Thursday, December 13, 2012

Tip to Make Christmas Decorating Easy

I love Christmas decorations.

What I don't love is the moment when I open up all my holiday boxes (did they breed and have babies in storage, how did I end up with this many!?) and realize I don't remember how I displayed it all last year.

You would think that I would remember from year to year what decorations went where but I don't, and this makes decorating just a bit more difficult and my mood a bit less jolly.

It turns out that a friend of mine has the perfect solution!  She has quite an extensive Christmas decoration collection.  To make setting up her decorations easier, she takes a photo of each area of her home after she decorates and stores the photo with the decorations when she puts them away for the year.  She takes a new photo of an area if she makes changes, otherwise she just uses the same photo year after year.  Genius, I say!

So if your holiday decorations are up, take a moment to go around and take photos of each decorated area and print the photos.  When you are ready to put your decorations away, store the photos with the items that are pictured.  Next year, you will be all set when Christmas rolls around.
 
~~~
Need somewhere to store your Christmas decorations?  Contact Closets For Life,  a custom organization company based in Apple Valley, Minnesota, for custom shelving to keep your Christmas treasures safe.  Contact us by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation.
 

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado

 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Organize Your Pantry in Time for Thanksgiving


For all but the brave, Thanksgiving dinner can be a daunting endeavour.  The Thanksgiving meal is, after all, the main event of our Thanksgiving holiday.  Steeped in tradition, the Thanksgiving meal is also incredibly stubborn to change.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie and more are all prepared the way our grandma always made it and, of course, it all needs to time out just perfectly.  No wonder we stress!

While we can't come to your home to help you cook your Thanksgiving feast, we can help.  The first step toward success with any job is preparation/organization.  So, today we will help you start this Thanksgiving with a solid foundation...an orderly kitchen pantry. 

That's right folks.  Follow these 4 steps to organize your kitchen pantry and we won't guarantee your turkey will turn out perfect but at least you'll be prepared for any culinary curve balls Thanksgiving throws your way!

Step 1:   Empty your pantry
The first step in any organization task is to clear out the space to be organized. Take every last item out of our pantry and place the items out in an open area. 

Step 2:  Sort and examine
Now that everything is out in the open, it is time to sort your pantry items into logical groups.   Organize items according to function; for example, group baking products all together and breakfast items all together.  Ultimately, the groupings are up to you, but your goal is to sort your pantry items in a way that works for cooking.  Group ingredients that are usually used together whenever possible.

While sorting, also look for expired items or items that haven't been used in a long time.  Consider: how long has it been since you used that item? Herbs, for example, loose a great deal of flavor after 6 months even in a dark, cool space. To test them, open the jar and sniff: if there's no smell, there's no taste to them.

Step 3: Clean and analyze your pantry space
After your items are sorted, it is time to turn your attention back to your pantry space.  Wipe down all surfaces in your pantry with a damp cloth.  Then, analyze your pantry space.  Do you have enough shelving?  In most standard cabinets, the shelves are spaced too far apart for efficient pantry storage.  Think about what can you change or add to better utilize the space within your pantry.  Depending on your needs and current configuration, the solution may be as simple as purchasing risers or bins for your shelves or you might want to consider something more involved such as a custom shelving system or pull out shelves for your pantry.

Step 4: Restock your Pantry
Now it is time to put items back in your pantry.  As you put items back, think about how often you use your items. The most frequently used items should be at eye level and in an easy to access location. High shelves can contain those items that are rarely used.  Items that kids are always snacking on should be located within easy reach.  Keep the groupings that you made back in step 2 together and determine where they should go based on how often they are used.

If you liked our blog and found it helpful, please share it with friends on Facebook or leave us a comment.

Also, if you are interesting in seeing how Closets For Life can help you transform your kitchen pantry, contact us by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation. We will come out to your home to discuss your needs, assess your existing food storage space and then design a custom  organization makeover tailored just for your kitchen and your needs.

Closets For Life, a custom organization company based in Apple Valley, Minnesota, works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including kitchens, closets, offices, garages, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado



Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sample 3D Closet Drawings

Dreaming is half the fun of a home project.  But more than just fun, dreaming about what features you want and searching for inspiration is an important step in your home improvement process.  One way to envision your project is to look at 3D layouts.  It's a great way to learn about your options and how they fit within a space. 

To get you started, here are some sample 3D CAD drawings of organization projects we have designed at Closets For Life including a few closets, a garage and a media center.

And, if all this inspiration has you ready to start you next organization project, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.



Master Bedroom Custom Closet
Master Bedroom Custom Closet


Master Bedroom Custom Closet



Master Bedroom Custom Closet

Garage Organization System



Media Center

Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business based in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Closets Doors - Something to Consider

Planning to remodel or building a new home? Now is a great time to think about your closet doors. Yes, we said closet doors. Often overlooked, a smart closet door choice can be icing on the cake, something that increases the functionality of your closet or an intriguing design element that enhances a room. 

One of our favorite choices is installing pocket doors.  Built to slide into the adjacent wall, pocket doors can open up smaller closets where space is at a premium and improve accessibility to clothes.

For example, in most smaller walk-in closets there is a door separating the bedroom and closet that, when opened, swings into the closet. That open closet door covers half of a wall of clothes and takes up physical space in an already restricted area. Installing a pocket door that slides into the wall will provide better visual and physical access to your clothing and free up to 10 square feet of space previously occupied by the swinging door.

Another favorite choice of ours is externally mounted sliding doors that are suspended from overhead tracks.  Choosing a visually interesting door that pulls in design elements from the room transforms your closet from ho-hum boring to an eye-catching focal point. 

Intrigued? Contact Closets For Life today for a free in-home consultation on how you can incorporate smart door choices into a new closet organization design in your home. Contact us by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@
closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado

Sunday, September 9, 2012

How To Help Your Child Be An Organized Student

The start of the school year is the perfect time to help your child develop skills that will lead to a successful school year.  One of the most beneficial skills a child can learn is organization.  Not only will learning how to be organized help your child do better in school this year, it is a life long skill that will benefit them in adulthood.

So, what can you do to help your child learn to be organized?  One of the biggest things you can do as a parent is to help them set up an environment and routines that encourage organization.

Creating Routines That Work
Most children thrive in a structured environment.  Routines provide predictability and stability that help a child feel safe and in control of their environment.  Creating and following a before school and after school routine will empower your child to take responsibility for their school life and make the transition to and home from school much smoother.

A routine will have a much better chance of succeeding if you solicit your child's input and preferences so involve your child in decision making process of a establishing a routine. 

Ideas to consider for a before school routine include putting out clothes, making lunch and packing their backpack the night before and deciding in what order they get ready in the morning.  Having a routine will make everything run smoother, discourage last minute morning chaos over what to wear and help your student to remember homework. 

The same goes for the after school routine.  Ideas to consider including emptying their backpack each day when they get home and putting important notes and homework in a designated spot.  Encourage them to do their homework at the same time each night and place it in their backpack when done so it doesn't get forgotten.

After coming up with the routines, help your child stick to the new schedule for the first couple of weeks until it becomes routine. 

Creating Environments That Foster Organization
Having organized areas to do homework and store school items are another way to encourage your child to be organized.

Mudroom Organization
For example, when you child walks in the door, make sure the mudroom or area where they take off their jacket and backpack is set up to help them easily follow their routine.  Ideas to consider include installing child-height hooks, cubbies or open lockers to store jackets, backpacks, shoes, hats and gloves.  Nearby, install wall mounted file folders and label one folder for parent communication, one folder for homework and one folder for artwork.  This will make it easy for your child to empty their backpack and will mean no missed permission forms for you and no forgotten homework assignments for your child.

Kitchen Office Space
Your child should also have a designated area to do their homework.  Depending on your child and your family, this can be a small office area right off the kitchen or in a quieter location of your home.  Set up the desk area with all the supplies they will need to complete homework assignments and color coded folders to hold homework assignments not yet started, in process and completed.

Off To a Great Start
Establishing routines and creating areas to foster organization will help your child have a successful school year and more importantly, help them develop organizational skills that will continue to benefit them for years to come.  Good luck and have a great school year!

~ ~ ~
Do you have a mudroom designed to make your child's after school routine a success or a designated homework space designed to encourage organization?  If not, contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation.  We will meet with you at your home to assess your space, brainstorm design ideas to best meets your needs and create free custom 3D design of your project for you to review before ordering and installing your project.
Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including mudrooms, closets, office spaces, garages, laundry rooms, pantries, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 
Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Enjoy The End of Summer - Closet For Life Style

Sure, we could be writing right now about some great project idea meant to inspire and motivate you into starting your next organization project. We could, but we're not going to because......

We are down to the last few weeks before Labor Day weekend people! The official end of summer.  We say go out and enjoy it! 

Have some friends over for a barbecue and relax.  We'll even provide you with some closet humour to amuse your guests with.  Who doesn't love a good closet joke?  You'll be the hit of the party (well, maybe) and when your done relaxing you'll be refreshed and ready to tackle your next organization project.

Joke #1:
Chuck Norris doesn't check his closet for the bogeyman. The bogeyman checks his closet for Chuck Norris.
Joke #2:
What do you call a skeleton in a closet?
The winner of last year's game of hide and seek.
Joke #3:
Any closet is a walk-in closet if you try hard enough.

Joke #4:
A man and woman had been married for more than 60 years. They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. They had kept no secrets from each other except that the little old woman had a shoebox in the top of her closet that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about. For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the little old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted dolls and a stack of money totaling $25,000.

He asked her about the contents. "When we were to be married," she said, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doll."

The little old man was so moved; he had to fight back tears. Only two precious dolls were in the box. She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving.

He almost burst with happiness. "Honey," he said, "that explains the doll, but what about all of this money? Where did it come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the dolls."
~ ~ ~
When you ready to tackle your next organization project, contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation. 
Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, laundry rooms, pantries, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 
Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Laundry Room Organization - 5 Ideas For Sorting Out Your Laundry Room

I recently saw a sign in a store that read 'Sorting Out Life One Load at a Time'.  Isn't that the truth?  With five people in our family, I spend a ridiculous amount of time in my laundry room letting my mind wander over the tomorrow's task list or a recent conversation with a friend while I sort, switch and fold laundry.  However, for all the time I spend in there, it was the last room in my house that was painted, decorated, and organized. 

Let's face it, no one wants to spend time in their laundry room but we really don't have a choice.  So why not put some effort into making your laundry room a more efficient and pleasant place to be in?  Here are 5 ideas to get you started.

1) Spice up your laundry room with color and pattern:
Your laundry room is one of the few rooms in your house where you can get away with something outside your normal color range and theme so have some fun with it!   That may mean a fun eye-popping color scheme or something tranquil and serene.  It's up to you.  Whatever you choose, make sure your choices make you happy to enter the room.

2) Short on space?  Here are three great space saving ideas to maximize your laundry room storage.
  • Install a Pull Down Closet Rod like this one from Rev-A-Shelf.  A pull down closet rod will give you space to hang clothes right out of the dryer and then easily folds out of your way when you don't need it.
  • Add a counter above your washer and dryer.  If you have a front loading washer and dryer, installing a counter over the top of your units will provide an ultra convenient folding space exactly where you need it.
  • Utilize the space between your machines.  There are storage shelves designed to fit perfectly between your washer and dryer. This is a great place to store laundry supplies that stays out of sight when not in use.
3) Have a large laundry room? Add a laundry room island.
If you have the space, a custom designed island can feature pull-out laundry sorting bins, custom sized shelves designed to hold laundry baskets and a great laundry folding surface!

4) Add wall cabinets for storage.
Install wall mounted cabinets to store cleaning supplies.  The laundry room is a perfect place to store all of your cleaning supplies.  Cabinets keep them out of sight and away from little hands.

5) Designate spaces for everything!
Use bins and baskets to keep everything in its designated area.  Clearly label or color code the baskets to make it easy for everyone in the family to keep the laundry room in tip top shape.

Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including laundry rooms, closets, offices, garages, pantries, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 

For a free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets For Life Aficionado

Friday, June 22, 2012

Inspiration is Just a Click Away

Now a days home remodeling inspiration is just a click away.  Being an informed and educated customer about the choices available for your home project has never been easier.   Online resources like Pinterest and Houzz can be an excellent source for ideas on layout, color, features and extras.  Online sites have photos of just about any home project finished in a hundred different ways, giving homeowners a chance to dream about project ideas and think about questions to ask their contractor.

As a custom organization company that regularly works with homeowners, we love to see homeowners using the web to empower themselves in the home remodeling process.  Just last week we met with a homeowner, Jane, at her home for an in-home consultation.  Jane was looking to have a custom closet organization system designed for her master bedroom walk-in closet.  Prior to having us come out she had looked at several online sites, including Pinterest and Houzz, for ideas regarding what layouts and features she liked. 

Her research was very helpful.  Jane had a clear idea of what finish and features she liked and had discovered several ideas she loved and wouldn't have thought of otherwise.  Based on her research and our meeting, we were able to easily design a very specific plan custom tailored to her space that incorporated many of the ideas she had seen and ultimately exceeded her original goals.  

As a homeowner today, you are more empowered than ever before.  When considering a custom organization or any other home improvement project, take some time before meeting with your contractor to look on the Internet to get inspired.  We guarantee you will be happy you did.

Check out Closets For Life on Pinterest and Houzz.  Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 

For a free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Kitchen Cupboard Makeover - Pull Out Shelves

Want more functionality and storage capacity in your kitchen without a full kitchen cabinet remodel?  We have a great option for you.  Pull out shelves can easily be installed into existing kitchen cabinets and are a budget friendly way to make your kitchen a more enjoyable place to cook in.  We are here to tell you why a kitchen cupboard makeover will have you wondering why you didn't do it sooner!

The advantages to installing pull outs are numerous.  Pull outs can be utilized in many different ways to increase storage capacity or add better functionality to your kitchen.  For example:
  • Installing pull outs for pantry item storage means an end to the black hole in the back of your shelf where canned items go to retire in peace, away from hungry people.  
  • Roll out shelves installed near your stove for pots and pans can add storage capacity and make them easier to access by eliminating the 'leaning tower of pans' problem.  
  • A pull out garbage can makes your garbage easily accessible and, more importantly, easily hidden.

  
These are just a few ideas.  Where ever you install your kitchen pull outs, they are guaranteed to deliver a more efficient kitchen, all without major remodeling.  

If you are interesting in seeing how Closets For Life can give your kitchen a cupboard makeover, contact us by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation.  We will come out to your home to discuss your needs, assess your existing cupboards and then design a custom cupboard makeover tailored just for your kitchen.

Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business.

Monday, May 21, 2012

More Options For Your Custom Wine Cellar

Closets For Life is excited to announce that we are now a local independent dealer for Apex Wine Cellars.  Based in California, Apex Wine Cellars produces custom designed cellar creations that are handcrafted to match design and bottle capacity goals.  They offer several different collections in a wide array of finishes and materials that can be made to fit into the smallest closet space or up to large walk-in rooms that hold thousands of bottles. 

As a local independent dealer of Apex, Closets For Life will be able to offer our customers a bigger selection of wine cellar shelving options.  A wider choice of styles and finishes means we can design a wine cellar that perfectly matches a customer vision or better match an existing environment.

Apex Classic Collection Wine Cellar
Thinking about adding a wine cellar to your home?  Get inspired by going to the Apex Wine Cellars website and peruse through their huge photo gallery. 

Then, contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com for a free in-home consultation where we can look at your wine cellar requirements and the designated space to begin designing your custom wine cellar.

Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds.  Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business.


Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Spring Cleaning Your Garage

We understand that the idea of cleaning out your garage probably sounds as exciting as going to get a root canal.  However, after a winter of cold weather induced neglect, our garages can get pretty dirty and cluttered.  Items left over from home projects such as paint and wood scraps get shoved in a corner because it seems the easiest place to store them.  Random boxes end up stacked next to the garbage can because it is cold and we don't want to deal with them.  And on top of all of this are the lawn mower, snow blower, rakes, shovels, tools and bikes that most of us have stored in the garage.  It is no surprise that by spring, we can barely pull our car into our garage without running into something!

We ask our garages hold a lot.  A little bit of time invested in taking care of your garage and the items inside it will have you feeling more organized and give your vehicles some much needed space.  Here are some helpful tips to get you started.

1) Recycle hazardous materials -
Do you have old paint, oil or other hazardous materials stored in your garage that can't be thrown in the garbage?  There are many businesses and other facilities that will accept and recycle hazardous materials.  To find out the options in your community, go to http://earth911.com/.  Simply input the item you want to dispose of and your zip code and the website will provide a list of nearby options.

2) Look up for storage -
Most garages have ample overhead space so why not utilize it?  Install suspended shelving from the ceiling or a high shelf along a back wall for extra storage that it out of the way yet still easy to access.

3) Garage door tune up -
Can you believe that along with getting up to change the television channel, you used to have to get out of your car and open your garage door?  Oh, the horror!  Along with the TV remote, the garage door opener has to be one of the most highly utilized and under appreciated household inventions.  To keep you garage door working on command, look to this article from Handyman Magazine that describes a handful of maintenance tasks, each requiring less than 10 minutes.

4) A good sweep -
Although it sounds like a big task, removing all the items from your garage and sweeping it out is a great way to force yourself to analyze its contents.  Don't worry, it will go faster than you think and the results will be amazing!  So drag everything out, give your garage a good sweeping and then analyze each item as you put it back in to decide if you still need or use it.  If you haven't touched it in a couple of years or if you can't even remember what it is for, you probably don't need it anymore.  You will be surprised at how many items you end up disposing of and, when you are finished, you will have gained back a lot of garage space. 

Looking for more?  Check out the Closets For Life website for garage organization solution ideas. Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 

For a free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.


Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado

Friday, March 30, 2012

Running Into A Client...and a Great Project

If you regularly read our blog, you probably already know that Closets For Life does more than closets.  We design organization solutions for all areas of a home or business.  For example, we recently completed an employee locker design and installation project for a running store. 

The project came about in a very serendipitous way.  Closets For Life business owner, Rick Lyrek, was on a shopping trip for running shoes.  Rick is easy to spot driving around town.  He drives a blue work van that features his company information on the side windows.  So when Rick, an avid runner, stopped at Run N’ Fun, a running store in Burnsville, owner Perry Bach took notice of his van. Perry was looking to install employee lockers at his store and asked Rick if he would take a look at the employee area and give a project quote.

Rick had stopped at Run N’ Fun to look at running shoes for his upcoming race in April, the Boston Marathon.  His visit to Run N’ Fun was to replace a pair of running shoes.  Averaging 30-40 miles of running a week, Lyrek wears out his shoes quickly. 

A design for the employee lockers was decided upon and the lockers were installed in the middle of March.  Both local businesses are happy to be supporting one another and Closets For Life is thankful for the opportunity to work with Run N' Fun on their project. 

Run N' Fun Employee Lockers
Rick Lyrek and Perry Bach













Happy organizing everyone and good luck on your upcoming run in the Boston Marathon Rick!

Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative storage solutions for all organizational needs including closets, offices, garages, pantries, laundry rooms, wine cellars and Murphy beds. Closets For Life is a family owned and operated business. 

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

3 Great Organizing Tips - Little Changes, Big Impact


People tend to believe that an effort to be more organized involves elaborate overhauls of our existing routines or houses.  In truth, little changes can have a big impact.  Here are 3 easy-to-implement tips that can save you time and have your household running smoother.

The Many Fabulous Uses for Hooks
Our first tip comes from a talented professional organizer, Sheila Dingels of Successful Simplicity.  We love her idea of using 3M’s Decorative Command Hooks as a functional yet attractive solution to many of your organizing dilemmas. 

Shelia recommends hanging a series of hooks on the back of your bedroom closet door to hold those once-worn clothes that are still clean enough to wear again, but you don’t want to put away.  Or hang one hook on the wall next to your child’s closet for the clothes they want to wear to school tomorrow, so they don’t waste oodles of time getting ready.  Or why not us Command Hooks to make a decorative display on a bedroom wall of your favorite accessories like necklaces, handbags, or hats? 


Bread Tags Make The Perfect Cord Labels
Another great professional organizer and fellow blogger, Andrea Brandt of Smiling Spaces, recently posted a great tip on her blog that is so simple and cheap, it's brilliant.

Use plastic bread tags to label and organize cord labels.  Nothing is more frustrating that trying to wade through a cluster of cords while trying to figure out which cord belongs to the printer, scanner, TV, DVD player, modem...the list goes on forever.  Take Andrea's tip and use your left over plastic bread tags to label the cords.  You'll never have to guess again!

Check out Andrea's Smiling Spaces blog, for more great ideas.


Keep Track of Children's Clothing With Dots
From the website, www.thriftyfun.com, is a great way to keep track of kids clothing.
 
When you have 2 or more children all the same sex and close in age it can be difficult to keep underwear, socks and other clothes sorted and in the correct drawers.  We all know about "Hand-me-Downs".  Dealing with them can be helpful if you use a permanent marker and put 1 dot it in the waistband or tag of the article of clothing for the oldest child.  When they pass it down to the second child, you add another dot.  Add a third dot for the third child, and if they are still not worn out you can keep passing it down just adding a dot to indicate which child's pile and drawer each item would go to.  Socks can be marked on the bottom.  Makes life in the laundry room much easier!

Make it Easy
We hope these tips inspired you to look for little changes that can make your day run smoother.  We all get overwhelmed at times looking at everything that needs to be done.  Sometimes it helps to figure out how to work smarter, not harder.  Good luck!

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, Murphy beds, offices and wine cellars.

For a free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tips for Organizing Children's Closets

Keeping your child's closet organized can be a challenge.  Getting your kids to keep any area organized can be tough and to make things harder, their closet content is constantly changing.  As adults we typically add new items to our closets slowly and other than seasonal changes, the closet structure usually stays the same.  Children on the other hand are constantly moving in a whole new set of clothes as they grow and new toys as their interests change. 
With these challenges in mind, here are some great tips to keeping their closets organized from birth to graduation.

Flexibility
Design the layout of your child's closet to be flexible.  For example, having a second closet rod positioned lower is wonderful for little kids.  It allows them to reach their day to day clothes on their own and the top bar can still be used for dress clothes or out of season clothes.  As they get older and taller, this second bar can be removed, if needed, to make room for other storage options.

Drawers Instead of Open Shelves
A lot of people will tell you to install lots of open shelves in your child's closet.  The idea is that shelves are easier for kids to access and folding is quicker and easier than hanging.  This is almost always accompanied by a photo of a child's closet featuring perfectly folded and arranged shirts and pants.  Perhaps your children are capable of this but my children's idea of folding is no where near that perfect meaning those open shelves will look messy and disorganized!

Save yourself that battle and instead install pull out drawers or a drawer unit in your child's closet.  You will still enjoy the advantages of folded clothes and easy access and, when closed, the drawers will keep the closet looking clean and organized.

Up, Up and Away with Out of Season or Too Big Clothing
Store out of season and too big clothing in bins on the top shelf of your child's closet.  Putting them in bins on the top shelf means they are within easy reach when its time to pull them out.  However, make sure you are not storing huge bins on the top shelf.  Opt for medium to smaller sized bins instead.  They are easier to get down and fit better on the shelf.  They are also less of a hazard.  You never know what kids are going to get into and you wouldn't want a huge bin being pulled down and falling on a child.

Under the Bed - Prime Realty
If you feel like your child doesn't have enough space in their closet, think about utilizing the space under their bed.  Bins that are just the right height to slide under the bed can be used to store shoes, toys, socks.  They are a perfect kid level storage spot.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, Murphy beds, offices and wine cellars.

For a free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado


Thursday, February 16, 2012

3D Closet Drawings So Real You Might Try To Grab For a Hanger



3D CAD Drawing of a Walk-in Closet
A couple from Minnetonka recently had us come out to their home for a free in-home consultation for their master bedroom walk-in closet.  When we met, the couple had a pretty firm grasp of what organization components they wanted on each of three walls. 

As with all of our free in-home consultations, the following day we sent the couple detailed 3D drawings of the proposed closet design along with the price quote.  The detailed 3D CAD drawing included a design of the whole room and a breakdown of drawings that showed the components on each wall.

We asked the couple to hang each separate drawing on the appropriate wall for a couple of days to see how they felt the flow would work.  The couple was very certain that they liked the design as is but agreed to hang the drawings up and get back to us.

Two days later, the couple called to say that they had three changes based on looking at the drawings as they were using the closet.  For example, they decided they wanted the pull-out tie hanger at the front of the closet rather than the back after realizing the husband frequently tries on a few ties before deciding on one and it would be less steps to hang them back up if they are closer to the front.

Ultimately, hanging the 3D CAD designs up resulted in a better flowing closet and a happier client.  Our 3D CAD design drawings are just one of the many reasons to have Closets For Life come to your home for a free in-home custom organization consultation.  We will listen to your needs and then design a custom solution that you can see in detail beforehand.  No surprises, just great results.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closet, garage and office organization systems, Murphy beds and wine cellars.

For your free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Things to Consider When Designing a Custom Closet Organization System


Frustration!  You can't take another day of walking into your overstuffed closet with sweaters on the top shelf falling on you and dress shirts wrinkled from being crammed in too tight.  You have always wanted a custom closet organization system and you are ready to make the first step. 

Overstuffed Closet
You pick up the phone to schedule an in-home consultation......but STOP!   Wait....did we say 'stop'? 
Yes, we did.

It is great that you are ready to take charge of your closet.  However, before you have your in-home consultation, take just a little time to stare at your closet and think.  Not only will this help your in-home consultation go smoother, it will also help ensure that you end up with a custom closet system that is exactly what you needed.  Here is a short list of factors to think about when planning your custom closet organization system.

Current Needs
Look at your closet and determine what needs are most important for this closet.  Perhaps you have a lot of accessories like ties and belts that need a designated space or maybe your love for shoes has taken over your closet floor.  You will most likely have several designated priorities and it is helpful to have them listed out for your consultation so nothing is overlooked.

Future Needs
It is fairly easy to look at a closet and figure out what you need right now.  A trickier but equally as important consideration is what your future needs will be.  Giving yourself just enough shoe rack space for your current pairs of shoes is fine for now but what about when you come home with those new boots you just couldn't pass up?  Make sure you are looking forward with your design goals.

Flexibility
When designing a custom organization system, make sure to consider options that allow you to change things up.  You might decide that you need more shelves for your summer clothes and less shelves for your winter clothes.  Ask for a design that allows you this flexibility.

Style
The list of material and finish options for your custom closet organization system is endless.  Wood, melamine, color and texture options....you name it and it is out there.  Take some time before your consultation to look around for photos of finished custom closets.  Figuring out what you like beforehand will mean you won't end up seeing a picture of something you love a week after your closet organization is completed.  

Reach-In Custom Closet Organization System

Now you are ready for your in-home consultation!  A good custom closet consultant will help you determine the best design to meet your organization needs.  However, taking some time beforehand to contemplate your own goals will really make a difference in ensuring you are overjoyed with your new closet.

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including Murphy beds, closet and office organization systems and wine cellars.

For your free in-home consultation, contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado

Monday, January 23, 2012

Custom Closet Design Finishes - Options, Options, Options!







One of the wonderful advantages of choosing a custom closet organization system, versus a pre-fabricated option from a store, is the fabulous range of cabinetry options you have in terms of color, pattern, finish and texture.  Trust us, there is a whole world out there beyond white!

Whether you want a specific wood tone, a solid color or even a textured finish for your custom closet system, we have it.  Closets For Life works with Kustom Material Laminators (KML), which produces and supplies thermally fused melamine panels that come in over 70 designs and colors including a great finish that is designed to resemble spun linen.  Really, how much better can it get!

To learn more about the expansive number of choices KML offers, check out their website at www.KMLcorp.com.  Then, contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation to design a custom closet organization system that is so beautiful, you will wish it wasn't hidden in your closet!

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom closet company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders, remodelers and architects to create innovative solutions to all of your organizational needs including Murphy beds, closets organization systems and wine cellars.

Contact Closets For Life by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com. You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

Shawnessy Schwartz
Closets for Life Aficionado
















Thursday, January 19, 2012

Closets For Life Testimonials

As a company, we love to hear feedback from our customers.  It helps us become a better company and determine how to provide the best customer experience possible.  We also recognize that as a homeowner, reading a former customer testimonial or receiving a referral from a friend is worth much more than any advertising. 

So, below are a few testimonials from Closets For Life customers.  Two of the reviews are from Angie's List where Closets For Life has a 'A' rating.  If you are a member of Angie's List make sure to check out our other testimonials as well.  Happy organizing! 

Custom closet testimonial:
Love our new closets. We had three different closet/home organization companies come out to look at four spaces: Two bedrooms, upstairs linen and the front entry coat closet. Rick stood out to us as the best value. His price was right in the middle and his designs were best. And, in the case of one closet, he was happy to come back out and remeasure in order to accommodate some changes I desired. We also like that he is a local, family-run business.

Rick handles most of it himself. (He came out to measure, created the design and drawing, and did the install.) His brother custom cut the shelving for our unique spaces. He was very professional, punctual, clean. He was creative and had various ideas to consider for each space. Also, he went the extra mile, taking away the old shelving for us. He was always responsive to phone calls and email. In the end, we decided to have Rick install three closets (walk in bedroom, reach-in front entry and walk in upper linen closet)... We're very happy with the overall process and product and would use Closets for Life again for a garage or basement project should we decide to better organize those spaces as well. Rick is very capable and he installs a quality design and product.
~Brian, St. Paul. MN

Wine cellar testimonial:
Rick put in the wine racking in a new wine cellar. He handled everything from the design to the install. It went exactly how it should have. No surprises, he did exactly what he said he would and it turned out perfect.
~Josh, Minneapolis, MN

Custom garage cabinets and shelving testimonial:
We had Rick from Closets For Life come out to give us a quote on a cabinet and shelving system for our garage.  From the beginning he was detailed, professional and asked great questions about how we planned to use the space. The day after meeting with us, he sent 3-D plans of what we had discussed - fast! We chose Rick over two other quotes because his price was very reasonable and we were impressed with how he listened to what we wanted.  We are extremely happy with the garage cabinets and shelving he installed in our garage. 
~Beth, Edina, MN