Category Archives: Tales and Memories

Happy New Year!

You would think that  being in the storage and organization business my home would have a masterful array of tidy drawers and spiffed up closets with a side of storage savvy garage cabinets.  It does. However, it also takes some effort to keep from collecting too much and overwhelming those same spaces with tidbits of nonsense that we drag in the house and don’t get around to using or throwing out. There is also that added burden of living with others who may not be like-minded (ahem, husband) about what we keep (or buy for that matter- really, the jumbo case of baked beans?).

If you didn’t get around to making a New Year’s resolution I have a suggestion. One drawer, one closet, one shelf at a time. Don’t try to eat the whole cake when one piece can be very satisfying. Nothing feels as good as order in your home.

The Kindness of Cooking

It’s an amazing time of year for family. Joyful. One way to share that with our families is through our cooking. Good food is an expression of our creativity and in a way delivers comfort to those close to us. It’s a kindness that we offer all year. However, at the holidays, it has special meaning. It ties all of us together at the most basic level and for the most important reasons. It’s a point of remembrance- your grandmother’s cookies or your aunt’s cranberry relish. We honor our past and pass those memories on to our future- our children and grandchildren. At this very busy time of year, we wish you time to cook and all the joy that serving your treasured family recipes can possibly bring.

Particularly Picky

I threw an Oktoberfest party 2 weeks ago. I had bid on the catering at a charity auction so half the work was done for me. The fun part was choosing the menu. I asked for bratwurst from a local German market, apple strudel from a local German restaurant and De Maas Oktoberfest brew from the Community Beer Works, a local brewery. Homemade German potato salad and German chocolate cake (what else?) completed the selections. The caterer would not have sourced all the products from those particular provisioners. She told me so and added that, of course, I need to have things just so. She wasn’t trying to pigeonhole me as being picky. She was more admiring that I am particular…and I am. The good news is that same level of attention spills into every corner of my life including the details of jobs I design for my customers. It doesn’t do to waste 6 inches of space in a pantry if I can put a compact folding ladder there. I will sweat out how to use every last inch in a closet, manipulating the components until every last wardrobe piece is accounted for. I am concerned about how things line up, meet in corners and maximize the use of space. I demand it for myself and I demand it for my customers. Why settle for mediocre if we can have exceptional? Nope, I’m not picky, I’m just particular and it shows…in every installation we do.

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?

What were they thinking?

I prepared three estimates this week for properties worth over a million dollars with the worst closets ever. Small, angular and the cheapest material for closet rods on the planet. I am at a loss for words as to why a contractor would offer this and why the home owner would accept it. Can I fix it? Sure. Should I have to? No. Many builders do not place value on what happens in the closet. It’s a small ticket relative to the overall cost of the house. I once was told that the closets are only important to me. Wrong. For many men, it may be more likely to be low on the totem pole of wants to begin with. The reality, however, is that often a woman picks the house and women LOVE closet systems. My advice to you, the builder: woo your customer by offering a closet she just can’t resist. My advice to you, the home buyer: read the fine print and negotiate up front for a closet that suits your needs and suits the house. You have a lot of leverage before you sign the contract so tell them you want the closet of your dreams so you won’t be facing a nightmare.

It’s prime time to organize… purses?

pursesWhile scheduling an appointment yesterday a customer mentioned that she was already changing her purses over from summer to winter. The flip of the calendar drove her to start her wardrobe changeover despite the fact that it was 89 degrees out. This is why we get so busy though. The mentality is that after Labor Day, white is out, black is back. So, over the next three days, will most of us spend some time hanging and folding as we switch things over or is she just a little ahead of herself? When do you switch your wardrobe over from summer to winter? Inquiring minds want to know!

Facilitators of Emotional Stuff Divestment

Every once in a while we get a customer who simply has more stuff than they have room for. It’s always a challenge to help them find a solution that suits all their needs. The fact of the matter is, we don’t make the final decision, the customer does. While we are designers and fabricators, we are also facilitators assisting our customers with the emotion of deciding what to keep and how to make it fit. We can only suggest. The final decision is their’s. Today we assisted a customer with far too many shoes and far too little space. She had to make a choice between hanging space, shoe space and drawer towers. It wasn’t easy but we found a compromise and because it was ultimately her choice, she can make the changes that will allow it to suit her for many years to come.

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Trend Towards Downtown Living

Buffalo, NY is a town with short commutes for most people. In large cities, people choose downtown living to mitigate a long commute but here, there is no such thing. So why are people flocking to live in our downtown? We recently won the contract for one of Buffalo’s premier adresses, The Avant building. Now we think we know part of the answer. The Avant has spectacular views of the city and Lake Erie. The apartments are well outfitted with high end finishes but most importantly, the building has all kind of accomodations such as a pool, meeting rooms, fitness center, a restaurant and underground parking. All the common areas are beautiful and they set the stage for the apartments. It’s within walking distance of numerous restaurants and entertainments venues. Who wouldn’t want to live here? Owners who have come from other markets have told us that they couldn’t touch such a quality apartment in their old city for the prices at the Avant. So, take a virtual tour by clicking here..the Avant and tell us what you think. With the right accommodations, downtown living is hot.

A White Closet Can Still be a Custom Closet

People often think that the color of closet shelving and architectural elements is what makes it custom. No, it’s the layout of the space, the consideration of your body mechanics and how you store your wardrobe. I just visited a small closet we installed for a customer who is 6’3″. View the video of his space by clicking here. You might notice there is no shoe storage. The customer requested this. He keeps his shoes downstairs at the back door and didn’t want to waste valuable closet space for them. You also may wonder where his ties and belts are. Well, he rarely wears them so we tucked them behind the closet door where they are easy to access but not part of his everyday work space. Here’s the most amazing part. Like many of our male customers, he didn’t think it was worth it to spend money on his closet. “Just give me a shelf and rod. That’s all I need.” He called me recently to tell me that we revolutionized the way he gets dressed and now he’s a raving fan. His wife told me that he talks about his closet almost every day. He’s obviously pleased with the end result of this project but we’re even more pleased. There isn’t anything we love more than unleashing a raving fan.