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.
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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…
Dear Kuzak’s Closet
Thank you so much for your patience and help! I’m really excited to be working with you and appreciate your time.
My girlfriend and I currently share our flat with 2 roommates and we are struggling with storage. I took some photos today — it’s hard to believe this is what our room looks like even when it’s clean! As you can see, we’re doing a lot of piling in the corners, especially when we have backpacks to set down after work, etc.
Right now, the closet is so packed we can barely pull out dresses or shirts. We’ve done a decent job of pairing down and perhaps the space of the additional room (which will become available in a few months) will help with this.
My shoes and boots are living underneath my bed currently and are partially out-of-the-way.
As you can see near the window, we’ve put a desk there that’s not really accessible or useful, except to serve as a catch-all for other little items.
We would like your advice on how to maximize the space for storage, thanks again for your help!
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…)
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!
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
Last weekend Chris rode in the 2013 MS Waves to Wine ride to help raise money to cure Multiple Sclerosis. It’s a 100 mile bike ride from San Francisco to Sonoma (the longest route you can imagine). He was apart of the Google team which helped raise $38,000 for the cause. All of the teams combined raised over $2 million, amazing! Thank you so much for supporting and donating to the ride!
I decided to take pictures again this year (here is a link to last year’s post). I came prepared in Google attire so the riders would recognize me as the official team photographer instead of a nutty stalker with a camera in a ford F150. Unfortunately it rained for most of the race so I’m sure they still thought I was a nut. What other type of person would have their camera lens poking out of the window of their truck on the side of a cliff on highway 1 in a rainstorm?
I was planning on snapping them cross the Golden Gate Bridge but they fog was so intense that I couldn’t see 50 feet ahead of me. Here is a picture looking at the bridge from the viewing area. No, you are not confused, there was no sight of the bridge.
I moved to plan B and headed into Sausalito to try to catch them with the view of San Francisco in the background. It’s amazing that 5 minutes down the road the sun would be shining!
I waited for about 30 minutes for the first pack of bikers to come by. For some reason waiting was never dull. The view of the bay was beautiful and the anticipation of the riders coming around the bend kept me focused. Here are the shots of the first riders. Some of these guys were on the Google team, some were just cute and nice enough to smile at 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.
Yesterday I worked hard with my crew to set up this weekend’s estate sale in Los Altos. There are lots of goodies available, great furniture, artwork and treasures. The sale will be open this Friday August 9th from 9am-2pm and Saturday August 10th from 9am-2pm at 265 Mt. Hamilton Ave in Los Altos, right off of Foothill Expressway at Edith.
Below is a quick summary of what is available and a long photo preview, please let me know if you have any questions and I’ll see you this weekend!
Sub Zero Fridge, Deep Freezer, Maytag Washer and Dryer, Ladders, Holiday, Tools, Antique Campaign Chairs, Kids Games, Singer Sewing Machine, Kitchen appliances, tool, and dishes, China, Waterford, Silverplate, Antique Copper, Dressers, Nightstands, Headboards, Queen Mattress Set, Twin Mattress and Frame, 3 Sofas, 8 Side Chairs, 1 Beautiful sectional sofa, Kimball Player Piano, Artwork by Gregory Deane, David Lee, Michael Dela, and Andrea Smith, Small Tables, Records, Misc. Electronic Equipment, Office Supplies, Photo Albums, Gorgeous Pair of Glass Tables with Bamboo Bases, Glass Coffee Table, 1999 Ford Crown Victoria, and Much Much More!
I’m back to my normal routine this week after a fun week with my parents are older brother last week. They stayed for 8 days and I had a jam-packed schedule for them. Normally I let our guests relax but it was my brother’s first visit to California and he had a lot of sites on his wish list. He wanted to see Pebble Beach, Carmel, Monterey Bay, Yosemite, Big Trees, Tahoe, and San Francisco and I tried my best to fit everything in.
Yosemite was definitely the highlight of the week, we spent 3 days at the National Park. None of us had been there before and we couldn’t believe how beautiful and magical it is. My pictures hardly capture how grand it really is, there is a stunning view around each bend and all of the waterfalls were running full force. It really seemed surreal at times.
Because the park can be so busy this time of year I set up our reservations to stay back in January. I did a lot of research and ended up finding a great room for us at Yosemite View Lodge. We had a two room suite with two bathrooms a kitchen and a large balcony over the river. The lodge had a nice restaurant where we had breakfast and dinner and we were able to pack a cooler with lunch goodies. I would highly recommend staying at the lodge, it is just a few miles from the north gate of the park.
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.
I’m sharing part II of our Yosemite trip and a few pictures from a day in San Francisco with my family. Yesterday’s post featured pictures from our first two days at the National Park and today I am giving you a look at the historic Wawona Hotel and the giant Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove.
The hotel was about a forty minute drive up into the mountains from the valley floor. We stopped to take pictures of the main structure and the cottages on the property and decided to stick around for lunch. It was the best meal that we had during our three days at the park. I had homemade tomato basil soup and a little bit of Chris’ roasted turkey club sandwich with avocado.
Thank you so much for voting Kuzak’s Closet the Best Blog of Silicon Valley for 2013. I am so lucky to have such wonderful, supportive readers! It’s hard to believe that it has been 3.5 years since I started sharing my life and my business with all of you! Here are 10 facts that you might not know about Kuzak’s Closet…
- I’ve been blogging since December 5, 2009
- There are 891 original posts
- Since I started blogging I’ve been sponsored by some great companies like Sterilite, Swiffer, Command, Fresh Produce, and BlogHer!
- Pinterest is the #1 referral site to my blog, sending hundreds of readers per day.
- These 5 cities are the most popular for readership…#1 San Jose CA, #2 Mountain View CA, #3 San Francisco CA, #4 Bad Axe MI, #5 New York, NY
- On Average you spend 6 minutes and 40 seconds on my blog each time you visit
- The Before and After page has the most visits per month, 68 Before and After projects have been shared
- My DIY Picture Frame is the most popular post ever
- There have been 82 guest bloggers (thank you) not counting my sister’s visits during Sister Sister Sunday and Hot or Not?!
- People always ask me where I get the photos for my blog and I will assure you that I have taken all of them, I love using my camera!
Bookmark my site or follow me through BlogLovin to insure you don’t miss a post! Your comments keep me going so please stay in touch!
I have been working with a great family on an estate project over the last few weeks. My client is in her 80s and is planning to sell her Los Altos Hills home to retire in Hawaii, sounds like a good plan right? Well, before she can put her house on the market she needs to sell all of the goodies inside. She isn’t planning on moving for a few years so most of the contents in the main living area and her bedroom need to stay but the antiques and goodies that filled the garage and several rooms can be sold.
I worked with my crew last week to sort through all of the items in the garage, and two bedrooms (things were stacked to the ceiling). We uncovered so many neat items, it seemed like every time I reached into a box I pulled out something totally neat. This sale will be taking place in the garage and breezeway and if the weather permits on the driveway. I hardly have enough room to stage all of the items but I want my clients to have as much privacy as possible during this stage of the sale process. As she gets closer to her moving date and has a more realistic picture of what she would like to move with her I will hold another sale which is exciting.
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.
Yesterday I featured the first part of my two part home organization transformation. I wanted to share all of these before and afters back to back because all of the spaces we organized flow into each other in this open concept space. Our organizing sessions with this particular client were really fun for me because were able to see such big results in a small amount of time. My clients were SO ready to make a change which made the decision making piece of the purging process go very quickly.
Today we are going to take a look at the before and afters from the dining room. It serves as the main craft and homework area for my clients’ two daughters. It was full of finished (and unfinished) school assignments and artwork. As we sorted, I put anything paper related into a pile for my client to look through. There were lots of little treasures in boxes, bins, and bags surrounding the table. Once we had everything sorted into like categories we created a plan for the space.
I started working on a huge project at the end of February with a fabulous client. If you follow me on Facebook you have seen some of the progress pictures that I am showing you today.
My client lives in a 1,500 square foot mobile home in the area. Shortly after she moved in, life’s stresses started piling up and so did the clutter. She had recently got divorced. Then her father passed away. Then her grandmother and then her mother, and then the dog and cat. She was overwhelmed and began living in a small part of the home due to the clutter and a mouse infestation.
I met her when I was working on her mother’s estate. Shortly after we wrapped up that project she hired Matt and I to help get her back on track. Most people would classify her as a hoarder but people use that term too often in my opinion. I agree that she might have struggled with hoarding tendencies at one point in her life but her current mind-set is NOT the mind-set of a hoarder. My hoarding clients in the past have been nasty to me – they are only willing to work with me because they have to (e.g. they are being evicted or removed from their home). You can read more about my first hoarder Gloria. This client has been the opposite of my past hoarder clients. She has been wonderful to work with, motivated, focused, and goal oriented.
It’s Wednesday and that means I am featuring another salad for my summer salad series. Today’s salad has been my go-to salad for the last few weeks, a simple strawberry pecan goat cheese salad. The poolside restaurant on my Hilton Head vacation served it and I couldn’t get enough of it.
It is so easy to make and involves little chopping or prep which is nice. The goat cheese cuts the tang of the homemade balsamic dressing and the pinch of garlic salt gives it a nice finish.
As I mentioned in last Friday’s day in the life post I am currently working on creating a little “she den” for myself in one of the bedrooms in our home. For the last two years the bedroom has only had a desk and chair in it and with the transition we needed to find new place for the desk to live.