Sometimes when cleaning out our closets, we find hidden treasures we didn’t know existed. Sometimes we happen upon some of our parents’ old clothes, jewelry, or other gems, but one thing is for sure: we need to organize! One item that can be hard to organize? Large brimmed hats.  At times falling into the category of forgotten treasures, this great accessary is coming back in the fashion industry.

Then comes the tough questions: How do I store these types of hats so they don’t get smashed up?

There are lots of options.

If you have some counterspace available, it may be convenient to buy a hat rack like the one pictured below. This type of rack will display all your different hats for you and help them keep their shape.

If you only have one large brimmed hat, but want to make sure it doesn’t make its way to the bottom or back of a closet, you may want to try a mannequin head. This also helps the hat keep its form.

Not that much counter space? You can always get a hat stand that hooks over a door. This saves space and also lets you see what options you have for dressing up your outfit with stylish headgear.

 

Have other suggestions for ways to organize your hats? Leave a comment below and let us know! 

(All the images above were found at www.unclutter.com.)

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The Eddie Moreno Project

January 14, 2012

Recently, our team here at California Closets designed and installed a complimentary closet for a young man in need. It was truly a unique and fantastic opportunity for us. Our designer on the project, Joann Wilmeth, talks about her experience throughout her time with Eddie and discovering his personal needs.

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What makes you passionate about the work that you do as a designer at California Closets?

I love to enhance the lives of my clients!  Knowing that a project is completed and my client’s life is easier and more functional is so gratifying.  

What are your goals when designing for a client’s specific needs?

The needs and wants for a custom storage space differ so greatly from client to client.  Some have very specific ideas of what he/she is looking for, while others leave the solutions to me. Either way, my goal when working with someone is to listen first and foremost so that their needs are uncovered and the perfect solution is designed.

What can you share about what happened to Eddie and what brought about his need for your help?

Early last year, Alamo Heights High School senior and basketball point guard Eddie, was shot in a tragic road rage incident. Like any other high school senior, he was looking forward to graduation and starting college in the fall to become a basketball coach. In an instant, his world as he knew it was forever changed. The bullet that pierced his left cheek lodged in his spinal canal at level C2/C3. Eddie is now ventilator-dependent and has no movement from the neck down. The doctors say he’ll never walk again, but we know, and he believes, he will. The doctors did not predict that Eddie would survive, but he is still here with us. He is fighting every day. He truly amazes us!

                               3-D CAD Renderings of Eddie’s closet designed by Joann.

What inspired you and your company to get involved with Eddie’s project & recovery?

Knowing how versatile and custom our product designs are, (based on the needs of the individual), I knew we were a perfect fit for Eddie and his family.  The team on this project was amazing and dedicated to making life for Eddie easier on a day-to-day basis. I quickly knew I wanted to be involved.

What are the biggest advantages that Eddie will get from his brand new custom California Closets system? 

With Eddie being paralyzed from the neck down, his personal use of our product will be limited.  The caretakers and family members caring for him will find great pleasure with our product, though.  It will be easier to locate Eddie’s items so that his recovery goes smoothly and be accelerated. There is a custom-designed place for everything, from clothes, shoes, to medical equipment. Their productivity as a family will skyrocket.

How does working on a community project differ from other projects that you do?

It’s a community project rather than getting business from a client. Being able to work with our community to better the life of someone like Eddie and his family is rewarding.  This is a family that otherwise would not have our products in their home.  I met a few of the family members at an ASID (American Society of Interior Designers) event in October.  They were so gracious and thankful, and that solidified my feelings for helping. Very heartwarming!

Are you looking to do more work like this in the future?

I would love to continue to give to our community.  I am from San Antonio and have spent my 38 years here. As a company, we have had the pleasure of working with Goodwill numerous times and, most recently, we are donating material and labor to a build for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. It’s such a great experience as a company to share our products, what we can do, and give back to the community that made us successful in the first place. This is my home and, next time opportunities like these present themselves, I would most certainly participate again!

We are so very proud of Joann and her drive to reach out to the Moreno family – we would not have been able to do this for them otherwise! There’s even opportunity for YOU in our community to help. Visit eddiescourage.org to read about him, see photos of him and his loved ones, and to donate to his recovery.

Wondering how you can do it? Just follow my six organizing tips for turning a small bedroom into a closet that you’ll love!

An extra room can be converted into a stunning master walk-in closet and dressing room.

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION

Is your soon-to-be closet near your master bedroom and bathroom? Proximity to the bedrooms of the users is the first thing to consider. Imagine yourself using your closet in your day-to-day life; your closet should be aconvenient space for you to look forward to using with ease and comfort.

 

CLEAR THE ROOM OUT!

Trying to envision the closet of your dreams in a bedroom should be a fun brainstorming process and you can accomplish this the best if you clear out the bedroom first!

Sure, it’s a huge task to get everything out, but you’ll be surprised at the difference that it will make for you. With the room empty, you might realize that you have more space to design in than what it seemed like when it was full. It will be less overwhelming for you and you will have the opportunity to walk through the room (as if you were actually using it) while deciding where your clothes will be going.

 

BEST IN SHOW

When you walk into a bedroom, the first thing typically seen is a nicely dressed bed, front and center. Consider this when designing your closet, but instead, pick the best part of your wardrobe to showcase from the door! Do you have a shoe collection that you’re proud of? Perhaps pressed suits lined up in a row? Choose a part of your wardrobe that you love and design a solution to flaunt it.

 

LET THERE BE (PROPER) LIGHT

When designing where your clothes will be stored, consider the sunlight that streams into the room and in what direction it shines. Bedrooms usually have good-sized windows and taming natural light is important to the life of your clothes. Prevent fading by installing shades over the windows and recessed lighting into your closet space – in the ceiling or in the closet system itself could work. Discuss the effects that different types of lighting will have on your clothes with a professional to get their expert advice on the type to use.

Make use of wall space for custom shelves and drawers and create space to dress and dream.

 

SPOIL YOURSELF WITH SPACE

In a spare bedroom, not only do you have plenty of wall spaceto build on, but floor space, as well. This can be perfect for acenter island or dressing area.

An island is great place for drawers to use when storing jewelry, purses, large shoes, or as a dressing area to lay out your clothes for the day. It can also be a nice divider in the middle of closet for a shared his and hers space. Just remember to leave yourself ample walking space around the island when designing.

 

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL

Get yourself a full-length mirror! There’s plenty of space for it and the closet would not be quite complete without it. Leaner mirrors can leave a grandiose impression, but built-in mirrors may be the most convenient. Building these into the closet system – maybe as a door insert – or a slide out mirror that tucks away into the closet are a couple of creative ways to seamlessly integrate this accessory for easy use.

 

What do you think? Ready to transform a too-small bedroom into a just-right walk-in closet? 

Fall Colors Upgrade Event

October 11, 2011

…now through October 31st! 

During our Fall Colors Upgrade Event, you can add luxury and elegance to your home and save money, too. Choose from our wide variety of wood grain and fine Italian-inspired Lago® finishes to enhance any décor. Form, function, and high fashion combine to create tranquil and organized spaces that you will enjoy for years to come.

Until October 31, we are offering a free upgrade to one of our lush wood grain finishes for the price of white or our Lago finishes for the price of wood grain.  That’s right – for a limited time enjoy extra style and beauty at no extra chargeThat’s a savings of up to 20%!

Get Started Today! 

This offer won’t last long. Your project must be contracted by October 31, 2011 to be eligible for a free upgrade, so don’t delay.

Call 210.819.1991 or 512.441.6061 to book your complimentary design consultation. 


Offer valid through October 31, 2011. Cannot be combined with any other offer. Available at participating franchises only. Each franchise independently owned and operated.


Summer is officially here! And that means you and your wardrobe are about to make a drastic switch to prepare for the sweltering days ahead.

Too many seasons in the closet causes clutter. If you want to be able to easily choose your summer outfits, then you need storage solutions for your winter wardrobe.

But there is much more to putting away those sweaters and jackets than dumping them into Tupperware in the garage.

Here’s what to remember when storing them away.

Purge unwanted items

The forgotten fact is that any and all garments, when hung in a closet, need plenty of hanging space to breathe in order to have as long a life as possible, so it makes sense that over-crowded closets will cram clothes and wear them down. If you still have items in your closet that you haven’t worn in a season or two, say good riddance! Donate, sell, or hand them down – they have the potential to make someone else just as happy as they made you!

Tie up loose ends

If you find snags, loose seams or hems, or buttons falling off, be sure to remove them. Clothes will seem more like new when it comes time to wear them again this fall. Also, empty out all the pockets! Items left in pockets – coins, keys, candy, pens – can put kinks and dents in your clothes over time should you leave them in storage long enough.

Be sure they’re clean

This is an obvious step in storing a wardrobe so you should expect to spend some quality time in your laundry space to prepare. Any particles and stains that are left on clothes for a prolonged period of time will set into the fabric, meaning it will be more difficult to clean in a few months.  (Not to mention the potential smell that could result depending on the source of the stain – yuck!)

Avoid hangers if you can

Since you will be putting these clothes away for a few months and not wearing or washing them, try not to leave them hanging. You’ll maintain the integrity of the garment and avoid them getting misshapen. If you find that hanging is necessary, quality hangers and the extra loops that come sewn into the clothes are extremely beneficial to utilize.

Location does matter

In fact, this is probably what you should be most mindful of. Avoiding warm, musty places will keep away mildew and insects; dark places will prevent fading. Find a place in your home that can combine these two points and you are absolutely set! If not, you might consider coming up with a new storage solution that will not only serve your wardrobe, but plenty of other household items that could use it.

Prepare your closet for new items

Clean, wipe down, and vacuum your closet thoroughly so it is fresh for the new wardrobe going in. Starting anew will ensure your clothes – and you! – a fresh start and motivate you to organize yourself the right way right off the bat.

With these steps in mind, you can cherish your seasonable wardrobes for years to come!

 

See more of our blogs here!

There isn’t anyone I know that couldn’t use some help in keeping up with their endless to-do lists for their home! It’s about time we face the fact that there will always be something that needs taking care of – bills, errands, cleaning, improvements, kids, schedules – so we’ve put together a list of the basic tactics to get the most out of your hours in your home.

Pick the right times. We all have those certain times of day that we are most charismatic and energized, be it in the morning before everyone else wakes up to distract you or later in the afternoon after having a couple meals to fuel yourself up. Take notice of your power hour(s) and aim to complete tasks then.

Midday exercise. Cease the groans! A quick 30-minute walk around the neighborhood or yoga session in the comfort of your living room will reap multiple benefits: great for your body, an increase in metabolism (which equals increase in your energy), and a sense of rejuvenation.  That’s the perfect formula for productivity if I ever saw it!

Auto-pay your bills when possible. This will save you TONS of time. It is one less thing for you to have to sit down to take care of . If you are unsure about electronic transactions, it is pretty standard for companies to send you a confirmation email any time they take activity on your account so you can know all the details.

Take a break! This is incredibly essential and definitely not something to skip because you CAN afford it: over-working yourself will tire you out and eventually get you loathing your to-do lists. Go out and grab a smoothie, watch a TV show,  or play with the kids/pets. A positive attitude is half the battle in accomplishing tasks big and small.

Share your goals with others. Making others aware of what you’re up to will keep you accountable for what you’re doing. Whether they ask you about it throughout the day or you simply want to showcase your work ethic to them, it’ll give you a constant reason to accomplish what you’ve set forth to.

Jot down a To-DO list. These lists will keep you organized and allow you to have an on-going plan in your head. Crossing off things from the list will look and feel great, too.

Get organized! Our favorite. 😉 How can you go wrong when you have a certain place to find things and return them to? Cut down on all that time you spend searching for items by starting and maintaining a sense of organization. And feel free to grab some inspiration here.


Have any tips for us that we didn’t mention? We’d love to hear! It’s easy to comment below to share your bits of genius. 🙂

As part of the ASID Texas-Oklahoma Chapter’s SpringBoard to Design event, we are hosting a happy hour in our beautiful Austin showroom off of 5th and Lamar. During the course of this all-day event on May 18th, enjoy a breakfast and lunch during the classes, which begin at 10am. Following this, come see us in our showroom from 4-6pm for the opportunity to mingle with your fellow trades people, develop your network, and chat about what you learned from the event’s presenters.

Credit: DonovansSteakhouse.com

What can the participants expect to hear about? There will be a colorful start to the morning as Feras Irikat of Ocean Side Glass Tile gets the ball rolling with a presentation on color theory and how to apply it to your work. Design elements in residential kitchens will follow, as well as a lecture on energy efficient lighting. Other topics you can expect throughout the day include sustainable design in your business, architectural glass and its applications, and a legislative talk from Marilyn Roberts, ASID, RID of Stone Solutions.

Keep in mind that, though our happy hour from 4-6pm in our showroom is the grand finale of an ASID event, we are encouraging anyone in the field interested in networking to join us. We are looking forward to seeing your bright faces there!

You know the benefits of staying organized: less stress, more productivity, more control.

But it’s all too easy to come up with ways to put off de-cluttering, tidying and reorganizing. The problem is the more excuses you make, the more the clutter builds and the more things feel out of control.

Which of these top five excuses do you use to put off organizing? Let’s put a stop to them right now.

“I’m not like this at the office. It’s just at home”

Why do you stay organized at work? Does it help you be productive? Does it give you more time to take care of priorities?

More importantly, why wouldn’t you want these benefits in your home? Realistically, keeping a home is a second job on all of our plates.  But it’s just as important, if not more important than your job. You live there, maintain relationships with family there, and de-stress there. You deserve a home that’s a haven for you.

Staying organized minimizes stress and frustration levels, and makes your home even more pleasant to come home after a long day of work.

“If I organized my things, it wouldn’t stay organized for very long because I have a lazy personality.”

Don’t allow yourself to believe this for one second. Truly lazy people probably wouldn’t take the time to read an article about how to get organized, right?

Half the battle is realizing that you need a solution and figuring out how to go about it. If you find unnecessary frustrations on your plate doing day-to-day duties in your house or spending a lot of time looking for things several times a week, those may be a red flag that you need a solution. 

You also need motivation. It’s not always easy to keep up with organization at first. Get your family involved as a team – create systems together and keep up with putting things away.

“It’s not just about cleaning. I’d have to rearrange my entire room!”

Good! You cannot avoid your organizing needs when you have to move things to new places; this will force you to remember their new spots and have you actively think about where you got them from. You’ll keep going back there when you need it or when you put it away.  

Having new places for your items will allow you to see more of what you have and you may discover things that you no longer have use for… a great way to rid yourself of clutter that is doing nothing but taking up space.

Have fun with reorganizing. Approach it like a creative design project, knowing that it will be making a lasting and positive change in your life.

“My clutter is just small stuff that I don’t have a place for, it’s not that big a deal.”

How much “small stuff” do you have? The accumulation of a lot of small things can lead to one big problem: clutter!

Try separating these items into categories, depending on where you use them and how often you use them. Separate the items for kitchen, office, and bedroom, then have a “junk drawer” in each of these rooms to store miscellaneous items if there is no other way to find them a better place. Sort through the junk periodically so you can get rid of things you’ve realized you don’t need.

“If I put things away, I won’t see them, and then I won’t use them.”

If you have items that you won’t remember to use if you don’t see them, you need to ask yourself this question: Why do you still have them?

Getting rid of things that are unnecessarily taking up space is a great way to start and you will feel so refreshed! Less “stuff” means more space to keep things that are truly essential for you and your family. Rid that drawer of all unnecessary receipts and business cards that you don’t need to make room for office supplies that you readily use, like staplers, paper clips, and pens.  Purge your closet of the clothes you haven’t worn in the last year (we all have them!) for hand-me-downs or donations. 

No more excuses

It’s National Spring Cleaning Week – this is the time to overcome these excuses once and for all and enjoy the benefits of an organized home!

If you didn’t see your favorite excuse on the list, let us know what it is and we’ll offer ideas for overcoming it.

As the leading Custom Storage design & installation companies, California Closets is opening a brand new showroom in San Antonio beginning Thursday, March 17th! Our franchise, branded as California Closets of the Texas Hill Country, is independently owned & operated by a husband-and-wife team, Daniel & Jill Siegel and we have been proudly serving San Antonio, Austin, the Texas Hill Country and beyond for almost three decades.

While it is obvious we specialize in custom closets, we can also provide custom storage solutions for every area of the home: garages, media rooms, pantries, and kitchens are all in the mix and are warrantied for as long as you own your home.

Previously located off of Broadway Avenue in San Antonio, we relocated to the Design District and are ready to open to the public. Our Sales & Marketing Coordinator, Lucy Guilbeaux, knows the move will be beneficial to the company.

“It is going to be an up-to-date, current showcase of our work” says Guilbeaux. “Our last showroom was older and becoming outdated. This is going to be a step above anything that’s been available for people to see and experience. Once you step into our showroom, you get a broader sense of the work that we do – we’re not just designing closets!” Since the showroom will also serve as a design center complete with samples of all of their available products and materials, she hopes that it will be a place of inspiration for people to re-imagine their own spaces.

Our company has been expanding over the past few years and we are excited to venture further into the commercial and custom furniture markets. Lucy expanded on this: “Our production facility, which is connected to our new showroom, has doubled in size.  This, combined with our investment in new machinery, will help us to explore new markets while still providing our core customers with the quality we’re known for.”

Our design consultants will be available for walk-in consultations on weekday afternoons until 5:00 pm and every Saturday until 4:00 pm.  Design Consultant, Matt Till, is excited to be able to use the new space as a way of showing the people of San Antonio what we’re all about.

“I would encourage anyone looking for a storage solution of any kind to check out our incredible new showroom,” Matt says. “Come see and experience first-hand the quality, style, and versatility that makes California Closets the industry leader in customized home storage”

Another one of our designers, Misty Rodriguez, has been with the company for almost six years and she can’t wait to show how much they have grown. “We’ve evolved so much and I am thrilled to show that to our clients,” Misty commented. “I am particularly excited about having one of our wall-beds in the showroom. In my time here, I haven’t had one to show off in a showroom before. I’ve noticed a real increase in interest and demand for our wall beds.”

You can find our new showroom off of 281 and Nakoma Drive at 1111 Arion Parkway. Come by and see us.. we are excited to meet you! 🙂

 

With the real estate market on a slow but steady rise, many homeowners in the country have a to-do list of projects to put more value into the home they’ve worked hard for.

Whether you are looking to sell your home or just want to give it a facelift, organizing and upgrading gives you a better chance to boost your home’s resale value.

Curb appeal

The first huge step when marketing a house to buyers is getting them to come inside. A house with outdoor debris, sloppy landscaping, and unattractive trash or recycle bins lining its curb is not going to excite anyone to step into a house.

The impression at the curb can make the biggest difference – if little care is given to the outside, what will that mean for the inside? Organizing, tidying and cleaning the exteriors before marketing a home is essential.

Bathrooms

The bathroom and all its fixtures and details is often a bigger selling point than the four walls of a bedroom. Unfortunately, it’s also the room in the house that is most likely to be outdated.

Upgrading the faucets and sinks will give an instant facelift to a bathroom. A combination of smaller improvements, such as painting, de-cluttering and redecorating, are easy and will win over buyers, too, without putting a huge dent in your wallet. Adding storage solutions, such as a vanity or linen cabinets, will have a positive impact as well.

Closets and other storage

Nicely designed and functional closets are always a surprise to potential home buyers. When touring a home, it is typical to see the standard shelf and rod configuration, so a custom closet system will definitely stay in their minds as they see other houses – it is simply a feature that is not expected! Some nice storage solutions (e.g. pantries, media units, garages) can also make a significant difference, as buyers don’t often come across these.

Just think: If a buyer sees two identical homes and one of them has impressive storage systems installed and the other doesn’t, who would get the sale?

Painting

If you walked into a house with white walls and then another with painted walls, which are you going to feel more “at home” in? It’s a no-brainer, right? Painting walls is usually the first go-to change most people make to their homes and it is for good reason. Cold, sterile walls are not welcoming and could hinder the impression on a buyer about the homeowner’s interest in maintaining the house.

It is easy, fast, and inexpensive, so it’s hard to find an excuse not to, right? If you don’t do any other project, paint!

Convert the basement into a living room

There is something extremely comforting in walking into a home and seeing the basement or garage spaces being utilized for something productive. These spaces tend to have the reputation of being the “catch-all” area where clutter accumulates. Get creative with the décor: Create a wine storage and cocktail lounge, game room, home theater, piano room… the possibilities are endless!

Kitchen upgrades

Start with a simple pantry cabinet makeover to create an organized, welcoming kitchen. If you’re ready for a bigger investment, renovate by installing all stainless steel appliances, updating the backsplash, applying a fresh coat of paint, and adding new cabinetry and countertops.

Make sure your kitchen renovation is appropriate to the home value, the surrounding area, and your home’s decor. Spending a quarter of what your home is worth on a kitchen remodel is not appropriate. Modern elements should not be mixed with traditional or dated elements.

Wood deck

As far as the exterior of the home, your investment in a deck will get you the most return in cost – about 80% according to Remodeling magazine. The addition of this outdoor space moves potential buyers to daydream about the parties they can host, enjoying family dinners outside, or where they are going to place their mighty grill. Overall, it can be a huge selling point.

WHAT NOT TO DO

Though there is much that can be improved upon in any home, there are some things that you should avoid that won’t be worth your time OR money. Adding a swimming pool or excessive landscaping, for example, will not help you. Buyers might see these as huge maintenance chores that they will have to keep up with, which is not something anyone would want to have on their plate when purchasing a new home. If these are already part of your home, then great! But avoid adding things of this nature solely for the purpose of wanting to sell.