Last week I teamed up with friend and style blogger Monica from Living In Vogue to host a party Dressing Up the Holidays at West Elm in Palo Alto. Monica brought beautiful clothing, shoes and jewelry samples from Ibiss Boutique in Willow Glen and presented fantastic wardrobe ideas like; glam up your wardrobe by investing in a statement piece of jewelry that you can wear with most of the holiday outfits in your closet. (more…)
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Each Sunday my sister Ashlie and I co-write a blog post about our favorite things called Sister Sister Sunday. Sister Sister Sunday is a great way for us to keep in touch every week and stay connected. Each week our theme changes so make sure to visit us every Sunday to check out what we are into next!
This week we are so lucky to have guest bloggers Jen, Kate, and Ashley from Michigan. Ashlie and I heard that they are fans of Sister Sister Sunday so we thought it would be fun to have them guest blog. Stay tuned to the blog for future guest sisters. If you and your sister(s) would like to be future guests please contact me and join in on the fun!
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…
Each Sunday my sister Ashlie and I co-write a blog post about our favorite things called Sister Sister Sunday. Ashlie started blogging a few years ago when she found out she was expecting twins. I decided to follow in her footsteps after I moved to California last fall. Sister Sister Sunday is a great way for us to keep in touch each week and stay connected. Each week our theme changes so make sure to visit us every Sunday to check out what we are into next!
I recently hosted a luncheon shower and wanted to serve a refreshing cocktail. I was going to serve mimosas but I didn’t want to invest in over 40 champagne glasses so I decided to serve a punch. I found a great recipe online for a lemon and lime punch served with champagne and ginger ale. It was a hit with all of the ladies! To add some color to the punch bowl I made an ice ring in a bundt pan with sliced lemons and limes. Here how I did it…
One of my very favorite client organization projects is creating a home Command Center. Every home has multiple catch-all spots for every day items like mail, office supplies, magazines, instruction manuals, gift cards and coupons. I want to help you consolidate everything into one central location, so I am sharing my best how-to tips.
I’m so glad I decided to write a post each week called Fab Friday. It forces me to slow down for a bit and reflect on the little moments in my week that made me smile.
This week there were SO many fun events. For example, this picture from last week’s Estate Sale cracks me up. The sale was a complete madhouse and a crazy success, we sold $9,000 in two days out of a mobile home park-AMAZING! The streets were lined with cars and trucks loaded with goodies, fabulous! The guy on the truck closest to the camera is named Gary, he is an estate regular and he makes me smile.
Another estate shopper that makes me smile is named Miguel. He is knows the way to my heart (and a good price) is food. He brought the entire estate crew steak tacos on Saturday, fabulous!
After the sale was over we celebrated with a little college football and a lot of pizza. I have been sticking with my diet for the most part but pizza always makes me cave. This pizza is from Skip’s in Los Altos, it’s so good! (more…)
Since last week’s post there have been many fabulous things going on in my life. I am so thankful for my friend Lori who calls to check in with me a few times a week and even manages to get me out of the house for social events once in a while. She called me last Friday afternoon to ask me if I wanted to participate in a fun run that night.
It was a 5k and I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since I ran that far. I couldn’t keep up with Lori and her daughter Hayley but I’m proud to report that I was able to run more than half of the race. Lori met me at the finish line which was a nice surprise, gotta love fabulous friends!
Hot or Not?! made a surprise comeback on the blog this week. I love that series, so many fabulous ideas and comments from all of you! I shared my new flannel sheets as one of the HOT items, they are fabulous! Look for the Threshold label at Target! (more…)
Serving the San Francisco Bay Area and Silicon Valley
Mountain View, CA 94041
Besides our time spent on the beach my favorite excursion in Maui was attending a luau called The Feast at LeLe. Most luaus take place at the resorts and there are long lines and tons of people, the Feast is different because you have a private table.
The event was right on the ocean with a great sunset view. When we walked into the luau we were greeted with leis and mai tais, you can’t get better than that!
Dear Kuzak’s Closet,
I just went and bought amazing velvet hangers, and now I love my newly organized closet – thanks to your inspiring post! My collection of clothes is really small right now…..
I have a question for you – After the birth of my son, my body has really changed shape. Most of my old clothes absolutely do not fit. I was extremely motivated to lose the baby weight, and did plus an extra 15 pounds, making my total loss at 60 lbs!! So, needless to say, not too many of my pre-baby clothes fit me anymore. I have a two part question. I had some really nice pieces, and am having a hard time deciding what to do with them. I don’t want to donate or sell them, because what if I get back to that size again. Pre-baby I was a size 8, post-baby I’m a size 4. I don’t want to hold onto clothes hoping I’ll double my size again sometime soon, but I can’t hardly stand to discard an entire wardrobe. What do I do? Hold on to them in rubber made tubs, thinking someday I might be a size 8 again? Second part of my question – when you’re starting essentially all over – what are your recommended staple pieces for a wardrobe? I’m on a budget, but need some staple pieces in my new size. I’m a stay-at-home mom, and don’t want to look like a slob in my big, old clothes! Thanks a lot!
Swimming in a sea of baggy clothes,
Thank you so much for writing in, you present a dilemma that so many of us struggle with. Weather we loose or gain weight, it is hard to get rid of our favorite pieces. My advice to all of my friends and clients is to only have clothes in your current wardrobe that fit. That being said, I do think it is okay to store special items and classic pieces that you might fit into again but keep it minimal. In your situation you may or may not fit into the size 8 items again so if I were you I could hang on to only classic pieces that will be timeless like the perfect dress, jeans, dress pants, cashmere sweaters, etc.. Shrink the clothes you want to keep in vacuum bags, label them, and store them in a tub (I would try to limit yourself to 1 large tub).
There are many guides out there that will give you a list of items that are essential in your wardrobe, my list is based on them but a little more tailored to your needs as a young mom. You need to invest in pieces that are versitile, that can easily coordinate with other items in your wardrobe, and will stay classic and timeless. Here is my list, after you have these pieces you can add lo-cost trendy items to go with them.
- Crisp white shirt
- You can wear this with jeans and the sleeves rolled up, with black slacks and a trendy necklace, or with a business suit.
- Black slacks
- Look for something that is mid-rise and boot cut, avoid embellished pants.
- Wool coat: navy, gray, or black
- I prefer gray because it coordinates with both browns and blacks.
- Nude heels
- Nude heels will make you look leaner and longer, you can wear them with dress pants, denim, dresses, or skirts.
- Black flats
- You will find yourself wearing these all of the time, especially when you travel. Look for a good quality leather.
- Flat chocolate boots
- These are great with a trendy pair of skinny jeans or leggings, dresses, and skirts. You will wear them all fall, winter, and spring.
- Navy/black cardigan
- Splurge on one that is dry-clean only and one that is washable!
- White/gray/black tank tops and t-shirts
- These basics can be layered or alone.
- Fun jacket with a classic shape and fun color/pattern
- Pick a jacket with a cute pattern or color, it will add a punch during the winter months.
- High quality fleece
- Sometimes you just want to wear a fleece and jeans to the store, invest in something that is windproof and warm.
- Cashmere sweaters, in black and a fun flattering color like pink, purple, blue
- In January all of the cashmere sweaters go on sale, pick up a few in fun flattering colors.
- Little black dress
- This is a must have, look for something that can be worn to a wedding, cocktails, or party.
- Sassy top to wear out for cocktails or under sweaters
- I love a fun printed or sequin top, I have a pink sequin top that I can wear under a blazer or alone and I love it.
- Trendy piece like a peasant blouse
- Anthropologie is a great place to splurge on a trendy item from time to time, pick something that you are drawn to like a peasant blouse, sweater coat, or tunic.
- Dark boot wash jeans
- These are a must, I love Ann Taylor Jeans and Citizen for Humanity
- Boyfriend jeans
- As a busy mom you will wear these all of the time! You an dress them up or down and they will look great.
Thanks again for writing in, I hope all of this advice helps you decide what you hang on to from your old wardrobe and what to purchase for your new one. If you have a question for Kuzak’s Closet please send me an email.
Today is the 7th edition of Hot or Not?! which means this summer series is almost halfway over! Ashlie and I have been having fun trying new products and getting input from our friends and blog readers about what to try next. Today we are actually spending the day together, that is HOT! We only get to see each other a few times every year (that is NOT!) so we are going to have some fun shopping and catching up.
We are ending today’s edition of Hot or Not with a reader’s pick. My college friend (and sorority sister) Ang emailed me to share her thoughts on a new product. If you have a product that you want to tell the readers about please don’t hesitate to contact me!
Organizing kids artwork is a BIG challenge for most of my clients. Recently I had a client ask me to organize her son’s artwork and come up with a system that would be easy for him to enjoy and preserve the pieces for years to come.
She dropped off a box full of their favorite pieces from preschool along with these nice art portfolios from The Container Store. She told me that I didn’t need to use them if I had a better storage option but after doing some research online I decided that they were perfect. I like them because they are just they are just the right size for larger pieces and they are user friendly for small hands.
I have a small group of professional organizers that I hang with. You might think we get together and compare label makers – funny but not true! We talk about best practices, give organizing advice, and sometimes we refer clients to each other. I call us the Dream Team because we all have a different niche, experience, and successful businesses. My friend Lori from More Time For You originally met with the client from today’s project for a consultation but she passed the project on to me because she thought it would be right up my alley…messy garage+rat problem = kuzak’s closet, ha! During her consultation she took a few photos to pass on to me and then suggested that the client give me a call.
The client lives in a beautiful home in Atherton that has a carriage garage in the back of the house. The garage is very old so it is difficult to prevent pests from getting in, especially mice and rats. California has fruit rats that are very common and difficult to get rid of. I had them at my old house in Mountain View, you might remember be talking about them in this day in the life post. Anyway, the rats made a mess in his garage and he really wanted help getting the space cleaned up and organized.
Fall is finally here and I couldn’t be happier! It is my favorite time of year because of the crisp weather, fresh beginnings, and all of the tasty food that goes along with football season. When I say I am a football fan I am really just a fan of crowds of people cheering for a similar cause, tailgate snacks and cocktails, and marching bands.
Over the weekend we got our fill of the 2012 football season. On Friday night we went to Stanford’s opening game against San Jose State. I found tickets on Stub Hub for $4 so it was pretty cheap entertainment. We got to the game early for the food truck parade on campus. There were 10 trucks offering a wide variety of cuisine right outside the football stadium. We found a spot to sit in the grass to eat and enjoy a beer or two.
Over the weekend I headed to Napa to the annual regional organizing conference with my organizing buddies. I’m sure you are thinking that we all get together and compare label makers and have races to see who can sort through a box in record speed but in reality it is a great event for professional development. There were over 150 local organizers present and I left with some great ideas and a list of to-dos to improve and expand my business.
I drove up with my friend Lori from More Time for You. It was great to chat about the projects that we are working on and brain storm about how to make things better. We drove through San Francisco on our way to Santa Rosa and enjoyed a clear view of the Golden Gate Bridge on the way.
The next morning the conference started bright and early. I decided to wear my cute Zara blazer for the event (sorry I cropped out my head but this picture was taken before I had my morning latte, ha!) I wore it with black slacks and a cute pair of gray striped heels.
The keynote speaker was Julie Morgenstern which was exciting. She is probably the most successful organizer in the industry. Her talk was about reaching your potential and becoming a go-to-expert. I took lots of notes and came away with a good feeling about where my business is currently at and where it has the potential to go.
During the day I attended three breakout sessions. The first was about expanding your business into a multi-person business. I have a few people working for me now but I really need to get to the point where I can have 1 or 2 other organizers helping my clients too.
The second session was about clearing the mental clutter. The speaker reminded all of us how we impact our client’s lives and the value that we bring (we all need to be reminded of that from time to time.)
The last session was about helping couples achieve their organizing goals. The speaker works with hoarders and chronically disorganized clients like I do so I could relate to a lot of her case studies.
I wish I would have taken more photos of the day but there were so many people to meet and lots of things to learn. Lori and I drove home together and didn’t stop chatting about the conference for the entire 2 hour drive. I have been to conferences like this before and have been disappointed with the session topics or the speakers so I’m glad that I was able to come home with lots of ideas swirling in my mind.
These are my top three to-do’s (some long term some short term)
1. Wrap my mind around hiring an additional organizer and begin a search.
2. Drill down and define my niche in the industry and who my target market is.
3. Develop written organizing guides and processes so I can delegate more effectively
I figure if I share these goals on the blog I have all of you to keep me accountable! Thanks! Have a great week and I’ll be back soon with some more great before and afters from last week.
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.
Many times I open up a hall closet at a client’s house and things come pouring out! Instead of organizing what they have, they push everything but the kitchen sink inside and just shut the door, hoping that it will organize itself.