Organizing Challenge: High-Level Executive who Travels Often & Loves to Shop Ran out of Shoe Space. What’s a Girl to do??
It was a bright sunny day when we got the call about organizing the master and guest closets in a home in Worcester, MA. Admittedly, closets are one of my favorite spaces to organize, so I was already excited to make an appointment and see what I’d be working with. Within a week, I was sitting down with the client at her dining room table, brainstorming elements that would create the closets of her dreams.
Phase 1: Initial Consultation
During our initial consultation, we spent about 2 hours together, beginning the consultation with a whole-home tour. This is significant to our process because we are often looking for opportunities to relocate items to improve function. Part of the reason for people having difficulty staying organized is that their stuff is just in the wrong place! It also paints a picture of who our clients are. After all, the home is a window to the soul.
After the initial tour, we sat at the dining table together and went through the following:
A presentation about our business including who we are, what our process is, how we stay up to date, vendors we work with, etc. This is the equivalent of a whole-home tour for our clients to look through the window of our business.
Visuals on our custom closet system including past work and add-ons they can opt for to really deck it out.
Created a wish list together. After the client tells us their initial wish list, we ask more questions and make further suggestions to add. This is always a collaborative process!
Measurements. We always take measurements and draw up floor plans so that we can get right to work after leaving the consultation.
The client’s wish list was rather simple:
A boujee closet in the master – to which we say… DUH. Boujee is what we do
A section for linens in the guest closet
A shoe wall in the master closet
Some way to protect her shoes and purses so that they don’t accumulate dust
Organization in both closets
While the client had an amazing wish list to start, it’s always our job to take that next level. The client got a glimmer in her eyes when I showed a photo of shelf lighting, so we added lighting to the list! We also added organization in the master bathroom because the client had multiple items that needed to be relocated from the closet to the bathroom and it would have left her with a messy bathroom. We never like to leave clients with problems if we don’t have to.
Phase 2: Design Phase
After leaving the consultation, we began the design phase. This is also a collaborative process with our closet installer to ensure we aren’t missing any details. As we began to see the measurements create a picture on the screen in front of us, I noticed that the door opening into the closet just wasn’t going to work. The client was okay with the possibility of her door overlapping the closet, but we were not. Surely, there had to be another way.
After some brainstorming, we landed on the idea of a sliding barn door on the outside of the closet. We just had to make sure we could source one that was the correct size and look for the project. We quickly made another appointment with the client to show her the design renderings and offer the idea of changing out the door.
When going back to the client’s home, she was extremely excited about the progress. There’s no better feeling than seeing our clients get excited because it lets us know we are doing our jobs. After all, that’s what the process is meant to be: fun!
When asked if she’d be open to alternative solutions for doors, she replied “Oh my gosh, yes! Please change the door”. So before leaving, I took additional measurements and we looked at a few examples together so I could get a feel for what she liked.
After all was decided, we placed the order for the closets, ordered all organizing products, and sourced a door. While there was about a six week wait time after this because of the custom nature of the project, we pulled a few more tricks out of our sleeves. Here’s how we kept the wait time interesting:
Ordered the client a t-shirt
Created a gift basket that included the t-shirt, a hand-written note, and a step-by-step decluttering guide
Booked a short decluttering session to help jumpstart and keep the client motivated. Some clients we dive deeper into the decluttering phase, but this one was confident in the decluttering on her own. Spoiler alert: she did amazing (:
Phase 3: Execution
The client requested we do the installation while she was away on a business trip which is an option we love because it means we’re not bothering the client when working in their home, but it also gives them a big reveal in the end!
The organizing team came in and emptied out both closets. Hanging items were stored on Z-racks and folded items were re-folded and placed in bins along with other miscellaneous items like hats, bathing suits, and bags. Shoes were moved out on a rack (in this case, this is actually the rack the client already had). All items were moved off to the side of her bedroom so they were out of the way, but still accessible.
Demo. We sent our handyman in to remove the existing closet system, patch holes, paint the walls, and install a brand-new door. Which, can we say… game changer.
Closet Installation. The closet installers came in and completely transformed the spaces within 2 days there were brand new closets.
Organization. The organizing team came back in to re-load the closets with their brand-new custom built-ins. We had one day with two of us and between moving shelving, reloading, categorizing, etc. And we made it happen in 6 hours for both closets and a bathroom.
Labeling: I went back the next day with our custom labels which usually consist of a bin clip label and custom vinyl font (which will be available for purchase on our website soon by the way ;))
Phase 4: Problems
While the client was extremely happy with the result overall, there were complications with the lighting installation. There ended up being chips in the shelf around the lighting because of the way it was cut. Immediately, we took this photo and contacted the installer to fix it. This is not the quality we expected, and we knew the client would not accept this either.
The installer immediately ordered new parts and set an appointment to have it fixed, free of charge to the client. Although these are situations we always look to avoid, they happen. What is important to us (and our clients, too) is that we will always make it right no matter what. And we stand by that.
Phase 5: End result
In the end, the client was ecstatic with her new, high-end closet. She initially had some concerns about items not being able to fit because her hanging space was reduced. I promised her that she would have more room in the end but this was something she really needed to see to believe it. She was amazed that she had so much extra wiggle room so she turned to me and said, “Wow I need to go shopping now!”
She was so happy with the service that we’re now moving on to do her office where she spends most of her time when she’s not traveling for work. And now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for… the before and after photos: