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Closet Organizing Systems Blog

Obstacles in Closets Video

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Nine obstacles this Reach In closet that has full depth panels and goes floor to ceiling. 


Closet Organizing Systems Earns Coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award in Two Categories

Saturday, July 27, 2013
Home & Garage Organization in Chicagowww.angieslist.com  
Award reflects company’s consistently high level of customer Service

Closet Organizing Systems has been awarded the prestigious 2010 Angie’s List Super Service Award, an honor bestowed annually on approximately 5 percent of all the companies rated on the nation’s leading provider of consumer reviews on local service companies.

“Our Super Service Award winners are the cream of the crop when it comes to providing consistently high quality customer service, as judged by the customers who hired them,” said Angie Hicks, founder of Angie’s List.

“We are very pleased to have received 2 Super Service Awards this year from Angie’s List in the categories of Closet and Home and Garage Organization” says Bill Curran President of COS. Curran adds “It’s great to be recognized by independent consumer review resources as they are a true testament of our commitment to quality of product/service in the areas of Custom Closet and Cabinetry systems” Curran adds.

Angie’s List Super Service Award winners have met strict eligibility requirements including earning a minimum number of reports, an exemplary rating from their customers and abiding by Angie’s List operational guidelines.

Service company ratings are updated daily on Angie’s List, but members can find the 2010 Super Service Award logo next to company names in search results on AngiesList.com.

Angie’s List collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. Members get unlimited access to local ratings via Internet or phone, exclusive discounts, the Angie’s List magazine and help from the Angie’s List complaint resolution service. Take a quick tour of Angie’s List and view the latest Angie’s List news.

How to Take 10 Walls and Make a Closet that is a Perfect 10!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Most Walk in Closets are shaped like a square or rectangle – but not this one! Not only does this closet have ten walls – but also it needed to serve almost as many functions.  The clients wanted everything behind doors.  And they wanted the space to serve as a dressing area and a laundry/pressing area.  All designed to be in harmony with the rest of their décor. In order to make this happen – we had to involve engineering aspects hand-in-hand with design aspects.  Everything needed to flow just as much as it needed to function. 


As a result, we used several blind corner units.  We also provided cedar backing, which was attached to the walls.  Then we installed the structure of the closet without the doors and drawer fronts.  And we did this so we could be certain that everything fit perfectly.  We also scribed this closet to the ceiling and installed base molding for a true built-in look.

 

You see, we utilized some very high-end materials including walnut with burl inlays, patterned glass and mirrored doors.  A mistake of even an eighth of an inch would mean the door/drawer didn't fit properly – and then didn't function properly. And no one wanted that – so patience was an important aspect to this project. We located the pants presser and the laundry in a niche near the back of the space.  There’s also a three way mirror (with storage behind it) that serves double duty in its’ function and in making the space appear larger.

 
A chandelier further enhances these gorgeous materials, shedding light on one of the most beautiful custom storage solutions that we have created so far.  And our industry colleagues concur, because this project won a Top Shelf Design Award.

Seven Tips for Organizing Your Closet

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

So what if you’re one of the people who haven’t yet achieved the nirvana of your own boutique size walk in closet?

How do you get all of your stuff inside and organized so you can find it when you need it? 

 

Start with these tried and true organizing tips:

 

1) Start by taking everything out.  Some items will go in the trash or Goodwill pile immediately.  Trust me – you’ll find things you don’t even remember having, along with some that you’ve been looking for a very long time.

 

2) Evaluate with honesty and discipline.  Look at each item and give it a rating

from 1-10.  Ten means you love it and wear it often with confidence and joy.  Anything below a 7 should no longer have a home in your closet.  It’s not doing you any favors and not serving your current lifestyle and goals.

 

3) When you’re doing this evaluating – ask yourself how you want people to perceive you TODAY – in current time.  Are you looking to get promoted?  Are you looking for love?  Pick three to five adjectives that you resonate with and make sure each item you keep honors and conveys these characteristics.

 

4) Put the pieces that have sentimental value in a box – and then store that box somewhere besides the main closet you use to get dressed.

 

5) Apply the 80-20 rule.  We really do wear 20% of our clothing 80% of the time.  If you have things you just can’t bear to let go of – move them to the back of another closet or storage space.  If another 6 months or year goes by and you still have worn them – let them go without even re-evaluating.  Trust that they have served their purpose.

 

6) Make another pile for anything that needs to be tailored, sewn or mended and write down what needs to be done to fix the piece.  Then take them to the seamstress at the dry cleaners or your tailor – within 72 hours – and get the problems fixed so you can move forward and wear them with confidence.

 

7) Now start putting things back into your closet.  The things you use the most should be the easiest to access.  The goal is to be able to open (and close) the closet door – access what you need – and move on with your day.

 

Good luck and happy organizing!

And if you need to add some structure to your closet – set up an appointment with one of our fabulous design team members.  They can double your storage capacity in no time flat and make your newly organized life so much easier to live.

Closet Organizing Systems and Custom Storage Solutions

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
At Closet Organizing Systems we’re an extremely creative and visionary company with a rather technical name.

And what’s not in our name is as noteworthy as what is. We have the depth and breath of expertise to create custom storage solutions for every single space in your home (not just closets) – as well as other professional commercial spaces desiring traditional cabinetry or custom high end exotic wood materials.

Our Custom Services Include:
Custom Closet Design & Consulting
Walk-In Closets
Reach-In Closets

Workstations
Garage Cabinets & Workstations
Panty Cabinets & Shelving
Laundry & Mud Room Systems
Custom Built-Ins & Entertainment Centers
Custom Mantels
Commercial Casework & Retail Displays


And we love what we do. So we continue to push the boundaries of our technical capabilities and help clients coordinate and solve the most unusual storage needs as an industry leader in the Chicago, IL area for truly custom and one of a kind storage solutions.

We’re going to share tips on design, organization, and storage systems. We’re also going to feature some very unique projects with special features. And we’re going to give you an insider perspective of things that are happening in the world as they relate to cabinetry design, custom closets, and storage solutions.

Because these are the things we’re passionate about – and we hope you’re passionate about too!

So if you enjoy before and after reveals, glamour shots of gorgeous areas (yours included), tips that will make your life more organized, and share special design insights – then please join us by subscribing to our blog and “Like” us on our Facebook Fan page.

We love connecting with like-minded souls on our journey to making the world a better place – one custom storage project at a time!

Visit our project gallery to see some of our quality projects: http://www.closetos.com/gallery/

12 Things to Consider BEFORE you Design your Master Closet

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
If you’re lucky enough to have a walk-in master closet – whether it’s shared space or there are “his” and “her” versions – it pays off to plan your storage design.

So here are the top ten things to consider when planning this space (whether you’re doing it yourself or meeting with –oh – say – one of our fabulous design consultants).

Here’s the inside scoop on how to master “The Master”.

1) If it’s shared space, decide on the division. How much space will each person get? The typical division is 2/3 Hers; 1/3 His.

2) Do you need drawers and if so, approximately how many? And do you like deep drawers, shallow drawers, or a combination?

3) Shoe Storage. How many pair need shelf space? Honestly.

4) Make the Long Hang decision. How much of it do you need and where will it go? If space is tight, you don’t wear the Long Hang items frequently and you have other closets, consider moving the Long Hang out of the master closet.

5) Do you hang pants long or fold them over a hanger? This will help determine what other hanging space will be needed (short, medium or long).

6) Where does dirty laundry end up? And what about clothes that need to go to the drycleaner? Would you like pullout baskets/drawers for that?

7) Are you a “folder” or a “hanger”? People who fold most things need more shelves. People who hang need hanging space.

8) Do you like all of your clothing and shoes to be visible or behind doors/drawers?

9) Do you need a full-length mirror?

10) Do you travel and need a surface (island or peninsula) for packing?

11) Where will you sit to put on your shoes?

12) Would you like some hooks for hanging the clothes you “hang around the house in”. They’re so much better than the floor.

These are the things we “masters” consider when we have the privilege of working with people on this most important and intimate space. If your husband is the “master” in assisting you with this project, then he’s one lucky fella. And if that doesn’t work out – we’re here for you! Just schedule your complimentary in home consultation and we’ll make the process painless and the result beautiful.

Our Design Team Wins Top Industry Awards for Three Years Running

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Once each year closet designers really come out of the closet for the Top Shelf Awards at the annual Closets & Home Organization Expo and conference.

And members of our design team have brought home “the gold” every year that we submit entries – which we’re really quite proud of. The contest is called the Top Shelf Design Awards and independent judges evaluate and rank the entries. Then the team at Vance Publishing tallies the results and announces the winners during a celebration at the conference.

One of our first winners is this cherry blossom melamine walk in closet created for a client who wanted a masculine look with a high degree of functionality. This dressing room features traditional, raised-panel fronts and combines open and closed storage at varying depths. Changing the depths of sections not only maximizes the storage, but also adds interest. The elegant crown and base molding take it to the highest level of luxury.

Another project that was recognized is this home office design. By mixing melamine and wood, we were able to get a really high-end look for fewer dollars. The lower pullouts for electronics add to the functionality. The bulletin board keeps things right in front of the owner for easy organization and accessibility and the glass doors lighten the whole feel.

We’re also fortunate enough to have the custom capabilities that allow us to do solid wood projects in almost any species you can think of. This award winner is done in walnut and features decorative burl inlays, patterned glass and ample lighting both inside and under the cabinetry. The space also incorporates a pants presser, an adjacent laundry area and extra storage behind a three-way mirror.

So if you’d like your life to feel more “award winning” – give us a call and we’ll have one of our award winning designers consult with you on your own custom storage solution.

Office Design Award Winner  Office Design Award Winner

Master Closet Design Award Winner Master Closet Design Award Winner

Master Closet Design Award Winner  Master Closet Design Award Winner

Home Office Harmony

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
With each 9-5 workday that goes by – more people join the ranks of those who work at home.
And even if you have a dedicated space to do your work – and a door to close behind you when you do not want to be disturbed – keeping it all organized can be challenge.

So we asked a professional organizer who specializes in this area.

Elaine Quinn of Space Craft Organizing in Chicago says, “When you’re working from home, make things easy on yourself. Don’t waste time and energy searching for what you need in a cluttered and disorganized work space. A few small steps can make a big difference in how well your home office works for you.”

Try a couple of the following tips to make things run smoother –

1. Assign a logical and convenient place to keep every item.
Decide the most logical and convenient place to keep each item and always put it there. Keep like things together and store items closest to the place you will use them. If you use some types of items in more than one place, have duplicates.

2. Put each item away as soon as you are finished using it.
Avoid the habit of putting something here “for now.” All too often, it stays there “for ever.” Eventually you’ll have an unruly stack of stuff to sort through. It’s your choice: a moment now, or hours later.

3. Regularly dispose of items you don’t use.
Clear out things you no longer use so that it’s easier to find what you have. Give them to someone else, donate to a charity, re-purpose, recycle, or just admit they’re junk and throw them away.

4. Only buy items that you need, like, and have space for.
It’s a waste of time, money and space to buy something you won’t use, don’t enjoy, can’t see or is too much trouble to get to.

Elaine advises, “Like any new habit, staying organized may not come naturally at first, but it will save you time (and money!) in the long run.” Learn more by signing up for her newsletter at http://SpaceCraftOrganizing.com.

And if you need support in building the structure of your home office space – give us a call and we’ll set you up with a member of our design team to help you figure things out.

Home Office - Before  Home Office - After
                       Before                                                         After

Home Office - Before  Home Office - AFTER
                      Before                                                         After

Tips for Taking Care of your Most Prized Possessions - the Clothing Items Inside your Closet!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013
Women all over the world would agree that some of their most treasured possessions are actually housed inside their closets – with shoe collections topping the list.

So how do you take care of these investments in self-expression and style?

One of the first things to do is to let them breathe. Natural fibers and fabrics need air. So don’t keep your dry cleaning in the plastic bags that you bring the items home in. Not only do the bags not allow the fabrics to breathe – but they keep the cleaning chemicals “locked in” – which makes the clothing deteriorate more quickly.

And speaking of plastic, don’t keep your shoes in plastic boxes either for the same reasons.

And don’t wear the same pair of shoes every day – day in and day out. Your feet sweat and the leather absorbs that. As a minimum, give them 24 hours to “breathe out” the smells. At best, put them in cedar shoetrees that absorb the sweat and help maintain the shape.

Another tip that will save you money and time is to actually have your clothing dry cleaned less frequently. Unless the garments are next to your skin and become stained from food or sweat – you really only need to dry clean garments once or twice per season.

And since you don’t want the pants/skirt of a matching suit to ever be darker than your jacket, you should dry-clean both garments at the same time. It’s very common for garments to change color shades when dry-cleaned.

And if you’re interested in more time and money saving tips – sign up to follow our blog and we’ll keep you in the know.

11 Tips for Getting Your Mudroom to Serve as the Master Organizer

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

If you don’t live in a city apartment – it’s likely you’ve got a house with a mudroom. Sports Mudroom

And I would define “mudroom” as being the first open space you enter as you come in – probably via the garage. It often has hooks for hanging coats and gear.

But it can be so much more with some thoughtful planning.

Following are some tips and questions to ask yourself if you’re trying to organize your mudroom:

1) Define your storage needs. How many people are going to need storage space within this space? Will each one have his/her own “locker” space?

2) Define which coats and outerwear are for casual, everyday wear and which are more formal. Store formal coats in the front coat closet if space in the mudroom is tight.
Sports Themed Mudroom
3) Some closed storage is essential if you’re trying to maintain some semblance of order. Consider an armoire or built-ins that can have open and closed options that are designed to accommodate your specific family needs.

4) Determine how you want to keep all the hats, gloves and scarves accessible yet organized. Pullout baskets are often the best solution because they allow air circulation in case items are damp.

5) Hooks. It’s not a mudroom without hooks. Inside lockers, divided into sections, along the wall (and above the heating vent), plan on space for hooks.

6) Incorporate seating for taking off and putting on shoes. Design it so there are a couple of shelves underneath for convenient shoe storage.

7) Mirrors add a nice touch and allow for a quick last look on the way out the door.

8) If this becomes the home for the recycle center, make sure it’s organized, easy and not completely open.

9) Consider a laundry basket/tilt hamper for items you know need to make it to the washing machine.

10) If you’re building new space or remodeling, incorporating a heating vent in this space will help dry wet mittens and coats.

11) If you’re really doggin’ it, have a “hose down” area to clean off the family pet after a rainy day walk.

Mudrooms are often referred to as “drop zones” for good reason. If yours deserves this title make sure you incorporate lots of hooks for backpacks, jackets and gear. Find a space for seating so you can sit down when taking your shoes on and off and have accessible spaces to store those shoes – like shelving beneath your bench.


     
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