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How to work with your Closet/Storage Designer

master closet, closet ideas, white shaker, white cabinets, organized storgae, master walk in closetStorage designers can organize your life and add luxury to your spaces for a very reasonable investment.  Many people don’t realize the flexibility of styles available, and that your storage designer can tie the design closely to your home décor.  Your closet specialist can work with your interior designer and your contractor by scheduling installations in a way that makes sense for your project.

Tip #1:  Schedule time for an in-home consultation with your closet designer.  A thorough consultation ranges from 1-2 hours.   He will measure your space, assess your storage needs, and if time allows, start planning the layout and design while you’re still together.  Meeting in your home allows your storage design specialist to work with you to fine-tune your design, choose color pairings, and door/drawer selections that complement the mood and style you enjoy. Tip #2:  Make sure to remove enough items from the closet, pantry or other space so that your designer can properly measure.  Being able to see the corners and ceiling, to observe hidden utility panels or molding, can make all the difference in the end result: a tightly fitting, custom sized storage system.  Provide an inventory of your possessions and if possible, show her the items for a quick measurement.  Similarly, let her know if you store your shoes in boxes so that she can build in customized shelves to accommodate them perfectly. Tip #3:  If you’re already working with an interior designer or contractor to complete your remodel, introduce your closet designer to the other professionals involved in the project.  This will simplify any necessary coordination of scheduling and deliveries, ensuring that everything goes smoothly.  A simple change of floor molding size, ceiling height or door opening can be communicated this way, before the storage system is manufactured.  Of course, if you’re looking for a great painter or interior designer—ask your closet designer—there’s nothing like a recommendation! Tip #4:  Your schedule for painting, carpet or flooring installation/finishing, and other tasks is crucial information for your closet designer.  Your new custom storage system should be installed at the end of your remodel or renovation project. Tip #5:  For those who live in a condo/co-op or other multi-unit building, it’s helpful for you to facilitate the conversations with building management.  You probably haven’t thought about it in a while unless you’ve done other recent construction, but as a rule, buildings have strict requirements regarding insurance, scheduling time to use the freight elevator, and service entrance.   Your assistance with those conversations can save a lot of frustration.

Symmetry Closets Awarded Best Of Houzz 2018 – Third Year In A Row

Symmetry Closets, walk in, custom walk in closet, custom closet, custom lighting, custom closet lighting, custom shelving, custom shelf, shoe storage, wedding dress storage, custom closet island, mirror doors

Photo credit: Adam Cassino Design

 “Best Of Houzz” – Over 40 Million Monthly Unique Users Nominated Best Home Building, Remodeling and Design Professionals in North America and Around the World

HOLBROOK, NY, January 22, 2018 – Symmetry Closets of Holbrook, NY has won “Best Of Customer Service” on Houzz®, the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The 8-year old custom closet design company was chosen by the more than 40 million monthly unique users that comprise the Houzz community from among more than one million active home building, remodeling and design industry professionals. The Best Of Houzz is awarded annually in three categories: Design, Customer Service and Photography. Design award winners’ work was the most popular among the more than 40 million monthly users on Houzz. Customer Service honors are based on several factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2017. Architecture and interior design photographers whose images were most popular are recognized with the Photography award. A “Best Of Houzz 2018” badge will appear on winners’ profiles, as a sign of their commitment to excellence. These badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
“It’s exciting to be recognized by Houzz for excellent customer service for three years in a row – we couldn’t be happier!” Bonnie Reich, president of Symmetry Closets.
“The Houzz community selected a phenomenal group of Best of Houzz 2018 award winners, so this year’s recipients should be very proud,” said Liza Hausman, Vice President of Industry Marketing at Houzz. “Best of Houzz winners represent some of the most talented and customer-focused professionals in our industry, and we are extremely pleased to give them both this recognition and a platform on which to showcase their expertise.” Follow Symmetry Closets on Houzz www.houzz.com/pro/symmetryclosets/ About Bonnie Reich Symmetry Closets began in 2010 as a recommendation and referral based business. Bonnie wanted to start a company that put professional space planning first, paired with excellent customer service. Our closet designers love working with interior designers, contractors and builders because we value relationships that put people first. Bonnie is very proud of all the growth and changes Symmetry Closets is experiencing and our continued commitment to providing the highest quality of service to our customers. About Houzz Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design, providing people with everything they need to improve their homes from start to finish – online or from a mobile device. From decorating a small room to building a custom home and everything in between, Houzz connects millions of homeowners, home design enthusiasts and home improvement professionals across the country and around the world. With the largest residential design database in the world and a vibrant community empowered by technology, Houzz is the easiest way for people to find inspiration, get advice, buy products and hire the professionals they need to help turn their ideas into reality. Headquartered in Palo Alto, CA, Houzz also has international offices in London, Berlin, Sydney, Moscow, Tel Aviv and Tokyo. Houzz and the Houzz logo are registered trademarks of Houzz Inc. worldwide. For more information, visit houzz.com. Symmetry Closets Awarded Best of Houzz 2018 badge

Symmetry Closet Receives Super Service Award: Angie’s List 2015

Super Service Award: Angie's List 2015

Symmetry Closet Earns Esteemed 2015 Angie’s List Super Service Award

Award Reflects Symmetry Closet’s consistently higher level of customer service

Symmetry Closet has earned the service industry’s coveted Angie’s List Super Service Award, reflecting an exemplary year of service provided to members of the local services marketplace and consumer review site in 2015.

“We are honored to receive this celebrated recognition of our commitment to customer service and excellent storage,”

said Bill Kahn, Vice President, SYMMETRY CLOSETS

“We love working with our Angie’s List clients, and we look forward to building beautiful home offices, laundry rooms, pantries, garages, mud rooms, entertainment storage, and of course closets, for many years to come.”

“Only about 5% of Custom Closets companies in the New York Metro Area have performed so consistently well enough to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks.  “It’s a really high standard.” Angie’s List Super Service Award 2015 winners have met strict eligibility requirements, which include an “A” rating in overall grade, recent grade, and review period grade; the company must be in good standing with Angie’s List, pass a background check and abide by Angie’s List operational guidelines. Symmetry Closets Angie’s List helps facilitate happy transactions between more than three million consumers nationwide and its collection of highly rated service providers in more than 720 categories of service, ranging from home improvement to health care.  Built on a foundation of more than 10 million verified reviews of local service, Angie’s List connects consumers directly to its online marketplace of services from member-reviewed providers, and offers unique tools and support designed to improve the local services experience for both consumers and service professionals.

Slide out drawer, Pantry closet, organization, pantry storage, shelving, food pantry

Spring Cleaning For Storage Spaces

After this long and cold winter, we’ve become accustomed to the collection of gloves, scarves, hats and the pile of shoes by the door. However, once the good weather finally arrives, it’s time for spring sports and all the accompanying muddy gear. Worst of all, this mess is the first impression people have when they arrive at your lovely home. One of the most overlooked essential areas is the coat closet. These closets tend to have a hanging rod and maybe a single shelf. By simply adding some shelves you can create space for boots, shoes, and other gear. If space permits, you can store hats, caps, winter scarves and gloves by adding drawers or baskets that slide out. Closet baskets and drawers are great to have near the bottom of the closet, around a small child’s height, making it easier for the little ones to put away their own stuff and to grab their toys or mittens before running out the door. These are also an excellent place to store the dog toys, leashes, and other gear. Our dog takes his own leash out of the bin when it’s time to go walking! While some homes don’t have a convenient coat closet or have already fully utilized that storage space, many of us have an area that can become a mud room. In this space you can find room for kid’s jackets so that the coat closet can be more formal for dedicated adult use. A mud room can include hooks for hats, scarves, or other grab-and-go items. Alternatively, an attached garage can provide mudroom type storage. The garage is a great way to grab extra space while containing the clutter discretely. The key is to install custom storage that will protect any expensive sports equipment, like storage shelves, drawers and baskets. Shelves can handle the boots, shoes, and cleats; while standing storage bins can hold bats and longer gear. Hooks can also be added to any storage area to catch the baseball hats, dog leashes or other frequently used items. Cabinet doors add a beautiful finishing touch. Spring is almost here—and it’s time to store the winter away while planning for warmer weather. A well designed storage solution can take your gear away from your door, and leave you more time to stop and smell the daffodils. Enjoy!

Ring In The New Year

2015It’s that time of year—the Holidays are here! Around the edges of the holiday bustle, the good times with family and friends, there are usually also the moments of quiet introspection—of being “in the moment.” It’s a good time to take stock of all the experiences we’ve had this year, and what we envision for the new one. The reflective nature of the holidays is encouraged by all the lights and shiny décor we embrace to brighten the long nights and short days around the Winter Solstice. From the twinkling lights to the mercury glass candlesticks, to the ornaments on the tree and hearth, to the fireplace itself—we seek out light and good cheer.  As the holidays wind on down it’s a wonderful opportunity to take the time, and make space for you. It can be as small as scheduling ten minutes a day to breathe or meditate. Or perhaps spending an hour reading a book, or taking a walk one morning a week in the woods or beach with your dog/child/favorite sibling…. Space for yourself can be larger, too. It can manifest as breakfast in bed, a nice bubble bath, or someone helping you clean out the basement/garage/closet/or that drawer in the kitchen.   Some people would request a room of their own—to write, work out, do crafts, sew or knit, watch sports—the possibilities are truly limitless and fully customizable!   Let’s make this year one of fulfillment, in which we get to enjoy achieving our goals. Let’s also make this a year in which we get some of those essential moments to take a breath, sit back and gain some perspective. So in the spirit of acknowledging all the different ways to be reflective this time of year—we wish everyone a Joyous Solstice, Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah, a Delightful Kwanzaa, and a Healthy, Prosperous New Year.

OUR FEATURED DESIGNER Adam Cassino, Adam Cassino Design

Adam Cassino, Adam Cassino Design

Photo courtesy of Adam Cassino Designs

How Symmetry Closets and Adam Cassino Design Began Collaborating:

“A colleague of mine recommended Symmetry Closets to Adam when he realized he would need an expert closet designer for this project. When we spoke about the designs for the client’s ‘his and hers’ walk-in closets Adam knew exactly what he wanted and he gave us very detailed directions when it came time to install. That’s the nice thing about him, he knows exactly what he wants and expresses his design expectations very clearly, which makes the process that much easier for us. Bonnie wasn’t a part of the entire design and renovation process but she recalls the amount of precision Adam and his team exhibited, “Adam makes decisions quickly and efficiently and that make a large complex project move faster.” This applied to Bonnie’s part in designing the client’s two walk-in closets, “Adam gave us a very realistic time frame to produce the order and install it to the exact specifications he requested. We are in the design phase of another project with Adam and we’re enjoying the process.”
About Adam Cassino A New York City native who is passionate about all things design, Adam is trained in several interconnected fields that lend him to be a well -rounded designer and problem solver. Priding himself Adam Cassino, Adam Cassino Designon customer service, Adam is known for developing long -term, intimate relationships with his clients, making himself always available and approachable, often far beyond the completion of a project. Adam’s range of knowledge in engineering, design, architecture, and real estate is beneficial when working directly with architects, contractors, and other design individuals. His diversified background, coupled with innate talent, a well-received demeanor, and strong work ethic, allow Adam to achieve great success in his projects, and a high level of gratitude and satiation in his client base.

Design Backstory: Luxury Interior Design for the Entire Home

Symmetry Closet, Custom design, Adam Casino Design, Interior Designer, Custom Lighting, Custom cabinets

Fully redesigned master bedroom. Melville, NY. Photo courtesy of Adam Cassino Design

“Believe it or not, the interior of this 6,500 square feet family home started out as gothic and heavy. Our client brought us in before purchasing and asked if we could transform it into a light and airy transitional feel that they loved; we clearly could. Without delay, remodeling began, and in less than a year this now updated transitional home is a delight to be in. We changed the color palette of the entire home, changed stone surfaces, flooring, bathrooms, kitchen finishes, all lighting, and added elegant woodwork detail throughout. Now fully furnished in exquisite, comfortable, and usable pieces, this home has far surpassed our client’s expectations and is a beloved space for the family.”
Master walk in, walk in closet, custom closet island, custom closet, symmetry closets

His and Hers Master walk-in closet. Melville, NY. Photo courtesy of Adam Cassino Design.

A Homeowner’s Dream Come True: Interior Design Ideas Come To Life

Our time working with Adam has been nothing short of amazing. He brings innovative thinking, an innate technical mind, & a sharp eye for all things beautiful. These qualities combined have created the most incredible spaces in our home. His visions of a space are always creative while closely paying attention to the functionality of the room. He has become not only our designer but a dear friend in the process. He has a keen sense in getting to know his client which allows his work to reflect our own personal style throughout our home. We worked on many projects that involved designing from scratch custom pieces in our work spaces, closets, and living areas. Adam was always on the ball with every detail of the technical aspect of the symmetry closets, custom walk ins, custom built ins, custom drawers, soft close drawerswork. He inherently understood how each space & the furnishings should fit & flow together. This goes for all parts of the design process from our unbelievable entry chandeliers to the placement of our towels and trays in our bathrooms. His eye for details, color, and style comes naturally to him. The process of creating our new home could have been overwhelming to us. It ended up being the most exciting and special time because we had Adam to guide us.

Symmetry closets, foyer, custom designHis and Her Master Bedroom Closet Designs: A Match Made In Heaven

Clean lines and an overall lighter feel throughout the home was achieved in the design project over the course of about a year. At that point the closets were finally in sight for the husband and wife. The clients wanted their closets to appear classy and leaning more on the extravagant side to match the rest of their newly designed home. The wife wanted plenty of room for her shoes and symmetry closet, wedding gown, wedding dress, wedding dress storage, custom shelving, shoe shelves, custom island, white closethandbags, and for them to display like a upscale dressing room. She also wanted even more drawer space, so they decided to put in a peninsula attached to the wall with a stunning white marble top. Follow Adam on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adamcassinodesign/ Visit her website: http://adamcassinodesign.com/ IDS

Multitasking Extraordinaire: Spring Clean, Prep for Taxes and Help Charity–all at the same time?

The Start of Long Island NY Spring 2016

This time of year, our thoughts turn to Spring, and Taxes…so logically, Tax Deductions as well.  A conversation with our Tax Adviser got us thinking about these connections.

In honor of the Season, let’s consider some ways that Spring Cleaning can—literally—help the world.  Think that’s a large statement?  Well, try this on for size:

Spring Cleaning:

Clothing:   By February, with the hats and coats, gloves and boots always needed, you may never want to see a sweater again.  That’s a perfect time to take a look at your winter clothing situation.  At this point in the season, if you or your family hasn’t worn it, you really can ask why it’s occupying valuable real estate in your closets.  Now, there may be good reasons.  It was the sweater you were married in…ok, you get a pass.  But, while the weather is still keeping us stuck indoors, let’s start a pile of clothes to give away. Coat Closets:  This is an obvious one—if the winter coat hasn’t been worn by now… Often the coats we don’t wear are the ones we keep around because we liked them once. Of course, keep the dressy coat.  Just so long as it fits.    But when the coat closet is too full for guest’s jackets, because we’re keeping coats that don’t fit or are out of fashion, we certainly have the choice to let those go.  Someone who doesn’t have a coat would love to have one!   And wouldn’t it be nice to have some space in there?  Start a pile. Pantry:  If you’re anything like me, by February, you’ve run through your entire soup and stew repertoire.   You’ve used many canned, jarred, and dried goods.  This is a good time to question:  How committed am I to learning how to cook mung beans?   Or, am I ever actually going to serve this jarred pasta sauce I bought on sale…in September?   Your pantry is likely too full, with pasta you bought two boxes of and just didn’t like, with … you can fill in the blank.  You get the idea—start a pile.  This food is valuable nutrition someone else can use.  And, you get the bonus of freeing up space for food you like and will serve your family.

Helping the World & Charitable Tax Deductions:

There are two ways you can help the world by giving away stuff you don’t need:
  • You free up your personal emotional energy. This is a serious statement.  By keeping stuff we don’t need or even want, every time you open the closet/pantry/coat closet, you see this stuff that causes you stress.  You know that that coat hasn’t fit in a while.  And you know that you just don’t like that pasta and feel like you wasted money on it.  We can all use less stress.  We actually feel lighter when we release this stuff.  And, you free up room on your shelves and closet rods for new opportunities.  You make space for trying a new look, for trying the quinoa recipe or even for buying that bread machine you’ve wanted but couldn’t fit on your shelves.  Give it a try—you’ll like it.
  • You help other people who live right here, nearby—who can really use the stuff we don’t want. And this is the Tax Deduction for next year.  We’ve compiled a list of local charities we know and love.  We suggest that if you want to clear up some space by donating clothing or other items, that you consider these worthy charities:

Donate to Charities:

  • Dress for Success: Donate professional women’s clothing in good condition.    The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire, and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. https://newyork.dressforsuccess.org/
  • Veterans House, Family & Children’s Association: Donate men’s clothing, coats, pantry goods, blankets, special request for a bath scale with slip resistance.  Please contact Velma Berry for details. vberry@familyandchildrens.org
  • Mercy First: Provides a home for children who need one and offers life skills programs for older children, including cooking, food safety, etc.  Donate dishes, pots, kitchen supplies.  Also can use tables & chairs for young folks moving into permanent adult housing.  Please contact Ellen Miller 516-921-0808.
  • ReStore: Habitat for Humanity ReStores are nonprofit home improvement stores and donation centers that sell new and gently used furniture, appliances, home accessories, building materials and more to the public at a fraction of the retail price.  Proceeds are used to build homes, community, and hope locally and around the world.   http://www.habitat.org/restores
  • The Book Fairies:  Donate gently used children’s books to this tax deductible charity.  The books go to schools, libraries and non-profit organizations to enrich the lives of children by encouraging a love of reading.  Contact info@thebookfairies.org for details.
  • Long Island Cares:  Works with affiliates to bring food to food pantries.  Food Locator link http://www.licares.org/find-help/food-locator/
  • Ronald McDonald House of LI.  Once a house is built, it is completely supported by charitable donations, which can include household items and packaged food.  The foundation only supports the initial construction of each house.  Contact: Jennifer Nicholson, Director of Special Projects 718-343-5683/516-775-5683 x158, jnicholson@rmhlongisland.org
It’s truly a win-win.  You can free up your storage space and clear out emotional baggage too.  This is a convenient way to help our neighbors, and to help ourselves too—while banking some Tax Deductions for next year!

Happy Spring Cleaning!

OUR FEATURED DESIGNER Anne Marie Virgilio, Interiors by Anne Marie

Anne Marie

How Symmetry Closets and Anne Marie Virgilio Began a Design Collaboration:

Anne Marie met us at Symmetry Closets through The Interior Design Society, Long Island Chapter, about two years ago – she was looking for custom closet design services to pair with her interior design projects. Since we’re both part of the same design-focused trade group, we work well together–it was a perfect fit. We originally met at a local IDS meeting – she had a project with Symmetry Closets in mind. Anne Marie met with one of our closet designers at her project site, where we worked out the design concept with her and developed plans and 3D renderings to discuss with the client. We’ve collaborated on several projects since.
About Anne Marie

Anne Marie Virgilio, of Interiors by Anne Marie, has established a reputation among her clients for her timeless and sophisticated interior design for the home. Anne Marie has a talent of combining classic style with modern elegance. Her vast experience in the study of color is evident throughout her design schemes and wide range of interior design services.

With over 2 decades of experience, Anne Marie takes the time to listen to what her clients’ needs are and is able to implement their vision into a dream come true. She oversees every aspect of the project and takes her client from inspiration to installation. Interiors by Anne Marie is a full-service design firm. Anne Marie is an associate member of the Interior Design Society.

INTERIORS BY ANNE MARIE

OUR FIRST FEATURED PROJECT-Playful and Practical

Photography by Nicole Larson
Kids, play area, symmetry closets, custom built ins, white cabinets, organized space, organized kids area, custom bench

The Kids Room-Converts to Home Entertainment Concept

This family has young children who required a centralized play space. We repurposed this area, between the living room & kitchen, to become a beautiful kids room, with toy storage space—with the ability to quickly put away toys behind doors and in drawers, and still stay organized. There’s a window seat, shelving for toys and books, and more. All with elegant shaker style cabinets and crown molding.

Symmetry closets, custom storage, white cabinets, custom kids storageChildren Grow Up So Fast

Of course, one day soon the children will no longer need this play space next to the family room & kitchen. What then? Anne Marie commissioned the proportions of the shorter wall unit to be a suitable future buffet and dry bar area. A simple change-out of the playful knobs, some decorative items on the counter surface, and this kid’s play area becomes a sophisticated home entertainment area.

symmetry closets, custom built ins, custom bench, organized kids area, kids play area, kids toy optionsWhy Custom Built-Ins?

As you can see in this image, built-in cabinets are the most efficient way to fit storage into narrow spaces—because you don’t even need to leave space for the base trim! Consider built-in wall storage for a hallway or a narrow dining room. We added the decorative side panels here to harmonize with the formal dining room to the right.

OUR SECOND FEATURED PROJECT-New World Home Office, Old World Elegance

Photography by Nicole Larson

                                        Efficient, Compact Office Space Planning

Symmetry closets, custom desk, custom home office, custom built ins, work area, custom design The client needed a handsome and functional home office work environment, easy to clean up and comfortable enough to work in all day. Anne Marie combined all her client’s needs into this efficient space using some tricks:
  • The room isn’t that big but the ceiling is tall. Running the custom office cabinets to the ceiling with crown molding makes this small home office seem huge.
  • Deep home office desk with shallower upper storage cabinets keep the tall unit feeling light despite the medium wood tone.

symmetry closets, custom home office, custom built ins, custom deskHome Office Organization Tip:

It’s so important to keep the home office from taking over the home—keep clutter at bay and invite serenity into the space. Cabinet doors and drawers are necessary to keep a home office neat, and open shelves keep it visually airy with pretty mementos and collectables feeling right at home. INTERIORS BY ANNE MARIE Website: www.amvdesigns.com Cell: 516-241-8094 HOUZZ: https://www.houzz.com/pro/amvdesigns/interiors-by-anne-marie—anne-marie-virgilio IDS

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, organized pantry, white shelves, custom closet 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.