Monday, December 14, 2015

Best Collection of Storage Tips for Clothes

It's no secret that a well-organized closet will help make choosing an outfit easier each morning.  But knowing how to best store different articles of clothing can also extend the life of your clothing and allow you to utilize your storage space more efficiently.

We've taken the liberty of compiling tips on the best ways store everything from socks to sweaters to winter clothing.

Best Storage Secrets from Houzz
Did you know that even though rolling socks will keep them together, they lose elasticity this way? Instead, lay two single socks flat, one on top of the other, and simply fold them in half.  This collection of tips from Houzz.com covers the best way to store socks, boots, purses and other items.

How to Store All Your Clothes from A-Z
A comprehensive list of how to store almost any clothing item, listed in alphabetical order, including tips on storing vintage clothing items.  There is also a link on how to pick the right hanger which we found helpful.

How to Fold a T-shirt
Properly folding t-shirts can be a real space saver but unless you have worked at a clothing store, you probably don't know how.  Martha Stewart gives us a step-by-step tutorial (with a video and illustrations) on how to properly fold a t-shirt. 

Taking Care of Your Gear-Winter Edition
While this link isn't so much about storage, we thought this guide from Real Simple on how often and how to wash winter gear items was a great resource.  For example, over washing down jackets causes the feathers to break, so twice a season is plenty.  They also  recommend drying your down jackets with three tennis balls to redistribute the feathers.

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Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization 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, home offices, and wine cellars.
 
For a free in-home consultation on your next project, contact Rick Lyrek at 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.
 
 


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Winter Gear Organization - Bring on the Snow!

Even though it was a beautiful,sunny 58 degree day this past Sunday in Minneapolis,  I've been hearing whispers that it's going to snow later this week.  It's a uniquely Minnesota thing to be outside wearing a t-shirt while thinking in your head about digging out your snow gear to make sure your kids have a matching pair of gloves and a jacket that fits later in the week.

Bringing out all of the gear required for frolicking in a winter wonderland can definitely put a strain on your coat room/mud room/entry.  Snow gear is numerous, bulky and space consuming.  Thinking creatively about your space can help keep everything in its place and keep the chaos at bay.  Consider installing drawers, bins, cubbies and shelves to keep each family member's gear together and tucked out of site.  Having an organization system can also avoid lost mittens, misplaced hats and wet boots that never had the chance to dry.

A search for entry organization on Houzz or Pinterest will yield you all kinds of inspiration.   Once you've been fully inspired, contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation where we will turn your ideas into a design that perfectly meets your needs and tames all your winter gear.  Bring on the snow!
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Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including mudrooms and entry spaces, closets, garages, offices, Murphy Beds, wine cellars and more. 

Whatever your organization need, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free in-home consultation and help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

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.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Built-In Dog Kennels

While a dog kennel may be a nice spot for Fido to lounge when owners are away, kennels are not a home d├ęcor friendly item.  It can be hard to find a space where the kennel is not an eye sore and not interrupting the flow of a home.  However, we have a wonderful solution! 

We recently completed a mudroom organization system with built in spots for two kennels.   The built in kennel slots were designed with a bit of space to allow air flow (we don't want Fido to get too warm) while keeping the kennels tucked away and out of sight.  Situated under a custom coat cabinet, the mudroom location allows the homeowners to conveniently tuck the puppies away as they are leaving the house.

Love this idea?  Closets For Life is a custom organization company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  We offer free in-home consultations and can help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs (and your pets!).  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.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Back to School, Back to Your Mudroom

September likely means back to school time if you are a family with school age kids.  This typically means making sure your kids have the right school supplies, buying some school clothes and thinking about your family's before and after school routine.

Ground zero for getting to and from school in most homes is the mudroom/entry.  This is where kids store their backpack, jackets, shoes and more.  It's also where the dreaded 'I can't find my hat!' and 'Where is my backpack?' hang-ups can arise.  A well organized mudroom or entry space helps kids stay organized and get out the door on time. When running out the door to catch a bus, knowing exactly where their shoes, backpack and jacket are is a big help.  When coming home, an organized layout will ensure items don't get left in a heap on the floor (a mom can hope right?) until the next day.

Whether you have a spacious mudroom or no mudroom at all, there are many ways you can create an organized space that will have your child earning an A+ in their school routine.  A custom organization system, whether big or small, designed specifically to meet your needs and space will help ensure a successful and less stressful start to the school year.

Check out Better Home and Garden's mudroom photo gallery for inspiration and when you are ready to transform your mudroom or entry, contact Closets For Life for a free in-home consultation and design.
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Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including mudrooms and entry spaces, closets, garages, offices, Murphy Beds, wine cellars and more. 

Whatever your organization need, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free in-home consultation and help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

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 27, 2015

Five Things to Look For in Your Home Project Contract

Starting a home remodeling project is exciting.  Whether it's a long awaited remodel of your whole kitchen or a smaller scale project like installing a new custom closet organization system, it's the foundation of your project that is the most important step!  While choosing tiles for your back splash or the finish of your woodwork is fun, the most important two steps you can take to ensure the success of your home project is:  #1-Pick the right contractor AND #2-Make sure you understand the contract/agreement you are signing and ensure it protects you.

We gave you tips on what to look for when hiring a contractor in a previous blog post (found here).  But, once you have found the perfect contractor, you still need to take a close look at the contract you are signing.  A good contract lays the groundwork for a successful project and protects both you and your contractor from potential misunderstandings.

Below are 5 elements to look for in your project contract. 

1) A Contract First and foremost, it's important to have a signed contract or agreement. 

If your contractor is slow to produce a contract or agreement, this is generally not a good sign.  Do not proceed with any work until you have an agreement.  If for some reason you need to have work started immediately, but cannot come to an agreement on the final terms, you need to make sure that you are signing a contract that is not going to be enforceable as a permanent agreement. You can accomplish this by adding language like, "This interim agreement is in effect only until a more permanent agreement can be negotiated by both parties."

2) Duration of Work The contract should state when your project is anticipated to begin and when it should be completed. 

While all projects have the possibility of delays, it will help to have your original timeline in writing to protect you in case a project starts to really drag on beyond an acceptable amount.

3) Details of the Project Agree upon the project details before beginning work and have them put in writing.

The bigger a project, the more decisions there are that need to be made.  Protect yourself by having details such as cabinet finish, paint colors, etc. in your contract.  This helps ensure both you and your contractor are on the same page and will give you something to refer to in case there is a discrepancy.

If you agree upon any changes after the contract has been signed, make sure the contractor provides you with a written change order that states in detail the change that was agreed upon and any differences in price that result.

4) Exclusions A good contract should include a list of exclusions.

These might be related to areas that will not be visible until the walls are opened up after demolition, or the level of cleaning you should expect after the work is complete.  A good contractor should be able to identify possible exclusions that would pertain to your project.

5) Payment Schedule Never pay for the entire project amount upfront.

Make sure the contract states the total amount and when payments are due.  Payments should be linked to work milestones and never pay the final amount due until you are completely satisfied with the work done.

6) Don't Overlook the Arbitration Clause Be prepared for trouble. Even if you love your contractor, disputes may arise.

Many contracts for larger projects include an arbitration clause, which means that a dispute must be settled in arbitration as opposed to in court. Arbitration is generally less costly and less formal than court, but if you sign the contract with the clause intact, you have probably waived your right to take the matter to court. If you do decide to agree to the arbitration clause, make sure to at least research the specified arbitrator before hand.

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We hope you have found this article helpful.  If you are interested in a reliable contractor for your  next custom organization project, please contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life for your free
in-home consultation.  Closets For Life can be reached by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.

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

Monday, June 22, 2015

Summer Inspiration - Custom Closet Solutions To Suit Your Needs

Summer can be the ideal time to organize your closets. When it's hot and humid outside and your hiding inside your home in the air conditioned coolness, why not tackle a drawer or closet that has gotten out of control? 

Perhaps you have a closet that always seems out of control no matter how you try to keep it organized? Cookie cutter closet systems can't always rise to the challenge. Consider a custom closet organization solution from Closets For Life. Designed specifically to meet your needs, a custom closet will make staying organized as easy and pleasant as a summer breeze!

This advice doesn't just apply to closets, from garages to kitchen pantries to home offices, a custom storage solution from Closets For Life will help keep all areas of your home organized.
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Do you have a closet in need of some organization help? 
 Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions for all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, offices, Murphy Beds, wine cellars and more.

Whatever your organization need, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free in-home consultation and help design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

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, May 24, 2015

Get Organized for Summer!

Temperatures are rising, the sun is shining just a bit longer each evening and kids are wrapping up the school year. Summer is almost here!  Here are a few tips for starting off your summer organized and ready to enjoy every sunshine-filled day.


Here is a helpful idea for keeping on top of the messes while kids are home over the summer months.
SUMMER ROUTINES

Make sure your deck is BBQ ready with these tips from Bob Vila.
BBQ READY DECK

Check out these great ideas from Scholastic on fun ways to keep your kid's mind engaged and learning through the summer months.
SUMMER LEARNING

Before it gets too warm, it's time to make sure you're home is ready for hot weather. Read these tips for checking your home's heat and air-conditioning system
AIR CONDITIONING TIPS

School is drawing to a close.  Now is a great time to finally organize your child's school papers, photo and memories.  One of the blogs we follow, Delightful Order, has a wonderfully easy solution for keeping these materials organized.
SCHOOL MEMORIES

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Is organizing a closet or area of your home on your summer bucket list?  Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Closets For Life is a custom organization company that works with residential clients as well as designers, builders and architects to create innovative solutions to all of your organizational needs including closets, garages, offices, wine cellars and more.

Whatever your organization need, Closets for Life will come out to your house for a free home consultation to help you design an organization solution that perfectly fits your needs.

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, March 30, 2015

What To Look For When Hiring a Contractor

We recently received a review on Angie's List that did a wonderful job of explaining exactly what made this particular client so happy with the work we did.  He wrote,

"Working with Rick and Closets for Life was exactly as the other reviewers had stated.  He was extremely professional, punctual, did great work, and was so easy to work with.  He always followed up, arrived on time, and set the right expectations.  I find that many times people who own their own businesses in this field can either be really good at their craft or really good at communication, but not both.  Rick is the exception.  He is flexible, great at communicating, checks in with you, and does great work.  Not only did he think of absolutely everything, he also made some additional suggestions on the mudroom that really tied everything together.  It is no surprise that he is rated so highly.  Both Rick and the other guy he brought with him seem like genuinely great people who are extremely talented in what they do.   I also have a concern with hiring anyone I don't know and letting them in my house, but with Rick there are absolutely no concerns.  If I need any additional work done, I will definitely be using him again.  He is without a doubt the best contractor I have ever used."
This got us to thinking, what makes a great contractor?  Many times when hiring a contractor for a project, people will decide on price alone, picking whomever had the lowest bid.  While a low price may initially seem like a great deciding factor, ultimately, what will determine your happiness with a project is your experience working with the contractor and the end product.  If you paid less but found your contractor hard to work with and the end result less than you hoped for, a lower price tag won't make up for it.

What should you look for when deciding on a contractor then?  Here are 4 tips on selecting and working with a qualified contractor compiled from US News, This Old House and Houzz.com.

Check credentials and disciplinary history
According to US News, you should look for a contractor who has been in business for a while, someone who is licensed and registered (every state has different rules; check yours on contractors-license.org or ask your local building inspector), has insurance (liability; worker’s comp), and has a solid reputation. Make sure that they also have a clean bill of health from the Better Business Bureau and from your state’s consumer protection agency. 

We also recommend checking for reviews on respected online websites such as Angie's List and Houzz.com.

Do Phone Interviews
Once you've assembled a list, This Old House recommends that you make a quick call to each of your prospects and ask them the following questions:

• Do they take on projects of your size, type?

• For bigger projects, are they willing to provide financial references, from suppliers or banks?

• Can they give you a list of previous clients?

• How many other projects would they have going at the same time?

• How long have they worked with their subcontractors?

The answers to these questions will reveal the company's availability, reliability, how much attention they'll be able to give your project and how smoothly the work will go.

Communication is key
The single most important factor in choosing a contractor is how well you communicate. All things being equal, it's better to spend more and get someone you're comfortable with.  Think about whether you feel comfortable with their personality, background, methods, and communication skills.  All three sources recommend meeting with the contractors in person to discuss your end goals for the project, your vision and your timeline.  A great contractor should listen to your ideas and make suggestions without being pushy or dismissive.  

Put it in writing
Every project should have a contract, no matter the size of the estimated work. Contracts ensure that if a dispute arises, it can be dealt with in a timely manner.  If a contractor is unwilling to commit to a price on a contract or a specified timeline, do not choose them. This opens the door for mysterious charges that arise mid-project or delays.

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We hope you have found this article helpful.  If you are interested in a reliable contractor for your  next custom organization project, please contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life for your free in-home consultation.Closets For Life can be reached by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.


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


Friday, February 13, 2015

Quick FAQs About Sustainable Design (aka Green Homes)

Gaining in popularity is the concept of Sustainable Design and green homes.  More citizens are embracing the idea of making changes to their life that support a more sustainable future.  Not surprisingly, they want their homes to reflect this commitment. 

While many share this commitment, not everyone can afford or wants to move neighborhoods into a new sustainable designed home.  Going green doesn't have to involve big costs. For those who are looking for ways to lessen the environmental impact of their home through smaller, more manageable, remodeling projects we suggest you begin with your closets (well, we are a custom organization company after all!). 

Below are some quick FAQs about Sustainable Design and how we at Closets For Life are helping to lessen our impact on the environment.  We represent just one example of how green design can be incorporated into your home in smaller, manageable ways. Once you begin to look, you will find eco-friendly options offered by many local companies who share your commitment to our planet.

What is Sustainable Design?
Sustainable Design and Green practices are designed to reduce the overall impact of the built environment on human health and the natural environment by:
  • Efficiently using energy, water, and other resources
  • Protecting occupant health and improving employee productivity
  • Reducing waste, pollution and environmental degradation
What are some simple changes I can make to make my home more eco-friendly?
There are many easy and affordable steps you can take to lessen your home's environment impact especially when it comes to consuming less energy.  Installing a programmable thermostat, incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) and planting a tree near your house for shade are just a few. 

You mentioned that my closet can be a great place to make sustainable choices. Why?
As we mentioned earlier, sustainable options are available everywhere, including your closets. All custom organization projects by Closets For Life can be built using Roseburg Skyblend particle board. 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.

In addition, Closets For Life uses Interscapes Inc. to manufacture our cabinets and shelving. Interscapes, established in 1987, is a full service architectural woodworking firm serving general contractors throughout the upper Midwest. Closets For Life, along with Interscapes, is lessening its impact on the environment by recycling 99% of the waste it produces. We are saving 1820 cubic yards of waste per year. This waste no longer ends up in landfills. Instead, it is now being shredded and ground up for use as animal bedding. You can view a video about Interscapes green manufacturing practices by clicking here.

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We hope you have found this article helpful.  If you are interested in learning how to incorporate sustainable design into your next custom organization project, please contact Rick Lyrek at Closets For Life for your free in-home consultation.Closets For Life can be reached by phone at 952-484-0416 or by email at rlyrek@closetsforlife.com.  You can also visit our website at www.closetsforlife.com.


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