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!
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…
Kuzak’s Closet has been working on several home organization projects involving clients relocating from one home to another lately. I love helping clients strategize, space plan, and set up their new homes in an organized way. It’s such an opportunity for them to have a fresh start and a new perspective on the items they love and how they store them.
Over the weekend I installed 2 new shoe organizers in my closet. I hate the process of putting things together, especially when our dog Harper decides to chew a few of the parts and eat the directions! These organizers are really easy to put together but for some reason my screw driver kept stripping the screws so I really had to use my muscles! In the end they turned out great and I was able to achieve my goal of maximizing the space on my closet floor and display my handbags so I will be encouraged to use them.
I shared the inside of my closet…Kuzak’s Closet, ha ha, a few months ago. Many of you seemed to really enjoy the post so I thought you might like to see the updated look. Before, all of my shoes neatly lined the floor of the closet and my handbags were in bins and on the shelves. After the simple shoe organizer installation, it looks like a little boutique which will encourage me to accessorize with new items instead of my go-to favorites.
Normally I use shoe cubbies with my clients but in this case I thought a simple shoe shelf from The Container Store (they sell similar products at WalMart and Target) would allow me enough space to display my handbags on the top shelf without bumping into the clothing. I love seeing all my shoes at a glance, it’s like seeing all of my friends! FYI, if you like these shelves and have more room for storage they are stackable.
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.
One of the projects I worked on this week was a small closet in my client’s master bedroom. She uses it for extra linens, extra beauty products, and jewelry. At 3 feet deep the shelves offer lots of storage. The key to organizing a space like this is thinning out the clutter and positioning high use items in the front and low use items in the back.
My client is the “shopaholic” client that I wrote about last week. She is familiar with my process and because she has done so much work to prepare to let go the process went pretty quickly. We started on the top and began pulling everything off the shelves. We set up sorting areas on the floor and got to work.
I have been working with a self-professed shopaholic for the last few months and the experience has been amazing. She has really been working on curbing her shopping and spending and getting down to the nitty-gritty issues so she can make a change. She isn’t the first shopaholic that I have worked with over the years but she IS the first that was ready to make a change and had systems in place to help her achieve her goals.
Besides working with me she is working with a therapist and a financial coach and it has made such a big difference. The financial coach actually connected me to this client, she and I met for coffee to talk about our businesses and we had an instinct connection. After that meeting she set up a meeting with her client and I for a chat and an organizing consultation. It was a great meeting and it was obvious that she was ready to make a big change in her life.
Looking at the title you might be expecting me to show off fancy closet organizing tools and custom cabinets but not today. Not in my closet. My closet it actually pretty basic, just a straight bar with a shelf above. It is the 4th closet I have had to move into over the last 6 years and it seems to work for me just fine. I spent an hour sorting through my closet and following my organizing rules on Sunday for my seasonal purge so I snapped some pictures to give you an inside look.
Being organized is as much about “looking” organized as it is about “being” organized. A few weeks before Christmas a new client called and she wanted to have me come out for a quick session so I could revive her master closet, a Christmas gift to herself. I had a cancellation so I was able to get her in right away.
When I arrived for the appointment her house was full of activity, she had someone there doing ironing, someone wrapping Christmas gifts, and friends dropping off items for an upcoming party. Through the chaos, she and I had a chance to meet, she gave me a quick tour of her house and I got to work.
A blog reader asked me for shoe storage advice back in November and I shared a few storage options that would help her stay organized in her small place. One of the suggestions was to store her out of season shoes in clear shoe boxes, stacked on the top shelf of her closet. Today I am going to share my tips on how to make this option work for you, and how adding photos will really help you stay organized!
The key to an organized closet is “looking” organized. You want your closet to have a continuous clean and clutter free look, just like your favorite store or boutique. Last week I organized and edited my client’s master closet, he is a busy professional who wanted me to make the changes while he was at work, talk about trust! I filled up 5 garbage bags with items that looked worn, out of date, or needed to be replaced, and organized them by type and color.
It is so important to keep your bedroom simple and uncluttered, it will help your mind unwind and recharge each day. Due to the size and limited storage in my client’s home, her bedroom had become a storage space for all of her holiday decor, memorabilia, and miscellaneous household items and it was causing her stress and worry.
Last weekend I helped one of my favorite clients organize his closet. He hadn’t gone through his clothes for the last 10 to 15 years so we had lots of laughs along the way. (He is an avid sports fan and has collected t-shirts over the last 30 years which was fun to see!) At the end of our session we had 5 garbage bags filled for Goodwill and 3 bags for garbage!
I always say that I tailor my organizing sessions to each client and these before and afters will give you a good example of that. My client only has the full use of one arm so it was important for me to create a system for him that would be functional and stay organized.
Getting organized is about peeling back the layers. In many cases each drawer and pile opens up a new can of worms in the rest of the room and sometimes even the entire house. It is important to try to stay organized while you get organized. I know, it sounds tough but it is a must. First you have to sort everything in the space you are working on, make piles of “like” things. It will look like a disaster while you are working but once you get everything sorted things fall in to place quite easily. Start by evaluating where things should go based on how often you use them, the size, and the function, etc.. Then start putting things away, use existing drawers and shelves or even purchase storage totes and decorative boxes.
I was going through my before and afters over the weekend and I realized that these tween closet pics hadn’t been posted. Before the holidays I had a client hire me to organize her entire home, from top to bottom. It was a really great project because I was able to reorganize and spruce up room, closet, and drawer over a short period of time.
She has children that spend half of their week with her and the other half with their dad so it is important that their rooms are organized so they can easily pack up mid week. Because they are between in a transitional age range (between being young kids and being teenagers) I set up organizing systems in their rooms that they can grow into.
Last week I shared a peek inside some of the organized spaces within my home. It is clear from the pictures as well as many of the client before and afters on my blog that I love using small white utility bins in a variety of sizes to curb the clutter in drawers.
Recently I organized a master bathroom for a client and I used them to create a system for all of the supplies that can so turn easily into a mess. My client and her family moved into a new home a few months ago and she asked me to unpack the remaining boxes and set up a system in the master bathroom. She sent me pictures of what the spaces looked like so I could come prepared with products that would make the project more custom to her needs. She really wanted a defined space for all of the little items to live so I brought lots of little mini white bins and clear bins that I buy at my local hardware store.
I pulled all of the items out of the cabinets and sorted them into the mini bins and then created a layout based on similar items. There are 2 sinks in the master bathroom so I put all of her items under the left sink and her husband and kids items under the right sink. I used Velcro to attach the bins to the cabinets so they won’t slide around. Another key was removing little items like dental floss and hair ties from their original packaging and putting them in a mini bin so they are more accessible. I’ll let the before and afters tell the rest of the story…
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…)
Where did November go? Thanksgiving has passed and we’re plowing full-force into the December holiday season. Orange and brown hues have disappeared from the shelves at my local stores and been replaced with an explosion of red’s and green’s. I love it!
Today’s post is a review of the super busy month of November. This month has really shown the diversity of the projects that my team at Kuzak’s Closet are tackling; great closet and garage organization projects, a full house relocation and un-pack, estate inventory, several estate sales and liquidations, DIY events, a book release and so much more!!
December is looking pretty packed but I am taking some time to visit family, which will be fantastic and I am looking forward to a break. We managed to squeeze two estate sales into December so be on the lookout for those updates and I am bringing back the Holiday Decor Week from last year that was so much fun. I love to see everyone’s different decorations and hear about the holiday traditions of my family and friends. (more…)
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…