I am teaming up for another fun party at West Elm with my friend and fellow blogger Monica at Living in Vogue this week, “Dressing Up the Holidays”. Not only will we be showing off our DIY table style projects from the West Elm 1 Year Anniversary party two weeks ago, we will be presenting tips about keeping your hosting schedule organized, setting up a bar, styling your party wardrobe and will be serving sample cocktail and appetizer recipes that are sure to wow your guests and give you time to mingle. Local baker SusieCakes is supplying some delicious desserts for your tasting pleasure, Ibiss boutique is loaning some amazing wardrobe pieces, Apis Floral will be on hand to talk about floral arrangements and The Card Lady will be showing some amazing sample menu’s and invitations. We hope you can join us as we kick off the holiday season at West Elm!
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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…
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…)
On Wednesday night I had a Mexican Fiesta birthday party for Chris and his friend Beza. My friend Miguel recently bought a taco truck and I asked him if he would cater the party for me and he happily agreed. Since Miguel had dinner covered I decided I would make a few desserts from scratch. I tried a new recipe for a Rhubarb Crumple using my mom’s homemade Rhubarb jam (delish!), it was so good and I’ll share the recipe with you next week. I also made a very simple Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake and my Mini Cheesecakes.
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…)
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I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas today and share how I have been displaying my holiday cards. Remember the picture frames I made earlier this year? Well, I took the black and white pictures off for the month and started clipping up cards as they arrived in the mail. I love how festive the look and I smile when I see all of my friends on the wall.
I can’t believe Christmas eve is already here, this holiday season really flew by! Holiday Decor Week on the blog really helped get me into the Christmas spirit and it also gave me the chance to “virtually” visit many of my friends homes and enjoy their decorations.
What are your plans for the day? Chris and I are going to church and then out for a nice dinner. Tomorrow we will have a relaxing day at home and a nice meal. I’m making a turkey with stuffing, ginger glazed carrots, cranberries, and a few small desserts. Sounds good to me!
Whether you are spending the holiday alone, with a spouse or significant other, or with a huge family around the table, have a great Christmas!
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.
Many times when I help my clients organize their kitchens and refrigerators, I notice that they don’t have their freezers stocked properly. They either don’t have anything in it or it is stocked so full that they can’t get anything out. The key to using your freezer effectively is having it organized properly so you know what you have so you can pop it out and prepare a meal in an instant. Make sure to keep like items together (fruit, veggies, soups, desserts, breads, dinners, etc.). Go through your freezer on a regular basis, try to toss any of the items that have freezer burn and make a list of items you need. Try to buy things when they go on sale, you will save money at the register and down the road when you aren’t ordering take-out a couple times per week.
My freezer is usually stocked with easy meals from the Trader Joe’s freezer section and homemade favorites but now that I have been on a low carb diet since May I have had to make adjustments. It has been especially hard to find quick breakfast and lunch options (I am a cereal and PB&J girl) but I have figured out what I like. I am going back to the doctor on Monday to be reevaluated and I will find out how much longer I need to keep up my low carb lifestyle and if I need to have any further surgeries. Until then, here is a look at what is in my freezer…
Wohoo! It’s touchdown week again at Kuzak’s Closet which means all week guest bloggers will be sharing their football traditions. I look forward to this week all year because I love fall, football, and all of the tasty treats that go along with it!
I’m so thrilled to be back at Kuzak’s Closet. For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Amy Allender. I write a self-titled blog about my domestic adventures and awkward moments as I navigate life’s unexpected twists and turns. It is truly and honor to take part in Holiday Decor Week. Thanks so much for having me!
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.
The weather in NYC has been chilly all week and I definitely didn’t come prepared. When I checked the weather to pack for my trip it said it was going to be in the high 80s, instead it has been raining and 60 degrees. I packed lots of cute dresses and tops but instead I have been wearing jeans and my favorite Eileen Fisher spring jacket almost every day. Hopefully it warms up for the weekend.
On Tuesday I decided to venture out of the hotel for the afternoon and check out the West Village and a few shops that I have read about online. I had a cab drop me off on Bleecker Street and I window shopped for several blocks. There were lots of high end shops and boutiques.
Last fall I scheduled a January trip to Napa for Chris and I to take some time to get-a-way and to take advantage of all of the great specials available during Napa’s off season. I am so glad I booked it ahead of time because our schedules have been so busy lately, we never would have been able to get away if it wasn’t on the calendar in advance. It was Chris’ first time to my favorite place in the whole world… Indian Springs. (In case you are new here check out my previous posts about this fantastic resort here and here.) We arrived on Wednesday afternoon and stayed until Friday evening. The weather was perfect while we were there, high 60s and sunny.
Each Friday Kelly’s Korner hosts a linky party called Show Us Your Life. Have you ever linked up? She changes the theme each and every week, last month she asked for favorite appetizers, main dishes, and desserts and the response was awesome. I spent a few hours visiting blogs on the Saturday after she asked for main course ideas and I found some great new recipes and blogs to follow.
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.