Do you ever look at the before pictures here on Kuzak’s Closet and think, “really, how could someone live in that space?” I am sharing a project that I tackled last week that had me wondering just that!
The project I am sharing today is actually the bedroom of one of my assistant’s, Jennalynn. I know, shocking that someone who works for an organizing company would have a room in shambles! She’s been telling me about her cluttered bedroom for a few weeks but I didn’t know it would be this wild.
I typically ask my clients a series of questions before we start an organizing session, what’s working, what isn’t, etc.. For this project it was clear to me that nothing was working and we had to start from scratch. The space was suffering from the lethal clutter combination of “too much stuff, no designated homes.”
Jennalynn is starting college in a few weeks so I wanted to give her an organized system and a fresh start to work with. Typically I start a corner of the room and work my way around clockwise or counter-clockwise but since I couldn’t find a corner I started in the middle and worked my way around. All of the clothing that she wanted to keep we put in bins and moved them out into another room as they filled up to create room to work. We bagged up garbage and goodwill as we went and at the end of the sorting process we were able to see the floor and talk about rearranging the furniture to maximize the space.
Today I wanted to share some before and afters from last month’s estate sale in Mountain View along with some tips on how to organize and set up a sale of your own. Someone recently asked me if I am moving my business away from organizing and only focusing on estate sales. I thought the question was strange because I am so busy with both aspects of my business and I explained to them that I feel organizing and estate sales go hand in hand. Each estate sale project starts with a complete home organization session. My team and I spend time sorting, decluttering, and purging every space in the home. The only difference between an estate sale and a home organizing session is that when we get to the step of deciding what to keep, we display the items to be sold instead of storing them based on the client’s lifestyle.
When the doors at my estate sales open the shoppers have no idea what the home looked like before we were able to organize it. We typically have only one or two days to organize and display the contents that can be sold, remove items that need to be recycled or donated, and box up personal items for the family.
This first picture is what the living room looked like at my Mountain View sale last month before we started the estate sale setup. It was the first room that shoppers walked into so I wanted the layout to encourage shoppers to spend some time. Also, I always have the cashier near the sale entrance so they can keep an eye on everyone who comes and goes. (Tip! The area where the cashier is at will be the heaviest trafficked area so I want my high dollar items in that space to increase the chances of them selling.) Only in situations where there isn’t enough space for a cashier in the house or if we are holding an outdoor sale do I have the cashier on the front porch or under a tent outside.
I like to set up my tables first and rearrange all of the furniture so the room has a nice flow and looks inviting. I want to make the room look like a store, not someone’s living room. (Tip! If it looks like someone is still living there customers will feel like they are intruding).
Once all of the furniture is in place we start to display smaller items on the tables and make the room fresh and bright by rearranging the lighting and opening all of the window treatments. In the before picture the room looks like a mess and the first thing that catches your eye is the medical equipment in the bottom left corner. (Tip! if there is medical equipment available at your sale have it displayed in a bedroom or in the garage. Try not to have it be a focal point when shoppers walk in the front door, it just reminds them that someone was sick and makes them feel guilty for shopping). The after picture looks bright and inviting, especially the green shag carpet! My display tables are in the right corner of the room, you can’t see them in this picture but you get an idea.
Good news! I finally have a camera again! They were not able to fix my camera but they did send me a gift card to replace it. I had a Sony 380 and now I have a Sony 57, I have only had it for two days but I love it already. If you don’t already own a DSLR camera I would highly suggest adding one to your Christmas list, it will change your life in photos.
I always start the organizing process with a free consultation because the best way for me to understand the project and my client is face to face. A few weeks ago a couple called me and asked me to stop by to take a look at their garage, it had been 2+ years since it was functional and they really needed the extra storage space. We chatted about their organizing goals for a bit and then they took me outside to see the garage and I was instantly excited. There were boxes stacked to the ceiling and I could hardly tell how big the garage was. Most people would run away from such a big task but I love a challenge.
I hope you enjoyed the before and afters from the master closet that I shared on Monday. Did they make you want to build a custom closet or hire a professional organizer?
Today’s before and afters are from similar project at the same client’s house, this time I will be sharing the guest room closet makeover. This closet was in shambles when I met my client for a consultation and I couldn’t WAIT to tackle it. It had become the dumping ground in the home, there were piles of clothing, bedding, and shoes pouring out and my client didn’t know where to start.
Moving is a great opportunity to clear the clutter and enjoy a fresh start. When a client hires Kuzak’s Closet to help manage their move and organize their new home we take care of all of the details – from the space planning to the unpacking.
We’ve been working on several relocations lately and today I wanted to share my favorite tips and some pictures to inspire you to embrace the opportunity to start fresh.
Tip#1: Sort and purge before you move! So many people pack up all of their possessions and take them to their new home without sorting and purging. Why bring unwanted clutter into your new home? Take the time to eliminate all of the items you no longer use or need. You’ll be surprised at how much easier it is to unpack!
I develop a sorting and purging schedule with my clients prior to their move. We typically schedule 4-5 sessions to work on each space in the home. This helps me understand their storage preferences and gives me an idea of how often things are used which is a great help when it comes to setting up systems in their new home. This is a picture of a toy pile that I sorted through the day before one of my clients moved…
Who knew a storage unit could look so pretty? My client lives in a little loft condo and uses his storage unit like most people would use a garage, it stores his extra household items, out of season clothing, tools, athletic gear, and memorabilia. His son lives out of state and only visits a few times a year so he also stores extra bedding, toys, and arts and crafts for him. He wanted the unit to be more organized and functional for him so he hired Kuzak’s Closet.
A few weekends ago I started working with a hard working couple and busy parents of the cutest little boy. During our consultation they gave me a tour of their home as we discussed what they were struggling with along with their goals, timeline, and budget. The room they struggled with the most was the kitchen, it butts up to the living room (which also serves as a play room and home office) and had become a dumping ground for many things that just didn’t belong. Because of my client’s hectic work schedules and their responsibilities as parents to a young son the could never find the time to really gut out all of the cabinets, reorganize and re-purpose items, and get back on track.
The first thing I do after I get home from a long professional organizing session is upload and edit the before and after photos. I love to see the changes that we made and they help keep my clients motivated to maintain the space. Some of the projects I work on take several sessions to complete and others take one session, it all depends on how motivated and unorganized my clients are.
When I was a little girl I loved rearranging my room, organizing my closet, sorting my clothes, and arranging my treasures my shelves. It’s funny how I get the same excited feelings that I did back then when I organize a child’s room today. A child’s room is such a special place, it’s the one room in a home that is truly theirs. It is important to teach them to have pride in this space and the best way to do that is to give them an organized room that reflects their personality and their interests.
I am in the midst of preparing for a huge estate sale, last week I spent several days digging treasures out of my client’s attic, basement, garage, and barn for the sale. There have been so many cool things to look at and research so far. Growing up I can remember going to estate sales with my Grandpa Orr and visiting him in his workshop to see what treasures he dragged home from the dump to fix up. I think he really helped me create an interest in all things old/special/collectible. I typically have a rule that I can’t buy anything from my estate sales but I think I will have to make an exception at this one! These are some of my favorite treasures so far…
This little Edison record player is darling…
One of my clients asked me if she needed to buy another cupboard to store the family games in. As a Professional Organizer I get this question all of the time. My clients always think they don’t have enough storage which is typically not the case, the truth is that they have too much stuff. (We all have too much stuff.) I am not one of those organizers that makes my clients get rid of things but once I create categories and sort their items and they see how much of each item they have, they are pretty surprised.
We all know that kids may be small but they come with a lot of cargo! So many of my clients ask me for magical tips to help keep their toy rooms, living rooms, and bedrooms organized and unfortunately there there isn’t one. The only way to keep these rooms under control is to schedule time to sort and maintain. I know, this isn’t what you want to hear but putting in the time is the best way. Working with a professional like me can help cut down on that time, manage the project, suggest great products, and come back every few months to maintain the space.
Because the kitchen is the heart of most homes, it is so important that it is organized and functional for everyone in the household. When your pantry is organized and your kitchen appliances and gadgets all have a home it is easier to create grocery lists, plan for recipes based on what tools you have, and most importantly keep the space clean and tidy.
Last week I helped an 11 year old organize her bedroom. Before we got started she asked me if I was like Super Nanny from TV only for organizing (maybe I should try to get a deal for a Super Organizer Show!) It was the cutest thing I have ever heard! Our organizing session went really well, I think she was ready to make a change in her room.
As a Professional Organizer I hear a lot of reasons why my clients have become unorganized. One that I hear pretty often is “our of sight, out of mind.” This happens to all of us, especially when we have too much stuff! With all of the extra clutter we collect it is easy to lose track of individual items in the shuffle of things.
My client was running out of storage room in his closets and hired me to clear out the clutter and create a more functional and organized space. It had been over 10 years since he last sorted through his closet so there were lots of items to go through. Together we worked fast and my client was able to make very quick decisions about what he wanted to keep and what he wanted to give away. We quickly filled up 14 garbage bags with items for goodwill. My client couldn’t believe how much extra stuff he had been storing for the last decade, when I asked him why he thought he was holding on to many of the items for so long he said, “out of sight, out of mind.” You can see in these before and afters that my client now has tons of extra room in his closet.
I started working with a new client last week and we have already completed one project on our “laundry list” of organizing projects in just one quick 3 hour session. Yes, I said 3 hours! That is the benefit of hiring a Professional Organizer, we help keep our clients on task and distraction free.