Tag Archives: organizing

So What About Clutter?

I’d like to say a few words about clutter. I worked in my kitchen today and looked for a small tool, not often used, called a bean slicer. My mother tucked it into my Christmas stocking some 25 years ago and there is nothing else like it. It does one job and one job only- slices beans into french cut. It’s invaluable for those gardeners who inadvertently allow their harvest to over-mature yielding big, heavy, woody beans. The result is tender, succulent green beans that you might have otherwise considered tossing out.

Professional organizers will tell you that you should throw out anything you haven’t used in a year. If that were true, my little bean slicer would be long gone. The fact is, I don’t grow green beans every year but when I do, I’m one of those people who gets busy and all of a sudden my green beans look like something from Jurassic Park. I would be lost without my slicer.

I’m a little tired of this new “minimalist” attitude where we are made to feel guilty if we keep things on hand that we don’t use routinely. Now, it’s true that women with 100 pairs of shoes only wear about 20 of them on a regular basis. It’s also true that we get sentimental about things and find it hard to let them go. But part of my job as a manufacturer of storage systems is to help you find the space to keep the things that you do use, even if infrequently. I don’t want you to have to rid yourself of everything that you ever bought, loved or valued just because you didn’t use it in the last 365 days. Tomorrow, you’ll be looking for it and I’m sure I can find the space and make a perfect spot for it so when you need it, you can find it.

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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.

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.

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!

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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What to do when you have no closet

So often our customers need additional closet space in a small bedroom or attic. Building out a closet can be upwards of $1500 and then you still need an organizer to maximize the space. Why not build a wall unit? Behind the doors, short hanging, shoe shelves and long hanging abound. Deep drawers often are divided for socks and underwear, t-shirts or jewelry. Units can be relocated if you move making this investment, priceless.