Tasks to Do Today For A Stress Free Holiday Season

By csc-admin - December 17th, 2015

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With the holidays almost here (did it sneak up on you, too?), here are some tasks we encourage you to complete today for a stress-free day of festivities. And don’t forget to call your local Closet and Storage Concepts when you’re ready to make your home more storage efficient.

  1. Get the Gift Wrap In Order

Take inventory of your wrapping supplies. If you’re running low on ribbons, gift tags, or simply want a new wrapping paper design, make a note of what colors you need, and how much you need. For wrapping paper, if you’re replenishing your stash, be sure you have extra for those gifts that you may have forgotten. Getting the gift wrapping supplies today makes it one less thing to purchase a day before Christmas.

Clear out or set aside space in your spare bedroom or office for a gift wrapping station. Having a pre-designated area will make wrapping everything a breeze. Plus you can be sure that you have all the room you need ahead of time.

  1. Clean The House

Cleaning generally falls down the list of priorities during the holidays, but cleaning up now can make things easier for you, especially if you’re hosting a gathering. Even if you’re not hosting this year, getting the cleaning done before you go on vacation or before the major swing of holiday parties can help you feel more relaxed when things die down. You’ll definitely be ready to ring in the New Year with a clean home!

Even taking only 15 minutes here or there everyday can help to reduce the stress rather than completing one major cleanup while you’re multitasking on the day of your gathering.

  1. Get Enough Rest

Before you have to pull an all-nighter for last minute presents or baking the cookies for Santa’s trip down the chimney, be sure to get in your sleep. A proper night’s rest can keep you and your body feeling it’s best. You’ll say goodbye to any wintertime blue’s in time for the festivities.

  1. Make Your List and Check it Twice

If it’s time to do one last push for gifts or to stock up on snacks and ingredients for that roast, make like Santa and check it twice. Check in the pantry, fridge, and freezer to make sure you don’t have the items on your list already and cross-reference ingredients to your recipes. If you’re worried about gifts, get some gender-neutral gifts or general gifts on the off chance that you did in fact miss a gift. Flowers for hosts, or a good bottle of wine with a certificate to a restaurant can be a good option.

Create a stress-free holiday by staying organized with proper planning. Then get your home storage nightmares resolved by giving Closet and Storage Concepts a call today for your free in-home consultation!

Photo by Jill Wellington, under Public Domain (CC0 1.0).

Halloween Clean Up: Candy

By csc-admin - November 30th, 2015

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Do you still have left over candy from Halloween? Or maybe even from last year? Or maybe you simply want to make sure your child doesn’t eat all of it in one sitting? At Closet and Storage Concepts we’re here to help with tips on when to throw it out, reuse it, or give it away.

  1. Expiration dates

Expiration dates are always a good place to start to determine if it’s time to say goodbye to packaged candy, but sometimes even those can be misleading. Many experts say that food, including candy, is still good past the sell date. With chocolate for examples, chocolate chips that are frozen can last two to three years, while plain milk chocolate is only usually good for 12 to 18 months. With gummy candies, the true expiration date is usually only for about 12 months although Skittles are known to have a shelf life of two to three years. In most cases, it will be safe to re-purpose candy for your holiday stocking stuffers, just be aware that your other senses like smell and sight can help to determine if it’s time to say goodbye to the candy.

  1. Freeze it

Freezing your candy can help extend it’s life. Chocolate in particular can benefit by increasing the sell by date an additional 12 months. Even the different temperatures between a fridge and a freezer can impact (and increase) the amount of time you can keep candy around. If you do want to save your candy, freezing it may be the best option. Keep in mind that certain candies will lose some of their taste and consistency if you freeze them.

  1. Bake it

Chocolate chips, M&Ms, and other candy products might be able to be used in another dish if you don’t want to eat them plain. Baking them into other goods can be a good gift, or you can save them for your ginger bread houses. Simply look for a recipe online and voila! You’ll have new baked goods to share so you don’t waste anything and your kids don’t eat everything in one sitting.

  1. Just say goodbye

If you’re on a health kick, it may be best to just say goodbye to the candy. If so, don’t feel guilty. You’re stopping any cravings and temptation while clearing out the clutter in your home. If you don’t want to completely toss it, try reaching out to a local organization to see if you can donate the candy. Local children hospitals or non-profits that work with the armed forces frequently accept donations.

No matter what you choose to do with your leftover candy Closet and Storage Concepts is here to help you make more room for a well-organized life. For more food storage tips for your pantry or other tips for throughout your home, check out our other blog posts or visit our showroom!

Image: by spazchicken, under Public Domain (CC0 1.0).

Craft Room Organization Tips

By csc-admin - November 17th, 2015

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It’s time to get the craft room organized before you need the wrapping paper for all of those gifts. The team at Closet and Storage Concepts is here to help you find the best solutions for your crafts no matter if you have a dedicated room or a simple closet area.

Baskets

Keeping all of your supplies and baubles in one spot is a go-to solution for organizers and designers. Baskets can keep like items grouped together all while keeping them concealed when guests are over. They also make moving items a breeze. Simply store your items in the basket and move them between shelves, or even different rooms if you need to. Choose from a variety of options including the standard wicker basket, modern metal crates, and anything in between.

See Me If You Can

You should be able to see through your baskets, bins, or other units. This makes finding your crafts easy and efficient. If you want to conceal things a bit more, try a frosted glass insert on your cabinets or drawers. A sheer window panel can help save space if you have a crafts closet while giving you the option to keep things hidden once company comes through. While baskets can be used to completely conceal your items, having a set of transparent drawer units, especially for items you frequently use may be more efficient.

Pegboard, Always

When organizing your craft room, or even your garage, pegboards almost always should be used. They help to free up valuable working areas by keeping your tools and materials off of the table. Using your walls, by installing a pegboard insures that you’re maximizing your space. Pegboards are very handy in a craft room as hooks and baskets can be moved around very easily, so they can flex to whatever project you’re working on. Plus they can be decorated and painted to fit your room’s décor so it’s not an eyesore.

Group Like Items

Baskets and containers are great for housing items. To make the best use of them, take some time to group items together. Keeping all of your buttons, thread, scissors, or wrapping paper grouped together can help when creating storage space. Once you’ve made piles, putting them away in designated containers will be a breeze. Taking time to organize all of your craft supplies can be a lot of work, but the outcome is worth it!

Still need help implementing these tips in your craft room? Bring in the experts at Closet and Storage Concepts. Our designers will work with you to find a solution, giving you room for more craft projects, and more importantly a space to wrap all of those presents!

Closet Details: Lighting

By csc-admin - October 30th, 2015

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The details matter, especially when making home improvement upgrades. From picking a paint color to creating a certain ambience in a room, lighting can effect a large number of decisions. Be sure to pay close attention to lighting in your closet system. Here are some things to consider from the team at Closet and Storage Concepts.

Types of Lighting

Let’s start by going over the three key types of lighting that can come into play in your closet.

Accent

Exactly as it sounds, accent lighting is used to highlight certain pieces. It’s a great way to create a bit of drama in a space. Accent lighting works particularly well for large walk-in closets. Use it to highlight art if you’ve decided to hang any, or for any holy-grail items such as a purse or a pair of shoes. This works well for boutique-styled layouts.

Task

This type of lighting helps you get things done. Whether it’s applying your makeup or choosing an accessory, task lighting can be critical to helping you make decisions as you get ready each morning. Task lighting is most often used in a walk-in closet system, but can also work extremely well with a reach-in system.

Ambient

Think of ambient lighting as the umbrella for the other types of lighting in your space. It provides general illumination and can even overlap as task lighting. Ambient lighting is important for all kinds of closet designs.

Bulbs

Interested in creating a certain atmosphere? Try switching out your bulbs. Here’s what you need to consider. Light bulbs can offer warm or cool tones. Some even provide heat radiance.

Incandescent

This is the most common type of light bulb, and is most associated with electricity. It is also the least energy efficient as most of the energy produces heat rather than light. In fact, many home improvement stores are reducing the amount of incandescent lights they carry. They can be used in fixtures that create all three types of lighting.

CFL

Compact Fluorescent Lights are most easily identified as lights with a curly tube inside the bulb. These are more energy efficient although the one major complaint is that they tend to take a longer time to shine or warm up. They use to be quite common in fluorescent under-the-cabinet lights.

LED

These bulbs have been increasingly popular as they are extremely energy efficient and the price to purchase them decreases. They have been popular for accent and task lighting although they can be used for all three types of lighting. Choose this type of bulb in your closet so you can reduce the amount of time you have to replace your lights – some have been known to have a lifespan of 20 years!

Fixtures and Styles

Recessed

These are by some of the most common types of light fixtures, especially in newer homes. These lights can create all types of light and ambience in your home but are particularly good for general lighting and accent lighting.

Track Lights

With this fixture, the lights are aligned on a track, although you don’t have to settle for the plain white linear track anymore. There is a wide selection of styles and many use LED bulbs. These are great to help create accent or overall ambience to your space.

Under-the-cabinet

These are particularly useful for task lighting. They can help you select a piece of jewelry or compare certain accessories. They go perfect with a set of drawers that house your jewelry, cuff links, or other small items.

Chandeliers and Pendants

Give your closet an added design touch with a miniature chandelier or strategically placed pendants. They can give added drama while providing essential lighting.

Be sure to plan your closet design with the details in mind. Consult with one of our expert designers at Closet and Storage Concepts today to start creating and organizing your home today!

More Information/ Sources:
https://www.americanlightingassoc.com/Lighting-Fundamentals/3-Types-of-Lighting.aspx
http://www.energy.gov/energysaver/lighting-choices-save-you-money
Photo by Designatic, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0)

Halloween Planning: Guests (and Ghosts)

By csc-admin - October 27th, 2015

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The holidays are coming whether you like it or not and that means that guests will soon be at your front door! With Halloween in sight, you may also be seeing more guests (and maybe even a few ghosts)! No matter if you’re preparing guests or ghosts this season, your local Closet and Storage Concepts team is ready to help you prepare for any that might be coming your way.

Impressions First: The Doorstep

Create a ghoulish display from the very first step. There are so many options to choose from especially when considering the direction you want to go in. From the haunting to the sparkly, there’s no shortage of design options. For a subtle look try spray-painting your pumpkins with chalkboard paint to write a scary message. Or you can go all out with “cobwebs”, lights, and other décor. With enough luck you might even come across a ghost or two on Halloween.

Beds & Bedding

No more squeaky and scary sounding mattresses – upgrade! Don’t forget to tend to any murphy or wall beds. If you’re in need of a wall bed update be sure to call us today! We may even be able to offer you with some solutions for the springs or other mechanisms.

Bedding is a great easy way to incorporate the holidays from Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. You can change the color scheme to match the holiday, incorporate thematic pillows, or choose any combination of other options to create a space as festive as you’d like.

Sensory Details

Greet guests and create a Halloween atmosphere by using sound devices triggered by motion. For a fun gift, try a small sound machine that releases horror screams, creaky doors and floors, or fantastical beasts at the touch of a button. 

Use fluffy spider webs on mirrors to give a spooky vibe, and welcome guests with fluffy towels. Towels and bedding can be a great point of comfort for traveling and weary guests.

Bring on the scents! Try making your own and storing them in a fun cauldron shaped container. You’ll be sure to find seasonal options in almost any home or furniture store. Candles and diffusers can help give your guests a sense of a retreat or being a home away from home.

No matter if you’re planning on welcoming ghosts or guests, you’ll be ready with these tips. Use them in your home today to get a head start on the holidays! Need more tips on how to create room for guests or maybe cleaning out a spare room? Call in the organizational experts at Closet and Storage Concepts today! We may even give you more scary good storage tips!

Photo by Ronile, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0).

The Goodbye Summer, Hello Autumn Purge

By csc-admin - September 30th, 2015

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Autumn can feel like the start of a new year as it coincides with schools heading back in session. Use the momentum of heading back to school to purge throughout your home. Here are some top picks from the team at Closet and Storage Concepts as you welcome in fall.

  • Makeup and Medicine

Start in the bathroom and clear out old makeup and medicine. A new season often brings new looks, so clear out the old to prepare for the new. Work with your local pharmacist or health specialist to properly dispose of expired medicines. Pro Tip: If you have a lot of lipsticks, try decanting them into travel storage pots. Simply use a small scoop to get all of the color into the storage containers. This allows you to convert your lipsticks into a uniform container (freeing up space), while using up the entire lipstick.

  • Food Containers

Assess your food storage containers and dispose of any limp or yellowed ones. Try Pyrex containers for any older kids or your significant other to save money in the long run. Glass containers tend to be easier to clean and look great in your cabinets.

  • Spices and Food

New seasons often bring seasonal delicacies. Be sure to purge through any expired spices or foods in your kitchen pantry to make room for new treats. Utilize proper storage organizers or try custom built-ins to maximize your space with clever organizers.

  • Plastic Bags

Store a stash of them neatly in a container to take when you walk the dog and recycle extras. Many stores take back used plastic bags, which are then reused and repurposed. If you have a lot of them, try weaving them together to make a super sturdy grocery tote.

  • Air Conditioning and HVAC Filters

While it’s not necessarily an item to purge, it’s a great time to think about changing your air filters. Changing your air filter can help to reduce allergens in your home and keep your home cleaner. A clean home can make a home feel larger and more organized.

  • Clothes and Shoes

Sorry shoe divas, your items don’t get to escape either. New fall fashions likely mean that your closet will see an influx of new items. Purge now before you shop for new items. If you use the post-it trick (where you stick a note on any item that you’re unsure of purging), and haven’t worn the item since two summers ago it’s time to say goodbye. If you haven’t worn the item it’s likely that you don’t need the item. Clear out your closet to create more space for things you will use.

  • Kid’s Stuff Too

Kid’s stuff shouldn’t be excluded either. Give away or donate clothes that no longer fit your kids. Be sure to include them in the process so they can learn how to declutter too. If you’re swimming in toys it may be a good time to purge them. Say goodbye to broken beach pails and try on sports gear to see if they need to be replaced after the summer growth spurts.

  • Gift Stations

The holiday season will be here soon enough. Get ready by clearing out the wedding wrapping paper and any old scraps that can’t be salvaged in favor of new holiday paper.

Autumn is great for cider donuts, pumpkin spice lattes, and of course a shift in weather. Be sure to embrace and prepare for the autumn by purging through items. Call your local Closet and Storage Concepts designer for help to get your closet and other organization systems into gear.

Photo by tpsdave, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0).

How to Create Maintainable Storage Systems

By csc-admin - September 18th, 2015

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At Closet and Storage Concepts we love helping our customers create storage systems and units that work for them that will serve them well over time. This can be tougher than you think, but our designers carefully assess and try to plan for future purchases and behavior. Combined with systems that are created in our own factories, we can provide a storage solution for even the toughest of areas. Here’s how you can create a storage unit that works for you long-term whether you’re looking to create a new closet, kitchen pantry, laundry room storage, or home office system.

Invest the Time

First, you should give yourself ample amount of time. Creating a storage system when you’re rushed probably won’t help your organization problems in the long run. You will want to put in the appropriate amount of time to deliver a good payoff. The time doesn’t have to be put in one group either. Feel free to split up the time and invest in chunks – we know that life can be busy and get in the way.

Purge Before you Plan

Before you start ripping out your old system, or planning a new elaborate storage system, do yourself a favor and purge. Remove items that are expired, damaged, no longer appeal to you, and so on. You want to create an organizer that helps you keep things you love in order, not your junk too. Marie Kondo’s way of discarding items can be helpful in this situation.

Plan and Hire Pros

Once you’ve purged you can start to assess and plan what you need to store. Be sure to hire the professionals, like the team at Closet and Storage Concepts, if you need to. Our designers will carefully measure your space, and listen to your needs and requirements to translate your dream into a viable solution that maximizes your space. Customizing your storage system is a dependable way to make sure that your storage system will be used for years to come.

Follow-Through

Be sure to follow through once you’ve determined an organization system that works for you. Whether it’s completing your new storage units, or getting all the labels onto your shoeboxes, don’t leave your project incomplete. Leaving your project incomplete will decrease the odds that you will use your storage system and thus increase the chances of you accumulating clutter once again.

Complete the Cycle

With your new storage and organization system in place you’ll want to get in the habit of completing the cycle. For example, each time you do laundry, be sure to put your clothes away completely, or make sure that you put food items into the right container or on the right shelf. This takes time to build as a habit, especially if you’re not used to it, but with the proper planning and follow-through you’ll have better odds of maintaining your home storage system.

Long-term storage systems are manageable with the right people to help you, as well as the desire to maintain your home. Be sure to give your local team at Closet and Storage Concepts a call today to schedule a complimentary consultation when you’re ready to create an organized home!

Elements of a Functional Closet

By csc-admin - August 31st, 2015

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At Closet and Storage Concepts, we love to help clients sort out their closets and help them get organized. Functional closets often have certain elements in common. We’ve compiled them so you know what to expect when you create your personalized closet space. It is so important to have a closet system in place that is functional for your unique needs, or you risk not using your closet system and accumulating clutter.

A Place for Everything

Having a place for everything is key for a functional closet space. In order to create this space you’ll need to take into account your items and what your closet will be used for. For example, reach-in and walk-in closets will likely need rods at varying heights for items such as dresses, pants, and sweaters. In a laundry or linen closet, you will want to address shelf heights for cleaning products and linens.

Details

This piggybacks off the first point, but to create the most functional closet storage space, the details matter. You need to make sure you have enough room to walk around, or even allow for a sitting area if you desire one in your walk-in closet. You may even need to make sure the closet layout makes the most sense for who will use it. A child’s closet and organization area will need to be closer to the ground so they can be used. Even garage closet systems or entryway closets can benefit by paying attention to the details to really maximize the efficiency of your closet. Carefully paying attention to all of the details can even help to carve out a bit more storage space in your home.

Pretty Pairings and Time

Putting in the time and effort, especially when planning, will be necessary as you create a functional closet system. It is best to allocate plenty of time to do a clean out and to properly plan the most efficient layout. Giving yourself plenty of time to plan will help you hone in on key areas of your closet and create a place for everything. In addition, it will make sure that details don’t fall through. Need professional assistance? Don’t hesitate to reach out to your local Closet and Storage Concepts designer. They’ll help you through the entire process of creating a functional closet system, from properly measuring your space to the design of your closet system.

Many professional closet designers will also say to factor in decorative items when budgeting and planning to allocate for finishing touches such as paint, hardware, or other storage accessories. Functional closets also tend to incorporate unique design elements. These pretty pairings will help to give your closet a design you’re looking for, making you more likely to use it.

At Closet and Storage Concepts, we know how to help our clients create beautiful, stylish, and functional closets. Call us today to schedule your free, in-home estimate.

5 Items to Re-Purpose for Increased Organization

By csc-admin - August 18th, 2015

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Re-purposing items can eliminate a trip to the thrift store, while also making your home more organized. While we still encourage you to clear out unneeded and unnecessary items, you might want to consider re-purposing items to increase your storage space and create a more organized home. These five items are a great start.

Paper Towel Holders

Not only do they keep your paper towels from rolling everywhere, they can even be used to corral accessories such as bracelets and watches, or even belts! Simply stack up your jewelry, or wind your belt around the holder. Keep pieces you wear often towards the top. Re-purposing a towel holder can help clear out space in your closet or jewelry box by going vertical. 

Shower Hooks

Before you throw away shower curtain hooks during a bathroom remodel, use them in your closet to hang purses, bags, or even umbrellas. Simply hang the hook on the rod of your closet, and then hang your purse on the decorative element of your hook. You can also use them to store umbrellas in your hallway closet if you don’t have an umbrella stand.

Utensil Organizer

Utensil organizers work great when they are hung on the wall as a jewelry holder or to create a small entryway organization area. Use wood styled organizers for a more upscale look on your wall, and highlight the area with a mirror and dramatic lighting to create a unique area in your closet.

Wire organizers tend to work the best when creating an organizational zone in the entryway. Simply nail or screw the organizer into the wall. The dividing slots are perfect for sunglasses, keys, and other bobbles. They can even hold a couple of letters, to encourage sorting right when you walk through the door. Hanging a utensil organizer is great if you’re short on space, but don’t want to limit your organization.

Handles and Pulls

Fence handles make particularly great tie and scarf hangers. Even old doorknockers that are drilled into a wall can free up closet space. Using handles or doorknockers also helps you to see exactly what you have to help you keep everything in order. Use cup pulls, often seen on drawers, and flip them for more bauble storage. In your office you can use them as storage areas to hold paper clips, sticky notes, and pens. This helps to separate items and keep them off your desk!

Old Lunch Boxes and Containers

Before you throw out your kids’ old lunch boxes and containers as you prep for the new school year, consider using them for storage. Old lunch boxes, especially tin, make fun storage containers for cords and other electronic charging items. They keep your cords stowed away, and usually are easier to store and stack than if you put them in a Ziploc bag.

Old plastic containers that have seen better days are right at home in a craft room or in the junk drawer to keep pens, crayons, or rubber bands together as seen in the photo above. Getting your junk drawer and home in order will lead to an easier start to the school year!

At Closet and Storage Concepts, we want to help you achieve your organizational goals. We know a life well organized can increase productivity and happiness in your home. Give us a call to schedule your in-home consultation with one of our local designers to get your home organized, whether it’s in your closet, kitchen pantry, or office. We can’t wait to work with you!

Photo by DanceERB, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0).

Quick Office Organization Tips

By csc-admin - July 31st, 2015

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An office is an important area in a home because it must foster productivity, but it can often be one of the first places where clutter grows. If your home office is on display and used by many different family members it can be even more stressful to keep clean. Your time is precious, here’s how to make the most of it with some quick and easy office organization tips from Closet and Storage Concepts.

Stationary Clean Out

The office tends to be a place for paperwork, paper, and more paper. This is the leading cause of what tends to clutter an office not just in appearance, but also in functionality. To cut down on the paper consider not only the bills and important documents but also sticky notes, printer paper, and other stationary goods. See what can be discarded or shredded. While you’re at it, tackle your penholder. Discard any pens and markers that are out of ink or any unusable pencils. 

Sort and Remove

The office is often a place where bills are paid, letters come in, and piles build up. Take a quick minute to sort through your piles or unread mail and discard junk mail. Remove items that don’t belong in the office, whether it’s the toy your child left or the cup that needs to be washed.

Proper Placement

The good thing with a quick organizing session is that it allows you to identify items that don’t belong. But just haphazardly placing items back into areas won’t solve your home organizational problems in the long run. Be sure to put items away in their designated areas; it only takes a few extra seconds. With paperwork, be sure to go through and place them in the right folder or drawer. Even putting away that one paperclip can help for a cleaner more organized office.

Clean Down

A good wipe down and dust after you’ve removed your piles and refreshed your desk can do wonders to faking a space that looks like you’ve been cleaning all day. If you’re short on time, just pay attention to the most easily seen items such as the tops of your desk, computer monitor, or any desk lamps.

Assess Storage

As you work through your office, you may notice storage systems that look a little worse for wear, or notice that you lack a system. If you have more time, consider creating storage for all of your items. When you have a proper storage system in place you can complete tasks faster and with less stress. Looking for a custom solution? Contact your local Closet and Storage Concepts design associate to help you create the home office of your dreams. Proper storage is key for office organization!

Call today to schedule your free estimate!

Photo by StartUpStockPhotos, under Public Domain through Creative Commons License Zero (CC0 1.0).

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