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Make A Grand Entrance with a Closet Storage System

Whenever you’re entering a space – whether it’s a room, a building or even a town – the initial impression has a big impact on your experience.

So don’t let piles of keys, phones, gym shoes and wallets make you feel unorganized when you enter your home.

Incorporate a closet organization system and these ideas to make it look and feel better:

1) Consider a closet storage system with doors and drawers. Then you can hide all the things people dump when company calls closet storage systemsimply by closing things up. And if you plan wisely (or get lucky) you’ll have an accessible electric outlet so those gadgets can be plugged in and charging while in hiding.

But if that’s not an option, try a recharging pad. Duracell, Philips and Powermat offer options.

2) Incorporate space for hooks – preferably staggered at two different heights. It’s the easiest way to get family members to stop throwing things on the floor.

3) Build in shelves for shoes. Shoes are notorious clutter bugs. Shelves provide an easy space to stash them and make life less stressful.

4) Reflect Beautifully! Adding a wall mirror – or some mirrored doors to your closet storage system – can be a nice touch of elegance and give you that “last look” as you dash out the door to face the day ahead.

Is There Dirty Laundry In Your Family?

In some families, doing laundry is an everyday task – between fashion crazed teen girls who go through ten outfits in one day or boys athletic uniforms that need to be laundered after practice several times a week – it can feel like the Washer and Dryer are almost never shut off.

So how do you plan an effective space so doing laundry can be easy and stress free?

Consider the following:

-A horizontal surface for folding clothes – because let’s face it – many of those freshly laundered items need to be folded before they can be put away in your fabulously organized custom closets.

-A rod or valet rail to hang things on hangers right as they come out of the dryer –saves ironing time and decreases wrinkling. You can also use these for air drying items.

-Shelves for detergents and stain removers

-A built-in ironing board – or a space to store your ironing board and iron.

-A utility sink for hand washing

-Designate a shelf/hanging space for each family member. If they’re taught early on to take the clean clothes from their section of the laundry room and put them away in their bedroom, mom’s job just got a whole lot easier.

Here are a couple of before and after shots of a laundry room remodel. You would never know it was the same space, would you?

custom closet Chicago  chicago custom closet
custom closet chicago  chicago custom closet

In Honor of Earth Day, Why Not Clean Out Your Closet?

Spring is officially here, and with it comes all sorts of reminders of things we should all be doing on a regular basis - there's a reason they call it "spring cleaning," after all. But reducing clutter and getting organized isn't just good for your home and a great way to start off the season; it can also benefit the Earth and local nonprofits.

How? According to Goodwill Industries, "when you donate to Goodwill, you are also helping to keep materials out of the waste stream.  At Goodwill, we make a positive impact on the environment by being proponents and practitioners of re-use. Every year, Goodwill demonstrates social and environmental leadership by implementing strategies that decrease our collective carbon footprint, create jobs for people who need them most, and provide environmentally responsible solutions for businesses and government.

We accept donations of many gently used items that can be reused as intended or in new, creative ways. Earth Day is a reason to clean out closets and get rid of things you don’t need or want any longer. Donate the clean, saleable items to Goodwill, and our stores will sell the merchandise to eco-friendly shoppers who are also passionate about reusing items and diverting them from landfills.”

In honor of Earth Day, why not spend some time today or this weekend clearing out the clutter? Your closet, your local Goodwill and Mother Earth will thank you.

And as a reward for a job well-done, why not look into having a custom closet designed to make sure that you stay organized?

7 Tips for Organizing Your Pantry Into “Command Central”

Organizing your pantry takes kitchen organization to a whole new level and allows you to get the most out of every inch by letting you see and access everything you need easily.

So whether it’s storing macaroni or marzipan – here are some things to think about when you’re organizing the pantry into “command central”.

organizing pantry1) When it comes to shelf depth in a pantry – less really can be more. It’s good to have a variety of shelving depths. Shallow shelves are great for small items like soup and mac n’ cheese. Deep shelves are great for larger items like serving bowls and paper towel.

2) Deep shelves or pullout drawers are great for storing serving pieces, platters and large appliances and can go a long way toward kitchen organization. Just be sure to design pullout drawers with varying amounts of space in between in order to accommodate different size items. Your shelving should be adjustable so you can determine what works as you organize this space with your own foodstuffs.

3) Pullout baskets are great for potatoes, onions and such.

4) The wall is a good spot for a mop and broom holder.

5) Hooks are helpful – for reusable grocery bags, aprons, etc.

6) Design the space so items like bottled water and soda can be slid on the floor.

7) If your pantry becomes the home for the recycle center, make sure it’s organized and easy to use. Do this by deciding on how much space is needed for the containers and where they will go. Any sort of pullout can really make this task, and organizing your pantry in general, easier.

Reduce Clutter and Unclog Your Closet

We are going to provide 3 tips on how to reduce clutter and unclog your closet. If you are like most of us, you probably haven’t even looked at all the stuff clogging and cluttering up your closet lately. Now is a great time to prioritize and de-clutter.

Do you have more than four pair of jeans in your closet right now?

How about black high shoes and black dresses? How many of those do you have?

And what about flip-flops? How many pair of those are flapping around in the corner somewhere?

Probably too many – and they are clogging your closet.


Who wants a clogged anything –let alone a clogged closet.

Implement these Drano like tips and your life will be flowing more smoothly before you can say “this doesn’t fit me anymore”:

1) Be Realistic – Think in Terms of Cost Per Wearing

A special occasion dress you wear once that costs $250 = a $250 cost per wearing.

A $100 pair of jeans that you wear twice a week for a year = a $1.00 cost per wearing.

Don’t let money just hang in your closet like a bad wire hanger. Make sure the money you spend on garments goes in and out of the closet frequently.

2) Get Baskin Robbins Out Of Your Closet

Sometimes it’s chocolate – sometimes it’s mint chip – but it’s still ice cream.

How that translates to your closet is that eight to ten pair of black high heels still boils down to black high heels.

It’s understood that you have different moods and different occasions and different pant lengths – but ten flavors of the same thing is a closet clogger.

3) Function and Beauty Go In The Closet – Just Beauty Goes On Your Walls As Art

Buying something because you appreciate its’ beauty is a wonderful thing. But if you never wear it – and it’s in your closet – it’s a waste of money.

If you’re a city dweller – you know not to purchase a painting or sculpture without a place to display it. Apply the same principle to your closet.

Don’t put things in your closet that aren’t going to work for you. See an example below of a recent closet de-clog that we helped perform for a client.

Cluttered Closet        Reduced Clutter Closet
Before                                                                            After

Closet Organizing for Kids - Eight Excellent Tips

Closet organizing for teens and younger children can be challenging, no matter what methods you put into place.

And if you thinCustom Reach In Closet by Closet OSk about it from their perspective – it’s pretty difficult for teens to take the time to actually hang up a garment in their Chicago closets when they are glued to Xbox live or have an average of 80 text messages day, according to recent studies.

But there is hope!

With good planning and assessment of what needs to be stored and how – you might get lucky enough to actually see part of the bedroom floor by utilizing closet organizing. closet organizing Chicago

So here are some important things to think about when planning your custom storage solutions for the kid friendly spaces in your home:

1) Determine what items need to call this Chicago closet space home. Are there toys and sports equipment, in addition to clothing, that need to be stored here?

2) What percentage do you want to hang and what percentage do you want to fold? And, if space allows in your closet system, do you want drawers?

3) Where does dirty laundry end up? Would you like pullout baskets/drawers in your closet system for that?
Another Custom Closet Organizing

4) Be sure to have adjustable hanging sections so if children are very young, space will allow triple hang (three rows of hanging garments). As the children grow and the clothing takes up more space, you can remove one of the rods and have traditional double hang.

5) Make sure to have low shelves for children to easily put away the most frequently used items.

6) Incorporate kid size hangers. Standard hangers are often too large for such small clothing items.

7) Teach children how to treat clothing and reward them for with special rewards for keeping it organized. It’s an investment in time that will pay dividends for the rest of their lives.

8) Incorporate hooks for easy closet organizing with anything from sweat pants to back packs.

Note: These photos are from a project we did in the Healthy Home 2010. A small child’s closet and a “princess” closet were included in this entire house project. The other was for three young boys featured in the Luxury Home Tour.

Does Your Chicago Closet Contain Useless Stuff?

Truth be told – we all do – in varying degrees.

It could be an old letter sweater or favorite college t-shirt.
Chicago closet organization tips
It could be some gorgeous shoes that are comfortable for about a tenth of a nano-second (but look smokin’ hot!) so you never make it out the door with them on - you bury them in your Chicago closet.

It could even be a wedding dress or other sentimental item.

Not only do these items take up very important space that could be utilized more effectively, they also take up mental energy every time you see them and think about how they’re just sitting there – taking up space in your Chicago closet.

A study was conducted by The Daily Mail that professes that every woman has at least 22 items in her closet she never wears but refuses to throw out. If you run a total on that it comes to over 500 million items that will never be worn.

Impulse buys are the main reason for the unworn clothing “pile-up” according to almost half the women polled. And get this – only one in eight regularly do a closet purge and one in fifty delay the task for at least ten years!

Statistically, the most common unworn items are jeans (you know- the ones you’re going to fit back in to when you lose 10 pounds).
Chicago closet organization
The second biggest culprit is shoes, with about 20% of women stashing up to six pairs of shoes that they will never wear.

But wait!

Men are affected by this too! In fact, men tend to have an average of 19 items lurking in their closets that they will never wear again – most of which were impulse, sale items.

So what’s the “take away” of all these fun stats?

The take away is that you need to take those unused items AWAY! Get them out of your Chicago closet.

It will give you more room to move, more space to think, and more options to look and feel better – and isn’t that what every great Chicago closet should do?

Closet System Industry Leaders Recognized - Including Closet OS!

Winners of the 2011 Top Shelf Awards were announced February 23 at the CLOSETS Top Shelf Award Presentation during the 7th annual Closets & Home Organization Conference & Expo. The Top Shelf Awards recognize closet system industry leaders, and Closet OS is honored to once again have been included.

Closet OS received a Top Shelf Award in the garage category for this cool remodeling project, which included custom red and black garage cabinets.

 custom garage cabinet design chicago - Closet OS

custom designed garage cabinets - Closet OS Chicago

custom garage cabinets by Closet OS

This year marks the 10th time Closet OS has been nominated as a finalist for their custom closet system design and expertise. This most recent award is the 8th we have received in the past three years.

An A-Plus Garage Design Project

ultimate garage design ILMost garages in America are the home for lots of “stuff” rather than the “ultimate garage” of our dreams. Sometimes, when we’re lucky with our garage design and organization, they’re also the home for our cars (when we’re not driving them).

Some of our cars are large, swanky SUV’s, and some are hybrids. But most are popular, well-rated and dependable autos that we use in very utilitarian and functional ways to get us from point “A” to point “B”.

So when we were asked to do a large “ultimate garage” design for a local vintage car collector, we were thrilled. The client wanted to achieve a very clean, showroom look but also wanted to have ample storage with garage cabinets for his normal garage items, car service parts, as well as his collection of car memorabilia.

Excellent. A garage design opportunity at its’ finest – an “ultimate garage.”

And that’s what we gave it. Our finest (which, by the way, won us a Top Shelf Industry Design Award).

We worked very closely with the client to coordinate the “ultimate garage” project details. And details there were. We had to plan the garage design taking into consideration:
  • The installation spacing of cars custom garage cabinets by Closet OS
  • A car lift system
  • Coordinating the plumbing for the urinal garage cabinet area (yes ladies and gentlemen, you read correctly, this garage has its’ own urinal), which included a waterproof interior liner
  • Investigating and testing the special Linex™ coating over with an MDF core for the countertop
  • Designing the garage cabinets and spacing around the need of an air compressor
  • Existing toolbox sizing
  • Air and water hoses
  • An already located slop sink area
custom garage design by Closet OS
The garage cabinets were made out of a brushed aluminum melamine and a special Linex™ coated countertop. We developed an approach for a new, durable and liquid resistant countertop surface for the workbench area all while making sure all storage was behind doors so we could achieve that “ultimate garage” showroom look.

Why Spend Money on Garage Organization?

There are great reasons to invest in garage cabinets, build garage shelving and figure out how to organize your garage. And while making room for your car - especially in the Chicago area where parking is at a premium due to the severe blizzard that hit at the beginning of the month - is a good reason, there are many more.

cluttered garageYour garage space is some of the least expensive “real estate” to improve considering that is already part of your housing expense. Plus, you would be surprised how many people still spend money to rent a separate storage space or still park their car outside the garage rather than improving the form and functions on one's own garage. This can be easily achieved with building garage shelving or adding garage cabinets. Figuring out how to organize your garage will not only improve your psyche but will also enhance the investment in your home right out of the gate.

With garage clutter - you’re constantly reminded of all the “stuff” that needs to be organized, put away, thrown away or donated. Just seeing all the things we have accumulated over the year can often drain your energy in a negative way. It’s a place where people tend to carelessly just dump things and rarely clean up. And there’s usually no organized, dedicated home like garage cabinets for the stuff that gets dropped, so it all turns in to big piles that are incredibly difficult to tackle. So you don’t, and your stuff just sits there for years.

Cleaning up and getting organized will have a positive impact on both your state of mind and your way of life – whether you add any organizational system or not.

organized garage by Closet OSAdding some sort of system will have the added benefit of making it much easier to stay organized over the long term. Building garage shelving or adding a garage cabinet here and there can go a long way when considering how to organize your garage.

You plan what needs to be stored and you create a storage solution for those items. Some are very specific – like roller blade equipment, or baskets for gardening tools, or a hook for a ladder.

Other solutions involve building garage shelving, drawers and garage cabinets with doors (and locks) to keep chemicals and solvents out of children’s reach. Just having things behind doors helps the out of sight out of mind principle.

So if you’re looking for a long term investment with a good rate of return and an improved state of being – getting your garage organized should top the list.


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