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We’re Solving Your Garage Storage Issues

organized garage with workspaceQuick question for you - if you have a garage - are you able to park any of your cars in there?

Because statistically, one in four home owners say their garage is too cluttered to park their car in.

So, if you can relate to that, here’s how to remedy the situation and get your car back in to your garage.

Let’s start with addressing this “Big One”. It may feel daunting and your neighbors may think you’re a total junk-a-holic (while secretly seeing themselves in your mess). But follow these time tested, effective steps.

  • 1) Remove EVERYTHING that’s inside the garage. Take it all out so you have an empty garage.

  • 2) Categorize things as you’re emptying the space. Put similar things in the same area so you can see where you duplicates and what’s past its prime. What’s 95% used up and should be tossed. Toss it. And put your other gear in groups so things are all related - lawn things together, sports things together, household cleaning and chemicals together.

  • 3) Create a pile of things you don’t really need anymore, but could still be useful to someone else. Donate all of these items. Don’t bog yourself into thinking you’re going to sell it on ebay. Just release it. Gift it to another who could really benefit from it right now.

  • 4) Invest in some good organizational systems so you create a place for everything and don’t end up in the same mess you’re in now. That can be a professionally designed garage with work benches and drawers and cabinets with locks. Or it can be your own system of plastic bins and metal shelving.

Now let’s look at the “small stuff”. Parts and tools are small and get tossed all over the place. Give these items a dedicated space so you can always grab them when you need them. Drawers with dividers are a fantastic solution.

categorized garage items

Tinker Time - Most men (and many women) want a space in the garage to “do their thing”. To work on projects or fix a broken toy or household item. The key solution here is to create a space for a dedicated workbench. Workbenches are great with butcher block tops because they can take a lot of abuse.

Free Up The Floor - Since you’ve got everything out of the garage, make sure that when you’re putting it back, you don’t put anything on the floor. It just gets in the way and prevents safe walking and car parking. Consider a professionally installed epoxy or polyurethane floor coating system. You’ll be amazed at the great look and function of these floor systems.

Another way you can free up the floor is to use the walls. Investigate systems and devices that allow you to hang bikes and garden tools, mops and brooms, as well as sporting equipment on the walls. It makes things visible and easily accessible.

And if you need additional help with freeing yourself from your garage messes and want to get those cars parked back in the garage - give us a call. We’ve got experts on hand ready to help.



Transform Your Ordinary Closet Into an Extraordinary Closet

master closet lighting and hardwareOn some level, we all want a well-organized closet that makes it easier to get dressed each day. And if beauty can be incorporated, that’s all the better.

Here are some ideas to help you get closer to closet nirvana:

Start with the hardware.

The handles on any of your bedroom furniture should be something that feels good to the touch, is easy to grab and open and makes you smile when you see it. Builders put in basic hardware for most homes.

Take the initiative on your own to search for great hardware and change out boring and blah for blingy and beautiful.

There are endless websites to search, lots of “Big Box” stores to visit and even our own website for some selection options (

Add Simple Lighting.

Adding lighting to your closets no longer requires an electrician and a home renovation.

There are lots of options that are LED lighting that operate from battery power. You can often stick them to different surfaces and/or secure with a screw or two and Wa-La - you can now easily see your navy tops, brown tops and black tops.

Go Beyond a Rod and Shelf (or wire shelving).

Statistically, most homes in America have closets with one closet rod and one shelf (so don’t feel bad if this is you, you’re in the majority). Newer homes often include the builders “upgrade” to wire shelving systems.

We want you to see and feel the benefits of a custom designed closet system made from solid surfaces. And we want that for you because:

walk in closet with wood shelves

- It will be professionally designed and organized so everything has a place and is easier to find.

- Your clothing won’t get “wire marks” from sitting on the shelving.

- You’ll have adjust-ability and flexibility, so as you buy new boots or add three more pair of flip flops to your collection, you can make the system work so it stores them
- It will increase the value of your home.

- You’ll save time because you’ll be able to easily see and access your entire wardrobe.

- You’ll double, if not triple, the amount of storage you have.

- You’ll feel a sense of pride when it comes to your closets instead of a sense of shame because you’ve shoved everything into them with no thought or plan.

- You’ll save time because you’ll be able to easily see and access your entire wardrobe.

So give us a call to see how we can help you. We’ve got a dedicated, sincere, expert team of award-winning design experts ready to help you.

Beyond The Mancave

man closetWatch any show on HGTV that features a walk in closet and the joke will be that the huge space is good for fitting all of “her” stuff, but what about “his”?

Where’s the man of the house suppose to keep his wardrobe?

Well we know just what to do with “his” space.

Here’s our top picks and must know items/insights:

An average pair of men’s shoes is wider than an average pair of women’s shoes. Allow 9” of space for each pair of men’s shoes (so an 18” wide shelf will hold two pair of shoes). And this dimensions also allows for hampers and baskets that will fit into a section this size.

Closet rod alert - make sure there’s enough vertical distance between upper and lower rods to allow for shirt/jacket length. Men’s shirts are typically longer than women’s tops. And tall men require longer jacket lengths. You want to make sure to measure from the top of the hanger to the bottom of the garment so you have enough clearance to allow the clothing items to fit without dragging on the floor or the lower level of garments.

Simplicity rules. Most men are very visual creatures. That translates to wanting to easily see and access what they have. Drawers with lots of specific compartments and things behind doors seem to be second priorities for the male contingency.

Incorporate hooks - whether they’re for baseball hats, sweatpants or robes, hooks are an easy organizing solution.

Ottomans are another great addition from both a design and function perspective. We all need a place to sit to put on and take off our shoes. Styles for ottomans can be very masculine and stylish.

So if you want to do something life changing for one of the men in your life (or you just want them to be more organized) give us a call or hit reply. We’d be delighted to set up a personal consultation to see how we can help.

masculine closet with ottoman

Angie's List and Houzz Awards for 2017-2018

Closet Organizing Systems is proud to announce that it has maintained exceptional service ratings and reviews in both the Angie’s List and Houzz communities for 2017-2018 among our customers.

Accumulating 18 awards in total over the past 6 years in the categories of Closet and Organization and Home and Garage, along with being so highly valued for our industry knowledge and consumer recommended by these communities is a testament of our cumulative efforts.

Closet Organizing Systems has earned the home service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award (SSA) for 2017. We have been listed on Angie’s list since 2008 and have proudly earned this award 10 years running from the Angie's List community.

The Houzz community awarded Closet OS the Best of Houzz Award for both Design and Client Satisfaction for 2018. The Houzz Design Award is earned when a professional's portfolio is voted most popular by the Houzz community. The Houzz Client Satisfaction award is earned when a professional is rated at the highest level for client satisfaction. Since ClosetOS has joined the Houzz community in 2013 we have received several awards and recognition's throughout their community. This includes consecutive Best of Houzz Awards for Design from 2013-2018, the Best of Houzz Award for Client Satisfaction from 2014-2018, Star Houzzer, Houzz Influencer, and Recommended on Houzz acknowledgements.

A Walk Through Closet With Amazing Storage

walk-in closet leading to bathroomIt’s not uncommon to have a “walk through” closet that leads to a bathroom. This floor plan shows up in both city and suburban housing.

And this closet project was exactly that, with a client that had definite ideas and knew exactly what they wanted, says designer Marcia Spinosa and I prefer that. They’re decisive. They provide guidance. They were specific about what their needs were and what they like. They were familiar with their space and how they wanted to do this - how they wanted it to look. They knew how they used the space so it’s very efficient and maximizes the space.

So Marcia was in charge of translating their needs and visions into an actual closet space in good working order.

Their priorities included:

  • • Having enough space for their boot collection
  • • Glass display area for her shoes and purses
  • • Bench seating for putting on their shoes
  • • Mirror to help make the space look bigger
  • • Good overall lighting
  • • Vanity space for jewelry and perfume

This long, narrow space has a window that we needed to work with. The clients wanted one side of the closet system to go to the ceiling and other side they wanted at 84” high so they could add their own storage boxes on the top shelf.

On the side of the closet that they wanted to take all the way to the ceiling, we only did that with three areas - the bench area at the end - the left side above drawers and right side where the glass shoe/purse cabinet is.

We put the shelves for the cowboy boots in front of this window. They’re extra long and reinforced. They’re also stationary, while most of our closet systems are adjustable. We made it work with cleats supporting the back of the shelves so there won’t be any warping or bowing.

For a smaller size space, we made this one work both efficiently and beautifully and we can help you do the same with your closet space. Just give us a call.

A Home Office That Works

A Home Office That WorksIn our current “work from everywhere” world, it’s even more important to have a home office that is set up to really work FOR you.

Determining things like what you easily need access to, what kind of lighting will allow you to best see your documents, how much storage you need for files or equipment, and what ergonomic and functional use layout works best for the space are all important factors.

And our design team loves working with people to help determine those things and then designing a working space around those needs.

In this home office, some of the project parameters included:

  • • Horizontal work surface space for two people

  • • Closed Storage to hide things. Client’s previous system was open shelving and she felt it always looked messy.

  • • Lots of space to spread out items while working on multiple projects at the same time.

  • • All wires hidden and out of sight

  • • Task and ambient lighting

  • • Space for a very large printer

  • • Tack board for pinning calendars and reminders

  • • Lots of file storage, with two of the drawers having key locks so personal items could be secured

  • • A desk orientation that allowed for a view out the window

  • • And last, but certainly not least, the client wanted this home office to be beautiful.

home office corner desk

And while these project photos demonstrate visually how we accomplished that, here are some additional elements:

  • • Textured melamine - chosen for the interest that a textured material conveys as well as for the mid-tone wood color that harmonizes with the rest of the house.

  • • Five Piece Shaker Style doors because adding a 5-piece, profile door to a project amps up the style factor.

  • • Lighting that worked via a touch sensor for ease of use and connect-ability

  • • Cubbies in the corner because that space is typically difficult to access so by putting the cubbies there, it gave the client a “vertical” way to stay organized and keep her files within reach.

  • • Granite counter-tops for a high end finished look

  • • Framed Tack Board for posting key notes and reminders

  • • Base and Crown Molding trim to further customize the cabinetry.

And the end result - both stunning and organized. It’s a project we love that was designed by team member Jamie Wilson.

If you’re inspired to organize your office space - give us a call. We’d be delighted to schedule a complimentary in home consultation to see how we can help.





Designing Around Columns and Walls

designing around walls and columnsNot all walk-in closets are simple.

And it’s often true that the larger the space, the more demanding it can be with the clients often wanting more customized features.

In this project, the client wanted two islands and was willing to tear down a wall that divided this large walk in closet to achieve this goal. An additional reason for wanting to tear down the wall was because she wanted to be able to see everything she had without going into two separate areas of the space.

We then consulted with the customer's contractor who felt that it was not a load bearing wall and the interior wall could be removed.

At this point, because the project was starting to get involved, we secured a retainer to keep the project moving forward and the contractor began the process of tearing down the wall only to find a support column and some other piping to further complicate matters.

The client then found the original house blueprints and consulted with the architect. He felt the column should stay because it was supporting the second floor even though the contractor thought we might be okay to tear it down..

So we’re back to the starting gate with designing the closet. And now, there was really no way to incorporate two separate islands with a post in the center of the room.

Luckily, that’s where my design inspiration angels showed up and I came up with the idea that we built” says designer Donna Siben.

“My design dilemma was that I now had to redesign the entire thing and incorporate this post. Yuck. Talk about imbalanced.Then I had an epiphany. I came to the conclusion that I could balance this out with another false post and build a back to back island in between the two posts” says Siben.

walk-in closet designed around columns“We then opened a whole can of worms once everything was out of there and we could see all these other obstacles. The floor was uneven. There was duct work in areas we didn’t anticipate. Electrical feeds and outlets showed up that we had no idea would be there.

“My epiphany was to make the existing post deeper than it was and then I mirrored it on the other side. They wanted it deep enough to get a wall safe hidden inside. A safe that’s deeper than what we use in this industry. They didn't want it exposed so we created a decorative door to cover that and then made a balancing decorative door on the other post that was just that - decorative. But now they matched and symmetry was achieved.”

“The design elements of all of this are that there are three different tall vertical pull-outs.  One for robes, one for belts and one for scarves. One of them she converted to shelves and folded the scarves on it as opposed to hanging them. It was versatile enough to do this after the design” says Siben.

The placement of the 3-way mirror helped too because the mirror is across from the entrance so you see the back to back island. So we were able to achieve her goal of seeing all of her clothing at the same time.

At this point she became much more flexible and agreeable to my whole new approach to this design which was now required.

Another design element that was important was the window wall. It was perfect for boots and purses in columns with doors. Framing this window was important to make it look like the rest of the closet” says Siben.

“We also put lighting everywhere, which looks fantastic. Unfortunately, the client has yet to install the stone tops, but we wanted to share this amazing puzzle of a project to highlight the work we do and the length we’re willing to go for happy, satisfied clients and great, functional design results”.

three way mirror master walk-in closet 

How to Make the Best Selections for Your Custom Storage Solutions

White and Woodtone Melamine Closet MaterialsDeciding to have custom work done in your home is a big step.. There can be lots of variables that contribute to the decisions you make. And those decisions drive look, function and price. So let’s take a look at what’s involved.

If your main goals are maximum function at the most efficient cost, then white melamine is your best material choice. It’s availability is widespread, as it’s been out in the market for decades. It’s a simple, straight forward, effective solution for closet storage solutions.

It’s the material most closet companies started with and still offer today.

If you’re interested in just “amping it up a bit”, then a wood tone melamine works beautifully. It’s the next level up in pricing, so you could expect your project to cost about 20% more.

Woodtone melamines add a level of warmth and customization to the look of project that white melamine does not. They also provide more a sense of style, because you can select a color that reflects your own.

Another thing you can do to enhance the look and feel of your project is to add profile doors and drawers; something like a raised panel or shaker style are popular. This does add to the cost, but it also adds to the look. We think it’s absolutely worth the additional investment.

A couple of additional benefits of building your closet in melamine is that the material is extremely durable. You just wipe it clean. And it won’t fade or change from sunlight the way real wood does.

So what if you really want to give yourself the best of the best? Then real wood veneer may be your material of choice. Veneers vary in price based upon lots of different factors, with the main ones being the species of wood and the way the veneers are cut.

You can use veneer at a more reasonable price point if you go with a clear finish in something like cherry or maple or oak. Once you add in staining, you’re adding in cost, as there are additional steps in the preparation and manufacturing of the product.

At Closet Organizing Systems, we offer a series of veneers in oak, cherry, maple and birch with a nice selection of stain colors. These choices are a terrific way to get real wood at a price that’s lower than a custom finish.

From a design perspective, if you’re going to do real wood, your project should have doors and drawers so you can see more of the material you’ve invested in. Most people don’t use veneer for reach in closets. We see it more in walk in closets or storage solutions that are stand alone (meaning they’re built units within the bedroom or other room in your home).

If you’re not sure what material works best for your style (and your budget), we’d love to have a conversation with you about your project. We’ll ask further questions to help define your goals and come up with a solution that works in both areas - style and investment.

Wood Veneer Closet Material

Color Trends and Your Closet

Design drives may of our decisions, whether we realize it or not.  The things we surround ourselves with in our homes are all, at some level, design decisions. Here's what's trending now that you can either incorporate into your personal style statements or into your home:

We've Got The Blues

Blue is a strong color in design right now, trending towards deeper shades. Pairing it with warm golds is a terrific look. But if you're not quite ready to paint out your closet in all blue, how about a blue velvet jewelry tray?


Metallics are a fun fashion neutral and they're fantastic to use to amp up home design.  Copper tones and antiques bronze are really making strong statements. We're seeing them paired with a wide variety of colors, that believe it or not, include mauves. Against white, they always look fresh.


Texture not only adds visual interest, but by the nature of what it is, adds its own textural context. As you put your hand on it each time, you get to "experience" things and not just "see" them. The same holds true for the popularity of "super mattes". The smoothness that these convey makes you want to just keep on running your hand over the surface.

A Resurgence of Black

While black never really goes away, it hasn't been a dominant trend lately. But keep your eyes peeled because it's on its way back. And it will show up in new combinations that renew this stayed staple. Look for mixing it up with warm toned brass and copper.

So if you're ready for some new custom storage solutions, pick up the phone and give us a call. We'll get right back to you and set up a time for one of our fabulous, on trend designers to come meet with you and solve your storage challenges.

Balancing Storage needs with Modern Decor

How Do You Balance Modern Decor With Your Need to Store and Hide Things?

Clean and simple design is trending.

So is tiny living. That means  many are getting the urge to lessen the burdens of keeping track of all their stuff, and all of their overhead, and wanting to get rid of the excess.

Sometimes a solution involves giving the grown children all of their own “kid stuff” from growing up (the awards, the artwork, the favorite toys). That can clean out a lot.

But what if they’re not ready for it? Or don’t want it? But you’re sentimentally attached to it. And attached to all of your own stuff as well.

How do you bring new design and storage into your space without having to give away or sell  all the stuff you love?

Photo by Paul Nicol | NP Marketing

Here are some ideas:

  • 1) Create a “wall” of closed cabinet storage that allows you to ide pounds and pounds of stuff. If you take a look around some of your rooms, maybe one or two of the walls are large enough that they could accommodate a built in wall of storage while still feeling spacious in the room.

    This is a terrific solution that’s great for you while you’re still living there and adds value to the home for whoever lives there later. People are always happy to have extra storage, especially if it hides things.

  • 2) We’re seeing lots of open shelves in kitchens now. Instead of having upper cabinets with doors, people are eliminating those and bringing in floating shelving that’s open. We love the look empty. We like the look when it’s organized with pretty dishes and glassware. We don’t like the look when the shelves are a catch all for all kinds of kitchen items.

    So, if it’s balance you’re trying to achieve, be leary of this open shelf concept. Maybe pick on small area to do it so you can get the look, but having it in your entire kitchen is going to force you to organize and purge. We’re not opposed to that. We just want to make sure you’re aware and ready.

    Floating shelves in a wall unit are much easier to take on because it’s likely you’re going to put photos and heirlooms and even books. All things that are “contained” and don’t get messed up from greasy fingers grabbing them to “add a bit more salt to the recipe”.

  • 3) If you’re building a home and considering your storage options, consider incorporating a couple of “utility” closets - spaces that are behind a closed door but have lots of shelves and drawers for you to stash all of your stuff. This allows for a clean living space and places for you to stash all of your stuff. That’s a definite win.

    If you’re interested in a personal space consultation to help figure out what to do in your home, one of our design consultants will be happy to meet with you and see what can be created to clean up and organize your home with style.