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. 🙂

Advertisements

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!

Greetings friends — I hope your summer is swimming along smooooothly:)  Ours is great and we are super busy, which we LOVE.  Hip, sophisticated, custom storage for all is our motto and it is our mission to bring it to you in style and with superior service!

Never satisfied with where we are and always moving the needle here at California Closets of the Texas Hill Country, our new wood collection is in full swing.  We are pleased to be working in this material after 27 years of working exclusively in melamine finishes.  However, there is, of course, a reason we have used this material for all of these years serving the San Antonio / Austin / Corpus Christie markets so I thought I’d blog a bit about the pros and cons of melamine vs wood material.

We field calls and answer questions about this quite a bit.  When I was a Designer in Seattle it did not seem to come up as much as it does in Texas… but I am a Texan who lives in Texas and loves Texans and we will give the Texans what they want!  Hence, our wood program — here are some pics:

Our client was looking to create a peaceful workspace in an under-utilized area of her home at the top of a staircase. We achieved a beautiful result using a Maple veneer stained with a custom high gloss black finish.

There are times that wood lends itself better to customization. This was the case where our client wanted to create a very organic counter-top shape for his home office.

Beautiful solid maple raised panel door and drawer fronts in an Espresso finish.

Here are the facts about melamine versus wood veneer when considering what is right for your project:

Melamine:

Pros
no maintenance
does not change color
can add doors, drawers, shelves, etc and you not not have to worry about matching color
will not dent as easily as wood – much tougher
Can be sustainable, recycled material and very environmentally friendly

Cons
it’s not wood:) and therefore, can have bias against it

Wood:

Pros
more organic look
can be stained to closely match a specific color or tone

Cons
with dent easily
color will change over time
will be difficult to match the color if adding to system

So, there you have it!  Our Melamine, aka, furniture grade MDF with a melamine laminate, is not low quality, in fact, it is a high quality product guaranteed to last a lifetime — we could not be in business for 27 years in central Texas if it was a “cheap” material.  Other things to think about when thinking about QUALITY are the installation method, hardware used, the level of expertise of the Designer / Installation technician — overall quality STANDARDS of the company / product (or lack therof)…  but then, that is a whole other blog!!

Please visit us on the web <http://www.facebook.com/CaliforniaClosetsAustin.SanAntonio>  or in person at one of our showrooms — we would love to meet you!

Stay cool,
Jill Siegel, peruser of possibilities.

Summer has arrived!

June 9, 2010

California Closets exclusive Lago finish collective - shown in Umbrian Oak with 3Form bamboo rings

California Closets exclusive Lago finish collective - shown in Umbrian Oak with 3Form bamboo rings

WOW, That came fast; it’s here and it’s hot.  Time for margaritas on the patio and cooling off in one of our many swimming holes.  Life is good in Central Texas – Really, what could be better??

We have been offering FREE Certified Professional Organizing with purchase for our Spring rejuvenation Program and it has been quite a success!  We have seen lives dramatically improve – we are not just beautifying and simplifying storage areas any longer!  I can’t tell you what a GIFT it is to see lives transformed on such an emotional level from organizing and de-cluttering ones living space.  This is our California Closets Experience and we are proud to extend the complimentary organizing program through the summer months!   Please visit one of our showrooms, Facebook us, DM us on Twitter, call or email us at sa-atx@calclosets.com for more information!!!

We hope your summer is off to a great start.  We are planning several events for our showrooms – wine tastings, clothes swaps, trade events, and organizing workshops.  We will be announcing our event schedule soon!

Also, we are busy building out a new showroom in San Antonio – it will be our most beautiful yet and we are beyond EXCITED to showcase our many new product offerings!!

We were thrilled to participate in a couple of high-rise condos showcases benefiting charities in both Austin and San Antonio.  We adore doing these smaller spaces and making the urban living experience work!  I included several pictures – we used our exclusive Lago materials for these events because they are SO awesome!

Here's a Milano Grey california Closets with seeded glass inserts!

Tiny pantry in a fabulous downtown condo made oh-so-cool + functional by California Closets.

Cheers to the best summer yet!  Dwell in the possibilities.

Jill Siegel, storage siren.

Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up.

–A.A. Milne

Spring is here — Bluebonnets and wildflowers are out so it is official!  In honor of the season and starting anew, California Closets will be offering a Spring Rejuvenation Promotion.

We will have complimentary Certified Professional Organizing services with purchase – it is up to our clients whether to have the CPO® come in before or after the storage system installation. We have wanted to create this program for a while so our clients could have an organizing service to go along with their California Closets custom storage system and therefore have a full-service, life-changing experience.  After all, lives are busier than ever and who has the extra time to devote to the task of re-doing their organizing processes alone? Not many of us have that luxury of extra time or the expertise required to under go such a task.  Enter Living Order — Leaders in the organizing industry, the very best in the business.  Like California Closets, they operate in both Austin and San Antonio.  Also, like California Closets, they are dedicated to professionalism and service.  These are a couple of dynamic, energetic and clever women – I can’t tell you how much the California Closets team enjoys working with them and how much we have learned!  Yvette Clay owns the Austin branch and Helene Segura the San Antonio location and we are thrilled to have them as our professional partners. We want to share them with our wonderful clientele so a new program was born! Professional Organizing is one luxury we cannot live without and neither should you.

Of course, we are fascinated with organizing, specially the emotional element that goes along with it.  We thought we would interview Helene and Yvette and share their thoughts and experiences with you, so here we go!

·      What is the one room in the house that is a good place to get started on the organizing process?

Helene: I always recommend starting in the master bedroom and closet.  You begin your day there, so you want to be able to find your clothes and get ready without struggling or feeling frazzled.  When you return to your room in the evening, it should be a retreat from the long day that you’ve had.  If your bedroom and closet are disorganized, that’s a lousy way to start and end your day.

·      

What is the most rewarding experience you have had in your work?

Yvette: Saving marriages or relationships.  Over the years, I have worked with many clients and their partners in situations where they could not agree on a certain way to get organized.  By having a neutral party involved, it helps alleviate the stress on everyone.  Compromise is the key to success and having the skills to find that middle ground without creating a “winner” or “loser”.

·      What is the craziest experience you have had in your work?

Helene: I think I’ve pretty much seen everything, so nothing jumps out at me as crazy anymore.  There was one time when someone’s pet rat jumped onto my back when I wasn’t expecting it.  Fortunately, I didn’t scream, and it was a very friendly rat.  The only other thing I can think of is the situational craziness I experienced when I worked on the San Antonio episode of A&E’s Hoarders.  We had a junk hauling crew, cleaning crew, camera crew, three professional organizers, a psychiatrist, the client, and a couple of her friends – all squeezed into a house trying to get work done.

·      What is the subtlest organizing tool you might use that has the highest impact

Yvette: Communication and trust.  It is vital for a client to communicate their needs and expectations and have the ability to trust us ~ both personally and professionally.  It can be challenging at first, especially with new clients who don’t know anything about us and vice versa.  A certified professional organizer will have that extra level of skills and knowledge to create trust with the client so that the work can begin.

·      How do your clients feel after working with a CPO®?

Helene: The two things I commonly hear are, “That wasn’t nearly as painful as I thought it would be,” followed by, “My life is about to get so much better.”

·      How have you seen lives change?

Helene: I’ve seen —

*families stop bickering because we’ve reached a compromise on household order

*clients end up with more money in their pockets because they no longer had to buy duplicates or triplicates or pay late fees on bills and credit cards

*children’s grades improve because we set up a realistic study and paper management system

*clients lose weight because working in the kitchen and finding ingredients in the pantry were no longer a chore

*smiles because clients have peace in their lives

·      What is the most satisfying aspect of your job?

Yvette: When people ask me what I do for a living, I usually respond by saying that “I change people’s lives” and I truly believe that.  Working directly with clients to solve their problems is very satisfying work and I know I was born to do this!

·      Why should someone hire a Certified Professional Organizer (CPO®)?

Yvette: Certified Professional Organizers have established they have the business experience, education and an established foundation of 1,500 hours working side by side with clients before they can sit for the exam.  Certification should be a priority qualification when hiring an organizer.  There are many “fly by night” organizers out there who may or may not be serious about their career or the clients who hire them.  At the very least, make sure to hire someone who is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO) and its local affiliate chapter.

Please join California Closets and Living Order in our quest for a tranquil, joyous existence!

Dwell in possibility.

Jill Siegel, custom storage zen master


Happy almost Spring

March 9, 2010

Happy almost Spring, everyone!  I am looking forward to blue skies and higher temps although I have enjoyed the actual winter that we experienced in Central TX.  We are busy, busy here at CC – lots going on!!  We are launching our spring-cleaning special – complimentary professional organizing with purchase!  Click here for more information….

Also, working on a six figure installation outside of San Antone, doing a lot of special finishes and custom work as well as our 3form accents.  The home is AMAZING – I’ll be blogging more about it and posting pictures, as we get closer to the installation, which should be in April.  The home is Japan meets the TX hill country and is owned by a couple of famous authors whose work I very much admire.

Beautiful Wood Finishes

Also, California Closets of the Texas Hill Country is launching our new wood program.  The finishes are beautiful – there are four of them from Maple to Espresso.  We just installed our second project in wood in San Antonio.  Here is a photo.  We will also be installing a gorgeous espresso stained wood system at the Broadway model unit in Alamo Heights – pics to come, of course!

Similar to the doors coming this spring to the Austin Showroom

In more news, we are working on 4 showcase houses at the moment. Two at the Austonian, one at the Parade in Austin and the other in San Antonio at the Vidorra for the Junior League Showcase house.  We are excited about all of these and to share our product and designs with the public – we put al lot of LOVE into our work to showcase the very best of what California Closets can do for the home.

We are also making some changes at both of our showrooms.  In Austin we are adding high-gloss doors to our beautiful library system on the back wall; there are a couple of Mocha pairs and Ivory pairs.  We are also adding 3form door insert to our wine bar in Fossil Leaf and we are super excited about that.  In San Antonio we are adding a wall bed in one of our new wood finishes – we are working in the designs now and cannot wait to get that installed.

Wine Pantry with 3form

So, like I said, lots going on.  In a company dedicated to progression, innovation and excellence, there is never a dull moment!

It is great to take a moment and reflect on what we are up to and share the info with others – thanks for reading.  I wish you organized closets, beautiful interiors and stress free living in Spring 2010!

Jill Siegel, Closet Super Hero

To see more of our local work click on the city a check out our sites.  Austin, San Antonio, and Corpus Christi

To see our Facebook page for special offers and updates  www.facebook.com/CaliforniaClosetsAustin.SanAntonio

To follow us on Twitter click here twitter.com/CAclosetsSA_ATX

Welcome to my blog about California Closets of the Texas Hill County and all things custom storage! Our fabulous company has been serving San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi since 1983! I know…blah, blah, blah, but the great thing about this is that we have systems out there that are 27 years old and we still service and warranty those products – how awesome is that?!? And when you have the history that we do in the Austin and San Antonio communities and you regularly see and maintain custom storage systems not only do you get to see how California Closets has evolved over the many years since we pioneered the storage industry but you get to hear how much people have enjoyed our systems over the course of years! To be able to hear how our clients are still happy and the difference that our products and services make in peoples lives is such a joy and privilege.

Custom Murphy Bed in Lago Wenge with Celsius Bronze Italian Glass

Obviously, I am very passionate about our company for the fore mentioned reason but also because of the people that work here. We are proud to employ 23 Central Texans who enjoy their work at California Closets and strive to deliver the goods each and every day! We offer the highest quality product in the marketplace and we have very discerning clients. All of us strive to not just meet but to exceed expectations. We have team members that have been with California Closets for over 20 years (Stephanie, Design Consultant) and 15 years (Kenny, Installation Technician) –we have the BEST and most EXPERIENCED in the business bar none! From our Production Supervisor, German who has been with us 6 years to Mark, Installation Technician who has worked his way up from production Staff to Installation Technician over his 7 years to Sue, Design Consultant who has worked here for over 6 years —These people inspire me each and every day and I am grateful to work each day with them and the rest of our talented and dedicated team! I myself have been with California Closets since 2002 when I started as a Design Consultant in Seattle. Eight years later I own this franchise along with my husband, Daniel, who formerly worked with our corporate office. What a great career one can have at California Closets. When you sell, manufacture and design handcrafted custom systems and furniture it is important to have the very best personnel – and California Closets of the Texas Hill Country has that inspades!

Milano Grey Wardrobe

Meet our Design Consultants here:

Shanna Davis

Misty Rodriguez

Sue Bassett

Stephanie Miller

Joann Wilmeth

Katie Hodgson

At California Closets, we are always innovating with new products and offerings – big and small – and there is always a story to tell. Our BIGGEST news as of late is our new custom furniture offering! We are very fortunate to have artisan on staff here to assist with these types of pieces.

See our custom work on our Facebook page here: California Closets Custom Portfolio

We are very excited to have the skill and expertise with our Design, Manufacturing and Installation teams to create these projects — some of the many things that make California Closets different and unique.

The life of a California Closets owner is never dull and I look forward to sharing my experiences with you – Cheers!

Jill Siegel, closet nerd