Pretty Neat (Book Review and Giveaway)

Not too long ago I posted that I’ve finally thrown up my hands and accepted that I am doomed to live in chaos. It isn’t that I don’t strive to live in an orderly home, with a nicely categorized filing system, organized routines and a highly efficient family schedule. It just seems so far out of reach from my own reality. I was at a point in my life when even the chaos to which I had become accustomed  seemed to have increased exponentially. Suddenly, I came across the chance to review Pretty Neat: the buttoned-up way to get organized & let go of perfection. My initial thought was that this would be just one more rule book for organization: how to file; making chore charts; a place for everything…, etc. I was pleasantly surprised as I started reading.

The first thing you should know: this isn’t a rule book. There aren’t any nearly impossible-to-meet expectations, no glossy pictures of organizational perfection, and no time consuming “methods” that your expected to replicate. The authors, Alicia Rockmore and Sarah Welch, had me at the introduction where they describe “org porn” (defined as “that glossy, airbrushed fantasy world…sort of like Playboy, but with chore charts and name-plated cubbyholes”). Who hasn’t flipped through those magazines and dreamed of living in that kind of organized perfection? But, this book isn’t about achieving perfection. You are encouraged to reevaluate your ideals, decide what is really important to you instead of what you think others expect of you. And, here’s the kicker, that there is such thing as being “imperfectly organized”. The authors explore why we feel the need for hyper-organization and they interviewed real moms–very, very busy moms–to get a wide variety of organizational and time saving tips. It was such a relief to know that I really don’t have to strive for perfection, that it’s ok to have organizational faults and how I can improve on– or mask– those faults when I need to. This book isn’t just about organizing your home though. Its about looking at everything, your home, work, social obligations and way of thinking, in order to find a more realistic way of living.

Busy moms will also be glad to know that this book is very easy to read, you wont get bogged down in tips and boring text. You’ll be able to read it quickly and get on with your new, imperfectly organized life.

Want to win your own copy of Pretty Neat? (and be eligible for a $200 gift card and Buttoned Up products)

  • (mandatory) each person who comments with one funny area in which your life, or home, is out of control and you’ve learned to cover it up, rather than organize it will receive one entry
  • (bonus)For a tip on how you’ve cleverly delegated a task to someone else you’ll receive one entry
  • (bonus) For signing up for e-mail updates on my posts you’ll receive one entry
  • (bonus) For following DisgruntledMom on Twitter you’ll receive one entry

*Must be 18 or over and a US citizen to qualify for the drawing*   One commenter from Disgruntled Mom will receive a free copy of Pretty Neat. You will also be entered (with winners from other participating reviews) for the gift card and selection of Buttoned Up products.

Disclaimer: I received no monetary compensation for this post. I was given one copy of Pretty Neat for review and, for my participation in this campaign will be eligible for a drawing for a gift card and selection of Buttoned Up products. This review reflects my own opinion and was in no way influenced by others.


23 Replies to “Pretty Neat (Book Review and Giveaway)”

  1. Oh my, let me see. Just about every area of my life is out of control! But if I can only pick one, I’d have to say that my financial life is utter chaos. I manage to cover up my total lack of organization by …well, honestly, I probably don’t cover too well!

    p.s. found you through comment love weekend!

    1. disgruntledmom says: Reply

      I cant think of anything more frustrating than filing my financial information. Its ridiculous to me that Im expected to hold on to so much paperwork for so long!

  2. One area of my house I struggle to keep cleaned up is my daughter’s toys in the living room. Whenever someone’s coming over I quickly throw them in the coat closet, haha!

    1. disgruntledmom says: Reply

      Ugh! The toys. I’ve been known to kick them under the couch

  3. I’m following you on Twitter.

  4. I’m a new follower of your blog! I’d love for you to check out my new blog: 🙂

  5. I’ve learned to cover-up the chaos that is my brain pretty well… although the older I get, the more my friends and family get glimpses of my insanity. 😀

  6. My clever “delegating” of tasks tip involves my children. So they want a ride to the local amusement center to hang out with friends? Ok, clean up the car and I will be happy to take you! Etc, etc.

    1. disgruntledmom says: Reply

      I admire your ninja-like delegation skills!

  7. Following @DisgruntledMom on twitter as @ArtsyChaos.

  8. You make me laugh – I have kids in my house constantly for lessons – I cringe when the parents stay because that means that I have to clear off the couches and find the TV remote. I try to get the dishes done seconds before another kid gets off the bus. Laundry – My kids think the whole house is their hamper – Mail – if there is a table, it’s covered with it. The only “delegating” that I got was my son doing a good deed for God (new assignment for religion class) by “cleaning” the den before bed without being asked. TOo bad I can’t stay awake long enough to enjoy it…. Boy I sure have rambled – may have to make this a whole spot on my blog as well…..I’m with ya sister!

    1. disgruntledmom says: Reply

      I may be a terrible person (and I’m the first to admit it) but I would TOTALLY use that Good Deed for God idea to my advantage. Over and over and over.

  9. following from the Comment Weekend Love

  10. Great review. I am a perpetual organizer, which means I am terrible at maintaining organization! Unfortunately there’s no hiding my messes in a clever fashion…I let it all hang out!

  11. When I need to hide my messes, I move everything into my bedroom and close the door! I’ve also hidden dirty dishes in the dishwasher – dishes that normally don’t go in there!

  12. I’ve delegated emptying the clean dishwasher to my 3 oldest children. I love not having to do it myself!

  13. I didn’t realize this until we recently moved, but my favorite spot to hide clutter is under the bed. I found things I had forgotten we even owned!

    1. disgruntledmom says: Reply

      LOL. We recently moved as well, and 5 months later I’ve finally found my husbands missing underwear! (Was really having a hard time explaining that)

  14. From one utterly disorganized mom- here’s how we get ready for company in our home…it’s called “smoke and mirrors.”
    Also known as, everything shoved in drawers, closets and bags- larger items thrown in the garage!

    visiting from CLW blog hop!

  15. I’m your newest GFC follower! Hope you have a chance to check out my blog, have a look around and hopefully follow me back!!

  16. This sounds like the perfect book for me! I manage to make my little boy’s stuff seem somehow organized, when in reality I sort of just “sweep it under the rug”, figuratively speaking. It looks organized somehow, but its really just a big pile of stuff.
    I found your blog through comment love weekend, and I will definitely be following it from now on! And of course on twitter. I blog about being a work at home mom at I also write book reviews, though I’m getting back into that more slowly . . .

  17. disgruntledmom says: Reply

    And the winner is…..
    Wendy R. For her Ninja-like delegation skills in getting her kids to pitch in without realizing what just happened. (and because she’ll need reading material during this period of potty training

    Wendy, you can DM me on Twitter with your mailing info or e-mail it to at

    Congratulations, you will receive your own copy of Pretty Neat and be entered in the drawing for the gift certificate and organizational products.

    1. Awwwww! Thanks!! I need all the help I can get.

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