Thursday, June 11, 2009

Adding More Storage

Sometimes, no matter how much you sort, organize, label and purge, your space just doesn't meet your needs. In this situation, the only thing to do is to add additional storage space. I recently chose to do this in three areas of my home; all areas of high traffic and multi-purpose use. I invited Kimberly Rusin of California Closets to meet with me in my home and help me design better storage for a back hall cubby, a front hall closet and a home office/computer area for my living room. The latter was especially a challenge as I wanted it to be formal enough to blend in with my decor, but practical enough to serve as a major workstation for a family of five.

I used my tip Five Steps to Organizing Any Room to decide what kinds of activities each space would address, and I had that in mind prior to Kimberly's arrival. I was not disappointed. Kimberly was very quickly able to assess my needs and make specific suggestions to maximize our space with a beautiful blending of attractive functionality. She was enthusiastic, professional and knowledgeable.

The installations were scheduled a few weeks later. My husband took down the previous closet innards himself and gave each area a fresh coat of paint prior to the installations (this could be done by a painter/handyman, instead). The closets were installed together, and the office several weeks later, due to the custom design and ordering. Installation for each took just a few hours and everything was spotless when they were through. Kimberly's follow-up customer service was excellent and she worked with me afterward to be sure that I was completely satisfied.

This is the Greg, one of the installation guys!

The front closet now serves as storage for all of our outerwear (except what we use daily, which hangs by the garage door); cleaning products; vacuum cleaner; a selection of favorite board games; snowpants (off season shrunk in Space Bags); a variety of projects; my tool box; folding chairs; my collection of seasonal tablecloths and flags; a step stool; and the ever important DONATION BOX! Can you believe that all fits? Yes, it does, even with a spare shelf!

This picture was taken without the closet doors on, because it was easier to see everything before we put them back on.

This picture is of the shelving on the left side of the closet. It goes all the way to the ceiling, but it's impossible to take a picture of that due to the opposing wall.

The back hall closet serves as storage for swim clothes, goggles, sunscreen; off season mittens, hats, scarves; beach towels; picnic gear (blankets, coolers); educational/art supplies for my daughters; and a neat pull-out valet bar to hang long for guests. This little cubby was a wealth of untapped storage.

The office/computer desk provides a place for homework; current home and business files; active and extra office, school and computer supplies; computer games; my label maker; and the phone. The desk has a shelf on top which allows the monitor and printer to be raised up about 4 inches and wires to run underneath. It allows the keyboard to be tucked away when it is not needed, which is surprisingly often. Because the keyboard is not under the desk (Kimberly's recommendation), it is easier to sit at and I don't have to back up my chair all the time to use the keyboard. I opted out of the suspended computer holster, as I had other peripherals that would have to sit on the floor anyway and this was neat enough for me.

This photo is with the upper storage closed and the next shows the doors opened, so you can see the ample storage space. There are 5 cubbies, designed for each family member to keep school/work related projects and items. The last photo shows how well the design and colors blend into the decor. Any picture can be enlarged by clicking on it.

When all else fails to get a space working for you, don't hesitate to call in professionals. (California Closets is a national franchise.) If you need help with this or any other organizing project, simply call Linda, 716-631-5619.


  1. Linda, it looks awesome - I think I might call them back for my back closet and laundry room.

  2. Thanks, Pat! I hope you do! I think it's wonderful to have space for everything. It was worth every penny.


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