Category Archives: Organizing

Paper Squeeze

We love Saturdays in the store. People come in with napkin drawings seeking solutions for tough spaces. Some break out their cellphone photos in hopes that we can wave a magic wand and make it all disappear. Others come with scaled drawings on graph paper and detailed explanations of how their dream space should perform. Many have nearly lost hope that there’s a solution that will ease their storage pain.

Someone stopped by yesterday asking how we could maximize their home office closet that is filled with paper supplies, DVDs and manuals etc. Can we add drawers or pullout trays? That works if you have a wide door opening but not so much for a closet that is 40″ wide with a 30″ door where the drawers will either smack the door frame or cut off access to the corners.

The best solution sounds awfully simple but it’s the most effective. Your savior will be adjustable shelves…and plenty of them. Yep..not too deep, not too high, just right.. adjustable shelves. Most closets will have 4-5 shelves in them but we’re thinking more like 8 spaced anywhere from 6″-12″ apart. Use a center support on anything more than 27″ wide to avoid bowing. Add bins for small products like boxes of staples or paperclips. Avoid stacking too high – it’s a pain to pullout the bottom item. Use the extra shelves to separate the stacks. With this kind of flexibility, you can flip things around like a giant game of Tetris until everything slips into a spot giving you…. home office nirvana.

So what’s in a name?

Boots …such an unattractive and broad name for the part of our wardrobe that can either protect us in a monsoon or make us the sexiest gal at the party. Ankle or knee high, rubber, leather, vinyl, suede…(be still my heart)… riding, walking, sailing, gardening, construction, military…all still called boots but by any other name would conjure a better image.

So when we offer our Boot Shaper for storing said boots, you must consider that most of those boots don’t need (or could care less about) shaping. However, for those that flop on the floor like an exhausted mother at the end of her day and begging for a hand up, we have a solution making your closet neater and your boots more desirable than ever.

Watch your boots stand like soldiers awaiting orders, prepared for emergencies, locked and loaded for your next foray out. A simple squeeze of the shaper releases it from it’s captor, the boot. Included is a hanger which now ranks the best of your fine boots worthy of affiliating with your coats and jackets rather than being relegated to the floor with their lesser counterparts – the mukluks and galoshes which simply get kicked aroundBoot Shaper. And while fashion trends have convinced us that all boots are created equal and can be worn in any setting, we’re still squeamish about showing up at Sunday dinner with Saturday’s mud underfoot. All boots may be road worthy but some simply cry out for attention more than others. Far be it from us to ignore their pleas.

Back to School Organizers (for Theoretically Organized College Students)

As your superstars head off to the dormitories, we’d feel left out not to chime in ourselves with some Back to School 2¢.  So here below, we’ve got 5 products, some obvious, some not so obvious, that may give you the momentary hope that your freshmen will weather the wrinkled rigors and survive their year the orderly bedside caddyabandon that only an underclassman can ever pull off.

6 POCKET POLYESTER BEDSIDE STORAGE CADDY

Bedside storage space is practically nonexistent in those cramped little dormitories.  I mean, there isn’t exactly room for an nightstand with drawers and shelves – it’s usually elbow to elbow desks, laptops and smelly shoes.  So tuck a little serenity between the sheets so that your student can relax and study up on a wee bit of Cosmo before getting a good night’s rest!

HMP-03542-2_2BRIGHT LAUNDRY TOTE

Unless your “young adult” is an established laundry A-lister, chances are, you’re concerned about failing grades due to the noxious gases those clothes will be emitting by week 5 of classes.  We recommend not skimping in any way on products that might encourage your teen to spend a few timely minutes in the washroom.  Lightweight, durable, easy to carry and brightly colored, this tote will be an in-their face reminder that dirty duds and necessary suds await.

lg_H12001CLUTTERBUSTER VALET HINGE-IT

Do you remember where your wet towels dried in your dormitory days?  Properly sopping wet on your bed.  Most rooms don’t exactly come with generous portions of towel racks.  And if your student has long locks and extra towel needs?  Well.  We can pretty much guarantee that the space they may have been given is fairly insufficient.  Attaching to the top and bottom hinges of most standard doors, this hanging system offers 4 bars that transform unused space into 6′ of functional storage paradise. A perfect piece to travel with them year after year.  And then into their first apartment.  Maybe even their first home, years down the road.

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ROLLING OFFICE CART

Standard issue college desks are… how can we say this nicely?? Not always ideal on usable storage space.  Especially as new dormitories move towards slimline, utilitarian units, you may be at a loss to help your nervous student find a place for pencils AND paperclips.  Help them maximize on limited space, keep track of important accessories, and start learning the importance of filing, all in one rolling swoop.

BRD-01350_500pxOVER THE DOOR IRONING BOARD

Even we admit to some disbelief here.

However.

On the off-chance they decide to look 100% presentable for that presentation? We think the chances of them deciding to go the extra mile may well be determined by how easy that ironing board is to access.  And hanging right there on the back of the door, access is undeniably easy.

So go forth our young Jedi’s.  May the Force of Organization be with you.

Think Ahead

Life is about stages, isn’t it. This is not a question. It’s a statement. At each stage our interests are piqued and driven by events around us. What was a focus at 25 is likely not a focus at 50. Sometimes we give something up to make room for more pressing issues and then come back to it years later. Sometimes we never come back to it at all. Maybe it was a trend or perhaps we just lost interest. For me, sewing is a good example. At one point, I sewed clothing and pajamas for my children because I found nothing warm and cozy about flame retardant fabrics regardless of what the ads said. My head is in a different place now. I rarely sew anything of consequence. I’m more of a mender. The machine is there, just not up front and center.

This is why adding flexibility to your storage system is so important. It’s also an example of why a good designer can add value to your design process. Their exposure to the various stages of life through their own customer base is invaluable. They can envision how the space may be used years later and guide you to making choices that will add longevity to it’s value.

I will never sew as I did. My children are gone and I don’t have the time at home anymore but my sewing area still functions for gift-wrapping and craft projects that engage me so much more now. I’m glad I didn’t build a sewing center that was so dedicated to the one hobby that it limited my use later. May the projects begin!

Closets are Like Broccoli

January can be an exciting month: you’re motivated to start projects, learn something new, change something about yourself.  For some reason, the New Year brings us new motivation.  That initial excitement can wane somewhat when we find ourselves ¾ of the way through our shoe collection and out of storage space with not a millimeter of options left.  Or when you thought Rosetta Stone was just $400 to learn French… and it turns out to be just level one… and there are three levels after.  New Year’s is like a sugar rush and reality is just waiting in the wings to swoop in a crush us.  By the end of January, most of us will already have given up on our New Years Resolutions.

I know that isn’t nearly as apocalyptic as say, world hunger.  But wouldn’t it be amazing if we could throttle that energy we spring into the new year with and at least make it to March???

So, I was reading The War of Art by Steven Pressfield and he points out that “the principle of organization is built into nature…”  And he is so right.  This is something I already knew but Pressfield’s reminder in the context of creativity was powerful and inspirational.  We’re trying to organize our world the same way heirloom broccoli grows:

There is a geometry to art and life which we can feel in our bones and whether we realize it or not, we want our homes to reflect that same sense of peace and order.

AND WE SHOULD.

There is a certain sense of accomplishment that comes with organizing your desk, your calendar, your life.  It’s not so much that you miraculously become more efficient.  You do.  But to go deeper than that, it’s your bones sighing in relief that you know exactly where your keys are.  When you need to write something down, you didn’t have to tear through papers to find a pen.  Your scarf pulled off of its hanger without a single extra crease or crinkle.  Getting dressed was a JOY this morning.  And all these little joys make it easier to smile, easier to relax, easier to accomplish your mission, whatever that may be.  Miracle?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  Hard work?  Most certainly.

Organizing your closet is really no different from painting a picture, taking a photograph, creating a sculpture, writing a book… let’s use the book.  We can draw PERFECT parallel’s there.  No one sites down to write a book in a single sitting.  It’s a habit.  A writer sits down at their typewriter every day for hours so that they’re ready when the perfect words are flowing.  They walk around editing in their head.  Getting your closet, desk, craft area organized is just the same.  It’s a habit that we form which we follow every day.  And we never tackle the whole thing at once – just like a writer could never write a novel all in one sitting.  We will start with shoes, move on to purses, then blouses, pants, scarves, belts etc.  This is normal, this is okay.  

Just because you get a brand new closet doesn’t mean it will be perfectly organized overnight.  But you will find your rhythm, your geometry with just a little bit of time and a wee bit o’ habit.

Organization is an art form.  Approach it like the creative endeavor that it is and give it the time and patience it requires and you are sure to be rewarded with beautiful broccoli  growing in your closet garden.

Let’s Get Organized… One Bite at a Time

Welcome to January!! It’s National Get Organized Month and YOU’RE INVITED! Let us help you stow away your Christmas peacefully, organize your spice drawer simply, or tackle your hall closet with gusto. We also make great empathetic ears when you wade into an organization project with much enthusiasm only to have your happy thoughts blown to smithereens when it turns out to be a little more intense than you expected. We’re here for you. Seriously. No matter how big or small the project, we’ve got shoulders to cry on, products to rely on, and ideas to grow on for your Organized 2013.

 When it comes to organization, most of us are guilty of trying to eat projects the size of an elephant in a just a single bite.  Actually, we tend to do that with A LOT of things in January!!  We make lots of New Year’s Resolutions and try to tackle them all at once instead of understand that most change is gradual and giving our bodies time to adjust. 

 We think you’ll find that if you take your time, you can actually accomplish those goals you gave yourself, which would be an awfully nice change, wouldn’t it?  Using our simple calendar, we dare you to break things down into chewable pieces and challenge yourself to make organization a year-round habit, instead of a once-a-year fiasco.  So go ahead, learn yoga or French, give your vanity cabinet or silverware drawer or stern organizational smack-down, and give-a-go at that DIY headboard you’ve always thought about making.  Just try it… one… bite… at a time!

Below is a link to our PDF calendar WE use to keep calm, cool and collected and carry on with our own overwhelming organizational goals.  Feel free to download and use ours or make your own.  (I generally fill mine out in pencil because I like to move things around as I plan my year.  However, it’s also configured to work with Adobe so you can type your goals in making legibility or lostness no excuse for lack of accomplishment!)

 With that… Ladies and Gentlemen: start your Organization ENGINES!!!  (And remember, we’re just a phone call away!)

Organization Calendar 

 

Semper Paratus: Like a Scout, my Murphy Bed is Always Ready

Please excuse my short essay on all things Amazing Murphy Bed — I’m in love and just can’t seem to stop talking about it!

Have you ever apologized for your guest room when showing your holiday visitors where they’re going to sleep?  Have you ever been so embarrassed by your guest situation that you take the couch while your parents get your nice comfy bed?  

Lay your shame to REST and get a Murphy Bed!

Murphy Beds, or wall beds, are real, honest beds, so I never have to sacrifice the comfort of my visitors while maintaining a practical guest solution.  The Murphy Bed accommodates an actual, comfortable, fantastic mattress up to 11” thick, just like any normal bed.  So choose any mattress from any store just like you would choose a new one for yourself and treat your guests to hotel-worthy at the touch of your fingertips. 

No matter how large your home is, space is a premium for everyone.  When not in use, wall beds swing up and closed, completely out of the way of all the other activities such a space can be utilized for when guests are not around: leaving your office/play room/craft room/living room area free and uninhibited for actual living space.

Surprise Guests will always be in turn surprised by your amazing ability to create a place to stay in a real snap.  When you tell someone to come on over whenever they want, you will truly mean it.  Murphy beds are ALWAYS ready at a moment’s notice and that means so are you.  Because they’re out of the way, they’re not collecting dust or papers or off-season paraphernalia because it was the only other open space left in your house.  If you’re someone who struggles to keep your guest room ready, a Murphy Bed can be the ultimate life saver.  

And just THINK of all the comments your guests will be making behind your back!  You’ll be the talk of the town; envy is sure to ensue!  Let’s face it: Murphy Beds are COOL!  And now you will have one and they will want one.  So dress to impress but don’t worry about it over-much, your Murphy Bed takes all the hard work out of knocking your guests socks off.  If they’re not spending the night, they’ll wish they were!

Finally, it’s impossible not to smile when I pull those handles and my Murphy Bed magically appears; because every time I open my Murphy Bed, I’m imagining every Three Stooges Murphy Bed scene, and singing the Murphy Bed song in my head.  But What is O’Reilley Doin’ in the Murphy Bed?  We all need  more happiness in our lives, it’s impossible to overdose: less stress and more laughter, less preparation and more enjoyment of the spur-of-the moment.  

Life is short.  Enjoy more spontaneous moments by getting ever-ready for merriment and joy: you’ll always be ready for anything if you’ve got a Murphy Bed.  

Mobile Soles gets Mobile Organization

We’re always looking for our unique selling proposition. That’s sales speak for what makes us different from our competition and why should you place your trust in us. If you follow us on Facebook, you may have noticed the post about Mobile Soles. This is a fledgling business who came to us to outfit their tricked out UPS truck with slatwall panels and fixtures for displaying shoes and clothing accessories. Yep, Mobile Soles is sort of a Lord and Taylor on wheels.

The truck was scheduled to make a public appearance for a marketing gig in New York City on Friday. The owner planned on leaving Buffalo for the drive to New York at 2:00am. The company providing an exterior wrap ran into problems and while we should have been able to install for her late Thursday afternoon, she couldn’t get the truck to us until 10:00 that night. I’d like to tell you that management held staff over to complete the installation but in fact, the employees who got the call made the decision that they should wait until the truck could arrive so the owner could make her marketing gig.

Long story to get to my point. At Creative Storage, all the staff are empowered to make decisions that will lead to your being happy and satisfied. No one needed to call and ask about being paid overtime or charging extra for our inconvenience. There is no such thing as our inconvenience. I love that everyone at Creative Storage lives and breathes that mantra. That’s our unique selling proposition. Buy with confidence because you will never, ever be left unhappy.

Are you ready?

Fall is just around the corner and already our phone has started to ring with closet emergencies as teachers gear up to go back to school. I’ve seen this pattern every year. As the evenings grow shorter, it dawns upon us that summer is almost over. We need to get ready for the busy fall season. After Labor Day our schedules are insane and in just a few weeks, shorts and tees will be replaced with blazers and slacks. Don’t you want to revolutionize the way you get dressed?

January is National Organizing Month

2012-GO-month-logoThere seems to be a real uptick in organizing early this year. It doesn’t seem to matter that it’s cold and snowy outside. We have been swamped with calls for remodeling projects; pantries, home office and master bedroom. The store has been exceptionally busy with small do-it-yourself projects too like jewelry drawer and kitchen organizers. Perhaps cabin fever is making people crave an uncluttered home? We’re sort of feeling like that ourselves. New displays are being installed this week and the main showroom is being overhauled. Nothing beats changing everything up and looking fresh and new. I highly recommend it!