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Organization: Spring Time Means Clean Time

Springtime is upon us, and for most people, that means it’s time to get down to business and work on cleaning up the house by organizing and scrubbing.

Whether you’re the type of person who spreads the tradition over a month or tries to tackle it all in one weekend, there are plenty of things you should have in mind before breaking out the rubber gloves and feather duster.

Cleaning tips for your stone and tile

• A mild soap and water cleaning is the safest way to maintain the beauty of your natural stone flooring.

• Rejuvenata by Anafinn is a daily water-based cleaner and conditioner for the maintenance and cleaning of sealed surfaces.

• Oxy-Klenza by Anafinn is biodegradable and environmentally safe.

• Make sure to follow all manufacturers’ instructions on the proper dilution ratio of products depending on the type of cleaning, heavy / regular / light.

• Travertine is extremely sensitive to acids and will etch and dull, so while vinegar is good for many types of cleaning, never use it on travertine.

• Try to clean travertine over the course of a week with frequent applications of properly diluted natural stone cleaner and gentle washing and drying. If white streaks and stone discolorations mar the surfaces in spite of all the best efforts, it is time to call in a professional and have the surface refinished and sealed.

Eight ways to stay organized when cleaning the house

• Assess the jobs you want to work on and your time available. Create success projects (ones you can start and complete).

• Tackle clutter in every corner and surface. You can do this one space, one nook, one shelf or one surface at a time.

• Use natural cleaners when you can, such as water and vinegar for windows, recycling newspapers to wipe with.

• The transition from winter to spring is a great time to take a moment to take a look at your winter clothes. Review what you wore, clean and store those immediately, while discarding items you don’t wear.

• Change your hangers to face away from you, as you wear the items, hang them up normally. At the end of the summer season, you will know automatically which clothes you don’t wear.

• For garages, store floor items on the floor (lawnmower, buckets, etc…) and keep the rest off the floor on hooks, in bins, and on shelves. If you can see it, you can find it.

• Create specific areas for each task: gardening, recycling, sports gear, etc.

• If an item has a home, or a place, you are more likely to naturally keep and stay organized.

 

Organization: Start young and stick with it

Phillip Makselan/PensacolaHG.com

Being organized is truly a gift.

Lea Schneider, a professional organizer and owner of OrganizeRightNow.com, said "as a child becomes organized, they become confident in their ability to manage their daily life."

"The ability to be organized translates into being responsible for their space, their time and their belongings, which most certainly is a skill carried on to college and desired in the work place," Schneider said.

In this regard, it benefits both you and your child to help them become and stay organized.

Age-appropriate design

When designing for younger children, it's important to consider safety first. Your child should be able to reach items they need, but be kept away from other items. Written and/or picture labels can be used to make sure items are returned to their proper location. When choosing a color scheme, Patty Myers, a client of Schneider's, opted for a neutral color and removable shelving so as her children's tastes change, the rooms can change with them. Currently, they are designing two rooms, one for sleeping and one for playing, which as the children age will most likely transition into separate bedrooms.

If you're dealing with the space of a tween or teen, Schneider said, "the more vested they are in the project, the more the organizing will stick."

So, get their opinions and work with them to create a space everyone can be proud of.

Closet Space

If the closet is only used for clothes it's a different set up than if it's being used as a combination space for clothes, toys and/or electronics.

Bins, pullout racks and even dressers can be used inside the closet to organize the items being stored.

In certain cases, such as a closet designed by Leslie Halsall, the child's closet was transformed into a study area complete with desk lighting and space for a laptop. Storing laundry in one's closet is a great way to free up space in the bedroom if the closet equipped with a specific container for dirty laundry.

Study Areas

If your child needs a specific space to study, make sure it's stocked with everything they need. Pens, paper, computer connections and a printer should be readily available so they can stay on task at their station.

Technology

Chargers, cords, headphones, portable gaming devices, etc., are everywhere. Therefore, assigning a storage bin, charging station or some other place for them to go at the end of the day will help from having to replace lost items on a regular basis.

Eye on the budget

"We can do very simple designs that are very functional," said Halsall.

Hooks, storage containers and adjustable shelves are valuable tools and budget friendly.

Schneider notes that she "can work with parents using existing furniture placement and materials," to keep previous monetary investments relevant in the new design.

7 tips when designing for children

* Safety first, if the child is young, only put items they need to reach within reach.

* Design for flexibility. You want to be able to easily transition a child's space as they age.

* Mud rooms and/or sports corners are great for keeping outdoor, after-school and weekend activity items organized and available.

* When organizing a child's room, divide the room into zones, such as: sleeping zone, toy zone, study zone, dressing zone, reading zone, etc.

* Sort out clutter and divide items into zones before purchasing organizing containers so that you can easily see how many and what size to buy.

* Take into considerations suggestions from the child. The more they're involved, the more likely they are to stay on task.

*"A place for everything and everything in its place." If you designate a place for something, it's more likely to go back there.

-Tips courtesy of Lea Schneider, owner of OrganizeRightNow.com, and Leslie Halsall, owner of Alpha Closets.

HOME SALES CAN HANG ON A CLOSET
CONSUMERS DRIVING TREND TO MAXIMIZE STORAGE SPACE

Nice kitchen. Nice bath. Nice closets. That once simple sales formula is no longer quite so simple. A nice closet compared to the competition’s fabulous closet, may lose your sale.

Increasing building costs and shrinking home sizes are pushing to make closets the deciding factor when a buyer compares two similar homes. Homeowners are increasingly savvy about organization. No longer is the standard simple wire shelf/hanging bar going to cut it.

Think like a homebuyer. You paid the same amount per square foot for that closet as you did for your living room.You have too much stuff and too little time.You want to use every inch of that closet. Ultimately, that means being able to find exactly what you need, when you need it.

Think like a builder. You want to maximize your profit. Organization pays. Sometimes, extras are called “having all the bells and whistles.” Carefully crafted closets are no longer bells and whistles. They are your most marketable home feature.

Think about what to put in a well-designed custom closet:

  • Flexibility - an all-purpose design that can be customized by the endconsumer,
    who can rearrange shelving, bars and baskets. It should maximize
    all space.
  • Add drawers, the number one requested item, and shelving; rods at double,
    medium and tall heights; shoe storage; storage for incidentals and allow for
    laundry

Crafting a custom closet is very simple for a builder. Outsource it to a custom closet expert. An expert can give you a closet design that will instantly show buyers’ great closet organization or the expert can offer one-on-one consultations with the new homeowner for a special design. Either way, a custom closet will definitely give you the most bang for your buck.

Leslie Hallsall, owner of Alpha Closets and Company Inc. in Gulf Breeze, FL, once created 20-feet of hanging space and storage for 100 pairs of shoes in a 3 x 5-foot closet. She designs and installs custom closets all over the Panhandle, including donating the closets in this year’s American Dream Home. She is a member of the Pensacola Rotary Club, The Homebuilder Association of Northwest FL and the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals. Contact Alpha Closets at 850-221-8771 or organized@alphamurphybeds.com

STORAWAY SOLUTIONS PULL OUT PANT RACK


Pant Rack

A new video of StorAway Solutions Pull-Out Pant Rack is live on StorAway's website today! 

The space saving design of StorAway's Pull-Out Pant Rack brings pants to the top of the hanging space saving 6" of space.  Gliding easily on full-extension slides, the pant rack pulls out beyond any panels, or other hanging clothes, into the light for easy selection, and making  it easier to distinguish colors--no more mistaking dark blue for black!  With pivoting rails, spaced 1" apart, the Pant Rack keeps pants laundry fresh and is easy to load.


 

  • Fits in 14" closet system
  • Front load design allows for easy on/off of pants
  • Full extension slides bring the pants out of the closet to make it easier to pick black from blue
Available in 18", 24" and 30" widths

 

 

OUT OF SIGHT OUT OF MIND

Many TV seasons ago, there was a continuing joke on “Fibber McGee and Molly’’ about everything falling out of the closet whenever the door was opened. For a lot of people, that’s no joke.

Do you have jackets hanging on top of other jackets? Shoes hidden under an assortment of handbags? Dresses you forgot you had?

Out of sight, out of mind. If you answered “yes’’ to even one of those questions, the time has come to reorganize so you don’t have to throw your blouses all over the bed trying to locate that favorite yellow one.

“The top 100 most-used pieces of clothing should be the easiest to access,’’ said Leslie Halsall of Alpha Closets. “So I ask you, if you get dressed each morning and put on shirt, pants and belt … why have to dig your belt out of the back the closet? Put your most used pieces where you get dressed.”

READ MORE

 

OUT OF THE DARK

Out of a small, dark and crowded storage room, Leslie Halsall, president of Alpha Closets and Co. of Gulf Breeze, FL, created a luxury office space.

Hall says that she was working on a tight budget and the client, a cosmetic dentistry and dental accounting office, needed this space converted into an upscale office. The room needed to protect patient records and equipment, as well as act as an upscale consultation room.

“The office manager wanted it to be a functional office and the dentist wanted his expensive equipment protected,” Halsall notes.

“The appearance needed to be upscale, comfortable and fluid to current office design,” Hall says. “We used the angled wall to our advantage to provide ventilation for the stored equipment by creating air vents in the cabinet walls and individual ventilated pull-outs for each unit.”

The desk was created using full contour edged laminate, with a honed stone appearance. It had a pull-out keyboard shelf, with room for a mouse, and a file drawer designed to hold current records. Additionally, cabinets with Shaker-style doors, with one locking, stored private records.

Grommets were used for wire management and the wires were hidden behind a bead board panel that was glazed and painted.

“Track lighting and task lighting helped create function and ambiance,” Hall adds.

She also made sure there was adequate file storage by using double hanging files, and she extended the desk material under the shelf unit for eye appeal and to make the area appear larger.

Some of the material used in fabricating this project included amber glazed finish on painted maple exterior, pre-finished birch for interior cabinets, oil-rubbed bronze hardware, rolled custom cut laminate countertop and soft-close drawer glides.

The end result of Halsall’s hard work? The client loved it, she says.

 

Think about what to put in a well-designed custom closet:

• Flexibility - an all-purpose design that can be customized by the endconsumer, who can rearrange shelving, bars and baskets. It should maximize all space.

• Add drawers, the number one requested item, and shelving; rods at double, medium and tall heights; shoe storage; storage for incidentals and allow for laundry

Crafting a custom closet is very simple for a builder. Outsource it to a custom closet expert. An expert can give you a closet design that will instantly show buyers’ great closet organization or the expert can offer one-on-one consultations with the new homeowner for a special design. Either way, a custom closet will definitely give you the most bang
for your buck.

Leslie Hallsall, owner of Alpha Closets and Company Inc. in Gulf Breeze, FL, once created 20-feet of hanging space and storage for 100 pairs of shoes in a 3 x 5-foot closet. She designs and installs custom closets all over the Panhandle, including donating the closets in this year’s American Dream Home. She is a member of the Pensacola Rotary Club, The Homebuilder Association of Northwest FL and the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals. Contact Alpha Closets at 850-221-8771 or Email Us.

Here's what we do.Custom pantry

You give us a call and we come to your house for a free consultation. You tell us your dreams and needs and we give you a detailed drawing. Then we install with licensed and insured installers.

It's easy.


Here's what we know.

Clients are amazed to find ventilated shelving in an upscale home.

The time value of "being able to find your clothes" is valued at $5,000 annually.

"Small closets; lots of rod space."

The closet industry in the last five years has expanded to a $4 billion dollar market. Don't be left behind.

Accessories (like drawers, tie racks, shoes racks, and valet poles) make the closet yours.

The number one requested accessory is drawers in the closet.

We provide a detailed drawing to meet expectations so homeowners know what they are purchasing.

Like we said, it's easy. Call for a one-on one consultation.


Alpha Closets and Company, Inc., is a proud member of the Home Builders Association of West Florida and the Association of Closet and Storage Professionals. We carry Spacemaker Closet Interiors and Rubbermade products.