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Give the gift of SYMMETRY This Valentine’s Day

Looking for inspiration this Valentine’s Day in the gift-giving department? We have some wonderful ideas for you to show off your sentimental side this year.

This V-Day, for Homeowners, look to do something that lasts longer than that bouquet of flowers. You need a change of pace when it comes to celebrating the day. Maybe you or your valentine are planning something less traditional for the day. Try opting for a light house renovation or a little re-decorating. Plus, you may think of a home renovation also as a relationship renovation – new wall sconces, new you? Customized Closet Storage If you or your sweetheart were recently discussing adding on to your closet or pantry storage, a gift certificate from Symmetry Closets would be such a thoughtful gesture. Surprising your loved one with a custom closet system, or a brand new, perfectly organized pantry is truly a gift that continues to give throughout the years. For some couples, this is just the thing that they’ve been talking about for months. So, If you’ve been looking for a reason to get into action – now is the perfect time to execute the “dream walk-in closet”.

Organizing Your Home for the Holidays

thanksgiving, table setting, fall, orange, fall colorsAs the air starts to crisp, the fall and winter holidays are just ahead. This is a time of year when good storage can truly make everything go smoothly. Inside the house, it’s time to plan for Thanksgiving and the other winter holidays. These tips will help you have an organized and relaxed holiday home. A few weeks before Thanksgiving:
  • Pull out your platters, gravy boats, goblets and other special dishes.
  • Examine everything for nicks and clean/set aside the serving dishes and silverware that will be needed for the big meal. If anything is needed to supplement, you’ll have the time to shop for it.
  • If you’re using equipment that you haven’t seen since last year—like a turkey fryer, a pressure cooker, crock pot or bread maker—check that it is all in working order.
  • Sort through the tablecloths, napkins and table decorations to make sure there aren’t stains on the only napkins that match.
Strategy: Set up a holiday zone in your pantry:
  • Set aside an area of the pantry for the special food items, like rice or cornmeal, chicken broth and stuffing mix. Having this zone makes it easier to drop the designated groceries into an easily accessible place in the kitchen.
  • If the pantry has enough space, the serving dishes, tablecloth and other table wear, flower vases and other items can be stored conveniently in the holiday zone.
  • Once the meal is done, everything can go back in this area. There’s less chance of broken special serving pieces, and the organized storage of everything can be carefully staged from there.
Plan ahead: Stock up on holiday goods:
  • Now is the time to check supplies of candles and batteries. The stores have plenty of these now, but sometimes run out later in the season.
  • It’s also a good time to find the good sales on fire logs or to get the big drop of firewood.
With these tips, you’ll have a more organized, much calmer holiday season. Wishing you and your loved ones a happy holiday season!

Enjoying an Orderly Pantry

Pantry Organizing The pantry is a catch all for so many types of kitchen equipment, serving implements, packaged food and spices, table linens and more. The purpose of a pantry is to be useful additional space—but just like other types of storage, a well-used space sometimes gets messy. We recommend a seasonal re-organization of the pantry, in the Fall and Spring. Functionally, most of us use different items in the winter and summer. Culturally, we celebrate some different holidays, etc, so your organizational plan can be adapted as needed. Overall: Select a shelf to start.
  • Remove all the cans, containers, spices or dishes and linens.
  • Clean the shelf, and start sorting the dry goods.
  • Many of us tend to cook versions of the same recipe frequently. One organizational technique is to store the ingredients for your muffins with the tin, or to keep the bread flours and flavorings with your bread-maker or baking sheet.
Structurally: Many user-friendly pantries follow these guidelines.
  • Tall stuff (vases) and bulky stuff (lobster pots) go up high.
  • Leave space below the bottom shelf for bulky or heavy items to be stored on the floor, like the recycling bins or pallets of water.
  • More frequently used appliances, like perhaps the blender or food processor, should be more accessible.
  • Spice bottles are small, and have tiny lettering; they need to be easy to read and reach for with ease. These should be at eye level. There are great accessories like slide-out spice racks that make this organization much easier.
  • If space allows, you can include slide-out or swing-out wine racks.
  • Drawers or baskets at child-height makes the grab and go easier for the little ones, and keeps the teenagers out of your dinner supplies; these can also be a great trick to keep the healthier foods easily accessible—or to keep the indulgent ones out of sight.
  • It’s so awkward to store platters flat, struggling to get out the one you need from the bottom. The better method is to utilize dividers or custom sized cubbies to allow your plates and serving bowls to stand upright, perfect for easy use.
Seasonally: These tips will make the seasonal switch simpler.
  • Try to group seasonal items together. Store the seasonal winter table linens, holiday serving items, pretty wine glasses and center-pieces in the same general area. Keep your off-season items in an out of the way place in the pantry.
  • When it’s time to change the seasonal clothes in the closet, it’s time to do the pantry.
  • Take the opportunity to examine everything. If something is stained or chipped, now’s the time to deal with it. If it’s beyond dry cleaning or another fix, there’s the opportunity for off season shopping for a replacement. This way, you’ll never be scrambling when company is coming.
Just using a few of these tips will enhance your pantry experience. You’ll be less likely to buy a spice you didn’t know you already had, and it’ll be easier to unpack the supermarket bags. You’ll feel really together when you open your panty door. Perhaps most important of all, an organized pantry will make it simpler to compose an elegant dinner party or to throw together a quick meal with friends.

Custom Entertainment Centers

Custom built in, custom wall unit, custom entertainment center
Custom Entertainment Centers – What about room for fun, gaming & exercise?
   
 
   

“Symmetry was a pleasure to work with…Exactly what I wanted and even better. I will recommend Symmetry Closets to everyone I know looking for custom furnishings. They are a hard-working and efficient team who are always professional providing their customers with excellent service from order entry to completion.”

Looking for a place to store the fun stuff?

  • Built-in entertainment center storage will hide away your game zone, exercise gear and stereo.
  • You want it nearby—but not all out on display. We can help.
  • Custom built entertainment center storage—in the height and depth you need for your equipment—we can make more space for that brand new tv set.

Does your family love to hang out in the living room?

  • We can work with you, help you optimize your entertainment center storage space. You select the finish and style you love, and we design the functionality.
You’ll love your new entertainment center—get organized today.

Get My FREE Custom Closet Consultation — Get organized today!

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Click here for your FREE entertainment center design consultation.

Back to School Organization

BCustom Desk, Custom Built ins, Custom cabinets, custom storage, working deskack to school can bring lots of clutter in several areas around the home.  As storage professionals, we see all kinds of storage and work space problems develop while school gets into high gear.

Here are a few tips to alleviate the added stress: (1)    Organize the family coat closet. If space allows, consider adding double hanging for the shorter jackets. Adding a shelf or two for a few extra pair of shoes and the kids’ back packs does a lot to clear up the floor space. (2)    This year, don’t let the kids store their books and homework on the kitchen table; find a comfy space where they can do their homework and store their school supplies. This area can be just a small table or desk or even a big comfy reading chair with a bookcase for storage nearby. This way, all the school work and books can be contained in one area instead of overflowing throughout the family space.Back to School Organization (3)    Keep the sports gear all in one dedicated space; an attached garage can be the perfect location. Just add a few hooks and baskets for cleats, helmets and pads and a tall bin or two for lacrosse or hockey sticks and baseball bats. You’re freed from having all this gear stuffed into your front coat closet, or scattered in the entryway or child’s bedroom. (4)    Finally, if you have a mud room area — make the most of it. Using some hooks for the jackets, shelves for shoes, a few baskets for hats or gloves and a couple of bins for book bags can go a long way toward keeping your home clutter free and happy. And remember to include a small bench so the kids can put on their shoes before they dash off to class! Have a happy autumn.

A Place for Everything

house Magazine,

Originally published in HOUSE magazine By Bonnie Reich, President and Owner at Symmetry Closets

We want our homes to look beautiful, to impress our friends and to feel comfortable—we want to feel truly at home. I am a professional designer of small spaces: a professional closet designer. My goal is to use every inch of usable space and have it function according to my clients’ needs. After all, no two people are the same and everyone should have a closet that works for her/his lifestyle. I recommend so many wonderful and beautiful products and accessories that really make the closet function at the highest level. I show my clients the latest materials and colors available for their cabinets. But that’s where my work ends, and the interior designer takes over. When my clients and I work with an interior designer, the closet really becomes a thrilling space. Every detail beyond the cabinets is considered at another level. Interior designers bring their resources and add details that make it sing. Some examples: *    Benches are covered in cushions coordinated with carpeting and window treatments *    Wall paper and interesting paint finishes add layers of texture, making these relatively small spaces feel incredible *    Additional inlay materials are added to the door panels *    Hand selected handles and knobs are introduced to the design *    Even fun and funky pillows and throw are sometimes added to the design to make it a cozy hide away that reflects the owner’s personality Interior designers add other luxuries as well. Planning for an island in the walk-in closet? The interior designer will bring fun, personal touches and accessories that make that incredible center island a real stand out. I have designed, fabricated and installed hundreds of walk-in closets, but the ones that are memorable have all been as part of a team with an interior designer’s vision leading the way. For your next interior design project, small or large, hire an interior designer. The result will be satisfying, function well, and you’ll enjoy beautiful style for many years to come.

It’s springtime!

The changing of the seasons is a wonderful time of new adventure and growth.  As the weather changes, the flowers grow, the trees leaf out–and suddenly we stop wearing sweaters, winter coats and turtlenecks.  This year, we pulled out shorts and tee shirts in April! Clothing, Tee, Shorts, Summer clothes The Pros advise not to rush into packing away all your cold weather items all at once.   When you feel the weather taking a turn towards the bright side start putting your stuff away slowly.  Take your time to carefully sort through and organize what will go where.
Lavender is a natural alternative to keeping your storage items fresh over the next six months.

Lavender is a natural alternative to keeping your storage items fresh over the next six months.

The idea of course is to make sure you don’t waste space storing stuff that’s out of fashion, doesn’t fit right, or never suited your personal style.   We’re talking about maximizing your storage space, and taking care of your clothing and other cold weather items – and those things need some TLC if you want to get good use out of them again next year.

1) Protect your clothes naturally – with lavender!

Moth balls are stinky, and toxic too. If you really want an effective way to keep your clothing over the off-season you can pick up lavender-scented sachets to place in with the clothes that you’re storing away.  You could also use dried lavender with the clothes that you’re packing away.  Either way, the lavender is a natural insect deterrent & will keep your clothes from smelling musty next season.

2) Find off-season shoe storage – basement or second bedroom?

You don’t want to look at boots in the summer (or sandals in the winter)–they take up prime closet space. And who wants to look at Fleece boots when you’re picking out a sundress?  The Pros recommend to avoid using cardboard boxes for storage – the cardboard is acidic and the glue tends to attract insects and pests. You’re better off with storage specifically designed to store your shoes or boots, like plastic boxes or a protective boot bag.
Boot Butler, Symmetry Closets, Custom Closets Long Island, Custom Closets NYC, Custom Closets Suffolk County, Custom Closets Nassau County

Use a boot butler to hang your off-season boots and don’t forget the shapers to keep the material looking its best.

3) Tall boots need support

Those beautiful tall boots shouldn’t flop over all summer–it’ll cause the leather to crease & crack. Invest in a set of boot shapers.

4) Dry clean

Make sure to dry clean sweaters and other dry-clean-only items even if only worn once (the moths will know)–and take the dry cleaner bags off!  Otherwise your clothing can get stained from the chemical BHT in the plastic itself.

5) Hangers (a two-fer Tip)

Invest in the Huggable Hangers–they’ll actually create more space in the closet.  A great organizer tip, when you hang your clothing for the season, turn all the hangers away from you–when you wear something, turn the hanger toward you. You’ll know what you wore & what you never wore all season!

5 Great Garage Storage Tips

Custom garage storage, ski storage options

Custom Garage with Slat Wall, Hooks and Weather-Resistant Cabinets

The garage is a wonderful multi-purpose space in the home.  It can be used for so much more than storing your car in theory, but in reality, many of us can only dream of storing the car in the garage…

Let’s start with organization—so we can finish with the fun stuff: More Space!

(1) On a nice sunny spring morning, start working in zones by season.

  • Place the winter equipment in one corner (shovels, snow blower, salt)
  • Move the spring planting gear to another corner.
  • Summer items, including furniture, cushions, pool gear, beach gear can go into a corner or on the driveway for now.
  • Fall tools, rakes, mulch, covers go in the final corner.
  • Miscellaneous items—can go on the driveway for now.
  • From now on, when you put things away, they go into their zone.

(2) Sort with the goal of getting rid of things—plan to fill up your curb or call a junk removal company.

  • Anything that’s broken, torn, rusted or “might be useful someday” gets thrown away.
  • Anything that’s ugly (yes, it’s still ugly) or never worked well (rickety ladder, collapsible lawn chair) can be given away or thrown away.
  • The goal is to purge the old stuff—to make space for your new more useful garage space.

(3) Dream a little—what’s missing that you’d love to have?

  • A Kid’s Activity Center: the whole family could work on projects in the garage.
  • A “Mudroom” Area: A designated area to store coats and jackets, muddy boots, and dog leashes.
  • A Workbench: A place for the home projects to live.
  • Parking Space
  • An Entertainment Refrigerator

(4) Think it through, and decide what will fit in the garage with a little organization.

  • Garage Storage Systems have two goals: (1) to get your stuff off the floor into cabinets, onto shelves, or in a loft; and (2) to get your stuff off the floor to hang on installed slat wall.
  • Slat wall systems can take care of everything from skis to golf bags, sports equipment, ladders and shovels, beach chairs and umbrellas, poles and posts, the list goes on….
  • Smaller items are stashed on shelving, freeing up floor space and counter space.

(5)  You can have the space you always wanted in your garage…for the stuff you actually want to keep. With proper sorting and a great storage system, you’ll find floor space for your car, your kids, and maybe even for a Mudroom, Workbench, or Kid’s Activity Center.

3 Convenient Organization Tips–In the Halloween Season (Trick or Treat Included!)

And here we are…the time of year we suddenly need to switch out our summer stuff for our fall gear.  Although with the sudden spring-like October weather, we may have a little more time! Many people dread the process, but we have another way—with our top tips you’ll have a smooth and easy seasonal transition this year:

(1) Consider Vacuum Sealing Bulky Stuff

Storage Organization Vacuum Quilts off season clothing pillows

Convenient Space Saving Storage

We all know how it feels when we are trying to pack up a whole season worth of clothes, decorations, blankets, throw pillow and more.   We just want to stuff it all into a closet or attic in some plastic bins–but then it’s hard to find what you’re looking for later.    We’ve had great results with vacuum sealing.  Major space saving—and protection from moths, mold or mildew.

(2) Use shelf sized storage bags to organize seasonal clothing

organization blankets off season clothing under bed in closet

Adaptable & protective storage

You can store the foldable clothes of each family member in their own bag.  Where would it go?  Attic, basement or under your beds–or you can add a customized storage system to your closet to truly maximize closet efficiency.  When it’s time to switch over back to spring/summer items just swap everything out and save yourself the headache of separate bins for separate seasons – it’s all about clearing your space to allow for organization and peace of mind!

(3) Holiday Storage Magic

When you put away your Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas/Hanukkah and New Years decorations this year—be prepared.  Plan to sort through the stuff you didn’t use this holiday, label all the boxes, and consolidate space.  Have the organization tools in place before you take down the decorations—a great example of storage organization is the gift wrap storage bin shown below.   If it doesn’t fit in this, you probably don’t need it!
christmas decorations holiday gift wrap organization

Neat Holiday Gift-Wrap Storage

Halloween Bonus

We were sharing our favorite (creepy) Halloween recipes—and figured we should share them with everyone!   We try to be healthy—and we (arguably) succeeded in two out of three below–Check it out & have a fun & spooky Halloween.

Halloween Zombie Brain — Grrr

Cauliflower Halloween Brain Zombie Recipe

Creepy but Nutritious

Haunted Chocolate Bark — and Bite?

halloween-treat-2

Yummy, and super easy to assemble

Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies — Yummmy

halloween-treat-3