Sunday, October 30, 2011

If You Have Skeletons In Your Closet, Teach Them to Dance

If you have skeletons in your closet, you better teach them to dance! Huh, you say? Keep reading…

Halloween officially kicks off the holiday season marathon which means, for most of us, heaps of holiday decorations. You probably have a collection of decorations for Halloween, a collection for Thanksgiving and an extra-large collection for Christmas or Hanukkah.

Which leads us to ask (if we may be so bold!)......
What did you find when you went to pull out the skeletons from your closet to hang on the front door for Halloween? Did you find an organized storage system protecting your decorations from damage and making them easy to set up? Or, did you find a jumbled heap of holiday items, perhaps mixed together, making decorating your house an even bigger job?

If you answered a jumbled heap, you are not alone. When the holidays are over, it is hard to muster up the ambition to tackle organizing everything. So, here is your call to action! Right now, before we delve too far into the holiday season, is the perfect time do something about organizing your holiday decorations. Having an organized system and a designated space to store your holiday decorations will make putting them up and taking them down easier, faster and more enjoyable.

Teach those skeletons in your closet to dance, meaning take back control of the chaos! Start out your holiday season by giving your first gift to yourself.

If your looking for somewhere to start, check out this article from the DIY Network, Tips on Organizing Holiday Decorations.

And, if you find out don’t have a great closet system to store your newly organized decorations, check out the Closets For Life website and sign up for a free in-home consultation. Closets For Life can also be reached by phone at 952-484-0416 or email at

Happy Halloween everyone!

Monday, October 24, 2011

And The Award Goes To.....

A little known fact....Closets For Life is a member of NAPO Minnesota.

What is NAPO? Well, want to find an experienced and helpful professional to help you create organization amongst your clutter? Check out the members of NAPO Minnesota, the National Association of Professional Organizers. This association is a coalition of professional organizers committed to creating calm, promoting productivity, and bringing balance into the lives of their corporate and residential clients.

Closets For Life is a Corporate Associate Member of the organization. Corporate Associate Members are companies that offer products or services that are complementary to those of professional organizers. This partnership results in a relationship where both parties are educated and up-to-date on what can best help their customers become and stay organized.

Rick Lyrek, owner of Closets For Life, was recently recognized at a NAPO meeting with the Member Support Award. The award is given to a member of NAPO who actively participates and contributes to the organization in a positive and informative manner. That's Rick on the far right in the photo above with other award winners.

Check out the NAPO Minnesota site to learn more about NAPO or find a professional organizer. Then, when your ready to implement your new organizational goals, check out the Closets For Life website and sign up for a free in-home consultation. Closets For Life can also be reached by phone at 952-484-0416 or email at

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Being Green is Easy

Kermit the Frog, from The Muppet Show, sings a song titled, 'It's Not Easy Being Green'. He couldn't be more wrong, at least when it comes to our homes! Many homeowners today want their lives and homes to reflect their commitment to lessening their impact on the planet. All the advances made in recent years means there are many ways to be green homeowners, from rain barrels to eco-friendly paints to, well, even your closets!

Closets For Life - Green Advantage Certified
Choosing Closets For Life for a closet, garage or wine cellar project means choosing a company that values environmentally sound practices. Rick Lyrek, owner of Closets For Life, is Green Advantage Certified. Green Advantage is an environmental certification for building-related practitioners - primarily contractors, subcontractors and trades people. Certified individuals have successfully passed the Green Advantage® Certification Exam demonstrating knowledge of current green building principles, materials, and techniques.

Environmentally Responsible Materials
Closets For Life uses Interscape, Inc. to manufacture all of its cabinets and shelving. Interscape, a company with an environmental mission, uses composite panels made from 100% recycled and / or recovered fibers (no whole log fibers), low VOC stains and finishes and 3M Green Guard certified adhesives along with water based adhesives. Check out their website,, to find out more about Interscapes and their efforts to be better stewards of the earth's resources.

In addition, Closets For Life offers Roseburg SkyBlend for their projects. Roseburg SkyBlend is a specified green particleboard panel that is manufactured by Roseburg. It is SCS and EP certified to be 100% pre-consumer recycled wood fiber particle board and has no Urea Formaldehyde added during the manufacturing process.

Recycling Project Waste Materials
Also in partnership with Interscape, Closets For Life is lessening its impact on the environment by recycling 99% of the waste it produces. All wood, paper and cardboard waste from the manufacturing and installation of Closets For Life projects is shredded to be used for animal bedding and then composted for local nurseries. Together with Interscapes, we are saving 1820 cubic yards of waste per year.

Perhaps Kermit was Wrong About Being Green - We Still Love Him.
Feel cheated that you didn't learn more about Kermit the Frog? If that's the case, here are some fun facts about Kermit the Frog. Amaze people at your next event with all you know about being an environmentally friendly homeowner and Kermit the Frog!
  • The Muppet Show was a spin-off show. Kermit the Frog originally appeared as a character on WRC-TV's Sam and Friends, a 5 minute puppet show. He was also one of the original puppets in Sesame Street before becoming a lead character in The Muppet Show.
  • Kermit is an author. In 2006, Kermit the Frog was credited as the author of Before You Leap: A Frog's Eye View of Life's Greatest Lessons, which is an "autobiography" told from the perspective of the character himself.
  • Kermit's fame earned him a place in postal history. On Kermit's 50th birthday, the United States Postal Service released a set of new stamps with photos of Kermit and some of his fellow Muppets on them.
  • Kermit has a college degree. Southhampton College awarded Kermit an honorary doctorate in "Amphibious Letters" in 1996. He also gave a commencement speech.
  • Even amphibians can achieve fame. Kermit has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

For Your Next Project, Be Green.
For more information on how Closets For Life can help you with your goals of a greener home and a better organized life, check out the Closets For Life website and contact us for a free in-home consultation. Closets For Life can also be reached by phone at 952-484-0416 or email at

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Afficionado

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

How to Create Usable Space in your Closet

Some realtors refer to the master bedroom closet as prime real estate. Why? Think about it - we ask our closets to hold and do a lot!

It's a room that is a vital part of our daily routine. We use our closets at least two times a day if not more. So, why then do so few of us ever branch out past the standard single bar with a shelf above? This is an area that has potential with a capital P! Your closet has the capacity to give you so much more in the way of storage and ease of access...its just waiting for you to take the first step!

There are so many options that can be used together in countless designs to gain more usable closet space. We can't go over them all but here is a sneak peek.

Dual closet rods
More than half of the clothes in an average closet are shirts which take up only a third of the vertical space in a closet. Think of all of that unused vertical real estate! Adding a second closet rod in your closet is a great way to maximize your closet space.

Shoe racks
Built vertically or stacked horizontally, shoe racks protect your shoes and keep them organized and easy to find.

Shelving with pull out drawers
Are your sweaters currently in a hard to reach jumbled pile on your top shelf. Adding vertical shelving with drawers or bins that pull out keeps sweaters and other hard to hang items in perfect condition and within easy reach.

Jewelry trays and built in vanities
Always fighting for bathroom space with family members? A walk-in closet is a great space to add a vanity. Create your own private oasis where you can get ready without interruptions.

Cabinet Island:
If you have the space, adding a cabinet island in your walk-in closet will have a huge impact. Use the island for folding clothes, additional clothes storage or tuck away a laundry basket in the cabinet for a cleaner closet look.

Dual closet bars and built in vanities are just some of the many storage options you have to unlock your closets' potential when you have Closets For Life design a custom closet for your reach-in or walk-in closet. With a free consultation we can help you identify your needs and design a custom closet that will turn your fixer-upper closet into prime real estate.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions to all of your organizational needs. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business.

Contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation for your new closet,
Ph: 952-484-0416, Email:
Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado

Monday, October 3, 2011

Famous Shoes

One Shoe Can Change Your Life....
Who said this? Why Cinderella of course! We recently installed a beautiful custom walk-in closet system for a client. When we returned to photograph the closet, the home owners had hung a sign with this quote in the closet. What a perfect quote for a dressing room closet and how true that sometimes something small, like a shoe, can be the catalyst for big changes!

That got us to thinking...... what other famous shoes are out there?

3000 Pairs of Shoes .....
Former Philippine First Lady Imelda Marcos is the wife of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos who ruled from 1965-86. When Ferdinand and his wife, Imelda, fled the country in exile, countrymen found Imelda's collection of shoes in the presidential palace. The collection of shoes was estimated at 3,000 pairs. If Imelda Marcos changed her shoes three times a day, and never wore the same pair twice, it would take her more than two years and a half years to work through her shoe supply.

Click Your Heels Three Times....
You probably know that Dorothy, played by Judy Garland in the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, wore ruby red slippers that she clicked three times to get home from the land of Oz. These slippers are one of the most famous and treasured film memorabilia in film history. They are so famous that one of the five known pairs can now be found at the National Museum of American History in Washington D.C..

What you may not know is that in L. Frank Baum's original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Dorothy wore silver shoes. The movie's creators changed them to ruby to take advantage of the new Technicolor film process(Dwight Blocker Bowers, January2010, "The Ruby Slippers: Inventing an American Icon"). I wonder those shoes would have had the same iconic impact if they had been silver!

You Never Know....
So, if your shoes are currently sitting in jumbled heap in your closet, think about what kind of closet organization you can add to take better care of them. After all, you never know which pair might change your life!

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado