being enough.

Fear of failing.

Fear of not measuring up.

Fear of not knowing what to do next.

Fear of the unknown.

Fear of what others are expecting of us.

Fear of not meeting our own expectations.

Fear is a valid feeling. Our worth as a person does not diminish the moment we begin to fear something. Sometimes, this fear comes from being overwhelmed with everything happening at the same time. With all the tasks required of us everyday whether as a parent, a student, a co-worker, a sibling, or a child, any kind of fear that creeps in is understandable. 

However, when we don’t do something about it, fear cripples us. It stops us from doing and being our best. What happens then is that a hole or a gap opens in our heart. Because our fear gives birth to many other negative feelings, we tend to magnify the unfinished, rather than the accomplished. The gap widens. In effect, even the little things which are easy to do turn out to be burdensome.

On those times I feel I am falling short as a business owner, a daughter, a wife, and most especially as a mother, my husband fills the gap. Most of the time, even when I am not explicitly asking for his help, he already knows I need it. I don’t exactly know he does it, but I will definitely not tell you he has superpowers.

For example, when work requires me to be out of the house longer than usual, my husband will try to go home earlier to attend to the kids. He also goes out of his way from his busy schedule to write and give me letters to validate the efforts I try to do for him and the kids. These letters come unexpectedly, but at a time I need to hear his words the most.

In those moments, the gaps in my heart begin to close.

When fear tries to emphasize the gap in our hearts, our minds begin to slow down. This is why it becomes difficult to think of the next step. Sometimes, thinking of the next step can be exhausting. So rather than pushing ourselves to the limits, it’s best that we divert our attention to something or someone that can help fill the gap.

We may call or see a friend whose positive vibe is contagious. We may read, exercise, play sports, travel, pause and pray, just so our mind will be taken off from the sinking feeling for a while. Once we identify who or what that comfort is, then we will be able to get back up slowly. Again, there are no superpowers or magic required for us to be able to return to our productive selves.   

What we actually do when we identify who or what fills the gap in our difficult days is we train our minds to look for what is good, rather than focus on what is not good. Celebrate the accomplishments, rather than dwell on the weight of the pending tasks. Find reasons to smile again, to hang on, to move forward.

Some situations are given to us so we get reminded of our limitations. When we get sick, for example, much as we want to work, our body reminds us that we can only do so much at once, so we need to rest. This is why for us to be productive, we also have to be humble to admit that we need people to help us. Nobody succeeds by doing everything alone.  

With this said, if we know we are the one who fills the gap for someone else, let’s not get tired. We are placed in that person’s life for a reason, and if that reason is to make him or her feel a little better on a heavy day, then I think it’s just proper that we do it with all our hearts; after all, we know the feeling of not being enough and of being down and blue, right?

To the one who helps me fill the gap, my husband, (belated) Happy Father’s Day!

To the fathers here in Neatropolis, (belated) Happy Father’s Day too!

To the rest of you my dear Neatropolis, just like what we always hear and read, no one or nothing is going to bring you down unless you give them your permission. Let’s learn to appreciate what we have, and witness how bad days turn around.

Enjoy the rest of the week! Stay Neat, everyone!

The One with the Label Maker

What is your fondest childhood memory?

I’m sure some of you would recall playing on the streets with your neighbors after (escaping) the dreaded siesta, watching a cartoon in one of the local channels, riding the bicycle, playing patintero and piko, or collecting and exchanging teks or pogs. We all have that memory that makes us smile or laugh, and on stressful days, we look back and think of how amazing our childhood has been… we learned a lot through bruising our knees and losing some games, right?

As parents, we try to recreate that feeling of childhood fun and play with our children. As much as we want them to do well in school, we also want to develop in them a sense of balance by allowing them to be just kids. “The days are long but the years are short,” so they say. Before we know it, our kids are already teenagers, (something I am so not ready for yet!) so we want to give them the experience of playing only children their age can enjoy.   

Many parents nowadays give their children their own space in the house, a space where they can be just kids: to explore, learn, and discover on their own while having a lot of fun. Allow me to share with you one of the biggest playrooms we ever did as a #NeatProject, and the things I was reminded of while we were in it.

Before #NeatProject

This huge room is a feast to the eyes of children and adults alike. For a child, this room gives a feeling of overjoy, very similar to that of a feeling created by a toy store: the child would want to play with everything at once, but would want to scrutinize the toys one at a time, too. For an adult, this room triggers precious memories, back to those good old days when #adulting is not a thing yet.

With two girls sharing this playroom with their only brother, one would notice the collection of dolls and the number of dollhouses and play kitchen dominating the space. The boy on the other hand had legos and toy cars, and both had their musical instruments and art materials.

While we were planning for the new layout of the playroom, something caught our attention…

Look closely at the bins seated on top of the shelf on the left side of this photo. They are already labelled.

Those labelled bins are for the American Girl Dolls. Each of the accessories that came with the dolls had a separate bin – comb, clothes, shoes, tights, socks, bloomers! While sorting, we somehow felt like we were organizing a real-life closet.

On a side note, we also organized the kitchen (the real one!) after we worked on 1 ½ days in the playroom. Before we even worked on anything in the kitchen, everything was already neatly labelled in there too! Upon seeing the kitchen, I realized that since labelling is the system that works for the parents, this is the same system they want to instill in their children. No wonder there were labelled bins for the American Girls Dolls, and there were colorful bins for the other toys in the playroom.

Here’s my take on placing labels in the kids’ rooms, especially in the playroom:

When we place labels in our kids’ rooms, we don’t want to make stiff and rigid robots out of them. We don’t impose perfection and a hundred percent squeaky clean room through labels, and make them reasons to punish our children one day for not following rules and instructions.

Instead, we develop in them a sense of responsibility, so that they grow up knowing where to put things back where they found them, and ultimately, to not take things which are not theirs or without permission, in the case of toys being labelled with names of their siblings.

In addition, we also subtly teach them the value of taking care of what is given to them. By putting things back where they should be, the kids are trained to read, to be aware, and to take care of everything they are entrusted with, because in reality, they will not be given toys every single day of their lives… when they grow up, they will not be able to buy everything they want from the store. It is important that at a young age, they understand how taking care of what they have is much more valuable than wanting to have more.

Because of this, we can also teach our children to share.

With all these taken into consideration, we now transform a play area into a learning area: it’s not just a place where kids can be just kids, but a place where kids can be responsible kids.

Things take toll on us parents. At times, we get crazy with the idea of a messy playroom or living room. While it can be overwhelming, we can introduce small steps that our children can manage so that while we put our attention to more important things such as ironing their uniform and polishing their shoes for the next school day, someone else in the house would take care of putting the dolls’ clothes and shoes back where they should be. More beautifully, when our house help is doing something else for our kids, we can count on our kids to do this small task for themselves.

This post is not just for parents whose houses have huge playrooms. It doesn’t really matter how huge your playroom is. In truth, it doesn’t really matter whether you have a playroom or none. What is important is that we parents provide an area, a space, or an environment where our children do not just express their creativity and skills. It is important that the space we give them brings out their responsibility towards their own space and the things in it without making them feel that they are punished.

When we start them young, cleaning up and organizing, as well as being trustworthy and responsible, will not be foreign ideas to them as they grow up.

After #NeatProject

In time, they will tell about stories of how their childhood taught them to be nice and kind to themselves and to others too, because they learned these through taking care of what toys they have, no matter how little they are…

Stay Neat Everyone!